7 Reasons Your Cat Won’t Drink From A Water Fountain

You just purchased a new drinking fountain for your cat. But for some reason, your cat won’t drink from it. Whenever they go near the fountain, they sniff it or play with the water but won’t take a drink. It makes you wonder why won’t my cat drink from a water fountain? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why cats will not drink from a water fountain, and what you can do to make the experience more pleasurable.

Cats are picky creatures and don’t like change. If your cat won’t drink from its brand new drinking fountain it could be due to the following reasons:

  1. Change: It May Not Be Used to The New Water Source
  2. Location: They Don’t Like Where You Placed The Fountain
  3. It’s Noisy: The Cat Is Scared to Go Near It
  4. Too Strong: The Fountain Is Too Strong
  5. It’s Dirty: The Water Tastes Funny
  6. Her Diet: Wet Food Keeps Cats Hydrated

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7 Reasons Your Cat Won’t Drink From A Water Fountain

Pet fountains are a great way to keep a cat hydrated, however, it doesn’t mean that your cat will enjoy drinking from the fountain. Below are the most common reasons cats will refuse to drink from a fountain and what you can do to fix the problem.

#1 Change: Your Cat Isn’t Used to The New Water Source

Cats are creatures of habit and even small changes such as changing their food or water bowl can upset them. Whenever making any type of change, make it gradually. This will give your cat time to adjust to the change without feeling threatened.

Try placing their old water bowl near the fountain, to see if they go near it. This will allow them to continue drinking from the old bowl while getting used to the fountain. As they continue drinking from the old bowl, they will investigate the fountain and slowly get used to the new water source.

#2 Location: You’ve Placed It In The Wrong Spot

It could be something as simple as you’ve placed the fountain too close to their food. Many new cat owners make the mistake of placing the water bowl next to the food bowl.

This deters the cat from drinking because the smell of the food overpowers the smell of the water, making them think the water is contaminated and unsafe to drink. In the wild, cats will draw their prey away from water, careful not to contaminate their drinking water.

Plus if water splashes the food, it becomes mushy and damp, making it contaminated and inedible.

Never place your cat’s drinking fountain next to its water or litter. Make sure it is at least 6 inches or more away from the food. If you live in a smaller area, then consider feeding them in a different room, away from the fountain.

The best place to put your cat’s drinking fountain is in a quiet, low-traffic area away from the food or litter box. So they can drink without feeling scared or threatened.

#3 It’s Too Noisy and Your Cat Is Scared of It

Some fountains, depending on the brand will be louder than others. The noise can scare some cats and keep them away from the fountain. If your cat is afraid of the water fountain, try placing a mat under it to muffle the sound. Or place something soft around it that absorbs any loud or clashing noises.

If you have placed everything correctly and don’t know why your cat is still scared of the fountain, it might be best to take it back to the store. Try exchanging it for a different model that is quieter.

The PetLibro Cat Water Fountain utilizes a patented outlet pipe, making it ultra-silent even when the water temperature gets low.

PETLIBRO Cat Water Fountain Ultra Quiet with Two Flow Modes, Large-Size Filter Capsule Pet Water Fountain, 71oz/2.1L Visible Water Level Dog Water Dispenser for Cats & Dogs
  • Advanced 4-Stage Purification: Treat your fur baby to the freshest H2O! Our Cat Fountain boasts a high-caliber quadruple filtration system featuring activated carbon, dense non-woven fabric, and ion...
  • Fresh Water Encourages Drinking: The bubbling fountain and free-falling stream can meet the needs of different pets and entertain them. The streams aerate the water for added oxygen and freshness.

It is definitely worth the investment, especially, if you have a skittish cat.

#4 Too Strong: The Fountain Splashes Your Cat When She Tries Drinking

If the water fountain is too strong, it could be causing your cat to get wet whenever they’re trying to drink water. Many household cats don’t like getting wet and will be discouraged to drink if this happens every time.

A way to prevent this from happening is by getting a fountain that has an adjustable stream of water. You can also try lifting the fountain higher off the ground, so it’s not as easy for your cat to reach the water.

The PetSafe Drinkwell Drinking Fountain has adjustable control that allows you to dial in the perfect water stream. Making it easy to ensure the stream doesn’t cause your kitty to get wet whenever they drink.

#5 It’s Dirty: Making the Water Taste or Smell Funny

Cats won’t drink from a dirty water source. Their survival instincts have taught them that it’s unsafe to drink from a contaminated water source.

If the fountain isn’t cleaned on a regular basis, algae will start to grow and make the water taste or smell funny. This will cause your cat to avoid drinking from the fountain altogether. The change from regular tap water to filtered water can also make the water taste strange.

To prevent this from happening, be sure to clean your fountain at least once a week. Some fountains, like the PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Fountain, is dishwasher safe making it easy to clean on a regular basis.

The 360-degree design circulates the water more evenly and helps reduce bacteria growth, and promotes good hygiene.

#6 Her Diet: Your Cat Stays Hydrated Through Diet

Wet cat food contains 70-80% moisture content compared to the 10-12% moisture level in wet cat food. If your kitty is on a wet cat food diet, they may not need to drink as much water.

Before changing their diet, consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to recommend the best diet for your cat and help ensure they are getting enough water to stay hydrated.

Final Solution to Get Your Cat To Drink From the Fountain

If you’ve tried all of these solutions and your cat is still not drinking from the water fountain, it might be time to take her to the vet.

There could be an underlying health issue causing them not to drink from their new water source. Vets can help determine if there’s a medical reason why your cat isn’t drinking from the fountain.

A cat’s water intake is as important as food and if they’re not properly hydrated, it can lead to serious health problems down the road.

So take your cat in for a checkup so you know there isn’t anything wrong with them before deciding on another solution or giving up altogether.

Final Word

Every cat has a unique personality, meaning it may take time for them to get used to drinking from a water fountain. Hopefully, the tips above will help you understand and find a solution to why your cat won’t drink from it.

Whatever you do, don’t give up too soon. Be patient and give your cat some time to get used to their new water source. Before you know it, they will love drinking and playing with the water that spouts out from the fountain.

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