Cat drinks water from cat fountain

Cats often struggle with a proper level of hydration. Whether that’s because they have an aversion to stagnant water or just because they’re stubborn, we may never know. What we do know is that cat water fountains appeal to cats and while their interest is piqued, they’ll likely drink more; if for no other reason than just because it’s there. That can result in a healthier cat for a variety of reasons; if she’s struggling with her weight, if she is prone to hairballs or even if she just seems lethargic with dehydration.

If you don’t know where to start in your search, though, let us take some pressure off. We reviewed dozens of cat water fountains to identify the best of the best. We looked at all types of filters, variable speeds of water and gravity water dispensers to find something that will best fit your needs.

Top Pick
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MOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser

If you’re looking for the best cat water fountain there is, check out our top pick, the MOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser.

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$32.99 USD

During our search, the MOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser stood out as the clear winner of our top pick. With its quiet fountain and a 2 liter water capacity, you won’t need to worry about your cat’s water supply for gloriously long periods of time.

The 5 Top-Rated Cat Water Fountains

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Our Top PickMOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser4.7
Our Runner Up PickCat Mate Pet Fountain4.1
Best Budget PickAmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer4.4
Best Gravity Cat Water Fountain PickPetmate Replendish Gravity Waterer4.1
Best Cat Water Fountain With Carbon Filtration PickisYoung Automatic Cat Water Fountain4.4

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: MOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser

The MOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser has all you could want in a cat water fountain. The electric pump is incredibly quiet so you won’t need to worry about the sound irritating your cat (or you!) in the night. It has a large water tank, about 2 liters, so you will probably only need to refill the water once ever 7-10 days. (If much longer than that though, your cat’s likely not getting enough water.)

The fountain operates with a carbon filter and the manufacturer has included two to get you started. It also has 3 water flow settings, with 2 separate spouts to control exactly how fast the water flows and the pump is completely waterproof so you won’t need to worry about that. Nor do you need to worry about the electric bill; it only uses 2 watts of power.

This fountain has an Amazon rating of 4.8 stars and over 250 reviews, so you can be confident that you’re getting a good product. However, it does come with a 1-year warranty should you need to use it.

MOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser Key Features: 

  • 2L water capacity
  • Includes 2 water filters, water pump and 2 spouts
  • 1-year warranty

Our Runner-Up Pick: Cat Mate Pet Fountain

Runner-Up
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Cat Mate Pet Fountain

The Cat Mate Pet Fountain is one that’s sure to leave you impressed.

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$47.95 USD

The Cat Mate Pet Fountain  has over 2 liters (70 ounces) of water storage to be pumped through between refills.  It uses just 2 watts of power, so you won’t notice a difference on your electric bill and the maintenance is a breeze: replace filter monthly, refill water (roughly) weekly, and wash the bowls in the dishwasher. It couldn’t be easier.

The design of this fountain allows your cat the choice of multiple heights from which to drink, and giving your cat more choices is always a plus for your cat. The ramp that the water flows down is a gentle pressure so as to prevent splashing and, combined with the Isolated Pump System, the water flow relatively noise-free.

This fountain has well over 2,500 reviews on Amazon giving it a rating of 4.1 stars so you can buy with reasonable certainty in your satisfaction from the start. But even without the thousands of people who thoroughly approve, it also comes with a 3-year warranty on the fountain and a 1-year guarantee on the pump.

Cat Mate Pet Fountain Key Features: 

  • Includes 10′ power cord, 1 replaceable carbon filter
  • 6.75″ x 10.5″ x 8.75″
  • 3-year guarantee

Best Budget Pick: AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer

Best Budget Pick
Buy Now
AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and waterer

The AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer is a water fountain that will fit all your needs and not break your bank.

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$11.99 USD

The AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer can be customized for whatever pet you plan on providing for; you can order it on its own or in a set with a matching automatic feeder and you can choose between a small or large size. For a cat, small will be more than sufficient; it still holds 1 gallon of water and much more than that and the water reserve will get dirty before your cat can drink it all.

