What is the best pet fountain?
January 1, 2018 10:20 AM   Subscribe

In search of the best pet fountain to use for cats. We have one now which works great but can't go in the dishwasher, and has lots of small crevices that are impossible to thoroughly wash and inevitably end up slimy and gross.

I want one that either can totally go in the dishwasher (with some way to separate the pump/plug) or that has no small crevices, so I can easily wash it by hand. Your recommendations, please.
posted by BlahLaLa to Pets & Animals (26 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Okay, duh, it just occured to me to check thesweethome.com and they do have a recommendation. Would be interested in knowing if Mefites disagree or have other recs.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:23 AM on January 1, 2018

I have this one for my cats. The bowl separates into two parts, and the pump is held in with little suction cup feet. Everything but the pump can go in the dishwasher. The cats also like it and will drink out of it.
posted by Lycaste at 10:25 AM on January 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have the same one as Lycaste and have been happy with it. If the motor dies, it’s a cheap and easy replacement.

If you go that route, don’t forget to replace the filter periodically. They’re available from Amanzon Subscribe and Save.
posted by Cogito at 10:32 AM on January 1, 2018

I’ve gone from metal to ceramic fountains for my cats - they seem to build up a bit less slimy gunk around the pump.

Currently we have a Drinkwell Pagoda in one room and a PetSafe Sedona in the other room, and I’m happy with both. They’re easy enough to pop in the dishwasher and the cats seem to like them both.
posted by Stacey at 10:50 AM on January 1, 2018

We have the same as Lycaste and Cogito except the ceramic version instead of the metal one. We've never tried putting it in the dishwasher, but it's just ceramic, so it should be fine. We find it easy enough to clean by hand. The hardest part to clean is honestly the pump, and I think that's going to be similar for any fountain (every model we've had has used the same kind of pump).
posted by primethyme at 10:52 AM on January 1, 2018

another vote for the metal one. haven't had cats in a few years now but I've used one and another friend has used one.

Changing the water every day goes a long way towards keeping it clean.
posted by noloveforned at 10:53 AM on January 1, 2018

I have had two of the CatIt Fountains for at least the last eight years or so. I haven't had to replace either of them (though, if I ever need to, I'll likely buy the CatIt Flower Fountain that's mentioned on that sweethome.com page you linked to). The cats seem to appreciate the fountains and no one has managed to tip the fountains over, though one of the cats routinely pulls the center piece out. All of the parts except the pump can go in the dishwasher.

The fountains are quiet unless they're low on water; then there's a sucking, gasping sound that lets me know it's time to wash and refill it.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 10:58 AM on January 1, 2018

Drinkwell 360 Stainless. Easy assembly for a weekly scrub, quiet, works well.
posted by OrangeVelour at 11:15 AM on January 1, 2018

I have the metal one that Sweethome/wirecutter recommends as their runner up, the same one Lycaste mentions. It is very quiet as long as it is reasonably full and very easy to clean, and I think the cats use it (I don't actually see them there, but the water goes down...)
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 11:19 AM on January 1, 2018

I was fed up of my cat fountain getting slimy so in the end I just took the pump out and put it in a stainless steel bowl of water. The water bubbled up just fine, the cats loved it and it was super easy to clean, just needed a rinse under the tap (with the little side filter cover taken off) every couple of days.
posted by essexjan at 11:40 AM on January 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Catit fountain, easiest thing to clean. We love it so much we bought two spares that we stashed in a closet in the event that the fountain croaks before we do. We change the water every day and wash it with dish soap every three or so. Change the filter once every couple of weeks and that's only because my husband is a little obsessive about super extra fresh water for his catbaby.
posted by lydhre at 12:11 PM on January 1, 2018

We have this ceramic one which works well. I top it off daily, clean it weekly, and replace the filter and foam surrounding motor every 2 or 3 weeks.

Plastic can cause allergies / outbreaks on the cat’s face. Metal can as well sometimes, but ceramic is safe.
posted by ridogi at 12:37 PM on January 1, 2018

Agreed on the CatIt fountain!

