Why Your Cat Needs a Water Fountain (and How to Choose One)

Have you ever found your cat licking water from a dripping faucet? Studies have shown that animals – and cats in particular – prefer to drink from moving water rather than still water found in a traditional bowl. Additionally, since our cats get most of their water intake from the food they eat – and are often fed a diet of dry kibble – many cats are in a constant state of dehydration. Fortunately, water fountains can help entice cats to drink more. 

Choosing a water fountain for your cat is far more important than you may realize. Cats hail from the hot, arid desert of the Nile Crescent and their ancient ancestors developed in such a way as they were able to obtain most of their water intake from the food they caught. As avid mousers, cats were worshipped for their ability to guard granaries and keep the cities free from pests.

As they evolved, they developed a system that would allow them to get by with less water as they effectively digested their prey. But, over the years, we have forced a diet of dried kibble on them, putting them in a constant state of dehydration. This lack of water can lead to health issues, like urinary crystals and kidney disease.

Dry food contains less than 10% water on average, making it all the more important for cats to drink water. However, asking a creature who doesn’t like to drink water to drink stagnant water from a bowl is almost cruel. As cat owners, it’s important to understand that cats often need to be coaxed to drink enough water. This is where the water fountain comes into play.

Water fountains use different methods to purify the water and keep it cool and refreshing. Since it resembles the moving water of brooks and creeks in nature, it’s far more enticing for cats. Some cats will even lie next to the fountain for afternoon naps.

Here are some things to consider when purchasing a water fountain for your cat:


Activated charcoal is a popular way to purify water and it’s used most often in Drinkwell’s line of pet fountains. These fountains use replaceable filters filled with activated carbon to remove any chemicals and improve the water’s natural flavor.


These fountains come in a variety of styles and materials, including ceramic, stainless steel, and plastic. Most of these fountains focus on dropping water to entice your cat into drinking, but others rely on recirculating pond-like water for the finicky feline.

Other Technology

Some fountains use ultraviolet light to purify your pet’s water. The water moves through a system where it is purified by light to help remove microscopic toxins. In most of these cases, the water is gently circulated around a bowl rather than dropped from a higher level. These can be very valuable for cats who prefer to avoid drops of water on their whiskers.

Still, other fountains use no form of purification at all, relying instead on the movement of water to help purify it and keep it appealing.

Water is essential in supporting your cat’s organ function and, on average, pets should consume one ounce of water per pound of weight daily. The best thing about pet fountains is that all of your pets can enjoy them!

Begin your search for the perfect water fountain by clicking here.

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