Many cat owners are looking for ways to provide their furry friends with fresh water. One option is a cat water fountain. These devices keep the flow of running water moving, which is better for your pet’s health than stagnant or still water. But are they safe? Can they be sanitary? Let us find out!
The short answer is, yes cat water fountains can be safe and sanitary as long as you purchase a quality product that is easy to clean, and constructed of nonporous material to prevent bacteria from accumulating. A cat water fountain is a great accessory to have and can encourage your cat to drink more.
Chances are you’re in the market for a cat water fountain if you’re reading this. I encourage you to continue reading as we’ll discuss some tips for keeping your cat safe when using a cat water fountain.
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But first, let’s discuss some of the benefits of using one.
What Is A Cat Water Fountain?
A cat water fountain is a watering device that works off an electric motor or pump. When full, the device will continually pump water into the pet’s bowl so they are always drinking fresh non-stagnant water.
Depending on the type of device you purchase, you will need to refill the water less often. The flowing water also aerates the water and is said to be more appealing to cats than still or stagnant water.
The motor or pump on most cat fountains is silent, so your pet won’t be disturbed while they drink. That said, not all cat fountains are created equally, and can do more harm to cats than good.
Benefits of Cat Water Fountains?
The biggest benefit is that a cat water fountain will get your cat to drink more water. Like us, cats need to stay hydrated during the day. Veterinarians recommend they drink 1/2 a cup of water per five pounds of body weight., averaging 1.4-4.5 ounces per day.
Some cats are extremely picky about the water they drink. In fact, some prefer drinking water from the sink, bathtub, or any other source of running water instead of their regular water bowl.
If your feline friend isn’t currently drinking enough water, it’s vital to get them to drink more water. Otherwise, they could be become dehydrated, which will result in health issues such as; vomiting, diarrhea, kidney disease, diabetes and etc.
A cat water fountain is perfect for cats that prefer drinking from running water.
However, before you run out and buy one, it’s important to consider some of the cons of owning one.
Cons of Owning a Cat Water Fountain
The biggest drawback of using a cat water fountain is their sanitariness, with the biggest concern being slime (most likely algae) accumulation. Unlike a regular water bowl, which can be easily washed, cat water fountains are made of many nooks and grooves that make it hard to clean.
You’ll need to regularly wipe down the device with a special brush designed for this purpose. As mentioned before, you should also consider purchasing a nonporous material fountain if possible because these are easier to clean than porous material.
The second con of owning a cat water fountain is the possibility that your pet could be electrocuted. As far as I know, it’s never happened. In fact, I couldn’t find any stories about it happening. The most I found was that a cat could receive a low voltage shock, which would cause them to step away from the fountain.
That said, make to use the fountain with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt (GFCI) protected outlet. As it would cause the pump to shut off and the electrical line in the outlet to de-energize in the event of a power outage, protecting both you can your pet.
If you have a multi-pet home with dogs, it’s fine for both cats and dogs to drink from the same fountain, as long as they are comfortable with it. That said, it will need to be cleaned out more often.
Best Type of Cat Water Fountain for Your Cat
The best type of water fountain to purchase is a stainless steel one such as the . It is constructed of 304 stainless steel, making it resistant to corrosion, rust, BPA-Free, and easy to sanitize.
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304 stainless steel is a good grade of steel and is commonly used for kitchen and food applications. The technology is easy to use and has a silent pump that runs below 30db, which is almost inaudible.
The best feature is that all parts except the pumps and filter can be washed in the dishwasher. It comes equipped with a double filtration system and an activated carbon filter which filters out hair, debris, and other impurities from the water.
Either your cat or dog will enjoy drinking from it. That said, it’s important to know how to maintain it, to ensure it remains sanitary, clean, and safe.
If possible avoid ceramic and plastic fountains, as they are prone to scratches and cracks, which can leach harbor bacteria, leach harmful chemicals and cause medical conditions.
Maintaining a Cat Water Fountain
Maintaining a water fountain will require more than a regular bowl. However, once you get into the habit of doing it, it won’t take long to keep it clean and free of bacteria.
It’s important you know how to clean your new cat water fountain outside of the dishwasher every week or two depending on usage. It’s the perfect time to clean out any slime build-up and replace the old water with fresh.
You’ll need to take apart each part of the device including; food bowl, pump housing unit, submersible pump (this is the part that needs to be cleaned the most), and filter.
It’s recommended you use filtered water when cleaning, so as not to introduce impurities back into the device and/or clog up filters more quickly than they need to be.
You’ll want to clean each component separately in warm soapy water or run through your dishwasher on the top rack. Consult with the instructions that came with your product, to make sure it’s safe to put them in the dishwasher.
Avoid putting smaller plastic pieces in the dishwasher, as they can melt. Instead, using an old toothbrush is perfect for those hard-to-reach spots.
Be sure to air dry all components before reassembling and placing them back in your cat’s designated drinking area.
Cat water fountains can be safe and sanitary for your pet. As long as you invest in a high-quality stainless steel one. It is cleaned regularly, to ensure there is no slime, algae, or mold build-up that could be harmful.
Most cats prefer to drink from a fountain as it simulates running water. If you have a multi-pet home, both cats and dogs can drink from the same fountain safely, as long as they are comfortable with it.
If you’re not sure how to clean your new cat water fountain or which type of fountain is best for your pet, consult with the manufacturer’s instructions before use.