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Is a Water Fountain Better Than a Water Bowl For Cats?

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Weighing the Pros and Cons for Optimal Feline Hydration!

Two cats drinking water from a cat water fountain

When it comes to keeping our beloved feline companions well-hydrated, the debate between using a cat water fountain or a traditional water bowl is a common one. Both options have their merits, but which one truly reigns supreme when it comes to meeting a cat's hydration needs? In this in-depth exploration, we'll compare the advantages and disadvantages of cat water fountains and water bowls, helping you make an informed choice that caters to your pet's health, preferences, and lifestyle.

Cat Water Fountain: The Flowing Appeal

Cat water fountains offer several advantages and some disadvantages, making them a popular choice for pet owners seeking to encourage hydration in their cats. Here's a closer look at the pros and cons of using a cat water fountain:


Encourages Hydration:

Flowing water in a cat water fountain captivates cats and encourages them to drink more frequently. This is especially beneficial for cats with a low thirst drive, helping to prevent dehydration.

Freshness and Filtration:

The continuous circulation of water in a cat fountain helps maintain freshness. Many fountains also come with built-in filters, which remove impurities and particles, ensuring that your cat has access to cleaner and better-tasting water.

Entertainment Factor:

Cats are naturally curious and may find the flowing water in a fountain intriguing. Drinking from a fountain can become an engaging activity, offering mental stimulation and alleviating boredom.

Urinary Health:

Adequate water intake, encouraged by a cat water fountain, reduces the risk of urinary tract issues, particularly in male cats. Diluted urine can help prevent the formation of crystals and stones in the urinary tract.



Cat water fountains require regular cleaning and filter replacement, which can be more involved compared to traditional water bowls. Maintaining a fountain is essential to prevent bacterial growth and ensure water quality.


Some cat fountains produce a gentle sound from the flowing water, which might be unsettling for noise-sensitive cats or owners. While many fountains are designed to be quiet, it's essential to choose one that aligns with your cat's and your own preferences.

Despite the maintenance and potential noise, many pet owners find that the benefits of using a cat water fountain, including increased hydration and improved urinary health, far outweigh the disadvantages. It's essential to choose a fountain that suits your cat's needs and preferences and to establish a regular cleaning routine to keep the water fresh and appealing.

Water Bowl: The Classic Choice

Water bowls, while simple and cost-effective, also come with their set of advantages and disadvantages. Here's a closer look at the pros and cons of using a traditional water bowl for your cat:



Water bowls are straightforward and require minimal maintenance. They are easy to use and clean, making them a convenient choice for pet owners.


Traditional water bowls are often more affordable upfront compared to cat water fountains. This can be a budget-friendly option for pet owners.


Cats are accustomed to drinking from bowls. Using a water bowl is a familiar and comfortable choice for many cats, making the transition from one bowl to another smoother.


Stagnant Water:

Water in bowls can become stagnant quickly, especially in warm weather. Stagnant water is unappealing to cats and can lead to decreased water consumption, potentially putting your cat at risk of dehydration.

Hygiene Concerns:

Bacteria and debris can accumulate in water bowls if they are not cleaned and refilled regularly. This can affect water quality and pose health risks for your cat if they consume contaminated water.

While water bowls are a classic choice, they require diligent maintenance to ensure that the water remains clean and appealing to your cat. Regular cleaning and refilling are essential to address the issues of stagnant water and hygiene concerns. Choosing between a water bowl and a cat water fountain often depends on your cat's preferences and your willingness to maintain the water source's cleanliness.

Choosing the Best Option: Factors to Consider

Choosing the best option for providing water to your cat is an important decision that involves several factors. Here are key considerations to help you make an informed choice:

Cat's Drinking Preferences:

Observe your cat's drinking preferences. Some cats are naturally attracted to running water, while others are content with still water. If your cat shows a preference for flowing water, a cat water fountain may be a better choice to encourage hydration.

Health Needs:

Consider your cat's health history and any specific health needs. If your cat has a history of urinary tract issues, a cat water fountain can be a valuable tool in increasing their water intake and preventing such issues. The flowing water may encourage more frequent urination, which can help flush out toxins and reduce the risk of urinary crystals or stones.

Household Dynamics:

If you have multiple cats in your household, consider their dynamics and whether they need simultaneous access to water. Some cats may be more dominant and might monopolize a single water bowl, leaving other cats at a disadvantage. Cat water fountains with multiple spouts can provide multiple cats with a clean and flowing water source simultaneously, reducing the risk of competition and ensuring all cats have access to fresh water.

The decision between a cat water fountain and a water bowl ultimately depends on your cat's unique preferences, your lifestyle, and your commitment to maintenance. Cat water fountains offer flowing water that entices cats to drink more and provides filtration benefits, while water bowls are straightforward and cost-effective. By understanding your cat's behaviors and needs, you can make a well-informed choice that ensures your feline friend stays hydrated and healthy. Whether you opt for the engaging allure of a cat water fountain or the simplicity of a water bowl, prioritizing hydration remains the key to your cat's well-being.

If you are in search of a water fountain for your furry friend, you can take a look at the Pet Zephyr stainless steel water fountain, available on Here are some specifications of the fountain:

Pet Zephyr stainless steel pet water fountain
  • With an ultra-quiet pump, this dispenser operates at a mere 30dB, creating a peaceful environment, especially during nighttime.

  • Crafted from high-quality food-grade 304 stainless steel, this fountain boasts exceptional durability and corrosion resistance, ensuring a long-lasting and safe water solution for your pets.

  • A triple filtration system is designed to provide your pets with pure and clean drinking water.

  • With a generous water capacity of 68oz (2.0L), this pet water fountain has a visual water level indicator, featuring a red buoy.

A button for the Amazon link of the water fountain


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