10 Best Cat Water Fountains: The Ultimate List (2018)

cat water fountain

Before domestication, cat ancestors were desert creatures. That means they were reliant upon the water content of their prey to provide enough water in the wild. Since the prey of wild cats tends to be small animals made up of about 70 percent water, this was sufficient.

Domesticated cats eat whatever we give them, which generally falls into two categories: wet food and dry food. Wet food has a water content of about 80 percent, so cats eating it need only two to four additional ounces of water a day.

Cats eating only dry food need a bit more water, though, and given their ancestry, they’re not always the most diligent drinkers. Much more than dogs, cats have be enticed to drink enough water. First, their water bowl needs to be placed separately from its food. They prefer fresh water and are likely to think it’s contaminated when placed where they eat. Second, because they like it fresh, stale water will turn them off.

Fortunately, there are a number of cat-focused water fountains on the market. By circulating the water, a fountain aerates and keeps it fresh-tasting. This way, you can load up the water dish and leave it, even for picky cats. These fountains even have filters to remove impurities that might come from sitting out for any period of time.

The sound and movement of a cat water fountain mimics that of a running faucet, which is something almost all cats love, perhaps because their ancestors may have listened for the sound of running water.

If your picky cat is being stubborn about drinking, choose the best cat water fountain for you from our list of the top ten to make water interesting again.


1. PetSafe Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain

Image of petsafe drinkwell cat water fountain

(PetSafe)

Among the original designs for the pet fountain, this Drinkwell unit defined the genre. It features a free-falling water flow that is adjustable so you can customize it to your cat’s preference. The small ramp under the fountain reduces splash in this design while allowing cats to drink the water while still in mid-air. The six-foot-long power cord makes it possible to reach a convenient plug.

This unit is filtered via replaceable activated carbon filters, and there’s also an official cleaning kit. There’s an optional 50 ounce reservoir to reduce the number of times it needs to be refilled. For a little more money, you can upgrade to the Drinkwell Platinum, which has a 168 ounce reservoir. You can also get a mini version for a little less.

Price: $29.27 (49 percent off MSRP)

Buy the PetSafe Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain here.



Pros:

  • Free-falling water supply
  • Carbon filter
  • Adjustable flow
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Somewhat difficult to clean
  • Water level must be kept high for pump to work
  • May occasionally clog
  • Some reviewers complain about pump noise

Find more PetSafe Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain information and reviews here.


2. Cat Mate Pet Fountain

Image of cat mate cat water fountain

(Cat Mate)

The design of this fountain offers the best of all worlds. On top, you get a bubbler style. The next level is a whirlpool that leads to the fountain, which ends in a large dish at the bottom of the unit. This may be particularly ideal if you have multiple cats who each have a different preference for how they like to drink.

As an improvement on the Drinkwell, this comes with a 70 ounce reservoir and a ten foot cable. It also uses replaceable carbon filters, available here.

Price: $22.47 (53 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Cat Mate Pet Fountain here.



Pros:

  • Multiple drinking levels
  • 70 ounce capacity
  • Polymer-carbon filter
  • Ten foot cord

Cons:

  • Pump could be faulty on some units
  • Difficult to take apart
  • Customer support may be lacking
  • Water flow is not adjustable

Find more Cat Mate Pet Fountain information and reviews here.


3. Pioneer Pet Raindrop Oval Stainless Steel Fountain

Image of pioneer pet raindrop cat water fountain

(Pioneer Pet)

Some cats won’t drink out of plastic bowls. Which is just as well, since most plastic bowls don’t fit with modern kitchen decor. Fortunately, this stainless steel version by Pioneer Pet will solve both issues. For not much more than the Drinkwell, you get this attractive fountain that performs all the same functions. It’s also safe for any area of the dishwasher, which will make cleaning easier.

Available in both the standard 60 ounce size and the Big Max 128 ounce size. This one is also filtered using Pioneer Pet’s 3-layer filter cartridges. There are also replacement pumps in the event of burnout.

Price: $34.99 (15 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Pioneer Pet Raindrop Oval Stainless Steel Fountain here.



Pros:

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Charcoal filtered
  • Dishwasher safe
  • No splash design

Cons:

  • Pump could be faulty on some units
  • Pieces may rattle if seated improperly
  • Filter area may require regular cleanings
  • Pump may be louder than other models

Find more Pioneer Pet Raindrop Oval Stainless Steel Fountain information and reviews here.


4. Catit Flower Fountain

Image of catit flower cat water fountain

(Catit)

If you want something a bit more fun, consider this design. The flower on top forms the cat water fountain itself, with the water pouring from between the petals. This forms distinct streams of water for multiple cats to drink from at one time. The fountain’s design also means that cats can only drink water as it flows, not sitting in a basin of any kind. This may be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your cat. The flower can also be removed and the unit turned into a bubbler style fountain.

The replaceable filters also soften hard tap water, which some cats are reluctant to drink. Catit have created a matching food dish that encourages foraging at mealtime. If you prefer, there is also a stainless steel top version for cats that prefer it.

Price: $29.99

Buy the Catit Flower Fountain here.



Pros:

  • Playful design
  • Adjustable water flow
  • Flower top makes only fresh water available
  • Filter softens hard tap water

Cons:

  • Small drinking area may frustrate some cats
  • Pump may be noisy
  • Easily pulled apart by resourceful cats
  • Some quality issues with the plug

Find more Catit Flower Fountain information and reviews here.


5. PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Pet Water Fountain

Image of petsafe drinkwell 360 cat water fountain

(PetSafe)

Not to be outdone by newer designs, PetSafe came out with a radical update to their original fountain. This one still features free-falling water as part of the design, but the rings at the top are replaceable to create five different flow patterns. This is idea for customizing to households with multiple pets or even for dialing in for one picky animal. This much larger unit also has enough room to store 128 ounces of water.

This one uses a two-stage filtering design, pushing the water through a foam pre-filter to remove large particles and then through an activated carbon filter to purify the water. If the plastic doesn’t work for you, it’s also available in stainless steel as seen in the video below.

Price: $35.02 (7 percent off MSRP)

Buy the PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Pet Water Fountain here.



Pros:

  • 360 degree drinking area
  • Five free-falling water stream settings
  • Carbon filtered
  • 128 ounce capacity

Cons:

  • Quiet pump may clog easily
  • Free-falling design may result in some splatter
  • Large footprint
  • Pump could be faulty on some units

Find more PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Pet Water Fountain information and reviews here.


6. PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain

Image of petsafe drinkwell ceramic pagoda cat water fountain

(PetSafe)

If you want something more like a water fountain you might put on your coffee table, this Drinkwell design might be the one for you. Available in blue, red, white, and taupe, this is designed to fit in with a wider range of decor compared to the vast majority of cat fountains. Like the 360 above, this one uses a two-stage filter system (foam filters here, carbon filters here) to keep water fresh. It also features the bubbler, free-falling, and basin drinking areas for every kind of cat. The very-similar Avalon model is available in white and red, too, and is a bit cheaper.

Price: $79.95

Buy the PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain here.



Pros:

  • Attractive design
  • Dual drinking areas
  • Porcelain construction
  • Two-stage filtering

Cons:

  • Some find that filters need to be replaced often
  • Expensive
  • Porcelain finish could wear off
  • Pump could be faulty on some units

Find more PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain information and reviews here.


7. PetSafe Current Circulating Pet Fountain

Image of petsafe current circulating cat water fountain

(PetSafe)

If some of the other designs on this list are too involved, consider this very simple option. While not a true fountain, this bowl design features a pump on one side that keeps the water clean with replaceable filters.

The shape of this dish may be more familiar to pets and could encourage them to get used to it more quickly. It’s available in forest green and orchid purple, in 40, 80, and 120 ounce sizes.

Price: $15.99 (20 percent off MSRP)

Buy the PetSafe Current Circulating Pet Fountain here.


Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Fun colors
  • Carbon filtered
  • Available in three sizes

Cons:

  • Pump could be faulty on some units
  • Filter could be stronger
  • Pump will get loud at lower water levels
  • Not a true water fountain

Find more PetSafe Current Circulating Pet Fountain information and reviews here.


8. PetSafe Drinkwell Sedona Pet Fountain

Image of PetSafe sedona cat water fountain

PetSafe

By now you’ve realized PetSafe is the big dog (fat cat? nevermind) in town when it comes to water fountains. This final Drinkwell design pairs a clear plastic bowl and ceramic tower for a modern, designed look. As with other Drinkwell products, this one is filtered. Replacement foam filters are here and carbon filters are here. The 100 ounce capacity should be good enough for a week, depending on the size of your zoo and their water needs.

Price: $79.95 (5 percent off MSRP)

Buy the PetSafe Drinkwell Sedona Pet Fountain here.



Pros:

  • 100 ounce capacity
  • Ceramic tower
  • Modern design
  • Carbon filtered

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • On the small side for larger animals
  • No free-falling water
  • No sound of moving water to entice pets

Find more PetSafe Drinkwell Sedona Pet Fountain information and reviews here.


9. Oster Fresh Sips Less Stress Pet Fountain

Image of oster fresh sips cat water fountain

(Oster)

This Oster model is more akin to the Catit design above, using a simple water bubbler atop the 60 ounce reservoir. The water pools in the top of this unit for drinking, and then runs to the back and is pulled via gravity through the filter. The simple design makes it very easy to clean. The gravity design may help avoid sediment building up in the basin that other products might suffer from.

As with the others on this list, the filters are replaceable and last two to four weeks. Like PetSafe, Oster offers another design with a 100 ounce capacity and a fountain.

Price: $33.54 (16 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Oster Fresh Sips Less Stress Pet Fountain here.



Pros:

  • Easy assembly
  • Adjustable flow
  • Charcoal filtered
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Pump could be faulty on some units
  • Some complains about pump noise

Find more Oster Fresh Sips Less Stress Pet Fountain information and reviews here.


10. NatureSPA Premium Pet Fountain

Image of naturespa cat water fountain

(American Valley Pet)

This unit has a few additional features none of the others on this list do. First, the water goes through a UV light purifier to help kill bacteria. Second, the pump will automatically shut off if the water level is too low, saving it from burn out. Finally, the water stream is illuminated, which could be handy for the humans of the house to avoid stepping on it at night by accident.

Like the others, it uses replaceable filters in addition to the UV light. It holds 58 ounces of water. For a little less, you can also get a version without the UV light, as well as a basic unit without the automatic shut off.

Price: $54.80

Buy the NatureSPA Premium Pet Fountain here.



Pros:

  • UV light purifier
  • Charcoal filtered
  • Low water automatic shut-off
  • LED light water illumination

Cons:

  • Small drinking area
  • Some units may leak
  • Difficult to clean
  • May heat up water

Find more NatureSPA Premium Pet Fountain information and reviews here.


See Also:

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2 Comments

2 Comments

Linda

The Drinkwell fountain #1 on this list has a pump that is IMPOSSIBLE to clean. There may be a ton of junk in their and I cannot get the darn thing open. Are any of the other fountains easier to clean?

Linda

“in there” meaning inside the little square plastic pump…

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