Encourage your felines to drink more with recirculating water.
Cat water fountains have been around for many years now and I can tell you from personal experience that if you have a cat, one could save you hundreds (possibly thousands) of dollars on veterinary bills each year. This is because Felis catus, a species that originated in the desert, typically needs some extra encouragement to drink water.
Water helps regulate body temperature, assists the kidneys in ridding the body of waste products and keeps the mouth moist and the gastrointestinal tract running smoothly. However, simply putting out a bowl of water isn’t enough for some cats—many prefer to drink from running water sources.
Since cats tend to only drink when they’re very thirsty, they rarely consume enough water for their urinary tract (i.e., renal system). When cats don’t drink enough water, the effects can be immediate: you’re likely to notice a dulling of the coat; if you gently squeeze the back of their neck, the skin will not quickly revert to its original position; and their urine will be highly concentrated. This can quickly lead to problems with their urinary tract and kidneys, resulting in blockages of the urethra which in some cases could be fatal.
The 1:1 Rule: Your cat should be drinking 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight, every day. Which fountains are the best? Any that encourage your cat to drink more qualify. The deciding factors are what your cat prefers and what your budget allows. Below are just a few of the brands and/or styles that could turn your cat into a water lover.
Drinkwell is the first name in pet fountains. Developed by a veterinarian, the company is now owned by Petsafe, which has increased the variety of fountains while offering them at affordable prices. Drinkwell fountains all feature a recirculating pump and carbon filter, which is a good way to remove many impurities in the water and help keep it cleaner for a longer period. Pricing ranges from $20 to $100. The carbon filter will need to be changed at least once a month; however, you can shop around to find less-expensive generic ones that fit. (Images are not to scale) petsafe.net
These incredible fountains are handmade and are truly a work of art. The ceramic bowl and simple filter system come in two styles: stream fountains or bubble-ups; both types feature a recirculating pump and carbon filter. They are easy to clean and beautiful enough to place in any area of the house. Pricing is on the high side, with bubble-ups ranging from $121 to $190, and streaming fountains from $134 to $280. The carbon filter will need to be changed monthly. To lower costs, I use a generic filter. (Images are not to scale) thirstycatfountains.com
Does your cat love drinking out of the faucet? The latest fountain from Pioneer Pet provides the same experience. Dishwasher safe and charcoal filtered, the fountain holds up to 80 oz. of water; and it also features a USB connector. Available in premium white plastic and silver stainless steel, it is easy to assemble and clean. The company has other stylish fountains, including the Raindrop, Fung Shui and Big Max; prices range from $27 to $90. (Images are not to scale) pioneerpet.com
These highly functional fountains provide naturally cool, oxygenated water throughout the day for your cat(s). They feature continuous circulating water, a replaceable charcoal filter and a unique, patented no-splash water-slide. Most plug into a standard AC outlet; however, the Fresh Flow Rain Fountain runs on four D batteries, enabling you to place wherever your cat prefers to drink. Fresh Flow fountain prices range from $25 to $50; sizes from 50 oz. to 216 oz. for multi-pet households. (Images are not to scale) petmate.com
For those of you who prefer a little whimsy in your daily life, The Watering Hole Automatic Fresh Water Fountain could be what you’re looking for. Available in two styles at $29 each, these functional fountains provide cats with recirculating, filtered water that streams from a frog or a fish’s mouth. The basin is made from BPA free polypropylene; the fish and frog are made of food-safe plastic resin. Each comes with two active carbon filters and holds 38.4 oz. (1.2 quarts). catsrule.com
Water fountains provide the perfect blend of clear, filtered, running water that appeals to cats and adds a relaxing element to the home for you—and your cat(s). Get a pet fountain for your cat – you won’t regret it!