Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your cat.

Should You Get Your Cat a Water Fountain?

Water fountains can help increase cats’ water consumption.

Does your cat drink from a water bowl but you think maybe she doesn't like it? Does she make a big mess at the bowl, seeming to use her paws to play in the water? Has your veterinarian said that your older or sick cat needs to ingest more moisture?

A water fountain might be a great solution for your home.

Reasons Water Fountains Are Good for Cats

There are several reasons why having a water fountain available for your cat might be a great idea.

  • Did you know that cats have a low thirst drive? It's true! In the wild, most of a cat's water intake would come from their food, which is high-moisture-containing meat, so they do not naturally have high thirst. This can cause or exacerbate a myriad of feline health problems for indoor, domesticated cats, including urinary tract and kidney diseases.
  • Cats don't like drinking out of still, stagnant water sources. Cats prefer running water, and this is why some of them will tap the water in their bowl with their paw before drinking it.
  • Cats can be quite picky about what they eat and drink. Tap water may contain odors or tastes that are objectionable to cats.

In all of the above cases, a water fountain can encourage your cat to drink more. The water looks more like a natural source in the wild would and often tastes better.

Bonus Tip: Cats don't generally like to drink water near where they eat. In the wild, you will often see cats dragging their food away from water sources. Put your water fountain in a different location (even just across the room) from your cat's food bowl.

Our Favorite Water Fountain

At, our favorite water fountain for cats is the Drinkwell Pagoda. We love it for many reasons, including:

  • It's ceramic, so it doesn't scratch or hold onto smells and stains like plastic might.
  • The lower drinking surface is wide, allowing cats to drink without bending their whiskers uncomfortably. There's also a second, top bowl from which a cat can choose to drink.
  • Its square shape allows the Pagoda to fit into a corner or look great on a countertop.
  • The Pagoda is beautiful for humans to look at, and it makes a soothing sound.
  • Constant water movement inhibits bacterial growth on the fountain.
  • With four popular colors, the Pagoda is easy to fit into any home, adding to the décor rather than being an eyesore.

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