Cat water fountains are indispensable pet accessories to meet the hydration requirements of domesticated felines. These are especially designed gadgets that provide continuous stream of fresh and clean drinking water to ensure optimum health for pets. This is important since felines are known to have very low, if not negligible, thirst drive that is supposed to help them feel and acknowledge the presence of thirst. By making the movement of liquid more enticing, arousing the curiosity of cats, they are able to improve their hydration.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy identifying which among the multitude of products is the best cat fountain. Many come with striking similarities that distinguishing one from the others is difficult. Not to worry, though as we took the liberty of scouring the market for the best water fountain for cats.
Tips to Get Your Cat Drinking More Water
Compared to their ancestors in the wild that have to look for very creative ways to get their drink, domesticated felines have somehow lost this particular trait in a long process of evolution. Furthermore, felines don’t have a very efficient thirst drive that canines enjoy. This means Felix or Garfield doesn’t necessarily have the correct brain wiring to make it feel thirsty. So, where do felines get their drink? Believe it or not, kitties get their hydration requirements from food. Imagine a can of wet cat food can contain up to 78 percent of moisture while their favorite prey, the rat, can store about 70 percent in its body. Now, if you’re feeding your feline exclusive dry kibbles, your Tom may only be getting 10 percent moisture. So, how do you get your cat to drink more water? Here’s how.
- Use cat water fountain
More than a mere decorative piece, cat water fountains are exceptional pieces of gadgets that can really entice your kitty to drink more. The reason is quite simple. Felines are predators. Regardless of the breed of cat you may have, its predatory instincts will always kick in.
Movement is always a natural sign of prey and as such moving fluids is almost always interpreted as prey. It may not be automatically count as prey, however, but it sure can arouse the interest of felines. Give your cat a bowl of drink and a water fountain. There’s a strong chance your pet will be heading to the pet fountain instead of to the water bowl where there is no movement at all. Now try to create ripples on the bowl of liquid and your pet’s attention will also be diverted to the bowl. Try opening your tap, too, and your pet will soon be licking the stream.
- Keep the water fresh
If you haven’t tried drinking stagnant fluids yet, it’s stale and doesn’t really taste good. If it doesn’t taste good, how will you entice your pet to drink? Replacing standing H2O in your pet’s drinking vessel is a must if you need your feline to drink a lot more fluids. While there are no specific guidelines as to how often you need to replace it, a good rule of thumb is to change the fluids with fresh ones at least every couple of hours. That’s why a pet fountain is a lot better as it keeps the fluid circulating, continuously injecting air into the drink, and ensuring longer lasting freshness.
- Keep the water bowl clean
No matter how often you replace the drink of your pet if you don’t make any attempts to clean the vessel, then the drink easily gets contaminated, too. Cats don’t like dirty things. So, if you need to replace their drink, make sure to clean the water bowl as well. Again, this is where some pet drink dispensers can come in handy as some of them have built-in mechanisms to keep the holding vessel relatively clean a lot longer. This helps minimize the number of times you need to clean it.
- Place different water bowls or water fountains all over the house
Don’t skimp on the number of drinking stations for your pet. Because drinking is almost always equated with eating, make sure to place different drinking stations in area of your home away from their food bowls and their litter boxes. Combining a water bowl with a feeding bowl is not really a good idea as cats will naturally be more inclined to go for the food and not the drink. Placing it close to a litter box will also deter the feline from drinking. Would you like to drink in the same area where you defecate and urinate?
- Add flavors to your cat’s drink
Some pet owners actually put a small slice of tuna into their cat’s drink. The flavors of the tuna can easily be infused into the drink and this can help entice your pet to increase its drinking. You may also want to try adding chicken broth or even a spoonful of juice. Unfortunately, not all felines like the taste of H2O that has been artificially ‘enhanced’. Some actually recommend placing crushed catnip in the bowl. You just have to make sure your feline saw you crush the catnip in the bowl so it’s aware.
- Use bottled water
You’ll be amazed at what an ordinary bottled drinking aqua can do. Most felines don’t like the taste of aqua coming from the tap perhaps because of the various minerals like chlorine that are present. You may also want to try experimenting giving your pet various temperatures of drink to determine which it would prefer.
- Provide more wet cat food
Like we have already said, a can of wet cat food can contain up to 78 percent of moisture. Your only issue with this particular food is that it can be quite expensive and has a relatively short lifespan once opened. Unlike dry kibbles, wet food can spoil easily so you might want to start off with a smaller can first. Some actually add water to their pet’s dry kibbles in an effort to increase its hydration. Unfortunately, this makes the food soggy and less appealing so your feline might not feed at all, defeating the purpose. Additionally, this increases the rate of spoilage which can make your pet sick.
- Add ice cubes in your pet’s drinking bowl
Remember what we said about kitties being natural predators? Add some ice cubes in its bowl and it will be enticed to ‘claw’ or ‘catch’ the mysterious objects in the bowl. Moreover, a cool drink is often preferred by most pets compared to warm drinks.
