The Best Cat Water Fountains of 2023
Having trouble getting your cat to drink water from the bowl? Or just want to improve their water quality without having to constantly switch out the bowl?
There’s an easy way to do it: cat water fountains are an excellent way to provide clean running water to your cats. But we all know that your cat only wants excellence, so you need to find the best cat water fountain around. Read on, and we’ll show you our favorites and how we picked them.
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Water Fountains
|Best Overall||HomeRunPet Cat Water Fountain||4.9|
|Best for Multiple Cats||iPettie Kamino LED Light Pet Water Fountain for Cats||4.7|
|Stainless Steel Cat Fountain||PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Multi-Pet Stainless Steel Dog and Cat Fountain||4.7|
|Prettiest Cat Water Fountain||Pet Cat Water Fountain Drinking Bowl||4.4|
|Budget Option / Kitty Water Fountain||Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser||4.3|
Our Top Pick
HomeRunPet Cat Water FountainThis was our favorite of the available cat fountains. With advanced LED indicators, a great pump, and readily available filters, it’s simply a cut above the rest. Add in a moderate price, and we’ve got a clear winner in this roundup.
Table of Contents
The Best Cat Water Fountains
Best Overall Cat Water Fountain
HomeRunPet Cat Water Fountain
The HomeRun Pet Cat Water Fountain is a great option for many people. It’s simply one of the best around, and it’s easy to use as well, which put it as our absolute favorite of the ones that we took a closer look at.
The first thing that most people will notice is how quiet it is. You’ll barely hear it running when you’re right next to it, which is a big plus if you have it in your bedroom so that your cat can drink while you slumber.
It has a 2L capacity, making it suitable for up to two cats, in our opinion. It also has four different LED colors, which will let you know when the pump is running when it’s out of water, and even when you need to change the filter.
It’s at the upper end of what we’d pay for a standard cat water fountain, unfortunately. The filters are also a bit pricey, but they’re readily available thankfully.
Best for Multiple Cats
iPettie Kamino LED Light Pet Water Fountain for Cats
For those with more than one cat, this 3L cat water fountain is able to support up to three of them comfortably while maintaining some of the features of our favorite.
It has an LED light that can be switched off and on easily, and it’s powered by a USB cord, which makes it easy to put it in an adapter or strategically placed power bank. All around the features are solid.
It also has a two-stage filtration. There’s a sponge filter as well as activated carbon, with the first stage sponge catching quite a bit of debris before it can clog the activated carbon. It’s a bit of a bonus, and it’s actually a touch cheaper than our favorite, although the filters cost about the same.
It mainly suffers from a bit lower build-quality and the fact that the pump tends to be a bit noisy. The impeller sometimes comes off balance, and it can take a bit to get it back in working order.
Stainless Steel Cat Fountain
PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Multi-Pet Stainless Steel Dog and Cat Fountain
Some people need the best, and this stainless steel cat fountain is among them. We prefer it over the ceramic options, which have similarly high prices, due to the sterile nature of the metal and the fact that it won’t crack if it gets knocked over.
It’s a great option overall. You can even adjust the cap to get the stream that your cat likes the best, and it has multiple ports to allow for more than one pet to drink at the same time. No need for the cats to fight over this one!
The stainless steel construction makes it easy to clean when the time comes as well. You’ll also be pleased to know the filters are dirt cheap as well. They’re actually cheaper than many of the lesser fountains on the market.
The only real downside is that it’s expensive. Some people may not like the industrial look either, but we’d say it’s worth a shot for those who really want to get a quality cat fountain.
Prettiest Cat Water Fountain
Pet Cat Water Fountain Drinking Bowl
If you’re looking for something with a cute aesthetic to show off, then you’ll love this little water fountain. Its unique flower aesthetic is combined with a great filter, and it’s an overall solid pick without any corners cut.
It has a few different flows that it can release, allowing you to make sure that it suits your cat. There are also a couple of different color options available.
It actually has a triple filter. Still, the ion-exchange resin layer seems a bit unnecessary and just a gimmick. The cotton and activated carbon are pretty awesome, but the filters are generic, and you’re kind of on your own to find something that fits.
It’s not on par with our favorites or the stainless steel upgraded pick, but it’s pretty solid despite the gimmicky overall look. It’s also a bit short on capacity.
The Budget Option
Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser
It’s not pretty, it doesn’t have any advanced features, but it’s well-reviewed and time tested. This is a relatively generic kitty water fountain, but it’s solid in its construction and usage.
The design runs extremely quiet and has low power consumption. It also has different flow options, which is a surprise at this low of a price point. The filters are pretty minimal, but they’re functional and can be re-used after you dry them.
For the most part, this is a cheaper design, and you get what you pay for. That said, we think no cat should have to deal with the junk that shows up in untreated water, and this is a great way to get clean, running water for your kitty.
The filters are also dirt cheap. Only a couple of bucks each at the time we reviewed it, although that may change by the time of publication.
Why Get a Cat Water Fountain?
While it’s not every cat that will have trouble drinking from a bowl, those who do will benefit greatly from a cat water fountain.
