Best Cat Water Fountains for Your Favorite Feline Companion

cat cute eyes thirsty for water fountain lick

Last Updated on October 13, 2020 by Kristen Chapple

Have you noticed how some cats prefer to drink out of a dripping faucet? Whoever invented the cat water fountain sure did, and they’ve been a hit ever since.

Turns out there’s a good reason for that — only humans can’t seem to figure it out for sure. Some say it’s because they know running water sources are cleaner, some say they don’t like their whiskers touching the sides of the water bowl, some even say it’s because they can hear better than they can see.

What we do know for sure is that many cats prefer running water, so that’s why we’ve compiled this guide to the best water fountain for your cat.

The Catit Flower Pet Fountain gained resounding applause from cats and their owners everywhere. Its three flow settings keep her water aerated, and an enhanced filtration system removes hard minerals like calcium and magnesium from her water as well as solid debris like hair and dust. All of these features and more make this fountain a comprehensively good choice for ensuring your little prowler stays hydrated.

The Best Cat Water Fountains Are:

ProductDetails
1. Catit Flower Pet Fountain

  • Dimensions: 9 x 8.3 x 6.2 in
  • Weight: 2.0 lbs
  • Capacity: 3 L
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2. Cat Mate Pet Fountain

  • Capacity: ½ gallon
  • Made from plastic materials
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3. Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain

  • Suitable for cats and dogs under 60 pounds
  • Capacity: 1-gallon
  • Stainless Steel
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4. Drinkwell Multi-Tier Pet Fountain

  • Dimensions: 11.93 x 8.62 x 6 in
  • Suitable for cats and dogs under 50 pounds
  • Capacity: 100-oz
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5. Catit Design Senses Drinking Fountain

  • 3/4-gallon
  • MATERIAL
  • Plastic
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6. Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain

  • Suitable for animals under 60 pounds
  • Capacity: 128 oz
  • Plastic construction
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7. Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain

  • Suitable for cats and dogs up to medium breeds
  • Capacity: 50 oz
  • Plastic construction
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8. Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain

  • Suitable for cats and dogs up to medium breed size
  • Capacity: 70 oz
  • Ceramic
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9. Pioneer Pet Swan Cat Drinking Fountain

  • Dimensions: 12 x 9.75 x 8.75 in
  • Weight: 1.15 lbs
  • Capacity: 80 oz.
  • Suitable for cats and dogs of all sizes
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1. Catit Flower Pet Fountain — Overall Best Cat Water Fountain

Catit Senses 2.0 Cat Flower Fountain 3L, Cat Water Fountain

The Catit Flower Pet Fountain entices your cat to drink with its flowing flower-spout design. You can adjust the flow of water with three different settings, so she’ll have her choice between a gentle waterfall, a light faucet stream, or barely bubbling, suited to her preferences. 

The fountain’s filter is triple-layered to screen out hard minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as debris to keep her water clean and fresh, and replacement filters are available so the clean water keeps on flowin’.

The unique design of this fountain has no bowl for water to pool in and gather debris, meaning cleaner water for her. It’s also easy to disassemble and reassemble to make cleanup easier for you.

This fountain is a great source of clean, fresh water for her, but you can feel extra good about it because it’s manufactured by Hagen with safe, non-toxic BPA-free plastic.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 9 x 8.3 x 6.2 in
  • Weight: 2.0 lbs
  • Capacity: 3 L

Pros

  • Bowl-free design keeps water from pooling in the fountain and collecting dirt and debris
  • Adjust the flower to accommodate her water-flow preferences
  • Three water settings will please even the pickiest feline
  • Easy to disassemble and reassemble for easy cleaning
  • Triple filter design filters hard-minerals like calcium and magnesium as well as fine debris

Cons

  • Some owners reported the pump didn’t work efficiently.
  • Some owners reported the price of replacement filters wasn’t enough to warrant the cost of the fountain.
  • Some felines reported the design wasn’t conducive to effective water breaks.

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2. Cat Mate Pet Fountain

Cat Mate Pet Fountain - 70 Fluid Oz.

Everyone needs to drink more water, especially cats, as they can be prone to urinary tract problems. The design of the Cat Mate Pet Fountain encourages her to drink more water, stay hydrated, and stay healthier.

