How to Choose the Right Type of Water Fountain for a Cat Prone to Dehydration?

If you are a pet owner, understanding your cat’s needs is crucial. Water is one of the most basic yet vital essentials for your cats. Keeping them hydrated can help prevent health problems and improve their overall wellness. But, how do you ensure your cat drinks enough water, especially if they are prone to dehydration? The answer lies in a simple yet effective tool – a cat water fountain. But not just any fountain, it must be the best that suits your cat’s preferences and needs.

In this extensive guide, we will delve into the world of cat water fountains. We will help you understand the factors to consider when choosing the right fountain for your cat. We’ll also share tips on how to maintain cleanliness and ensure the fountain remains a reliable water source for your feline friend.

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Understanding the Importance of Hydration for Cats

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of cat water fountains, it’s essential to understand why hydration is so crucial for cats. Just like humans, cats’ bodies are made up significantly of water. Keeping their body functions running smoothly requires them to consume enough water daily.

Cats prone to dehydration, such as those with kidney issues or other health problems, need even more attention to their water intake. A cat water fountain can encourage your pet to drink more, ensuring they stay hydrated and healthy.

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What is a Cat Water Fountain?

A cat water fountain is a specially designed drinking bowl for cats that provides a continuous flow of clean, fresh water. Unlike traditional water bowls, these fountains use a pump to circulate the water, keeping it oxygenated and free from stagnation. This constant flow of water can stimulate your cat’s interest in drinking water, thus ensuring they stay well-hydrated.

These fountains come in different materials like plastic, stainless steel, and ceramic. Each material has its pros and cons, which we will discuss in the following sections.

Choosing the Best Material for Your Cat’s Water Fountain

The material of the cat water fountain is one of the first things you should consider. The three main types of materials available are plastic, stainless steel, and ceramic.

  • Plastic fountains are often the cheapest and most lightweight option. However, they can get scratched easily, and these scratches can harbor bacteria. Also, some cats may be allergic to plastic, causing feline acne.

  • Stainless steel fountains are sturdy, scratch-resistant, and hygienic. They are also easy to clean. However, they can be more expensive than plastic fountains.

  • Ceramic fountains are an excellent alternative if your cat is allergic to plastic. They’re also heavy-duty and durable. However, they can break if dropped and may require more frequent cleaning.

So, consider your cat’s health, your cleaning regime, and your budget when choosing the material for your cat’s water fountain.

Considering the Fountain Design and Water flow

It’s not just the material that matters. The design of the fountain and the type of water flow can greatly influence how much your cat will drink. Cats are finicky creatures and have their preferences when it comes to drinking water. Some cats prefer a gentle flow, while others may enjoy a more robust stream. Some fountains offer adjustable flow control, which can be a handy feature for finicky feline drinkers.

There are also different design styles to consider. Some cats prefer fountains with a falling stream of water, similar to a faucet. Others may prefer a bubbling or fountain-type flow that allows them to drink without getting their whiskers wet.

Ensuring Fountain Cleanliness and Easy Maintenance

Lastly, but very importantly, consider how easy it is to clean the fountain. Cleanliness is vital as a dirty fountain can deter your cat from drinking and can also breed harmful bacteria.

Look for fountains that disassemble easily for cleaning. Fountains with fewer small parts are usually easier to clean. Also, consider the filter system of the fountain. A good cat water fountain should have a reliable filter to keep the water clean and free from impurities.

If your chosen fountain uses replaceable filters, consider the cost and availability of these filters. Some fountains come with a pre-filter to catch larger debris like cat hair, prolonging the life of the main filter.

Remember, regular cleaning and maintenance of the water fountain are essential to ensure your cat enjoys fresh and clean drinking water at all times. The healthier and tastier the water, the more your cat will drink. And as we’ve seen, the more your cat drinks, the better hydrated they will be.

In conclusion, choosing the right type of water fountain for a cat prone to dehydration involves considering the fountain material, design, water flow, and ease of cleaning. With a well-chosen fountain, you can encourage your cat to drink more water, promoting their health and wellbeing.

How to Choose the Right Size and Capacity of the Cat Water Fountain

Before you purchase a cat water fountain, it’s crucial to consider the right size and capacity that suits your pet’s needs. The size of the water fountain should depend on your cat’s size, the number of cats you have, and how often you’ll be able to refill it.

For small or single-cat households, a compact water fountain with a capacity of 50 ounces or less would suffice. On the other hand, for larger cats or multi-cat households, you might need a water fountain with a larger water capacity. This will ensure that your cats have a constant supply of fresh, clean water without consistent refilling.

If you travel frequently or are unable to refill the fountain regularly, consider choosing a water fountain with a larger capacity. Models like the PetSafe Drinkwell come in capacities up to 128 ounces, making them perfect for such situations.

When considering size, also think about the space where you intend to place the fountain. Ensure the fountain fits well and is not too obtrusive in the space.

How to Train Your Cat to Use the Water Fountain

Once you’ve chosen the perfect water fountain for your cat, the next challenge might be getting your cat to use it. Cats are creatures of habit and may need some time to adjust to the new drinking source.

Start by placing the water fountain next to their old water bowl. This will get them used to the fountain’s presence. Gradually decrease the amount of water in the bowl while ensuring the fountain is always filled. Over time, your cat will begin to explore and drink from the fountain.

Make sure the water fountain is quiet. Cats can be startled by loud noises, so a quiet pump is crucial in a cat water fountain. Models like the PetSafe Drinkwell are designed with quiet operation in mind to ensure your pet is not deterred.

Clean the fountain regularly to keep the water tasting fresh. Cats can be picky eaters and drinkers, and stale or dirty water can discourage them from using the fountain. A clean, well-maintained fountain with fresh water will be more inviting.


Selecting the most suitable water fountain for your cat is an important decision that can significantly impact your pet’s health and wellness. The fountain’s material, design, water flow, size, and ease of maintenance are all critical factors to consider. It’s also essential to patiently train your cat to use the new water source.

A well-chosen cat water fountain can encourage your cat to drink water regularly, aiding in the prevention of several health issues, particularly in cats prone to dehydration. By providing a continuous supply of clean, fresh water in an engaging manner, a cat water fountain can help make hydration enjoyable for your cat — contributing to their overall health and longevity.