In addition to that, it’s just a healthier option. Even dogs and other pets can benefit since the running water keeps sediment from settling in the bowl. Instead, any dust or debris which makes its way in will be circulated, and most of the best have filters to remove any particulate matter which happens to make its way into the bowl.
They can also add a bit of humidity to the room, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on how your local climate is.
For the most part, they have simple construction: a submersible pump and an activated charcoal filter create a flow of water that your cat will love to drink from. There’s no real reason not to have one, especially with some of the cheaper models which are currently on the market.
There’s nothing quite like it for keeping your cat healthy, so it’s a good idea to add one to your home no matter what. Unlike many devices that are supposed to enhance your kitty’s lifestyle, you’ll find that every cat will rapidly take to them.
They generally end up being lower maintenance than drip water bowls or the standard fare since nothing settles in them. Switching filters is easy in the vast majority of the models that we took a look at, so dig right in and get your cat some running water!
Factors to Consider When Buying a Cat Water Fountain
Cat water fountains can vary quite a bit depending on what your budget is. And that’s usually the deciding factor: anything other than the baseline will end up costing you more money. There are still some features out there that you may want to keep an eye on.
You’ll want to calibrate the amount of water in your fountain to how many cats you have. Figure that you want at least a liter of water per cat in your home; otherwise, you’ll probably find yourself refilling the fountain more often than you’d like.
In all honesty, 1.5L per cat is probably better. It’ll just save on refilling the fountain more frequently.
Some of the fountains also have numerous spigots instead of one continuous stream. Make sure there’s one for each cat in the home so that they don’t find themselves waiting.
The filter is an essential component of your cat’s water fountain. All of the ones that we recommend have at least a single-stage activated carbon filter.
Honestly, as long as that’s in place, you’re good.
Instead, what you’re looking at is how easy the filter is to replace and the cost of replacement filters. They’re good for a few thousand gallons, but they do need regular replacing; otherwise, they’ll begin to clog. Even if they don’t clog, they’ll become inefficient at removing contaminants.
Replacement filters should also be readily available, so double-check to make sure that you can find them. It can be a bit difficult, especially if you’re insistent on going with a cheap knock off fountain.
Let’s be fair; as long as there’s running water, your cat most likely doesn’t care much what the fountain looks like.
On the other hand, not everyone adores a simple grey aesthetic. There are a variety of options out there, so make sure you pick something that you have no problem sitting around in your home.
There is one cosmetic feature that some cats seem to adore: LED lights are sometimes present in the fountains. Some felines seem to find them absolutely fascinating, but it’s hard to know if your cat is going to like them or not. In our experience, it didn’t exactly turn cats off of any of the fountains either, so just keep in mind they’re a decent design feature.
Power Cord or Battery
The majority of the fountains that we looked at ran off of batteries. Others ran off of a USB input, which can be attached to a power bank, computer, or wall outlet, depending on how you want to do things.
If the model you’re looking at has a cord, then you’ll want to make sure that it’s long enough to run to an outlet from where you want it placed.
Make sure to keep batteries on hand. Many cats get spoiled by these fountains, and you may have trouble getting them to drink from a standard bowl once they’ve become accustomed to it.
Most cat fountains run from $20-$40. Anything much lower than that may have quality issues, while those that are much higher generally have some serious diminishing returns.
Just pick a budget that you’ll be able to live with. You don’t have to spend extraordinary amounts of money to make sure that your cat is happy.
Cat Water Fountain FAQ
How does the activated carbon filter in a cat water fountain work?
Activated carbon is a ground form of charcoal. That means it has an incredible surface area, and it captures the majority of contaminants in the water. It’s used in water filtration systems for humans as well since they remove bacteria and a large number of chemicals from the water. Most of the cat water fountain filters also have a cotton component that catches larger debris and hair.
How much capacity do I need in my fountain?
1.5L per cat will allow you a couple of days between adding water. 1L per cat is what we’d recommend at the minimum, so multiple fountains may be necessary if you’re a serious cat lover.
Which filter stages actually matter?
We think that ion-exchange is overkill for a cat water fountain. A sponge or extra cotton filter is a nice touch, but they’re usually just added for marketing value. A cotton covered activated carbon filter is enough to guarantee clean water.
Are there any other benefits to running water for my cats?
If you’re using a battery-operated model, you can run them outside without worrying about algae growth. If you’ve ever used a standard cat water dispenser outside, then you’ve seen the green stuff come in, and it can be a pain since it often means needing to replace the water and scrub out the dispenser’s tank on a regular basis.
How necessary is a cat water fountain?
Cats love them. Most cats will still drink from a bowl, and wet food can provide the majority of the hydration a cat needs. That said, the cleaner water actually ends up meaning less maintenance than a regular bowl or water dispenser, so they offer advantages to both the cat and the cat owner. They’re relatively inexpensive, as well.
How often do the filters need to be replaced?
While most of the companies encourage you to change their filters out when they get clogged, activated carbon is actually good for thousands of gallons. Still, replacing them once a month isn’t a bad idea for most of the fountains out there, but they’ll last for a long time as long as they’re not clogged up.