Buying Guide And Tips For Using Cat Water Fountains
No two cats are the same and you will know best what your cat likes and doesn’t like. The reviews above should be helpful when making a decision but always base it on your cat’s personality and drinking habits.
When looking to buy a cat water fountain we feel the following are the key things to consider.
What it is made of
Most water fountains are generally made from either ceramic, metal or plastic.
Ceramic and metal are regarded as the better choices because these materials do not impart flavours or odours into the water. However, plastic models are often more affordable and BPA free.
Is it silent?
Given that your water fountain could be on for prolonged periods of time, you will want to consider how noisy it is. Look for a near silent cat water fountain to ensure it won’t impact your day to day household.
How to Keep A Water Fountain Clean
A water fountain is only effective if it is clean. Therefore, you need to make sure that you disassemble and clean a water fountain regularly. This means that you need to give special consideration to how easy or difficult a particular model is to clean out. It should come with some kind of filtration system, which normally relies on replaceable cartridges.
The following ideas can help to keep your water fountain clean:
- Make sure to regularly replace the filters used in the fountain – depending on the model, the filter should be replaced every 2-4 weeks
- Clean out any hair or gunk regularly from the filter
- Make sure to refresh the water – we do this daily when we feed our cats, but every couple of days is fine
- All of the fountains mentioned above are easy to dissemble to make it easier to clean
- Look for a dishwasher safe model to make it really easy…!
How Often Should You Clean It
How often you need to clean your cat water fountain depends on how many cats use the same fountain. If only 1 cat is using your fountain, cleaning it once a week will suffice.
However, if you have more cats, you should clean it more regularly – at least twice a week.
How often the water needs replacing
This will depend on the capacity of the fountain. Most will hold a minimum of 2 litres which could last a cat up to two weeks (and could automate a cats feeding schedule when combined with a large automatic cat feeder). The pumps and filters in a water fountain are designed to ensure the water is completely clean so this shouldn’t be an issue as long as you are regularly changing filters.
We prefer to refresh our water more regularly (often daily when we feed our cats) as we find this keeps our filters cleaner, and often means we can extend the life of each filter beyond the recommended 2-4 weeks.
Encouraging Your Cat To Use A Water Fountain
If you have recently bought a water fountain for the first time or for a new cat, your cat may not be familiar with the concept. Although patience is the main key, there are a number of things you could try to help entice your cat to the new fountain:
- Placement – Place the cat water fountain at a distance away from their litter trays and food bowls. This is important as cats tend to like water sources that are not tainted by waste products or food. You should also be careful not to place it close to fires or radiators as this can affect the temperature of the water and make it unpalatable.
- Provide Other Sources Of Water – As it can take some time for a cat to adjust to using a new fountain, you should make sure there are other sources of water available to keep your cat hydrated.
- Introduction – Before you start the fountain, let your cat get used to it with just still water. Curiosity will make him or her want to drink from it and just keep it like that for the first few days.
- First Time – Once you are sure your cat is more comfortable with their new water fountain, start by switching it on for a couple of hours, once or twice a week. This enables your cat to get comfortable with the noise and circulation of the fountain. In the beginning, it is also recommended that you reward your cat for drinking from the fountain with a treat, to reinforce that the fountain is a good thing.
Generally speaking, it only takes a few weeks for most cats to feel comfortable with a fountain, but remember that cats are all unique and if it takes longer for your cat to adjust – this is not a bad thing,
Are water fountains better for cats?
It really depends on your cat. If your cat is a good drinker and drinks enough water from a bowl, then buying a cat water fountain is unlikely to make any difference to your cat. However if your cat doesn’t drink much water (or only likes drinking from a tap) then a cat water fountain could make a huge difference to their long term health and reduce the amount of water you waste.