Is It Safe For My Cat To Drink From Fountain?

As a devoted cat parent, you always want to ensure your furry friend is safe and healthy. And when it comes to keeping your kitty hydrated, you may have pondered whether or not a fountain is a suitable option. After all, fountains recirculate water, and you might worry about the potential health hazards it could pose for your beloved pet.

But don’t fret. Providing a cat fountain can offer many advantages for your feline companion, and with proper care, it can be a secure and sanitary way for them to quench their thirst. In fact, cats are instinctively drawn to running water, and having access to a fountain can motivate them to drink more water and stay well-hydrated.

In this blog post, we’ll examine the safety concerns associated with cat fountains while providing you with some tips on how to maintain your pet’s fountain clean and safe. We’ll also explore the potential health benefits of using a fountain as well as the various types of fountains available on the market. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to decide if a cat fountain is right for your furry friend. So let’s dive in and explore this crucial question: Is it safe for my cat to drink from a fountain?

Benefits of Fountains for Cats

If your cat is picky about their water source, or doesn’t drink enough water, it can be a challenge. This is where fountains for cats come in.

Fountains provide a constant source of fresh water and offer several benefits that can improve your cat’s overall health and well-being. Let’s dive into the many advantages of fountains for cats.

Encourage Increased Water Consumption

Cats are known for being finicky about their water sources and may not drink as much as they should if their water bowl is stagnant or unappealing. The movement and sound of a fountain can be more enticing to cats, leading to increased water intake and better hydration. This can help prevent dehydration, especially during hot weather.

Prevent Urinary Tract Issues

Stagnant water can harbor bacteria and debris, which can cause inflammation and infection in the urinary tract. By providing a constant flow of fresh water, fountains can help flush out any potential harmful substances and reduce the risk of these issues occurring. This is especially important for cats prone to urinary tract infections.

Provide Mental Stimulation and Entertainment

Cats are curious creatures who love to play with anything that moves. Many fountains come with different levels and streams of water, which can be fascinating for curious cats to watch and play with. The added stimulation can help prevent boredom and reduce stress in indoor cats, who may not have access to outdoor activities.

Easy Maintenance

Fountains are easy to clean and maintain, ensuring that your cat always has a clean source of water. Most fountains come with replaceable filters that remove impurities and keep the water fresh.

Potential Health Risks of Drinking From a Fountain

While these devices are designed to provide continuous fresh water flow, there are certain factors to consider.

Firstly, bacterial growth is a significant concern when it comes to cat fountains. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, they can become breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella. These pathogens can cause various health issues in cats, from minor digestive problems to severe infections.

Secondly, the presence of chemicals in some fountain materials and filters can be harmful if ingested. Materials like lead or phthalates can be toxic, and filters or additives may contain chemicals that could pose a risk to your cat’s health. Careful selection of safe materials is crucial to ensure your cat’s safety.

Moreover, cats with certain health conditions may be at greater risk when drinking from fountains. For instance, fountains that use filters or additives may increase the intake of minerals such as calcium or magnesium, which could worsen kidney disease in cats.

To minimize potential health risks, regular cleaning and maintenance of your cat’s fountain are essential. Opt for non-toxic materials such as ceramic or stainless steel and avoid filters or additives unless prescribed by your veterinarian.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Fountain

One way to achieve this is by providing them with a clean source of drinking water. If your cat enjoys drinking from a fountain, it’s important to maintain and clean it regularly to prevent harmful bacteria from growing and causing potential health issues.

Here are some reasons why cleaning and maintaining your fountain is crucial:

Bacterial Growth: Bacteria can easily build up in stagnant water over time, potentially leading to health issues for your cat. By cleaning your fountain regularly, you can prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms and keep your cat healthy.

Safe Material Selection: Choosing a fountain made of safe materials is essential for preventing potential exposure to harmful chemicals or toxins. Regular cleaning ensures that any toxins or chemicals that may have entered the water are removed before your cat drinks from it.

Component Wear and Tear: The components of your fountain can become worn or damaged over time, which can contaminate your cat’s drinking water. Regular maintenance and replacement of these components can prevent this issue from occurring.

To maintain and clean your fountain, follow these tips:

  • Clean your fountain at least once a week, although some fountains may require more frequent cleaning depending on their design and size.
  • Is It Safe For My Cat To Drink From Fountain-2

  • Unplug the fountain and disassemble any removable parts.
  • Wash these parts with soap and water or use specialized cleaning solutions if necessary.
  • Thoroughly rinse out the fountain with hot water, making sure to remove any debris or buildup that may have accumulated in the fountain’s nooks and crannies.
  • Regularly check the components of your fountain for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or damage in the bowl or reservoir. Replace these components immediately to prevent potential contamination of your cat’s drinking water.

