Drinking water is key to your cats’ health, as it keeps furry friends hydrated and helps prevent problems such as urinary tract infections, a common ailment among felines. But sitting water easily collects dust and other impurities, as well as an off-putting taste and odor. Even if you clean and refill water bowls frequently, many cats prefer running water—the sight and sound is more attractive, and it simply tastes better.
Rather than share your sink or tub faucet with your feline companions, consider a cat drinking fountain. Keep reading to learn about important features to look for, and factors to consider while shopping, so you can find the best cat water fountain for your kitty companions.
- BEST OVERALL: Catit Flower Water Fountain
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: NPET WF050 Cat Water Fountain 1.5L Super Quiet
- BEST UPGRADE: Comsmart Cat Water Fountain, 81oz LED Pet Fountain
- BEST CERAMIC: iPettie Tritone Ceramic Pet Drinking Fountain
- BEST STAINLESS STEEL: Wonder Creature Cat Water Fountain Stainless Steel
- BEST GRAVITY RUN: AmazonBasics Gravity Pet Food and Water Dispenser
- BEST FOR MULTIPLE CATS: PetSafe Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cat Water Fountain
The best cat water fountain for your home depends on the number of felines, the time you’re willing to invest in maintenance, the size of your pets, your tolerance to sound, and the quality of water you want to serve them. Explore the following factors and features to decide which model will suit you and your feline friends.
The size of the fountain must suit the size—and number—of cats in your household. A high fountain won’t do much for a short-legged kitty, for instance. In addition to height, factor in the length and width of the fountain, and the number of water streams.
If you have multiple cats of varying sizes, provide a fountain with layered tiers. There are also fountains that you can adjust according to your pets’ height and age. Older cats may not move as freely as they once did, so an adjustable height might make drinking more comfortable.
The depth of the fountain refers to the reservoir size, another important feature. Cat drinking fountains typically hold between 1.5 to 3 litres of water or more. If you’re typically away from home for long hours, ensure your cats stay hydrated with a fountain that can hold a lot of water. On the other hand, if you only have one cat and you’re a homebody, a smaller fountain might work just fine.
Cat fountains generally come with assembly required, so take the time to read and understand assembly directions prior to purchase. A quality cat water fountain needn’t have so many complicated parts that it’s a real hassle to assemble, disassemble, and reassemble.
Remember that a cat water fountain isn’t a build-it-and-forget-it device. You will need to clean the fountain and the filter regularly, and replace the filter every once in a while. You might prefer a model that isn’t difficult to take apart, clean, or fill up with water.
A fountain’s filtering system is what keeps your cats’ water fresh and clean. But the filters shouldn’t cost a fortune or be challenging to remove, clean, and replace. Look into how much filters cost for the models you’re interested in, and how often the filters require replacement. Some are washable and reusable for less frequent replacements. Also, check to see if the filters are simple to remove, which could save you time and effort.
There are two types of filters in cat water fountains; carbon filters and charcoal filters. Carbon filters contain one element only—pure, naturally occurring carbon—but they don’t absorb as many impurities as charcoal filters do.
Charcoal filters, which contain activated carbon (a chemically-treated carbon), hydrogen, and oxygen, attract and hold more pollutants than carbon filters. This makes them better at disinfecting water.
Take a close-up look at the cleaning instructions for various fountains. Are the parts dishwasher safe, or must they be cleaned by hand? The most convenient models are easy to put together, dishwasher safe, contain fewer parts, and come with a washable filter that can be cleaned two or three times prior to replacement.
Check out the noise levels of the fountain before making a purchase, and consider your tolerance to the sounds of flowing water and the pump. Some people find the sound of a fountain relaxing, while others barely notice it; but if you have sensitive hearing, you may find these noises annoying. Fortunately, there are fairly quiet fountains available with minimal water and pump sounds.
Our Top Picks
The following cat water fountains take into consideration the factors and features detailed above. These are among the best watering systems for felines in their respective categories.
Give your picky kitty some drinking options with the Catit Flower Water Fountain. The fountain features three different water flow settings—gentle flow, bubbling top, and calm streams—plus a petaled top from which your cat can drink when the fountain is off. The reservoir holds 3 liters of water for less frequent fill-ups, while a water level indicator window shows when the water is running low.
This model has a small footprint to take up little floor space, and there’s an LED nightlight to help guide your cat in the dark. The BPA-free plastic fountain uses a Triple Action Filter that removes magnesium, calcium, odors, and impurities from tap water. Clean the components using water and soap, and rinse well.
