I’ve decided to get my cats a water fountain for Christmas. There are several models available, and I can’t decide. What are your experiences/recommendations?
I use the Drinkwell 360 fountain, mostly because it looked like the one the cats would have the hardest time knocking over.
All three of them love it and so far I’m very happy with it. I pull it apart to clean it weekly and it’s only a matter of a couple of minutes. Not sure about the cost of replacement filters, but I don’t plan on bothering with that anyway.
Note: pic is from a Google image search. My cats are way cuter. :)*
My little guy uses a Catit water fountain, which holds a lot of water, filters it, entices him with the flow of water over the sphere, and refils and cleans easily: http://www.hagen.com/usa/cats/addinfo/catit_fountain.html
Since I am just a mere servant of my cat, I have to drink out of a glass and don’t get a waterfountain.
I’m on our third. I had one that I can’t remember the name of but it just didn’t hold enough water and would run dry quickly and make an awful noise. I had a catit but I had it on the dink to clean it. Left it there for a few minutes and the sphere got knocked down and broken. I haven’t found just the sphere to replace it. Now I’m on a Drinkwell with a large resevoir. The cats love it, one of them plays with the water a little too much though. My main complaint is cleaning it, it seems to have a whole bunch of unnecessary nooks and crannies and after a while it gets discolored.
The ones where the water actually falls through the air can be loud and quite annoying. I have the Petmate FreshFlow, where the water runs soundlessly down a ramp
The filters are harder to find than the Drinkwell type though. I do change the filter about every 3 months - it gets gross. Pretty easy to clean, and the pump motor has held up well. You have to check it once a month for getting the intake fouled with cat hair.
We’re on our second one of these, which is of the waterfall type. The flow is adjustable, however, so the noise is negligible. The cat loves it and drinks way more water than with just a dish, which has to be better for her urinary track. If you get it, make sure you get the optional larger water reservoir or you’ll be filling it constantly. Also, buy extra filters.
I use a Drinkwell also, but not the 360. This one can go up against the wall. It sounds like a fountain, but you can hear the pump. It’s not so bad. I wash it once a week and replace the filter every two months. It holds a lot of water – usually there’s still plenty of water in it at the end of the week. I got it initially because one cat was playing in his water bowl (I’d come home at the end of the day to find the water bowl ten feet away from where I’d left it, water everywhere but the bowl). They don’t play in the fountain, but they do prefer to drink the running water. (Caveat: one cat has discovered the Christmas tree water, which is apparently even more delectable than the fountain.)
I had bad experiences ( not really bad, mind you, just mildly bad ) with the Petmate, including pump failures ( and the damn things are sealed with no screws, making what I’m sure would be an easy fix more trouble than it’s worth ). A pet supply store owner who sold both at the same approximate price and thus had no real reason to push one or the other was of the opinion that the Drinkwell was a better built product. In my limited experience with the two this has turned out to be the case.
But the Drinkwell is a little noisier, there is no denying it.
Yeah I don’t want to make it seem like it emits the thundering roar of Niagara Falls or anything. I just live in a really small apartment and if I had to listen to the Drinkwell I would surely murder someone. The FreshFlow is absolutely silent (including the motor) and I needs that feature.
However, if you have a bigger place and can put it some location where you wouldn’t have to hear it constantly, the fountainy sound probably isn’t a problem. The one feature of Drinkwell that I covet is that you can get a little basket that grows cat grass hydroponically in the water bowl. Cool.
Yeah, but they throw that little basket out onto your floor and the grass dies. Trust me.
Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with it. The cats (both the late, great Rachel and the newish kittens) all love it. My only problem, which would be a problem with any dish, is that my boy kitten has started messing with it - pushing it around the floor (spilling water all over the carpet), yanking at the wire, etc. Very annoying. He’s doing it right now, actually, so I’ve had to stop typing this to scold him once so far.
My female does this. Whichever model I get, it’ll probably have to be anchored to the floor. I’m hoping the water itself will interest her, so she doesn’t have to amuse herself by flooding the kitchen.
We have a Catit (like Muffin does). It’s a tidy little cylinder, and the pump makes water gently well up in the middle. The water moves visibly and flows over a doughnut shaped dome, but it doesn’t get airborn or splash audibly.
The cats really like it. I think I might get another, and recommend it. I think they come in different sizes - mine is a 2 liter model.
We have the Freshflow one; our cats didn’t like it at first, but they drink from it now. One likes it okay; the other is reluctant (she would much prefer it if we’d leave a tap running for her 24/7).
Both our cats love to drink from any faucet in the house, so we bought them a fountain. They stared at it, but would only drink from the water in the base. Go figure. We eventually gave it away, but any time we turn on a faucet, there they are drinking. Cats!
So, be sure and keep the receipt so you can return it, just in case.
I have the original Drinkwell. The falling water sound doesn’t bother me. I’ve had it for years and it is still going strong.
Which one’s the splashiest?
Tikva loves playing with running water, and since I can’t leave the tap on all the time I thought I’d maybe get her a fountain instead.
Tips: get some kind of tray to put underneath the fountain if your cat or cats are likely to play with the water. We had a king-size one, a Drinkwell BigDog I think, and had trouble finding a tray big enough, but eventually found a lovely cheap catering service plastic “crystal” tray at a party-supply store. A bonus of the larger fountain is that cats have trouble moving it, and it runs out of water much less often (which is crucial if you have dogs drinking out of it, too, and thus emptying it faster).
If you don’t intend to change the filter regularly, don’t ever put one in – they can get nasty (moldy) after a month or so.
They can be a hassle to get clean – lots of tight corners. But if you don’t clean them really well regularly they get slimy. We found letting ours soak a few minutes in white vinegar a couple of times a month helped. We get white vinegar cheaply by the gallon; the supermarket hides it on the bottom shelf.
Ours is cast-iron and big enough to fit an adult human comfortably. It also has a large echo, so when the cat needs the fountain turned on, one of the designated Fountain Attendants can hear her cries and come running to turn on said fountain for the cat until her thirst is (temporarily) quenched.