Cat Corner

The Pro’s And Cons Of A Cat Water Fountain

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I have to admit the husband was right about getting a cat water fountain

I was against the idea, thinking it was a waste of money, they would never use it and it was one of those novelty things that spoilt pets get. Turns out this was one of the very very very rare occasions he was right! After relenting and being worn down over this fountain I bought one, if only to prove my point in how little they would use it (I had already planned how I was going to celebrate my victory.)

And then, as if just to spite me, all of The Toolbox Kitties love it! Until now, only one of our cats would drink from a bowl and the rest would wait in the bathroom by the sink or bath meowing until we would turn the tap on, they would all drink and then wait until the next time. This would happen regardless of whether they had fresh water or not and several times a day (they’re lucky I work from home really.)

Although difficult, I know that my cats aren’t the only ones that don’t like drinking from the bowl! and here are some of the reasons why:

Why Cats May Not Like Drinking From The Bowl:

  • The Bowl Is Too Low – For older cats in particular, craning their necks low to the floor can be uncomfortable so they try to avoid it. If you think this could be the case, try raising it onto a platform for them.
  • Vulnerable Positioning – Some shy cats may not like where the bowl is placed. Some feel trapped if they have to drink in a corner and some feel too exposed if you have a more open position. Consider changing where the bowl is and see if it makes a difference.
  • Too Close to Litter/Toilet Area – Cats are clean animals and instinctively avoid contaminated sources (even though they are happy to drink from muddy puddles). Having the water bowl close, or sometimes in the same room as, the litter tray can put them off.
  • Not Fresh Enough – Water that has been sat for several hours, particularly in the summer, can be less desirable and not fresh enough! For a while, our cats would only drink straight after the water had been changed, then it was deemed unworthy!
  • Food Contaminants – Cats have a better sense of smell than we do. Having the water bowl close to the food source can appear contaminated to them and therefore they refuse to drink.
  • Your Water – If you find your cat won’t drink at all, it could be your water. Some areas have high levels of chalk, others fluoride and this can mean cats don’t like the taste of water.
  • Too Warm – Cats may prefer the tap because the water is cooler and more refreshing whereas bowls that are in direct sunlight can be too warm.
  • Medical Reasons – If your cat isn’t drinking at all, consider taking them to the vet. Some underlying conditions can make drinking painful or difficult.
  • They Just Don’t Want Too – Yep, any cat owner will tell you that sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do. A cat does what it wants, and usually, that is not what you want them to do!

With this in mind, you may want to consider buying a water fountain which can alleviate some of these problems. Here are the pros and cons of getting one that we have found.

Pros/Cons Of Water Fountain


  • Bigger Capacity – They generally hold more than a traditional bowl, meaning you have to fill it less often. This is particularly useful in the summer or for those who work, no need to worry about kitties running dry!
  • Adaptive Speeds – You can set the fountain to a slow trickle or a faster run like a tap to suit your cat’s needs and preferences.
  • Filters Dirt – Most water fountains have a set filter which removes dirt, grime and fluff that can build up making the water undrinkable.
  • Moving Water – The flow of the water can appeal to most cats, as moving water instinctively is more likely to be clean which encourages drinking.
  • Appeals To Both Tap And Bowl Drinkers – For those, like me who have multiple cats, a cat water fountain can appeal to both bowl drinkers and tap drinkers as there is a reservoir and running stream of water to drink from.


  • More Expensive – You have to consider that it isn’t just the cost of the bowl initially. You also have to pay for the filters when they need upgrading every few months.
  • Power Source – We are fortunate that we had a lower plug socket that is perfect for us. But traditionally low-level power outlets in the kitchen are uncommon so you will need to consider where you can put the fountain.
  • Fluffy Cats – We find that since our cats tend to moult quite a bit, we are cleaning out the filter and inlet for the pump more often.

The Verdict:

This is the fountain we went for (Affiliate):

For us, a cat water fountain is perfect and I am safe in the knowledge that they are all well hydrated (and to their liking). The husband was definitely right, and I was wrong (there it’s publicly stated) and I no longer have to get up and down turning the taps on and off which is a bonus! It would definitely suit those with fussy cats or if you are out at work all day to keep fresh, clean water available. One point to note is that if you don’t want the cost straight away, try out some of my other tactics first as it may be positioning or bowl type that could be the problem.

How Do Your Cats Drink? Do you have, or are thinking about getting a cat water fountain?

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