With three tiers of drinking options, the water in this fountain continually recycles up to ½ a gallon to stay cleaner longer. When it is time to clean up, the fact that you can throw the bowls in the dishwasher makes it easy and low-maintenance.

Suitable for cats and their small dog sidekicks, this fountain is quiet and operates with a polymer-carbon filter to remove impurities. Replacement filters are sold separately.

Specs

  • Capacity: ½ gallon
  • Made from plastic materials

Pros

  • Quiet isolated pump system
  • Three tiers of pools give her three choices for drinking
  • Polymer-carbon for removing impurities and keeps her water fresh.
  • Dishwasher safe bowls for effortless cleanup

Cons

  • Some owners reported the fountain was hard to clean
  • Some cats didn’t like it because it vibrates while running
  • Some owners reported the filters clog very easily

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3. Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain, 1-gal

PetSafe Drinkwell Stainless Multi-Pet Dog and Cat Water Fountain, 128 oz.

The Drinkwell 260 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain is designed to satisfy your cat’s need for fresh water in an easy-to-maintain package.

The 360-degree fountain and generous 1-gallon capacity make it a great option for households with multiple pets, there’s even enough room for those who aren’t in love with the idea of sharing.

Rubber feet on the base keep the fountain in one place, while the adjustable flow, and the ramped, cone shaped design keeps the water off your floor and in the bowl!

It comes with a quiet, submersible pump and a high-quality filter. Replacement filters are available for purchase so they’ll never have to go to a bowl with sitting water again.

Made from stainless steel, this fountain is bacteria-resistant and dishwasher safe. This fountain is easy to assemble with no tools necessary.

Specs

  • Suitable for cats and dogs under 60 pounds
  • Capacity: 1-gallon
  • Stainless Steel

Pros

  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Quiet, submersible pump
  • The 360-degree design and 1-gallon capacity makes it easy for multiple pets to drink at the same time
  • Rubber feet keep the fountain in place
  • The fountain’s design and adjustable flow reduces splashing
  • Cleaning kit and replacement filters available

Cons

  • Some owners said it was difficult to assemble
  • Some reported that the bowl is too lightweight, even when full
  • Some cats didn’t like it because the stream wasn’t strong enough to entice them to drink

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4. Drinkwell Multi-Tier Pet Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier Cat and Dog Water Fountain - Automatic Drinking Fountain for Pets - 100 Oz. Water Capacity (PWW00-13708), Grey

Clean, flowing, aerated water continuously recycles in this multi-tiered fountain for your cat to enjoy. It comes with a carbon filter to get rid of impurities and unpleasant odors, enticing your fur baby to hydrate regularly and the quiet, submersible pump is easy to remove when it’s time for cleaning.

A dishwasher-safe upper and lower tier gives her plenty of room to drink but is also suitable for multi-pet households. Made from durable plastic, the Drinkwell Multi-Tier Pet Fountain is easily assembled with no tools required.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 11.93 x 8.62 x 6 in
  • Suitable for cats and dogs under 50 pounds
  • Capacity: 100-oz

Pros

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Quiet, submersible pump
  • Replaceable carbon filter is replaceable for removing impurities from your kitty’s water
  • Holds 100 ounces of water

Cons

  • Some owners reported it was difficult to clean
  • Some owners said it was too small for their furry companion’s needs
  • Some owners said the pump did not work correctly, causing a weak flow of water

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5. Catit Design Senses Drinking Fountain

Catit Senses 2.0 Cat Water Fountain Filters, Cat Water Fountain, 5 Pack

With it’s gentle, bubbling fountain design, the Catit Design Senses Drinking Fountain will keep your kitty coming back to drink throughout the day.

Her water stays fresh, cool, and clean with a heavy-duty water softening filter to remove hard water minerals like magnesium and calcium, as well as solid impurities like lint and fur.

It’s unique design increases the water-to-air contact, which, along with the continually circulating water, provides optimal oxygenation.

