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Does My Cat Need a Water Fountain? Vet Approved Benefits & Tips

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker


Vet approved

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As cat owners, we want our pets to be happy, healthy, and safe. One of the ways we can achieve it is by providing fresh and clean water. However, most cats seem to enjoy lapping it out of the faucet instead of drinking from their water bowl, causing many people to wonder if cats need a water fountain. While they don’t necessarily need one, it can be beneficial for several reasons, so keep reading while we explain the pros and cons of these devices to help you decide if it’s right for your pet.

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Why Do Cats Need Water?

Water is essential for all living creatures, including cats, and is necessary for healthy kidneys and urinary tract. Wild cats get most of the water from the prey that they eat. However, domesticated cats don’t get enough in their diet alone, especially if they tend to eat dry kibble instead of wet food, so a fountain can be a beneficial way to help them get their daily requirement.

The 5 Benefits of a Water Fountain for Cats

1. Encourages Hydration

Running water is more attractive to cats than stagnant water in a bowl, and the same thing that caused them to drink from your faucet may also bring them to drink from the fountain, which can help get them to drink more water.

2. Fresh-Tasting Water

The water fountain continually circulates the water, which helps keep it fresh and oxygenated and might even lead to a better flavor. Most cats are quite picky and will appreciate better-tasting water, which can cause them to drink more than they would from a bowl of stagnant water.

bengal cat drinking from water fountain
Image Credit: TheCats, Shutterstock

3. Reduces Bacteria

The continuously circulating and filtrated water in the fountain can also reduce the number of bacteria and other pathogens that can lead to several health problems. These bacteria can grow freely in stagnant water, so you must change it more frequently.

Water fountains can really help your cat drink more water, but finding the right one can be a challenge. Our Hepper Stainless Steel Cat Water Fountain will keep your cat safe and hydrated with its advanced triple filtration system and large capacity. It's easy to clean in the dishwasher and offers three different flow modes and an automatic shutoff. 

hepper fountain

4. Helps Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Another huge benefit to a water fountain is that it can help prevent urinary tract infections. Since cats tend to drink more water from a fountain, they are less likely to get an infection, so they will live life more comfortably and require fewer trips to the vet.

5. Provides Entertainment

Many cats like to play with the water from the fountain or a faucet. They might swat it with their paws or stare at it. Either way, it can provide entertainment and stimulation, preventing boredom.

Image Credit: Vershinin89, Shutterstock

The 5 Tips for Choosing a Water Fountain for Your Cat

1. Size

The size of your fountain should be appropriate to your cat’s size and drinking habits. Larger cats will likely require a bigger fountain, and you may also need something bigger during the hot summer months.

2. Material

You can find fountains using various materials, including plastic, stainless steel, and ceramic. However, most cat owners consider ceramic and stainless steel to be the best because they are durable, easy to clean, and don’t harbor bacteria like plastic or wood might.

3. Noise Level

Some fountains can be noisy, which causes many people to need to use the bathroom more frequently. So if you have this problem, we recommend looking at online reviews for any fountains you are considering purchasing to see if other people are complaining about the noise.

4. Filter

Many fountains include filters to help keep the water clean. Some may even have carbon filters to help purify the water. However, you need to replace these filters frequently, so make sure you know where to purchase them before you buy the fountain.

5. Design

Your water fountain may be quite simple or have many features. Either is good as long as you know how to use it and your cat enjoys getting water from it.

Turn your catio into a cat paradise with this easy fountain hack
Image Credit: chirpycats

The 5 Tips for Maintaining Your Cat’s Water Fountain

  • Clean your cat’s water fountain regularly to prevent dirt and bacteria buildup. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning so you don’t damage the components or filter.
  • Replace the fountain’s filter regularly to keep the water clean and fresh.
  • Refill the fountain with fresh water regularly.
  • Monitor the fountain for any signs of malfunction, like unusual noises or decreased water flow, which can indicate a problem with the pumper filter. Address any issues immediately so there’s no danger to your cat.
  • Put the fountain where your cat is most likely to use it but keep it away from their food and litter box to avoid contamination.


While not necessary, a water fountain can be a beneficial addition to your cat’s life, helping them stay hydrated while reducing the risk of health problems like urinary tract infections. It also helps the water taste better and may even be a source of entertainment for your cat. With a little shopping around, you can find something that’s the right size and not too hard to use or complicated to clean, so you can provide your pet with a consistent source of fresh, clean water that contributes to their overall well-being.

Featured Image Credit: Daria Kulkova, Shutterstock

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