Cat Water Fountains -- Who Uses Them?

I’ve been lurking here long enough to realize that if you want a cat question answered, you go to the Straight Dope Message Board. :slight_smile:

I was brushing my teeth one morning when my cat jumped up on the sink beside me. I turned on the faucet for her and she was fascinated. Playing, batting at the water, having a grand ol’ time.

Cut to: Months later. Now, the cat will ONLY drink from the sink. I come home nightly to her mewing desperately at me, standing expectantly in the doorway to the bathroom, waiting for me to turn the water on for her.

Her dish in the kitchen is always full of water, she is just too good for it these days. Stagnant water? From a bowl??! Peh!

I’ve been looking into pet water fountains, and I was wondering if anyone else used them. Should I get one and admit that the cat is the real master in this relationship, or will the cat drink from her bowl again when she gets thirsty and that should be good enough, darnit.

People who read SkyMall.

Not, uh, me, of course…

I don’t have one like that, but I do have one that moves the water. My cat likes it I guess, he still drinks out of the toilet though sometimes. The problem I have is now the pump gets cloged and doesn’t work as well so the water doesn’t move as much. It’s a pain to wash as well, and at the water line are black marks that don’t want to come off. I don’t know how well that one would work though, at least it’s not that much so it’s worth a shot.

Never had a Cat water fountain like that, but:

1.) We had one of those “perpetually full” water dispensers that has the reservoir on top. As your cat drinks the water, it gets replenished. Our cat managed to get it to release the entire reservoir at ionce, covering the kitchen floor. Bad Kitty! no drinking fountain for her!

2.) Pepper Mill placed a bowlful of water near the heater in our bedroom this winter to humidify the air. The cats promptly discovered it and started relying on it as an auxiliary water bowl (and right here in the Sleeping Room! How thoughtful!) It has all the novelty value we need.

I’ve only got one who drinks out of the water dish (and that’s only because he’s too fat to maneuver the other options. All of mine ADORE the toilet and the little bit of water that they can coax out of the bath tub faucet. I’ve thought of getting them something made just for kitties, but they seem so happy with the toilet, I figure, why bother?

I’m on my second kitty fountain (the first one died quickly, the second one is going strong after two years).

I have three kitty children - two of them like it OK, but the third is fascinated by it. Of course, she also will drink water from anywhere (toilet, bathroom sink while I’m brushing my teeth, licking it off the shower wall).

If this fountain were to go out, would I buy another? Ayup.

Thank GOD the cat hasn’t discovered the toilet! She’s the least graceful cat I’ve ever seen… I’m guessing it would be a matter of seconds before she fell in.

We used a kitty water fountain for a while. It got to be a real chore to keep clean. Maybe it’s just our climate, but the whole thing got funky really quickly. I was cleaning the entire apparatus twice a week, and taking apart the entire pump mechanism weekly to clean out with cotton swabs and such. It seemed to be a magnet for that pinky-brown sort of household mold that you get in your toilet and such, which I guess only figures since the cats had their germy mouths in it all the time. It also attracted cat fur something dreadful, see also fuzzballs with their faces in it constantly. It has to be plugged into an electrical outlet, which limits its placement. The filters have to be replaced frequently… more cats = greater frequency. With three cats, I was replacing the filter about every three weeks to a month, and rinsing it out twice a week. Also, my fastidious little felines got to a point where they wanted it cleaned daily, and really only showed an interest in the fountain when it was freshly cleaned.

I finally gave up on the fountain and just started turning the bathroom faucets on to a trickle whenever I went into the bedroom or visited the facilities. They drank their fill then and seemed satisfied. I also was – and still am – stringent about cleaning and refilling their water bowls daily. They seem okay with that.

Now that we’ve switched to scheduled feedings and an all canned food diet, they don’t seem to need as much water. The diet change was due to one cat’s health problem. We figure they’re getting much more moisture in their food, so they don’t need as much water.

We got that same model you linked to after GirlCat started only drinking from the bathtub faucet and refusing all other water and them BoyCat was diagnosed with UTIs and we put both of them on prescription cat food that makes them extra thirsty to try and prevent future UTIs in BoyKitty (because they free feed, it’s easier to use the same food for both).

I like it. I clean it once a week and it’s fine. Lissa, have you tried cleaning yours with bleach and then letting it run out of kitty reach for a while? 15 minutes is all bleach needs to break down into saltwater and oxygen, and it might kill whatever bacteria colony you’re not reaching with the Q-tips.

GirlCat likes it. BoyCat is afraid of the motor sound. So we also got one of these miniature “office water jugs” for him. I like that, too, because I don’t have to fill it everyday. It also gets cleaned once a week.

WhyBaby loves both of them. :smack: I think they’re going to be moved to countertops this week.

:smack: And by Lissa, I meant lisacurl. By now I just expect Lissa to show up in any cat thread ahead of me!

We have several of those around the house. The cats still look for leaky faucets, though. I’d put in a fountain but I think Havoc would think it was a toy and attack it.

That’s the thing our cat managhed to explosively deplete all in one go.

There’s an easy way to make sure she doesn’t- keep the toilet lid down except when someone is using the toilet. That’s what Mr. Neville and I do. It also helps keep our klutzy selves from dropping things in there…

The water fountains for cats are great. They are one of the few things you can do to encourage water intake, which is often a help with sick cats.

For me it’s because I don’t want to snuggle up to a kitty face that’s been drinking water out of the toilet? I know what I do in that toilet. I also clean it with some pretty harsh chemicals… (and yes, I know cats clean their own butts and stuff like that but that doesn’t squick me out the same way).

To the OP: I have the exact fountain that you linked to. I got it for Christmas. My cats love it.

I had one a few years ago that used an upside down 2-liter bottle for the jug. It might make a good compromise for you, in that if it did fail catastrophically, it isn’t quite as much water.

(And like Anne Neville, I keep my toilet lids down all the time. In addition to everything else, I just think it looks nicer.)

We keep our toilet lid down, too. But one day Pepper Mill had it up for some reason. She then opened the bathroomk window. Lotta, our youngest and most agile cat, bounded into the room to jump in the window. First step was from the floor to the toilet seat, which was always down…

…except this time it wasn’t. Lotta went in.

She extracted herself, soaking wet, and stalked from the room,hissing and complaining. (This is a massive change from her normal sweetness-and-light demeanor. I’ve never heard her hiss). Cats normally pass off their mistakes with an “I meant to do that” attitude. But there’s no way she could believably have wanted to jump into the toilet, so that way out was denied her. She went off and hid somewhere until she dried off.

(Yes, the toilet was clean. It hadn’t been used, and wasn’t in the process of being cleaned. Lotta just got very wet, and lost all dignity. And there’s no way Pepper could explain to her that it wasn’t on purpose.)

WhyNot, I’ve seen those water jugs before and they seem like a good idea, but I think my kitty has become enamored of running water. Maybe it tastes better. Maybe she just likes playing puppeteer and making me do her bidding.

We have three cat water fountains that serve our ten cats. The fountains are very nice, but the cats still prefer a drippy-drink from the kitchen sink or the lavatory.

I personally keep them out of the toilet because we don’t keep our toilets as clean as we probably should, and I don’t want them catching something. I’m also not so sure that the stuff we use to clean the toilet doesn’t leave some sort of residue that might be harmful to cats. Better safe than sorry.