Cat Mom Life: Pet Water Fountains

Why are Pet Water Fountains Good for Cats?

Hydration Can Help Prevent Certain Cat Health Issues

Pet water fountains are a great way to promote cat health and ensure your cat gets adequate hydration throughout the day.

As with humans, it is important for pets — especially cats — to take in enough fresh water. For cats, in particular, hydration is key to kidney and urinary tract health. Dehydration can cause a whole slew of cat health problems, including elevated heart rate, sunken eyes, lethargy, and loss of appetite. This is one of the reason that wet food is important for kitties.

Pet Water Fountains Work Because Cats Prefer Moving Water

There are a number of ways you can promote water consumption in cats. One way to ensure pets get adequate hydration, besides through their wet food, is with water fountains.

Pet water fountains work really well because cats tend to stay away from still water. In the wild, still water can be tainted with bacteria or the like. This is an evolutionary tactic that helps keep kitties safe from water-based illnesses.

How Often Should You Change the Water in a Pet Water Fountain?

It is important to note that, even with a pet fountain, you’ll have to replace the water and thoroughly wash the fountain to prevent bacteria from growing. Even though the water is moving, this is still possible, and it can cause a slimy film on the fountain.

The question of how often to clean cat water fountains isn’t super straight forward, because it tends to depend on how much water the fountain holds and other factors.

We wash our cat fountain and replace the water in it every couple days. Sometimes more, sometimes less depending on whether the cats have put their paws and toys in it. The drinking fountain filters usually last longer, about a week and a half to two weeks.

Can You Leave a Cat Water Fountain on All the Time?

As long as there is enough water in the bowl for the motor pump to be submerged, then it should be fine to leave the fountain running continuously.

I leave ours going all the time, but keep an eye on the bowl to make sure that the water level doesn’t get too low. Sometimes, you’ll notice it gets low because the motor will make a weird sound. I’d just keep an eye on it and incorporate checking the level into your morning and/or evening routine.

Are Pet Water Fountains Worth It?

Yes, pet fountains are absolutely worth the money! They’re low maintenance, promote water consumption, and, in most cases, are actually quite affordable.

Searching for The Best Cheap Cat Water Fountain

Emory with the Cat Mate Water Fountain
Emory likes to put toys in the fountain.

What is the Best Pet Water Fountain?

I love our Cat Mate drinking fountain. In my experience, it’s definitely one of the best pet water fountains.

Cat Mate Fountain: an Easy To Clean Pet Water Fountain

Before I got our pet water fountain, I had wrongly assumed that all pet fountains were heavy, difficult to clean, and expensive. A friend of mine recommended the Cat Mate pet water fountain, because her kitty Alfie took to his right away. It’s pretty affordable at about $29, and the replacement filters are cheap, as well. It’s easy to clean and super light weight. Overall, it has been a great addition.

How to Clean the Cat Mate Fountain

This fountain holds a half gallon of water and can run continuously. It is plastic and dishwasher safe. We usually wash it by hand, but will run it through the dishwasher every week or so.

This fountain has multi-height drinking stations; Louis prefers the base bowl but Emory and Olivia like to drink out of the top bowl. The ramp helps circulate water without splashing. The flow rate is adjustable, as well, and super quiet.

Cat Mate Fountain Filters vs. Generic Filter Replacements

I have bought both a generic filter replacement style as well as the Cat Mate branded drinking fountain filter. I’ve noticed that the Cat Mate water fountain filters seem do last longer than the generic ones. The branded ones tend to be a little more expensive, but you can usually find an affordable pack on Chewy or Amazon.

Cat Mate Motor Replacement

After about fourteen months, the motor in our Cat Mate fountain began to fail. The brand sells replacement motors for under $20, so it’s an easy fix. The replacement motors are available on Chewy and Amazon.

Where to Buy the Cat Mate Fountain

I purchased our Cat Mate fountain from Amazon, but it’s available on Chewy as well. The filters are available on Chewy, here and on Amazon, here.

Dog Mate Large Fresh Water Dog & Cat Fountain: a Larger Option

If you have a number of cats and/or dogs, you may want to consider the next size up from the Cat Mate fountain referenced above. The Dog Mate fountain is only about $10 more than the Cat Mate fountain and holds 1.5 gallons of water.

Like the Cat Mate version, this pet water fountain has adjustable pump flows with an ultra-energy-efficient pump.

Where to Buy the Dog Mate Fountain

This pet water fountain is available on Chewy and Amazon. The filters are available on Chewy, here, and Amazon, here. It uses the same style motor as the Cat Mate fountain. You can purchase a replacement motor, should you need one, from Amazon here.

Cat Fountain & Health Favorites

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*This post was originally published in 2019. It was most recently updated on January 5, 2022.