Using a water fountain can help encourage hydration, which in turn reduces the burden on your cat’s kidneys!

“It is very important that our pets have access to fresh, clean water in their daily routines to ensure adequate hydration throughout their lifetimes.”

If your pet is a reluctant or picky drinker, a filtering water fountain can help encourage healthier hydration habits by keeping water fresh and debris-free. It also reduces your workload because you need to fill it only once or twice a week as opposed to daily.

Cats, in particular, can experience health benefits from water fountains. “Cats typically maintain themselves in a mildly dehydrated state,” Lund said, “and kidneys function to remove wastes from the body while retaining as much water as possible.” He mentioned that using a water fountain can help encourage hydration, which in turn reduces the burden on your cat’s kidneys. cats prefer water from a filtered fountain because the water tastes fresher.

It’s less clear-cut for canine companions. It wouldn’t hurt to try one if you think your dog might not be getting enough water, but it may not be necessary. There is no evidence to indicate that dogs are any more likely to drink out of a fountain than they are a bowl. Fountains can still save a dog owner time and effort refilling or cleaning a bowl regularly, especially if the dog in question regularly dirties water bowls with slobber or dirt. Otherwise, most dogs are probably just fine with a plain water bowl.

How we picked

Ease of cleaning and assembly: Dogs and cats will drink almost anything, but what can we reasonably ask a human to disassemble, clean, and reassemble on a weekly basis just for their pet to have water? We wanted dishwasher-safe, few small parts, and simple construction.

Water-filtering capability and cost: How well does the filter work, how often do you need to replace it, and how much does it cost to replace?

Capacity: More water means you fill the fountain less often, and it’s more suitable for larger animals that require more water, or multiple pets at a time. But also, how little water can the fountain hold before it needs refilling?

Noise: How loud are the fountains when they’re full? Do they make loud, obnoxious noises when almost empty?

Material: Stainless steel and ceramic cost more, but are reportedly easier to keep clean due to reduced hard-water buildup.

Longevity: Are there any reports of fountains breaking down soon after purchase? If so, are they easily repairable?

Shape and size: Depending on your pet, you may want a taller or shorter fountain to better suit a tall or short pet, or a pet with mobility issues.

Aesthetics: This is likely going to be in a visible part of your home, so it shouldn’t look too off-putting. A few of the fountains we looked at had the added bonus of being cute, coming in fun colors, or otherwise appearing aesthetically pleasing. That’s cute, but not vital for something your pet is drinking from.

Frequently asked questions

Are water fountains safe?

Pet water fountains are safe to use as long as you keep up maintenance. Check the water level daily to ensure your pet has access to fresh water, and because if the fountain ever completely empties, there’s a chance it will burn out. So most of our picks have a feature that automatically shuts off when the water level is too low, so don’t worry.

How often should you change the water in a pet fountain?

Most pet water fountain manufacturers recommend changing the water and cleaning their fountain every week.

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