Specs

  • 3/4-gallon
  • MATERIAL
  • Plastic

Pros

  • Water filtration and circulation gives her a clean, cool drink of water every time
  • Heavy-duty filter removes hard water minerals and debris like lint and fur
  • Quiet pump uses minimal electricity
  • Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning

Cons

  • Some cats were disappointed that the pump stopped working right after they got their new bowl.
  • Some cats didn’t care because they weren’t interested in drinking out of it.
  • Some owners reported the cord was quite short, making it more difficult than it had to be to find a place to put it.

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6. Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Cat and Dog Water Fountain - Automatic Drinking Dispenser for Pets - 128 oz

With it’s curved-pillar design and adjustable flow settings, the Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain won’t splash all over the kitchen when your furry friend comes to get a drink. It holds up to a gallon of water, and its 360-degree access makes this fountain a great option for multiple-pet homes.

The quiet, submersible pump contains a powerful filter that works to remove impurities and aerate her water.

The fountain is easily disassembled and reassembled for cleaning, and it’s all dishwasher safe (except the pump, don’t wash that). Replacement filters and cleaning kit are available for sale.

Specs

  • Suitable for animals under 60 pounds
  • Capacity: 128 oz
  • Plastic construction

Pros

  • 360-degree access allows multiple pets to drink from all sides of the fountain
  • Curved pillar design reduces splashing and messes
  • Safe for the dishwasher
  • Submerged pump makes virtually no noise
  • Filtration system removes impurities and keeps her water fresh

Cons

  • Some owners reported it was leaky
  • Some owners reported the pump stopped working soon after they received it
  • Some said it required abnormally frequent cleaning

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7. Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell Original Dog and Cat Water Fountain with Bonus 50 oz. Reservoir, 100 oz.

The waterfall-like stream of this fountain will entice your kitty to drink plenty of water all day! The continuous flow aerates the water, and the carbon filter gets rid of impurities in tap water.

Your baby will have 50 ounces of clean, flowing water whenever she wants it. The receiving ramp under the fountain’s stream prevents splashing, and it’s easy to disassemble and reassemble for easy cleaning and filter replacement. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe and replacement filters are available for when it’s time to switch it out.

Specs

  • Suitable for cats and dogs up to medium breeds
  • Capacity: 50 oz
  • Plastic construction

Pros

  • Fresh, free-flowing water encourages her to hydrate
  • Holds up to 50 ounces of water
  • Features a splash-free receiving ramp underneath the fountain’s stream
  • Easy to disassemble and stick in the dishwasher for easy cleaning
  • Carbon filter works to keep her water fresh and clean

Cons

  • Some cats weren’t interested — maybe because it was too noisy?
  • Some complaints of pump breaking quickly
  • Some difficulty cleaning

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8. Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain

PetSafe Cat and Dog Water Fountain - Automatic Water Dispenser - Drinkwell Pagoda Ceramic Fountain for Pets - Filter Included - Blue - 70 oz, Model:PWW00-14898

This fountain’s snazzy design was a hit with cat parents, and the continuous flow of 70 ounces of clean, fresh water was a hit with the cats who love them.

An enhanced filtration system not only filters out impurities from tap water like hard minerals and chemicals, it also filters debris like dust and pet hair.

This ceramic fountain comes in four beautiful colors: Himalayan Blue, Stoneware Red, Porcelain White, and Taupe and is convenient to clean because it’s dishwasher safe! Replacement filters sold separately.

Specs

  • Suitable for cats and dogs up to medium breed size
  • Capacity: 70 oz
  • Ceramic

Pros

  • The continuously circulating stream aerates her water
  • Replaceable carbon filter removes impurities
  • Holds up to 70 ounces of water, making it a good choice for multiple-pet households
  • Attractive and easy to clean
  • Two-tiered design makes it convenient for more than one pet to drink at a time

Cons

  • Some owners said it was too loud to leave on
  • Some owners reported it leaks
  • Some owners said the pump broke easily

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9. Pioneer Pet Swan Cat Drinking Fountain

Pioneer Pet Swan Pet Drinking Fountain: 80oz Water Capacity (White Plastic)

The elegant design of the Pioneer Pet Swan Cat Drinking Fountain is both attractive and functional. It’s charcoal filter cleans impurities from her water and the continuous stream of flowing water aerates it, too, making sure her water stays fresh and clean all day.