The “fountain” uses gravity to supply a consistent water availability for your cat and is large enough for multiple cats, should you have more than one. (You just may need to refill more frequently.) The dispenser is hand-wash only, but will likely need cleaned far less than you think. The transparent PET composition allows you to see just how much water is left and how often it needs cleaned. You’ll likely want to give it a good rinse every time you refill it, though.

In case you were worried about this purchase, keep in mind that it comes with a 1-year warranty and has an Amazon rating of 4.4 stars from nearly 300 reviews. And even if all of that weren’t true, it’s only $11.99, making it an absolute steal!

AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer Key Features:

  • 1 gallon water capacity
  • 2 size options; can purchase as a set
  • Non-skid rubber feet

Best Gravity Cat Water Fountain Pick: Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer

Best Gravity Cat Water Fountain
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Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer

For a solid investment in a gravity water dispenser (Or fountain), then look no further than the Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer.

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$12.76 USD

The Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer is a spectacular water “fountain” that uses gravity to keep your cat in a steady supply of fresh water. The feature that sets this fountain apart from other gravity water dispensers is the filtration system. Most gravity water dispensers don’t include a filter so the water becomes stagnant and becomes dirty quicker. With a charcoal filter, you can count on sediment and chlorine being removed from your cat’s water, making it a tastier supply and that makes it more likely that your cat will stay well-hydrated.

The bottle is made of PET plastic, which is more environmentally sustainable than the PVC plastic most often used and the Microban base will prevent bacteria, keeping it cleaner longer. That, combined with the fact that you can choose up to a four gallon water tank, you won’t need to worry about maintenance on this fountain much at all.

This water dispenser has an astounding number of reviews, nearly 6,000 and an Amazon rating of 4 stars. And depending on the size you choose, it’s roughly $15; which makes this a great investment for your cat!

Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer Key Features:

  • Includes a water filtration system
  • 4 size options; 3 color choices
  • Made in USA

Best Cat Water Fountain With Carbon Filtration Pick: isYoung Automatic Cat Water Fountain

Best Cat Water Fountain with Carbon Filtration
Buy Now
isYoung Automatic Cat Water Fountain

The isYoung Automatic Cat Water Fountain is an excellent choice for your cat’s carbon filtered water fountain.

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$58.99 USD

The isYoung Automatic Cat Water Fountain  provides your cat with a 360-degree access to a flowing waterfall of refreshment and has a 56-ounce water capacity. You will likely want to add a cup or two of water every couple of days to keep the water level at minimum. (Otherwise, you may burn the pump up if it runs on empty.) A waterproof mat is included to prevent any splashes from your enthusiastic drinker ruining your floors and with two attachment spouts, the water can be adjusted to three different flow settings.

You should replace the carbon-activated filter and the foam filter every 1-2 weeks to maintain freshness and you should note this recommendations is a bit more often than other fountains. That does mean the maintenance is a bit more hands-on and a bit more expensive, but it also means your cat is drinking water that is a lot cleaner. Clean when you see reason to do so and remember that the more cats you have the more you’ll be cleaning it. The cleaning is a relatively easy process; you will need to take it apart and hand wash it, but it comes apart and goes back together in no time.

This fountain is rated on Amazon at 4.4 stars with over 500 reviews. And for under $25, there’s plenty of reason to support your decision to buy this fountain.

isYoung Automatic Cat Water Fountain Key Features: 

  • Includes 1 carbon filter, and waterproof mat
  • 56 oz (1.6L) water capacity
  • 6.3″H x 7.48″W

Who Should Buy a Cat Water Fountain

A cat water fountain is especially beneficial if your cat it reluctant to get as much water as she should. If you’re noticing signs of dehydration (lethargy, panting, dry mouth, loss of appetite, etc.) then you may want to consider a water fountain to interest her in drinking. A water fountain could solve several problems caused by dehydration. The saying “curiosity killed the cat” is one that suggests cats are curious creatures and because of that, a source of constant running water will pique her interest and help create a well-hydrated cat.

