I recently fostered a beautiful little cat named Lola. She had settled in with us super quickly (which is not always the case) and had adjusted well to us, and our home. I thought everything was going amazingly….. until about 3 days in( it turns out I had jumped the gun on a number of things! If you’re interested to see just how wrong I was, you can read about it in my “month of loving Lola” post). She was eating well, loved being around us and was pretty confident considering she really didn’t know us at all.
We had learned quickly not to put a glass of water down or her head was in it (resulting in a few glasses being knocked over in her struggle to get the water from the bottom) and she loved drinking from the tap, but that was it! She would not drink from a bowl.
We tried every type of bowl we had, in every position we could think of. On the table, under the table, on the floor, in the open, next to her food, away from her food, in every room…the list goes on and on, but nothing worked.
Leaving the tap running for her constantly was obviously not a solution (although I admit to considering this in desperation when I realised she was drinking no where near enough, resulting in a case of cat constipation!)
It was at this point I went on the hunt for a solution as I was sure there must be other cats with the same tendency out there, and I was right. Many cats simply refuse to drink from a bowl and it can be for any number of reasons;
- They may not like the taste of the water from a metallic bowl
- The level of the bowl may be too high or too low
- They may like moving water rather than still
- The water just isn’t fresh enough
- They don’t like the taste of your water. This could be because the water has too much fluoride or is too chalky.
- Vulnerable positioning. If you have a shy cat they may feel too exposed.
With this information gained, I found that many owners had success using water fountains. There are hundreds of designs, makes and models available. Some are super funky and if you are looking for a fun feature on your working surface as well as a useful object you may want to have a look at these, but for me I had my practical head on and was focused solely on functionality.
After comparing many of the possibilities open to me I chose the “Cat Mate drinking fountain” suitable for cats and small dogs. Below I go into more depth on why I made this choice, the quality, features and benefits of the product and in my opinion if I feel it gives value for money.
Product Cat Mate Drinking Fountain
Price £24.99 ( at the time of posting )
Who is it suitable for Anyone with a cat or small dog
Where to buy it Amazon
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
This does not affect the price you pay)
Overall rating 4.5 out of 5
A Hydrated Cat is a Happy Cat
It can be really difficult to tell if you cat is getting dehydrated. When you think about it how often do you see your cat drink? An average sized cat needs to take about 7-9 ounces (or about half an average bottle of water) of fluids a day. It can be really difficult to monitor the amount they are actually consuming.
If your cat is eating wet food they are already taking about half of what they need from this. If however they are on a dried food diet (like Lola who wouldn’t eat anything else), there is a lot of drinking that needs to happen for your cat to be fully hydrated and we have to face it here, cats are very particular. If they don’t like the way you are presenting their water to them, they just aren’t going to drink it, even if they need it.
In the wild they would find a nice running stream or a puddle with rain water, which explains why they love a running tap. They know that generally running water is probably more healthy than still or stagnant water. A cat fountain helps mimic this and their natural instincts kick in.
Problems your cat could face if it becomes dehydrated.
- Depression – Yep, they really do get depressed.
- Raised heart rate
- Loose skin and lack of blood flow to tissue
- Urinary tract issues
- Dry tacky gums
- Kidney problems
So bearing all of this in mind it really is imperative to find a way that encourages your cat to get the amount of water they need. I looked at a variety of cat fountains and wanted one that would be suitable for even the fussiest of cats. After much deliberation I felt the Cat Mate addressed a range of requirements, which was important for me as a fosterer as the next cat may have totally different needs.
Cat Mate Description and Features
The cat Mate drinking fountain is 21 x 16 x 24 centimeters. It is a self-contained unit and comes in 4 pieces.
- The pump and lead
- The lower reservoir / bowl
- The top bowl and incline
- The filter
It couldn’t be any easier to fit together. Everything just slots into place. Make sure you remember to wash the filter first, fill the bottom reservoir, switch it on and you are good to go.
There are clearly labelled Min and max fill levels to ensure you keep it working correctly and because of the large 2 litre capacity it’s not going to run out during the day. I make sure it is topped up to max every morning and there is no way the cat will drink it down to the minimum in 24 hours.
I am not sure how long the water can be left before it needs changing but I like to wash the unit and put fresh water down every day or every second day if I’m really pushed for time.
The filter keeps the water clean and neutralises any odours and the constant pumping keeps the water oxygenated so it would probably be OK for a bit longer, I just don’t like the idea.
The pump needs disassembling and thoroughly cleaning monthly with a water and vinegar mixture to prevent limescale build up but this is a simple procedure and no hardship.
Who is it suitable for?
Absolutely any cat owner. The design allows for cats who like bowls or flowing water. The Top level is great if your cat doesn’t like drinking at ground level. The incline is for those who love drinking from the tap and running water, the water then flows into the bottom reservoir for the cat who likes their bowl on the floor.
- Really quiet and after the initial bubbling subsides you don’t even notice it running.
- 3 levels so no matter what height your cat prefers it is catered for.
- It’s compact and neat so it will fit snugly into a corner, or if it has to go on your counter it takes up very little room.
- Adjustable flow can be set to suit your cats preferences
- 3 meter power lead means flexibility of placement
- Easy to disassemble and clean, it’s also dishwasher safe
- Its 2 litre capacity means even if you work you can be sure there is enough fresh drinking water for the day.
- 2 watt power consumption so very little electric is used
- You have the assurance that the water your cat is drinking is clean, cool and fresh.
- Filters need replacing monthly ( and more regularly if you have more than 1 cat)
- It’s not suitable for outdoors so if you have an outdoor cat you’re going to have to find another solution.
- The pump (which is the most likely element to fail) only has a 1 year guarantee. Every thing else is covered for 3 years.
And My Verdict Is…….
It was a massive success. Lola went from drinking nowhere near enough to getting the right amount of water instantly. She stopped camping out next to the tap and waiting for me to turn it on for her. I can’t lie she still loved having her own glass which we caved in and gave her, but she didn’t head straight for any glass that was put down anymore as she was no longer constantly thirsty. She obviously enjoyed drinking from the fountain and within a couple of days her toileting problems were solved and her constipation a thing of the past. My mind was at rest and I loved that she was drinking clean fresh water regularly and happily.
It’s super easy to set up and the cleaning is no different to cleaning a bowl.
The cost of £24.99 was well worth it.
The filters work out to be just over £2 a month and the electric is pennies. So at the top end you are looking at £2.50 per month which is a small price to pay to keep your cat healthy.
I have no hesitation in recommending it and am really happy that this is the one I chose.
I would love to hear if you’ve tried a cat fountain and what your thoughts are, or if there are any other models you would recommend to anyone who is considering buying one.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.