Benefits of Cat Water Fountains
It should already be apparent why a lot of owners buy their furry friends a water fountain. The benefits are simply remarkable to pass. In case you would like to know, here are the more popular benefits of a cat drinking fountain.
- Cleaner and fresher drink
A kitty drinking fountain comes fully integrated with one of several types of filtration system which effectively removes any debris, dirt, and even harmful microorganisms. This makes the fluid a lot cleaner, fresher, and definitely safer to drink. Not only will you be improving the hydration status of your Garfield, you will also be protecting your furry friend from the development of kidney problems or urinary tract disorders.
- Prevents the buildup of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms
Introducing air into the liquid creates tiny bubbles that can disrupt the normal life cycle of certain microorganisms like some species of bacteria and fungus. There are some germs that cannot survive in the presence of oxygen. Since the feline drink dispenser introduces air into the liquid, your kitty’s drink becomes a lot safer, helping minimize if not eliminate the incidence of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders.
- Arouses the natural predatory instincts in kitties
Believe it or not, many felines love playing with H2O, contrary to what we are told. This is because, as already mentioned, moving aqua is often interpreted as the movement of a prey. For instance, ripples on a pond will usually indicate the presence of fish or other creatures beneath the surface. The sight of ripples on the device can awaken the predatory instincts of kitties. As you may have already guessed, encouraging kitties to act out their instincts is one sure way of making them happy.
- Tastes cooler and better
Moving aqua prevents the rapid increase in water temperature producing a drink that is cooler and tastes better than fluid that has been stagnant in a vessel. The addition of oxygen also helps in improving the overall taste and maintaining the coolness of the aqua so kitties will be more than encouraged to really fill themselves with H2O.
- Entices felines to drink more, preventing disorders of the urinary tract and kidneys
Obviously, because such devices provide safer, fresher, cooler, and cleaner aqua for your pet, coupled with the fact that these help stimulate the innate predatory instincts in these domesticated creatures, you can help prevent many disorders associated with too little body fluids such as dehydration, the formation of urinary stones, and the development of kidney problems. You can also help prevent the development of fluid and electrolyte problems that may affect other systems like the cardiovascular, pulmonary, digestive, and nervous.
- Easy to maintain
Making sure your kitty drinking fountain is working optimally is easy, too. Maintaining it is as easy as cleaning bowl since many of these products are already especially designed for ease of maintenance.
How to Maintain Your Cat Water Fountain
We already understand that one of the best ways for our beloved furry friends to maintain optimum hydration and prevent a host of health problems is through the use of a water fountain for cats. It is thus, imperative as owners of these kitties that you maintain the operational integrity of your device. Here’s how.
- Before you start cleaning the dispenser, it is important to unplug it first from the electric outlet.
- Carefully remove the reservoir of the device. You have to double-check with the owner’s manual where this is located in your particular device. Empty the contents. Clean the reservoir with an appropriate cleaning solution. Most homeowners use vinegar to both cleanse and sanitize the reservoir before rinsing it thoroughly.
- Remove the filter and clean it thoroughly using clean water. Whatever you do, never wash or clean the filter using soap. You might want to read the manual again for any recommendations. It is highly suggested that the filter should be replaced at least every 4 weeks, at most 6 weeks. However, if your furry friend happens to be hyper-salivating, the frequency of filter replacement may actually increase.
- Remove all other non-electronic and non-mechanical parts and put these in your dishwasher, preferably on the top rack. Alternatively, you can use warmed soap solution for cleaning. Make sure to scrub all of the exposed surfaces of the different components and to rinse these thoroughly with clean H2O.
- If the different components already have signs of microbial growth, particularly algae, it is recommended that you soak or immerse the affected parts in diluted bleach for at least 10 minutes. If you need to do this, make sure to rinse the different parts thoroughly and carefully, making sure that no residue of chlorine is left on the individual parts, otherwise you will be introducing these chemicals in your kitty’s drink.
- Clean the motor. If you can disassemble any attachments to the motor, do so with care as you clearly don’t want to end up with a broken device. As always, referring to the owner’s manual can help you with the disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly.
- Thoroughly dry the different components of the kitty fountain. While it is true that this holds H2O, there are certain components that aren’t really at-terms with liquid.
- Once everything is completely dried, you can start assembling the device.
A water fountain for cats is one of the best ways to maintain optimum hydration in these furry creatures, especially if they are on an exclusive diet of dry kibbles. Such devices help keep their drinking fluids safer, cleaner, fresher, and cooler while also allowing them to act out their curious, predatory instincts. These gadgets help make sure your kitty will not succumb to kidney problems as well as issues of the urinary tract and many more. That is why it is critical to maintain the device’s optimum functionality.
With the 10 best cat fountains we have shared with you, it is our hope that you’re now more empowered than ever before to do the right thing when it comes to ensuring the optimum health of your beloved kitty.