Conversely, there doesn’t need to be a problem for a water fountain to benefit your cat. Any cat owner who wants to spoil his cat should invest in a water fountain for her. Or if you want to aide in minimizing hairball or blockage prevention, a water fountain could be an excellent method.

Top Pick
Buy Now
MOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser

If you’re looking for the best cat water fountain there is, check out our top pick, the MOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser.

buy now
$32.99 USD

Important Features to Consider

A cat water fountain should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a water fountain for a cat:

  • Carbon filtration. The carbon in a filter is a pure element. That is to say, the only element within activated carbon is, in fact, carbon. That may lead you to think that the carbon filters are the best kind. Keep in mind, however, that carbon is not an especially porous element. It will not absorb contaminants as easily as charcoal filtration. But it doesn’t have anything but carbon in it from the beginning, so you may just want to weigh what exactly you want in a filter.
  • Charcoal filtration. Activated charcoal contains activated carbon but despite common misconception it is not carbon. They aren’t the same. The two terms are so commonly used interchangeably that you may get confused. (And so many the manufacturer, if we’re being candid.) But charcoal will contain other elements besides just carbon; hydrogen and oxygen, in particular. Charcoal is much more porous and it will more easily absorb pollutants. It will filter more than a carbon filter, but starts out with more than just one element.
  • Gravity “fountains.” Gravity water dispensers are often called gravity fountains, but they do not typically include filters or constant running water. They do, however, have a flow of water that will push water out of the tank above (with gravity; hence the name) into a dish your cat can drink. That will allow them access to water for a long period of time and you will not need to change filters or plug it in. So no worrying about your electric bill but you will need to check for more debris and clean it more frequently. It’s a trade off and you’ll need to decide which will work best for your family.
  • Variable speeds. You may find that your cat is hesitant to approach a water fountain that is pouring too quickly, or she may be attracted even more to that. Having the option to change the speed with which your water is filtered and pushed through the fountain will allow you to accommodate your cat even further. (Because if you’re going to spoil her, why not go all out?)
  • Water capacity. If you want to be able to fill your cat’s water and not think about it again for a long period of time then you’ll want to check out water fountains that have a large capacity. If you get one that is a couple liters or more, then you may very well be able to put off refilling for upwards of 2 weeks. And since the water is most likely being constantly filtered, you won’t need to worry about it getting dirty, making high capacity a low maintenance feature.
  • Materials. You may be tempted towards the gorgeous appearance of a porcelain fountain, but keep in mind those come with a pretty hefty price tag. And while you may love the price of the plastic, keep in mind it won’t last as long. The porcelain and plastic are both more likely to break than a metal, but the metal needs to be stainless steel or it will rust or damage over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cat water fountain and how does it work?

A cat water fountain is a way for your cat to drink water that hasn’t been sitting for long periods of time. It often goes through a filtration system within the fountain and it is pumped through and into a spout of some kind allowing your cat access to it. The fountain will continually run water through it so that your cat has constant access to running water, preventing her from drinking stagnant water. Water moving means it is more likely to remain clean, especially if it is constantly cycling through the filtration system.

Often water dispensers that use gravity to keep a water reserve available to your cat are called fountains, but they aren’t strictly so. They don’t usually have a filtration system nor are they “running” water, but they do use gravity to force water from a large bottle or tank into a dish and as your cat drinks, gravity will refill from the water reserve. It moves some, but it isn’t the same as the fountains that have a water pump.

Do cats like running water?

You may notice that if given the opportunity, your cat will drink from odd places; a water faucet, a hose, or bathtub. Even if they dislike being submerged in water, you may find they come running when you turn on your kitchen sink. For these reasons, the general consensus is that cats do prefer running water. While there is no concrete proof of why, some theories suggest that it’s an evolutionary cause. Stagnant water has more cause for concern, causing more upset stomachs and holding more bacteria and is overall more dangerous in the wild. Therefore, a source of running water was the most preferred among cats’ more wild ancestors and this may be a trait that has carried into domesticated cats, as well.

