Does Your Cat Really Need A Water Fountain?
Cats are peculiar, their ancestors came from the desert and it’s well known that cats avoid drinking water. Even when some cats are thirsty, they will avoid drinking altogether. It’s a tough and strange situation, especially when their diets are protein rich. Consumption of protein in cats can lead to the production of urea in the body as a byproduct, leading to kidney damage and urinary tract issues.
Cats are recommended to drink around 60ml of water per kilogram of weight. Simply multiply your cat’s weight by this unit to get an estimate of how much they should be drinking throughout a 24-hour period. As any cat owner would quickly come to know, getting your cat to drink water is not an easy task. Cats will stubbornly avoid your best efforts to provide refreshing clean water and instead sample dirty waters from the toilet, washing machines or plant pots. It can be a headache at times but as responsible cat parents, we should make sure our lovely fur babies avoid drinking unsanitary water.
Cats have a preference of drinking from water sources that are kept fresh and running. Water that sits still can collect bacteria on its surface quickly and becomes “stale” in minimal time. Cats have an instinct to approach running streams of fresh water from which they will drink if they perceive it as clean and safe. To emulate a running stream of water, there are several cat fountains have emerged for the pet market. You might be wondering, are cat water dispensers really worth buying? What are the benefits of using a fountain compared with an ordinary drinking water bowl? Let’s take a look.
Why Cats Need a Water Fountain
Cats have unique personalities, and their attitudes towards drinking water varies too. For some, it may prove to be an arduous journey of persuasion while other cats might enjoy sipping on water without any effort. Knowing your cat and monitoring their drinking habits is the first step in figuring out how to get them to drink more if the minimum amount is not being met. For cats who generally find it difficult to drink their fill of water in a day, a regular drinking bowl may not suit their requirement. Buying a cat water fountain may be a potential solution to encourage healthy water drinking habits.
Changing water often throughout the day helps to maintain a fresh supply of water for your cat to sip on but bacteria can settle quickly without any surface agitation and lack of movement. You may be surprised that instead of drinking from their bowls, a supposedly hydrophobic cat might drink directly from a running tap. If you’ve ever seen your cat do this, a cat water fountain might be the perfect choice for them. Fountains feature a stead flow of water that attracts a cat’s curiosity and helps to encourage them to drink from its source. Not every cat will find confidence in drinking from a water fountain but for most cats, a pet water fountain can greatly increase the frequency of drinking in a day, promoting a volume much closer to their recommended water consumption levels. A fountain with a filter is essential to filter out hair, dust and other debris particles that find their way into the water. Water is constantly cleaned and flows back for your cat to drink at its leisure.
Cat Water Fountain vs Water Bowl
Image: A large capacity cat water bowl
Cat drinking volume
Cat water fountain ★★★★★
Water bowl ★★
Most cats will drink more water when using a water fountain than when drinking from a standard water bowl. Monitoring and encouraging water consumption for your cat is high priority.
Ease of Cleaning
Cat water fountain ★★★
Water bowl ★★★★
Cat water bowls are simple and clean easily, simply throw out the old water, rinse and replace. However, they do require frequent water changes as dust, hair and bacteria settles on the water surface. Avoid letting your cat ingest anything harmful through consistent water changes throughout the day.
Cat water fountains will often require disassembly and care when cleaning, they will often be easy to disassemble and clean. On the upside, you’ll only need to clean your water fountain once a week.
Degree of Convenience
Cat water fountain ★★★★
Water bowl ★★★
Water in a bowl must be changed multiple times in a day. Large water bowls can handle bigger volumes of water to last entire days if you won’t be home, but dirt accumulation and lack of filtration causes the water to become dirty rapidly.
Large-capacity water fountain is also available, serving cat’s water requirements for a few days without the need for refill or cleaning.
Cat water fountain ★★★★★
Water bowl ★
Built in filtration in cat water fountains keeps water clean over an extended period but keep in mind a power outlet is required to operate the fountain every day. Cat water fountains provide fresh and clean water for much longer when compared to regular bowls.
Image: Furrytail cat water fountain with 5 deep purification
Cat water fountain ★★
Water bowl ★★★★★
Water fountain are generally more expensive and require regular filter replacement. Water bowls are generally cheaper, their space requirements will be similar.
How to Correctly Use a Pet Drinking Fountain
Using a pet water fountain is by no means a hands-off drinking solution to forget about. Maintenance is important and cleaning is many times more involved in comparison to drinking bowls. Failing to clean your pet water fountain can lead to bacterial build up that will enter all water refills. Clean your pet water fountain at least once a week and around every 3 days during hot summer periods where bacteria are out in abundance.
Cat hair, dust and other debris may fall into the pet water dispense. You’ll need to make sure to replace the filtration system in a timely manner. It’s recommended that this be replaced every 3 months. If the filter media is left unchanged, particles will begin to build up and clog, leading to noisy operation and potential damage to the pump