Cat Water Dispensers – How to Choose the Best Drinking Fountain For Your Cat
Water is an essential for cats, as for any living being. It’s important for proper hydration and health. Sufficient water intake helps to flush toxins out of the body and to avoid kidney and bladder problems. The trouble is, cats often don’t drink enough. The trick to choosing the best cat water dispenser is to figure out which one has features that will entice your cat to drink more.
The simplest cat water dispenser is a plain open bowl. This is also the least expensive. A bowl can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. It can be especially made for holding your cat’s water, and may have cat-related designs on it, or it can be any odd container you have around. The only requirement is that it holds water.
One problem with a plain water bowl is that it usually holds only a small amount of water, meaning that you will have to be alert to make sure it doesn’t run out. Your cat may play in the water, filling the bowl with dirt and debris and making a mess on the floor. Standing water also tends to go stale; cats don’t like stale water, and it just may be too boring to encourage drinking.
Another cat water dispenser option is a bowl with a reservoir. Usually made of plastic, it is a bowl with a water container on top. Water from the container flows by gravity to keep the bowl filled as your cat drinks. The advantage is that it will hold much more water than a plain bowl, and you won’t have to fill it as often. However, it is still boring standing water in the bowl, and your cat may not be attracted to drink enough.
Cats prefer moving water because it is fresher. As the water moves, it is aerated so it doesn’t go stale. Petmate and Catit produce cat water dispensers that use small electric pumps to move water from a reservoir, across a surface into a drinking area. The Petmate receives the water in a bowl at floor level, from which it recirculates. The Catit has no bowl; the cat drinks the water as it flows over a dome on top of the dispenser. If your cat ignores the standing water in a plain bowl, an electric water dispenser may encourage it to drink more.
If your cat is one of those who love to drink from a dripping faucet, it may not be enough just to have moving water. Drinkwell offers cat water dispensers which actually produce a falling stream of water. The water stays fresh and aerated, and the gentle trickling sound entices cats to drink. If nothing else has worked to get your cat to drink more water, the falling water stream may be just what you need.
There is another consideration in choosing the right cat water dispenser — the type of material it is made of. Plastic is porous and can be scratched, providing places for bacteria to hide and multiply. It is also suspected that some cats may be allergic to plastics. Pioneer Pet makes water dispensers of ceramic and stainless steel, the materials recommended by veterinarians as the best for cats. These dispensers also have a pump that circulates the water, and they are of an attractive design. If your cat has itching around the mouth and throat, or if it has feline chin acne, the best cat water dispenser for you may be one of these.