If your cats prefer running water, the versatile NPET WF050 Cat Water Fountain could steer them away from your sink and onto an oasis of their own. This plastic fountain has a component that mimics a faucet and is adjustable at two height settings, short and tall. The faucet is a bit noisier when set at full height; the short setting is quieter, so it’s a good choice for nighttime.
You can remove the faucet altogether for fountain mode, which acts like a gentle spring, with water moving continuously in the tray. This mode increases the water’s oxygen content, which improves the quality and taste.
The reservoir holds 1.5 liters and is transparent to let you see when the water level is low. The filters have three layers: one to catch debris, one to soften the tap water, and one to remove bad tastes and odors. The pump is quiet (below 40 decibels) and detachable for handwashing.
If you’re looking for a quiet fountain that will offer felines fresh water for years, consider this model by Comsmart. The pump is ultra-quiet (below 40 decibels) and there’s an extra pre-filter sponge to extend the life of the pump. The compact unit holds 2.4 liters of water and features three different flow modes: flower waterfall, flower bubble, and gentle fountain.
The plastic fountain is BPA-free, with a stainless steel tray for healthier drinking, and a three-layer filter to keep the water fresh. The fountain comes with an LED light to help monitor water levels and doubles as a beacon for your cat at night.
To maintain the fountain, change the water and clean the fountain weekly, wash the pump every 2 weeks, and change the filter at least once a month.
The iPettie Tritone fountain is made of non-toxic, eco-friendly ceramic, which is a more hygienic material than plastic and stainless steel. Ceramic resists scratches, which means no nicks for bacteria to breed and thrive in. The fountain is fairly hefty at just over 7 pounds, so less likely to tip over and spill. The scallop-shaped bowl is stylish, as well.
The fountain comes with two filters: One surrounds the pump to prevent pet hair and debris from entering, and the second is a chemical filtration that removes bad taste and odor. The AC submersible pump is quiet and can last up to 20,000 hours.
The iPettie ceramic fountain holds 2.1 liters of water, which can last up to 2 weeks if necessary. Setup and disassembly are easy, with few detachable parts. All parts (except the plug) can be easily washed and rinsed.
The stainless steel top on the Wonder Creature Cat Water Fountain is hygienic, unbreakable, durable, and easy to clean—you can even toss it in the dishwasher. There are three different drinking modes for felines to choose from. The fountain’s LED light indicates water level with different colors; once the light turns red, the power automatically shuts off.
The pump is quiet (below 40 decibels) and uses round filters to purify the water, removing pet hair, dirt, and food particles. The unit is uncomplicated and only takes a few minutes to set up and take apart for cleaning and maintenance.
The AmazonBasics pet food and water dispenser uses gravity to keep pets hydrated. When the water level in the bowl drops, the dispenser automatically releases more to fill the bowl. The plastic bottle holds 1 gallon of water and is transparent, so you can check the level at a glance. You’ll avoid spilling water when attaching the bowl to the base, thanks to a connector that prevents water from leaking until the base is securely attached.
The polypropylene base has integrated side handles that make it easy to lift it off the floor, and non-skid rubber feet prevent the water fountain from sliding across the floor. Wash the bottle and base by hand using soapy water, and rinse thoroughly.
The PetSafe multi-pet cat water fountain has a large enough base to hold 128 ounces of water, a good volume for a multi-pet household. The fountain is made of stainless steel that is hygienic, as well as rust- and scratch-resistant. You can select from five free-falling streams and adjust the stream flow. Configure the fountain to suit your cats’ preferences. If you’re away from home and the power goes out, the open bowl means your pets will still have access to water.
The fountain uses two filters; one to remove odor and bad taste, while the other protects the pump from hair and dirt. To clean, disassemble the parts and place everything but the pump into the dishwasher. Hand wash the pump separately.
FAQs About Cat Water Fountains
For more information about cat water fountains, consider these answers to common queries.
Q. How often should the water be changed in cat water fountains?
This depends on the number of cats you have. At least once a week is a good general rule for one cat, but consider changing it more often if you have multiple cats.
Q. What do the filters do in the cat water fountain?
Filters remove odors, impurities, and bad tastes from the water. They also protect the pump from hair and dirt. Some filters also soften tap water.
Q. Are water fountains safe for cats?
Yes, as long as you’re diligent about cleaning the components. Filtered water is healthier and free of impurities, while the flow of the stream also adds more oxygen to the water. Follow cleaning instructions and schedules for changing water and filters.