It’s dishwasher safe, easy to clean, and is great for homes with multiple cats. The option to power through a standard wall plug or USB connection makes this fountain convenient to place just about anywhere.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 12 x 9.75 x 8.75 in
  • Weight: 1.15 lbs
  • Capacity: 80 oz.
  • Suitable for cats and dogs of all sizes

Pros

  • The faucet-like fountain design entices her to stay hydrated
  • Holds up to 80 oz of water, so there’s plenty to go around in multiple-cat households
  • Charcoal filtration keeps her water clean and fresh
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Some owners reported the motor was too weak
  • Some cats said they couldn’t get to the bowl and kept bumping their heads on the spout, resulting in unhappy wet cats.
  • Some owners said it stopped working soon after they received it.

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A Guide To Buying The Best Cat Water Fountain

Cats are notoriously finicky, it’s true. As cat lovers, we like to think of it as having discriminating taste in… well, everything.

Because of this personality trait, you should spend a few minutes ruminating over it before choosing the best fountain drinking system for your kitty.

Look at Filtration

Fountains will usually include a carbon filter which does a basic job, but there are more advanced charcoal filtration systems out there that remove pretty much everything: hair, dust, debris, bacteria, hard-water minerals from the tap like calcium and magnesium.

Some even soften the water. Make sure to check the price and availability of the replacement filters compatible for your model.

A Couple of Points on Flow

The water circulation of a fountain serves the function of helping to keep the water oxygenated, but it also helps keep the fountain itself cleaner because it’s more difficult for bacteria and slime to collect within the unit.

Beware though, some fountains are just downright noisy. If you’re keeping one in a space in your house where the humans like to chill, keep in mind not everyone loves the sound of trickling water.

The pump is another component of a cat fountain that may be noisy if you don’t shop around for something quiet. Look for a submersible pump — they have a tendency to be quieter.

Easy Cleanup?

Buying a fountain for her that is easy to clean for you is only fair to the human. Even the most thorough filters can’t self-clean the bowls and surfaces within the fountain, you’ll have to do that yourself, so think about how easy it is to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning.

Is it dishwasher safe? If not, maybe keep on shopping. Unless you don’t own a dishwasher, in which case, you’ve got one less thing to search for on the box.

Does it Look Cool in Your House?

There are some really nifty looking cat fountains on the market these days with a range of colors and designs to fit any aesthetic. They’re also made in a range of materials, gone are the days of plastic-only (although plastic is pretty tried and true…).

You’ll find stainless steel and even ceramic fountains for your kitty. If you’re lucky, she’ll mistake it for a sculpture she’s not supposed to drink from — which will only make her want to drink out of it more.

Why Your Cat Needs Her Hydration

No, it’s not just for healthier, more radiant skin with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.

Can you tell if your cat is getting enough hydration? How often do you actually notice seeing her at her bowl? Now that you’re thinking about it, you’re probably realizing not that often.

Chances are, though, she’s doing just fine. Cats tend to get a good portion of their hydration from their food, particularly if they eat wet foods — and any prey they may catch, because that’s how their ancestors sourced most of the water in their diets.

For our compact, domesticated versions, this means mice, lizards, bunnies… you get the picture. On the upside, you won’t have to worry about a wildebeest on your doorstep.

Like many things about the magnificent members of the cat family, they’re enigmatic creatures of mystery, it’s part of what we love about them.

The only drawback is they have a tendency to hide it from us if they’ve got health issues, including those made worse by dehydration.

One of the most common health issues in cats related to hydration is:

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, or (FLUTD).

Both male and female cats can get FLUTD, and it’s been estimated by vets that as many as 3% of the patients they see have it. 

FLUTD can be linked to a few different causes:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Cats who eat only dry food
  • Stress
  • Sudden changes in environment
  • Multi-cat households

Symptoms Include:

  • Urinating in unusual places
  • Bloody urine
  • Difficulty in urination
  • Symptoms of pain like crying when urinating or licking around the urinary area.
  • Lack of appetite
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Symptoms of dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite

If your cat is having one or any combination of these problems, take her to the vet. In cases where she can’t urinate at all, it’s an emergency. Get to the vet immediately.

