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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 Smart Fountain
Best Non-Electric (Noiseless) Fountain
Best Whisker Safe
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