Pet Fountains for Cats

"Oh, if only I had my own running water fountain."
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If your cat prefers drinking out of the faucet to his water dish, perhaps what he'd really like is a pet fountain. The inventor of one pet fountain product got the idea because her cat loved to drink running water in the sink.

Pet Fountains

The concept behind feline drinking fountains stems from the notion that running water, as found in nature, is fresher than stagnant water. That's because of running water's natural aeration process. It's possible that cats instinctively prefer running water. The veterinarian who developed the Drinkwell pet fountain, Dr. Mary Burns, specialized in animal behavior as part of her veterinary practice, according to Veterinary Ventures, the firm that markets Burns' invention.

How They Work

Most cat fountains operate by continuously recirculating the fountain water through a filter. These filters, often using charcoal, eliminate chemicals such as chlorine as the water circulates. The fountains must be plugged in to an electrical socket in order to work. Manufacturers offer indoor and outdoor pet fountains, with sizes varying to accommodate the feline and canine members of your household. Prices vary depending on size and whether the fountain and its bowl consists of plastic, stainless steel or ceramic.


Some pet fountain manufacturers allege that running water is healthier than stagnant water sitting for long periods in a bowl. The bowl used in the fountain is certified as safe for use in pets, which might not be the case for an ordinary bowl you're using for water. Manufacturers claim that running water makes cats drink more, which helps prevent dehydration and possible kidney and urinary tract ailments. If your cat prefers running water, he won't need to jump on the counters or into the sink to drink it with a pet fountain in the house.


Because fountains depend on electricity to work, if your power fails while you're away overnight or longer, Puffy could be without water. You might want to continue providing a backup ordinary water bowl. If you have multiple cats, it's quite likely that not all of them prefer drinking out of the fountain, so an ordinary bowl for those felines is a necessity. Constantly running fountains make noise. How much noise depends on the product, with some quieter than others. If you live in a small apartment, you might not want to hear the nonstop hum. You'll need to purchase and regularly replace filters.

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