Monitoring Your Cat’s Behavior Around the Fountain

While providing them with toys and treats is important, their hydration should also be at the top of your priority list. Have you considered a fountain as their water source? Not only does it supply your cat with clean and fresh water, but it can also add an element of fun and stimulation to their environment. However, before making the purchase, it’s essential to monitor your cat’s behavior around the fountain. Here are some crucial subtopics to consider:

  • Giving Your Cat Time to Adjust: Similar to humans, cats may require extra time to get accustomed to new things. Your cat may not drink from the fountain right away, so closely observing them as they interact with the fountain is critical. Use treats or toys to encourage them to explore and drink from it.
  • Maintaining Cleanliness: Cleaning your cat’s fountain regularly is vital as stagnant water can breed harmful bacteria that can cause your cat to fall sick. Make sure to clean the fountain at least once a week with soap and water, and replace the filter as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Watching for Territorial Behavior: If you have multiple cats, monitor their behavior around the fountain closely. Some cats may become territorial and monopolize the fountain, preventing others from drinking from it. If this happens, consider getting another fountain or offering a traditional water bowl as an alternative.
  • Monitoring Water Intake: While some cats may prefer drinking water that flows from a fountain, others may still prefer a regular water bowl. It’s essential to ensure that your cat is getting enough water throughout the day by keeping track of their water intake and offering both options if necessary.

Common Types of Fountains

A fountain can be an excellent way to encourage your cat to drink more and stay hydrated. However, with so many types of fountains available on the market, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your furry pal. In this post, we’ll explore the most common types of fountains available for cats and their associated pros and cons.

Ceramic Fountains

Ceramic fountains are a popular choice among pet owners because of their durability and aesthetic appeal. These fountains come in various shapes and sizes and are easy to clean, making them a convenient option for busy cat parents. Moreover, ceramic fountains keep the water cool, which is beneficial during hot summer months. However, they can be more expensive than other options and may chip or crack if not handled carefully.

Stainless Steel Fountains

Stainless steel fountains are typically more expensive than ceramic but are also more durable and easier to clean. These fountains are resistant to scratches and do not absorb odors or flavors, making them an excellent choice for cats with sensitive stomachs. Additionally, stainless steel fountains have a sleek, modern look that can complement any decor style. However, they may not be as aesthetically pleasing as other options.

Plastic Fountains

Plastic fountains are a budget-friendly option that can be easily found in pet stores or online shops. However, they may not be the best choice for your cat’s health as they can scratch easily, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Moreover, some plastic materials may contain harmful chemicals that can leach into the water over time.

Electric Fountains

Is It Safe For My Cat To Drink From Fountain-3

Electric fountains run on electricity and have a pump that circulates the water continuously. These fountains come in various shapes and sizes but require regular cleaning to prevent bacterial growth. Some cats may also be afraid of the noise the pump makes, so it’s crucial to introduce your cat slowly and make sure they feel comfortable using it.

Gravity-Fed Fountains

Gravity-fed fountains rely on gravity to keep the water flowing, making them a quieter option than electric fountains. However, they may not provide as much filtration as electric fountains and are not as customizable in terms of water flow and design.

Outdoor Fountains

Outdoor fountains are perfect for cats who enjoy spending time outside or for outdoor cats. These fountains can provide fresh water all day long, but they require regular maintenance due to exposure to the elements and wildlife.

Tips for Choosing the Right Fountain for Your Cat

Choosing the perfect fountain for your beloved feline friend might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By considering the following factors, you can ensure that your cat receives the optimal hydration they need:

Safe Materials

The first thing to consider when selecting a fountain is the material it’s made from. Opt for fountains made from non-toxic materials such as ceramic or stainless steel, which are less likely to harbor harmful bacteria compared to plastic fountains.

Size Matters

Choosing the appropriate size of the fountain is also important. Ensure that the fountain is big enough for your cat to comfortably drink from, but not so large that it becomes an obstacle in your home. Take into account the size of your cat and their typical water intake when making your selection.

Flow Options

Different cats have different water flow preferences, so it’s essential to choose a fountain with adjustable flow settings. Some cats enjoy a gentle trickle of water, while others prefer a more robust flow. Ensure that you select a fountain with customizable water flow options.