Is it okay for cats to drink tap water?

It may be okay for your cat to drink from your tap but to know for sure, you’d need to test it. The unfortunate reality is that it’s much safer to always filter the water your cat drinks before she drinks it. That being the case, picking up a fountain that contains a filter seems like a handy way to solve that problem. Most water that comes from a refrigerator door goes through a thorough filter. But even a table top filtered pitcher will remove the harmful ingredients often found in water. Chlorine, lead, arsenic, bacteria and chemicals are all risks for drinking unfiltered tap water and you should consider if you would drink it. If the answer is no, then the answer to whether you should let your cat drink it should be the same.

How do you clean a cat water fountain?

The easiest answer is to read the user’s manual that comes with the fountain. It’s very likely instructions for cleaning that specific fountain are included with your purchase. There may be specifics that vary from product to product, but generally, you will take the fountain apart and hand wash each piece. Filters are usually replaceable and you should replace the filter as is recommended in the instructions (usually between two to four weeks) or when you notice sliminess or debris in your cat’s water.

Other Cat Water Fountains We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
MOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser

If you’re looking for the best cat water fountain there is, check out our top pick, the MOSPro Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser.

buy now
$32.99 USD

We looked at 20 other water fountains for cats. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat water fountain list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing and we’ve grouped them in the following categories for your convenience:

Charcoal Filter Cat Water Fountains

MuMu New Life Large Capacity Cat Drinking Fountain

MuMu New Life Large Capacity Cat Drinking Fountain

Keep your cat’s water supply clean and well stocked with this waterfall style water fountain.

Key Features:

  • Ultra silent submersible pump
  • 2.5L water capacity
  • Ramp waterfall prevent splashing

Cost: $35

PetSafe Drinkwell Avalon Ceramic Dog and Cat Water Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell Avalon Ceramic Dog and Cat Water Fountain 70 oz

This gorgeous ceramic water fountain will compliment a classy decor and satisfy your cat’s thirst with no problems.

Key Features:

  • 2 color choices
  • 70 oz water capacity
  • Dual free-falling water streams

Cost: $60

Pioneer Pet Raindrop Style Drinking Water Fountain

Pioneer Pet Raindrop Style Drinking Water Fountain

This bubbling brook-style water fountain allows your cat to drink her fresh tasting water and you to run it through the dishwasher when necessary.

Key Features:

  • Stainless steel
  • 96 oz water capacity
  • Dishwasher safe

Cost: $68

Carbon Filter Water Fountains

Catit Design Senses Fountain

Catit Design Senses Fountain

This fountain circulates the water so thoroughly it aerates and cools the water making it extra refreshing for your cat.

Key Features:

  • Water-softening filter
  • 100 oz water capacity
  • >4 watts power consumption

Cost: $25

Catit Fountain

Catit Fountain

This fountain has three different flows to please even your pickiest kitties.

Key Features:

  • 3 flow settings
  • 3L water capacity
  • Hand-wash with natural soap

Cost: $30

Dyvee Cat Drinking Fountain

Dyvee Cat Drinking Fountain

This water fountain comes with five replacement filters, giving it a great bonus for purchase.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable speed
  • 2.5 L water capacity
  • 5 carbon filters included

Cost: $35

Happypapa Cat Fountain Flower Fountain

Happypapa Cat Fountain Flower Fountain

This cat water fountain uses even less power than its peers; with only 1.5 watts of electric used monthly, you won’t notice its impact on your finances at all.

Key Features:

  • 1.6L water capacity
  • 5.9′ power cable
  • 20,000 hours lifetime motor

Cost: $23

Lunvon Pet Fountain Water Dispenser

Lunvon Pet Fountain Water Dispenser

This water fountain has a smart flow technology that will prevent the water fountain from operating at all times. You can set it to run 1-10 seconds on and off for 1-10 seconds in a “Fancy” mode.

