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The Best Cat Water Fountains

Fresh, flowing water will keep your pet hydrated, ward off UTIs, and reduce water waste.

by Maia Welbel | expert review by Annette Louviere, DVM
May 25, 2022
Two cats drinking from a KittySpring Combo water fountain on the floor
Courtesy of Cheerble

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Does your cat like to hop up on the counter and take a drink when you turn on the faucet? No, they aren’t just being greedy for attention while you’re trying to do the dishes. Most cats find running water more enticing than what’s in their bowl; this habit is a result of an evolutionary instinct telling them running water is less likely to be contaminated with pollutants or microorganisms that could harm them. That’s why offering your whiskered friend a water source that simulates a natural flowing stream will keep them coming back for more.

Not drinking enough water is a common issue for house cats, causing them to be more susceptible to health concerns such as kidney disease and bladder inflammation, making the appeal of their hydration station all the more essential. “Due to their desert origins, cats have a naturally low thirst drive,” explains veterinarian Dr. Annette Louviere. “However, water fountains can be enticing to some cats as running water is more attractive to them.” Cats are also very sensitive to taste and might reject a bowl of water if it has been sitting out. Cat fountains continuously cycle and filter the water, so as long as you’re cleaning and refilling it as instructed, your kitty will always have fresh, great-tasting water that will satisfy their delicate palate. 

If you’re out of the house a lot or just don’t want to deal with filling up a bowl all the time, a cat fountain might be the way to go. Most of these dishes hold a few liters of water, making refills far less frequent, which reduces water waste. Being judicious with daily water use is more important now than ever, especially if you live somewhere affected by long-term drought. Whether you’re discarding water your cat didn’t finish or wiping up spills from bowls they knock over, a fountain can help ensure every drop gets lapped up by a kitty rather than sent down the drain. Below, the best cat water fountains on the market.

Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)

Best Overall

the water fountain in white and blue

The Petlibro Capsule Water Fountain looks more like something you’d buy from the Apple store than a PetSmart. Its patented water recirculation system boasts ultra-quiet performance, and five levels of filtration offer guaranteed pure, great-tasting water. This fountain also has two drinking modes — flowing stream and gentle bubbles — so your cat can choose which experience they like best.

$30 at Petlibro

Best Smart Fountain

the water fountain in orange

The compact and durable Eversweet Solo Fountain is great for smaller pets. When set to ‘smart mode,’ it pumps for three minutes then rests for three minutes to save energy. With blue, orange, green, or black monochrome designs to choose from, all of which are powered by USB cables which can be removed for easier cleaning, there’s no shortage of options to suit your personal style.

$36 at Chewy

Best Non-Electric (Noiseless) Fountain

Best Splurge

Best Budget

Best Whisker Safe

white water fountain with cat

This ultra quiet fountain is not only ideal for the zen homemaker, but also is scientifically backed to prevent whisker fatigue, which plagues cats of all creeds. With a no touch bottom, this automatic cat fountain is more like a shallow pond that a water bowl, which makes it all the more intriguing for your curious feline. It’ll engage your cat’s evolutionary instinct to avoid deep water that could be unclear and, therefore, dangerous all the while making an excellent addition to both of your living space.

$40 at Uah Pet

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author Maia Welbel

Maia Welbel

Maia is a freelance writer focused on using storytelling to help people treat our planet with more compassion. She lives in Chicago with her perfect pets, Maxx the dog and Rubie the cat. Find her on maiawelbel.com and @mwelbel.