a cat drinking from a water fountain

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

One of the most essential elements of your cat’s well-being is hydration. But are cat water fountains worth the investment? In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and the drawbacks of cat water fountains, and factors to consider when purchasing one. By the end, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether a cat water fountain is the right choice for your feline companion.

What is a Cat Water Fountain?

A cat water fountain is a device designed to provide a continuous flow of fresh water for your cat, encouraging them to drink more frequently. Most models consist of a reservoir for holding water and a pump that circulates the water through a filter to keep it clean.

The Benefits of Cat Water Fountains

Encouraging Hydration

Cats can be notoriously finicky about drinking water, and a fountain’s moving water may entice them to drink more often. This is especially important for cats that eat primarily dry food, as they are at a higher risk of dehydration.

Cleaner, Fresher Water

Cat water fountains feature filters that remove impurities, ensuring your cat has access to cleaner water. This can help prevent bacterial growth, resulting in a healthier environment for your pet.

Reduced Risk of Health Issues

Cats that stay hydrated are less likely to suffer from urinary tract issues, kidney problems, and other health complications. A cat water fountain can help prevent these problems by encouraging your cat to drink more water.

Convenience for Pet Owners

A cat water fountain can save you time by reducing the need for constant water bowl refills. With a larger reservoir, you won’t have to worry about your cat running out of water when you’re away from home.

two cats drinking from a water fountain

The Drawbacks of Cat Water Fountains

While cat water fountains offer numerous benefits, they also come with a few drawbacks that pet owners should be aware of before making a purchase.


Cat water fountains can be a more expensive option compared to traditional water bowls. The initial cost of the fountain, as well as the ongoing expenses for replacement filters and potential repairs, can be a deterrent for some pet owners.


Some cat water fountains can be noisy, especially if the pump isn’t well-made or if water levels are low. This may be bothersome to both you and your cat, potentially deterring your feline friend from using the fountain. When shopping for a water fountain, opt for models with quiet pumps or noise-reducing features.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular maintenance is crucial to keep a cat water fountain clean and functioning properly. This includes changing filters, cleaning the components, and ensuring the pump is in good working order. Depending on the model, this can be time-consuming and may require purchasing replacement filters, which can add to the overall cost.

Potential for Breakdowns

Like any electrical device, cat water fountains can malfunction or break down over time. Pumps may wear out or fail, requiring replacement or repair. This can be frustrating for pet owners, especially if the fountain is no longer under warranty.

Electricity Consumption

Most cat water fountains require electricity to operate, which can lead to increased energy usage and a higher electricity bill. If you’re concerned about energy consumption, consider looking for a battery-operated or solar-powered option.

Additional Factors to Consider

Size and Capacity

Consider the size of the water fountain in relation to the space you have available in your home. Additionally, think about the capacity of the reservoir to ensure it can hold enough water to meet your cat’s needs, especially if you have multiple cats or are away from home for extended periods.


Cat water fountains are typically made of plastic, ceramic, or stainless steel. While plastic fountains are generally more affordable, they can be prone to scratches and may harbor bacteria. Ceramic and stainless steel options are more durable and hygienic but come at a higher price point.


So, are cat water fountains worth it? The answer largely depends on your individual circumstances and your cat’s needs. If your cat is prone to dehydration or you want to provide the cleanest possible water for your feline friend, a cat water fountain may be a valuable investment. Ultimately, the benefits of improved hydration, cleaner water, and convenience for pet owners can outweigh the initial cost, making cat water fountains a worthwhile addition to your home.

FAQ Section

  • Do all cat water fountains require electricity?
  • Most cat water fountains require electricity to power the pump, but there are battery-operated and solar-powered options available as well.
  • How often should I change the filter in my cat’s water fountain?
  • The frequency of filter changes depends on the specific fountain and filter type. Generally, filters should be changed every 2 to 4 weeks, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best results.
  • Can I use a cat water fountain for my dog as well?
  • Yes, many cat water fountains are suitable for dogs, but consider the size and water capacity to ensure it meets the needs of all your pets.
  • How often should I clean my cat’s water fountain?
  • It’s recommended to clean your cat’s water fountain at least once a week to prevent the buildup of bacteria and keep the water fresh.
  • Is it normal for my cat to be hesitant about using the water fountain at first?
  • Yes, it’s common for cats to be cautious around new objects. Give your cat some time to adjust to the fountain, and they’ll likely become more comfortable with it.
Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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