Ease of Cleaning

Regular cleaning of your cat’s fountain is vital to prevent bacteria and other harmful substances from accumulating in the water. Look for fountains with removable parts that are dishwasher-safe for hassle-free cleaning.

Elevated Drinking Areas

Some cats prefer fountains with elevated drinking areas or multiple levels, which provide an added level of comfort and stimulation. Keep this in mind when selecting a fountain for your furry friend.

Ensuring the Water Is Safe to Drink

A cat fountain can be an excellent way to provide your cat with fresh and flowing water, but it’s crucial to take steps to ensure that the water in the fountain is safe to drink.

To guarantee that the water in your cat’s fountain is safe, you need to be mindful of several factors. Here are some top tips to help you ensure that the water in your cat’s fountain is free from any contaminants or impurities that could harm their health:

Regularly Clean and Replace the Filter: The filter in your cat’s fountain is a crucial component in keeping the water clean and free from bacteria. You should frequently clean and replace the filter to prevent a build-up of contaminants.

Pay Attention to the Type of Water: If you’re using tap water, it’s essential to note that some areas have higher levels of pollutants or chemicals than others. To be safe, it may be best to use filtered or bottled water instead.

Choose the Right Material: The material of the fountain itself can also impact the safety of the water. Plastic fountains can leach chemicals into the water over time, which can be harmful to your cat’s health. Instead, opt for a fountain made from stainless steel or ceramic, as these materials are less likely to leach chemicals into the water.

Monitor Your Cat’s Behavior and Health: Keep a close eye on your cat’s drinking habits and overall health when using a fountain. Any changes in their behavior or health may indicate that the water is not safe for them to drink. In such cases, consult with your veterinarian immediately to determine the cause of the problem and find a solution.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Fountains

Cat fountains are a convenient and hygienic option, but like any household item, they can experience some common issues. In this article, we’ll explore some steps you can take to troubleshoot these problems and keep your cat happy and hydrated.

Clogged or Dirty Fountain

One of the most common issues with cat fountains is clogging or dirt accumulation. This buildup of debris can lead to health hazards for your cat, so it’s crucial to regularly clean and maintain the fountain. Here’s what you can do:

  • Change the water regularly: The water should be changed at least once a week or more frequently if you have multiple cats or if it becomes dirty quickly.
  • Clean the pump and filters: The pump and filters should be cleaned every few weeks or as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions. You can use vinegar or a pet-safe cleaning solution to clean these parts.
  • Wipe down the surfaces: The fountain’s surfaces should be wiped down with a damp cloth every few days to prevent the buildup of bacteria and other contaminants.

Noisy Fountain

While some cats enjoy the sound of running water, others may find it too loud or unsettling. If your cat is bothered by the noise of your fountain, here are some steps you can take:

  • Purchase a quieter fountain: Look for models that are labeled “quiet” or “silent.”
  • Use a soundproof mat: Placing a soundproof mat underneath the fountain can help reduce noise levels.
  • Adjust water flow: Some fountains have adjustable flow settings that allow you to reduce the noise level.
  • Change location: Experiment by moving the fountain to a different area of your home to see if that helps.

Hesitant Cat

If your cat is hesitant to use the fountain, here are some steps you can take:

  • Add treats: Place your cat’s favorite treats near the fountain to encourage them to investigate.
  • Add tuna juice: Adding a small amount of tuna juice to the water can make it more enticing for your cat.
  • Make it accessible: Ensure that the fountain is easily accessible and in a location where your cat feels comfortable approaching it.


In conclusion, a fountain can offer your cat many benefits – from increased water consumption to mental stimulation and entertainment. However, it’s important to consider potential health risks associated with drinking from a fountain and take steps to ensure your cat’s safety. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the fountain are essential in preventing bacterial growth and component wear and tear. To choose the right fountain for your cat, consider factors such as safe materials, size, flow options, ease of cleaning, and elevated drinking areas.

To keep your furry friend healthy and happy, monitor their behavior around the fountain and give them time to adjust. Watch out for territorial behavior that could lead to stress or aggression. To ensure the water in your cat’s fountain is safe to drink, regularly clean and replace the filter, pay attention to the type of water used, choose the right material for the fountain itself, and monitor your cat’s behavior and health.

By following these tips and troubleshooting common issues with fountains when they arise, you can provide your furry friend with a secure source of hydration while keeping them healthy.