I have two cats, so I use the DogIt instead of the CatIt, but they use the same filters so you can buy whichever is cheapest on Amazon at the time.

They're also easy to clean and pretty quiet, unless they need to be refilled (which is oddly helpful) and all you need to do to refill them is pour some water in the top.
posted by elsietheeel at 12:43 PM on January 1, 2018

Okay, thanks. I'm going to try the CatIt. If that's problematic, might try just the pump in a bowl thing.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:46 PM on January 1, 2018

We have the one Lycaste linked and was just remarking about how much easier it is to clean than our previous plastic one. It takes longer to bring it down to the kitchen than it does to wash. Our cats drink way more from it than the previous one too.
posted by advicepig at 12:52 PM on January 1, 2018

This is the ultimate cat fountain. It is two pieces of cast resin that can totally go in the dishwasher, an eight inch length of straight tubing that is easy to clean, and a pump. It is the best because it has 15 little spouts and 4 pooling areas to quench any feline thirst. We have three cats and they have abandoned their still water bowl since we got this. It is not a purpose built cat fountain, so it will not show up on any of your searches, but trust me, your cats will love it.
posted by mumblelard at 1:34 PM on January 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Currently we have a Drinkwell Pagoda

We also have the ceramic drinkwell pagoda and STRONGLY recommend going with a ceramic over a plastic. Cats (even cats who have never ever had issues like this) can develop medical issues including feline acne from drinking out of plastic bowls.

After having cats all my life I had two cats become pretty unhappy over the course of months by eating out of plastic - ceramic eliminates the potential medical issues, is less slimy and is super easy to clean highly recommended.
posted by arnicae at 2:31 PM on January 1, 2018

I have a 20cm dishwasher safe trifle bowl and a cheap fish tank filter.
posted by poxandplague at 2:33 PM on January 1, 2018

I have actually just ordered the aquarium filter jamaro recommends in this comment from a couple of years ago. Also have a 5 quart plastic bucket from Lowe's. If this doesn't work, I'll come back in to complain offer other options.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:56 PM on January 1, 2018

I bought a small pump that is designed for small garden water features ($12 at the local hardware store) and put it in a plastic tub, about the size of an ice cream container. It lasted two years. The container could go in the dishwasher, but it didn't even seem to get dirty. The pump just needed to be taken apart and rinsed of cat fur once a month or so.
posted by lollusc at 3:55 PM on January 1, 2018

Huffy Puffy, the filter you linked is a HOB (Hang On Back), which means some portion of it cannot be submerged. For the bucket cat fountain, you want an internal (also known as in-tank or submersible) filter such as this one. While a HOB could work with a bucket, in my experience with aquariums + HOBs I've found that cats like to sit on the flat-topped HOBs, which can't really take the weight well + plus if the cat knocks the HOB off the bucket lip, it either goes in (danger, electricity) or out (running the pump dry will quickly kill it).
posted by jamaro at 7:13 PM on January 1, 2018

Oops, my reading fail, I read poxandplague's comment and attributed it to Huffy Puffy.
posted by jamaro at 7:17 PM on January 1, 2018

Quick note: it’s generally not recommended to use decorative fountains as pet waterers because the materials used to construct them (particularly paints, dyes, & glazes) were not selected for this purpose and may be toxic.
posted by Kalatraz at 8:05 PM on January 1, 2018

I also have the Catit Flower Fountain and love it. Just a tip: go ahead and order some replacement filters when you buy the fountain. That will save you from your kitties' wrath when the filter is too old to use and you're waiting for new ones to be delivered (ask me how I know).
posted by neushoorn at 12:03 AM on January 2, 2018

if your fountain uses filters that you have to purchase, you can get a pretty good result by making your own for significantly cheaper - and they clean the water better, too.

posted by rebent at 9:56 AM on January 2, 2018

THIRSTY CAT FOUNTAINS. pricey, but worth it. it duplicates the drinking out of the sink experience, and is VERY easy to clean.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:12 PM on January 2, 2018

« Older Should I confront a few people for talking behind...   |   What should I do with a tablet? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.