How we chose the best cat drinking fountains
Fountains can be bought with a capacity ranging from one litre to over five. The larger the capacity, the less it should have to be topped up over the week, but the harder the filter will probably have to work too, so it is all about finding balance.
We looked for a range of fountains for every need, whether you have one cat or several. There are roughly two choices when it comes to power supply too – mains and battery. The former is usually the least bother but you are restricted to certain placements and ensuring there are no trip hazards, and that your cat won’t be drawn in by the power cable.
Batteries are a good idea for anyone who wants to have a flexible placement or maybe doesn’t like the idea of their plugs being on all day if nobody is in to watch what is going on. Batteries do tend to last a few months, and they are also a good idea for anyone who is maybe going to be leaving a fresh supply of water outside or in an outbuilding for an outdoor cat. This was, therefore, our favourite choice, but again we looked for the best mains power cat fountains too.
There are a few models around which don’t need any power at all but they tend to be dispensers as opposed to a fountain, so the water in the bowl is only replaced when drunk out of. Some others use gravity to draw in old water, but this is at a much slower rate than electronic models. It may be a consideration if you don’t want electricity and water to mix when left unnatended.
The speed is how many power or speed settings are on the unit, as in how fast you can choose the water to flow. Ones which can be adjusted to low are good for more nervous cats, who don’t like noise or movement. Quicker flows will usually keep the water the absolute freshest though as it will be sitting there for less time. We looked for a balance here, where the water flowed at an ordinary rate – like a tap gently running.
Material is often a choice between plastic, ceramic and stainless steel.
The latter two are the best for ensuring a clear, neutral flavour of your water, and they are also the best at keeping bacteria at bay. The former is the most popular, however, and is great for keeping the price low if you want something under £50. As it is the most widely available, plastic makes up most of our list, but we did look for alternatives that were good enough for use, too.