Eating/Drinking Product Recommendations

5 Reasons Cats Love Water Fountains

Learn why your cats like running water and how cat water fountains can help them stay hydrated and healthy.

Have you ever seen your cat lap up water from the faucet? How about the porcelain throne? Gross, isn’t it? But, there are a lot of really good reasons cats do this, and it’s closely tied to their instinct and desire to drink fresh water. I always recommend cat water fountains as the main drinking resource because they need to stay hydrated, and it helps them drink more. Here are five quick reasons why water fountains (and the faucet and the toilet) will win over a bowl every time.

1. Sight: Movement

tabby cat drinking out of water fountain
Vito drinks out of his water fountain and also marks next to it with his paw.

We all know to stay away from stagnant water because it grows bacteria that can make us sick. This is the same for your furry friends. Moving water is less likely to have bad stuff growing in it, plus, cats can see moving objects better than still ones. I recommend fountains with spout-type delivery, where the water trickles or flows from a spout, imitating the movement you see from a faucet. Cats see it better, are drawn to it, and will drink more because of it.

2. Smell: Less Bacteria

Cats have an amazing ability to distinguish smells, and it’s very likely they smell when bacteria is growing their water (or any bowl) and will avoid it if something smells off. Obviously, the chance for this increases if water is sitting, stagnant in a bowl.

Cat water fountains also come with at least one form of filtration, most often a carbon filter + nylon filter next to the pump. These filters remove dust, dirt, sediment and other things that can make the water smell odd.

3. Taste: Cold & Fresh

Why do cats drink from the toilet? Although you wouldn’t drink the water in your toilet, the water is filtered, clean, fresh and clean. Obviously the toilet bowel and seat are not clean, but the water itself is. How do cats know? They probably smell it. Cats also seem to prefer cold water, and if you’ve ever worked on the tank in your toilet, you know the water is cold. Again, cat water fountains are designed to filter out things that can impact taste, making the water taste better and fresher to your cat.

Orange and white cat drinks out of water fountain
Sunshine loves to drink flowing water from her fountain.

4. Sound: Trickling

Like many other animals, it’s believed cats can hear flowing water and are attracted to it. In the wild, hearing it is a great way to locate it. And again, moving water will be cleaner.

5. Overall Health

Hydration is the key to a healthy kitty, so a water fountain that entices your cat to drink more is always a good idea. Because cats get a lot of hydration from their nutrition in the wild (animal protein is full of water), they tend to drink less water than other animals. If you give your indoor cat wet food, they’ll def drink less water because they’re getting a majority of hydration from wet food (which can be 80% water). With the popularity of dry food, indoor cats are forced to drink more water than they normally would because they aren’t getting it from their food source.

Tabby cat stands next to water fountain
Vito is almost 16 years old. Hydration is so important to his daily health.

Also, senior cats needs water fountains more than any other age group. With declining senses (they can’t smell or taste quite as good as younger cats), they tend to drink less water. It’s crucial to give them free flowing water as a reminder to drink up.

Shopping for Fountains

Now that you know how important flowing water is to your kitty, you need to shop for a water fountain. Take a look at my good, better, and best picks in my article Cat Water Fountains: Fancy & Affordable. I cover the three fountains I have in my home, review how they work, and what I like (or don’t like) about each.

Ready to shop now? Check these out:

Good: Lictin 2.8L Cat Water Fountain

Better: VinDox Cat Water Fountain

Best: The Magic Feline Fountain by My Lovely Feline

By LizsKittyBootCamp

Hi, I'm Liz, and I'm a cat behaviorist who provides advice and insights on cat behavior.

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