Signs of Dehydration in Cats

Again, cats are chameleons when it comes to showing pain so often it’s up to us to pay close attention for the signs:

Less Urination

You should be paying attention to how often your cat urinates every day. Of course, you can get a good idea of this by cleaning out her litter box every day to check.

If you’re not scooping pee, or way less than usual, and you know she’s not going anywhere else in the house or outside, you may want to take her to the vet.

She may not be peeing because she can’t due to a serious problem (see above about the symptoms of FLUTD)

Her Skin Has Loosened Around Her Body

If your cat’s skin doesn’t return back to normal after you’ve (gently) pulled the scruff of her neck or between her shoulder blades, it could be a sign of dehydration.

If it doesn’t slide back to normal relatively quickly, she may not be getting enough hydration. While this isn’t exactly a scientific method, it is a pretty good indicator.

Dry, Sticky Gums

When a cat’s gums are abnormally sticky or tacky, it can be a sign she’s dehydrated. Look for pink, healthy, moist gums.

Sunken Eyes

If your cat looks drowsy with dull, listless eyes, it could be because he’s dehydrated. Think about how humans look when they’re dehydrated… makes sense, right?

Panting

If your cat’s panting, chances are she’s overheated, so then chances are she’s also dehydrated. Get her a drink of water.

No Appetite

If your cat isn’t eating, somethings up. Sometimes it’s pain caused by issues exacerbated by dehydration, but most likely not- either way, if she isn’t eating after 24 hours, take her to the vet.

Depressed and Lethargic

If your fuzzy queen seems blah, lazy, or sleepy (more than usual), try to engage her. Is she uninterested in hanging out with you when she normally would be all over you?

Is she less playful? Pay attention to this stuff, as it could be an indicator of a cat with dehydration or health problems, or both.

Elevated Heart Rate

The next time you go to the vet ask him or her to show you where to find and how to measure your cat’s pulse. It’s good to know for lots of reasons, but sometimes an elevated heart rate could be an indicator that something’s wrong, including possible dehydration.

How Much Should My Kitty Be Drinking?

So we’ve looked at why hydration is so important to your cat, why they seem so aloof about it, and how to tell if they’re dehydrated. How much should they be drinking, anyway?

Of course we’re going to say that consulting your vet is a good idea when figuring out how to feed and water your animals, but there is a pretty comprehensive guide for how much hydration your cat typically requires in a day:

  • Give them between 31/2- 41/2 ounces of water a day for every five pounds of body weight. So for instance, a ten-pound cat should aim for an average of 7-9 ounces of water.
  • Keep in mind, water isn’t the only source of hydration for cats. That’s why wet food is highly recommended for your cat- one can of wet food contains an average of 70-80% water. If your cat eats one average 5.5 oz can of food a day, he’s probably getting about half his water intake from that on its own.

How Do I Know She’s Actually Drinking Her Water?

Yeahh, that one’s tricky unless you follow her around all day and observe her drinking, eating, and peeing habits. Chances are if you do that she won’t do any of those things until you stop watching her.

The best way to estimate is pay attention to her bowl when you feed her canned food and estimate by how much she eats.

Keep track of the levels in her bowl (this is a little tricker to do with a fountain, so you’ll just have to try to catch her in the act), and make sure to clean out the water vessel she has chosen to use every day.

Urination is another key indicator of how much hydration she’s getting. If your cat is urinating regularly inside her litter box and doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort — thumbs up!

A Final Word

If you love a cat, you’re in a special club of humans who “get it”. Dog lovers can preach the virtues of the canine to the rafters, and that’s fine, we don’t disagree. (Secretly we think they’re jealous because humans will never achieve the level of cool the average cat has mastered.)

In addition to cool, mysterious, and a little bit intimidating in the cutest way ever — a cat will love you every bit as much as a dog if you take care of them. They just want some stuff to stalk, delicious food to eat, and a snuggly lap.

To take care of her, and keep your beautiful wild thing hydrated and healthy, consider getting her the Catit Flower Pet Fountain. It was overwhelmingly popular with cats and their owners because of its superior filtration system and intuitive design that will encourage her to drink up!

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