Imagine, for a moment, that you're a cat. You're outdoors, the plushy green grass under your feet, the birds chirping above, and ahead of you, a cool, bubbling brook. What do you do? Take a drink? Splash around? Maybe bat around for some fish? Sounds pretty delightful, huh? Sadly, most of our kitty companions never get the joys of fresh, running water straight from the spring. As an alternative, cat water fountains, though less bucolic, provide a source of water that is both fresh and entertaining - though woefully bereft of fish. Today, we will look at some of the better options on the market, and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Pretty, Eco-friendly, and fun, the iPettie fFountain is a lovely choice. Made up of a good quality natural ceramic material, this cat water fountain is easy to clean - most of its parts being dishwasher safe - and really quite stylish. Since it doesn't contain some of the more questionable plastic materials that you often find on the market, it is also safer for your kitty, and this is doubly true if he tends to be sensitive to plastic in general. This contraption boasts three different water sources: A top bowl, a cascading section, and a lightly moving lower bowl. The circulation alone increases general cleanliness; however, this particular piece also has a coconut shell-activated carbon filter to help clear away larger debris, like hair and dust. The iPettie fountain has a 2.1L capacity, a low power consumption, and stands at around 10.7"x10.7"x5.5".
- Easy to clean
- Made of cat-safe material
- You must replace filters periodically
- Though easy to clean, this does require frequent maintenance
- Because of the waterfall, some splashing may occur
Overall, this is a great water fountain - it is nice to look at, easy to disassemble, and a much safer bet than its plastic-y counterparts. However, despite its general ease, it will require some regular maintenance, such as regular cleaning and periodic filter changes, plus the splashing may mean that you'll need to place it on a mat to keep from messing up your floors.
Also made of a pet-friendly ceramic, the PetSafe Drinkwell cat water fountain is a beautifully designed piece. This item holds 70oz of water, which cascades through and around the circular tower, and helps to aerate water without causing too much splash. This piece is fairly easy to disassemble, is top-shelf dishwasher safe, and has a fully replaceable dual filter system - one part carbon filter, the other foam. The Drinkwell measures 8"x9.2"x5", and comes in a very modern deep gray color.
- Modern and stylish
- Very Quiet
- Easy to pull apart and put back together again
- Because of its slick surface the bowl and tower can be a bit slippery, so you have to be cautious when handling
- Requires a lot of regular maintenance
- Certain individual parts, like the tower globe, are not sold separately, so if something goes awry, you would have to replace the whole thing
This fountain is quiet, clean, easy to disassemble, and it doesn't hurt that it is simply lovely. This is definitely a great option if you want a clean source of water for your cat, but want to keep your home decor looking smart. However, replacement parts are only available for certain pieces, like filters and pump, but the slippery bowl and tower are not sold individually, so you'll have to be really careful when handling this item.
All right, so thus far we've talked a lot about the upside of using ceramics over plastics; however, it should be noted that not all plastic is evil. This particular fountain, in fact, uses a pet-safe BPA-free PS resin that should hold up fairly well without contaminating the water - I mean, that would be beside the point, wouldn't it? What makes the NPET fountain so special is its transparent design, which allows you to keep a close eye on cleanliness and water levels. Another very neat feature of this fountain is the three water flow modes: waterfall, fountain, and leaf-shape. This fountain holds up to 3 litres, and measures around 8.1"×7.4"×7".
- Three water flow settings that increase variety
- Made of environmentally-friendly materials
- Very quiet
- This may need to be placed near an outlet as the cord appears to be relatively short
- Particularly curious kitties might find this easy to disassemble
- Some users found the pump to be weaker than other options, so it may not be ideal if your kitty likes a rapid flow
Though I'm a big fan of alternative materials for cat fountains, this particular plastic piece is actually a pretty decent option. It runs quietly, has a good amount of filtration, and has a few very nice extra features. On the downside, if your cat prefers a faster-moving flow, he may be disappointed.
As far as cat water fountains go, this is a truly unique option! The AquaPurr is a true fountain, and requires no bowl. No bowl means no refilling, no cleaning, and no motor revving. With this piece, you simply connect to a faucet aerator via a diverter valve - this lets you continue to use things normally, even while the system is attached. What is especially neat about this is, because of the way it is set up, your cat will be able to get fresh water from the sink without having to ask you for help. The spigot is made up of a thick plastic material, and the product base dimensions are about 5" around and 5.5" tall, while assembled with spigot is only around 12.5" tall.
- On demand fresh water without all the maintenance and noise
- Frees up a lot of space in the home
- Automatic shut off helps conserve water
- Since your cat controls the output, that may mean that this fountain will double as a toy - which could either be very good or very bad
- This doesn't come with an actual filtration system, so if your tap water isn't great, this won't be the best option for you
- If your cat doesn't already drink from the faucet, you will have to do a bit of training
No getting around it, this thing is very, very cool. Cooler still? Never having to fret over clean up, noise, wasting water, wasting time, changing filters, or worrying over whether or not your cat will have enough water if you need to leave the house for a while. And, of course, we mustn't forget the more environmentally-friendly aspect! On the downside, this will require some assembly, and if you have a more uncommon style of faucet, you may have to do a bit of adapting to make the whole thing work.
Whether you're trying to recreate the outdoor stream experience, or you simply want to provide fresh, clean, moving water, cat water fountains are a great addition to your kitty accessories. Not only are they healthier than their still-water counterparts, they are also a good deal more enjoyable - I mean... who doesn't love to play in a stream!
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