Key Features:

  • Mute water pump
  • 9.84″W x 4.35″H
  • 3L water capacity

Cost: $40

OWNPETS Pet Drinking Fountain

OWNPETS Pet Drinking Fountain

If your cat likes both flowing water and the still kind, as well, this water fountain will give her both those choices every time she takes a drink with its multiple levels of water.

Key Features:

  • Multiple levels for drinking water
  • Dual waterfall
  • 3L water capacity

Cost: $45

PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Cat Water Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Cat Water Fountain

This circular water fountain will allow you to customize the water spout with five different attachments that make the water flow through anywhere from 1 to 5 streams.

Key Features:

  • Includes 5 interchangeable free falling stream heads
  • 3.8 L water capacity
  • Dishwasher safe

Cost: $30

PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier Dog and Cat Water Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell Multi-Tier Dog and Cat Water Fountain

This is Amazon’s Choice for Pet Water Fountain and with this many features and classical design, it’s no wonder!

Key Features:

  • 100 oz water capacity
  • Low voltage submersible water pump
  • 2 levels of drinking water

Cost: $26

PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Cat Water Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Cat Water Fountain

This water fountain is a sleek and heavy duty ceramic design making it a compliment to your home’s decor.

Key Features:

  • Top shelf dishwasher safe
  • 70 oz water capacity
  • 4 color choices

Cost: $58

PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain

You can buy this water fountain by itself or with 3 standard replacement filters as well, for virtually no increase in price.

Key Features:

  • 168 oz water capacity
  • Transparent water reserve to see when it needs to be cleaned or refilled
  • Free flowing waterfall style

Cost: $40

PetSafe Drinkwell Seascape Ceramic Cat Water Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell Seascape Ceramic Cat Water Fountain

This is Amazon’s Choice for Ceramic Pet Water Fountain and with its ball spout, this fountain exudes serenity.

Key Features:

  • 70 oz water capacity
  • 8″L x 9.25″W x 5″H
  • Top shelf dishwasher safe

Cost: $70

PetSafe Drinkwell Stainless Steel Zen Water Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell Stainless Steel Zen Water Fountain

This waterfall style fountain includes a stainless steel ramp to prevent splashing and minimize water noise.

Key Features:

  • 128 oz water capacity
  • Top shelf dishwasher safe
  • Ultra quiet submersible pump

Cost: $45

Uniclife Pet Water Fountain, Dog Cat Automatic Electric Drinking Bowl with LED Light

Uniclife Pet Water Fountain Dog Cat Automatic Electric Drinking Bowl with LED Light

This cube-designed water fountain for your cat has its water lit up via an LED light so that your cat will be able to get a drink even in the dead of night.

Key Features:

  • LED light for night drinks
  • Made of high quality food-grade BPA free plastic
  • 60 oz water capacity

Cost: $37

YOUTHINK Pet Fountain Ceramic Cat Water Fountain

YOUTHINK Pet Fountain Ceramic Cat Water Fountain

You won’t be able to even tell this fountain is in your home with its ultra-quiet submersible pump.

Key Features:

  • Made of natural ceramic
  • 2.1L water capacity
  • 5.9′ power cord

Cost: $75

Gravity Water Fountains

Old Tjikko Water Dispenser

Old Tjikko Water Dispenser

This cat water “fountain” will keep your cat’s water supply consistent and all you need to do is refill every week or so and clean it when it gets too dirty.

Key Features:

  • BPA food-grade plastic material
  • 1 gallon water capacity
  • 12.2″H x 12.6″D x 9″W

Cost: $20

Petmate Pet Cafe Pet Waterer

Petmate Pet Cafe Waterer

This water “fountain” allows you to move it easily with the convenient cut-outs along the bottom, shaped perfectly to fit your hands.

Key Features:

  • 4 size options
  • 7 color choices
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $15

PetSafe Healthy Pet Water Station

Petsafe Healthy Water Station

This gravity water “fountain” will keep your cat hydrated and your work to accomplish it at a minimum.

Key Features:

  • Bowl is dishwasher safe
  • Reservoir is durable BPA-free plastic; bowl is stainless steel
  • 3 size options

Cost: $20

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