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The 8 Best Cat Water Fountains – And We Tested Them All

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Medically reviewed by  JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM
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Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

The best cat water fountains provide fresh running water for a week or more, employ smart filtration systems, don’t have a lot of fiddly parts, and are a cinch to clean.

How We Tested:

  • We purchased 8 of the best cat water fountains on the market today
  • We spent a few weeks testing the cat water fountains on several cats
  • We tested several features, including ease of assembly and filtration
  • We did not receive these products in exchange for a favorable review. They were purchased with our own money

After hours of research and hands-on testing, we’ve chosen the Pioneer Pet Raindrop Stainless Steel Pet Drinking Fountain as the overall best cat water fountain you can buy. With helpful indicator lights, dishwasher-safe construction, quiet operation, and a three-level filtration system, the Petkit Eversweet 2 is a smart, efficient fountain.

But it’s not the best option for everyone. We bought and tested eight water fountains and identified where each one’s strengths and weaknesses lie. Whether you’re focused on budget, need a stainless-steel fountain to fight acne, or have both dogs and cats in the home, there’s something here for you.

Top Picks Explained

At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Cat Water Fountains To Buy

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In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Overall Best
Picked by 31 people today!

Pioneer Pet Raindrop Stainless Steel Pet Drinking Fountain

  • Made from easy-to-clean, hygienic stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • If the power goes out, there’s still a bowl to drink out of
$44.99 At Chewy
Best For Multi-Pet Homes
Picked by 18 people today!

Petsafe Drinkwell 360

  • Hygienic stainless steel
  • Includes both a carbon and foam filter
  • Generous water capacity (128 oz)
Best Budget
Picked by 18 people today!

Catit Flower Fountain

  • Large water capacity allows you to refill less often
  • Adjustable flow cap allows you to create varied drinking experiences for your cat
  • Cute, colorful design makes it a fun addition to your home
Best Battery-Operated
Picked by 21 people today!

Petlibro Dockstream

  • Generous 2.5L water tank is detachable for easy refill
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for cord-free function
  • Dual water modes, continuous or motion-activated
Quietest Fountain
Picked by 31 people today!

Petlibro Capsule Automatic Pet Fountain

  • Translucent tank, easy to monitor the water level
  • Built-in noise-insulation tubes reduce operation noise
  • Two drinking modes: bubbles or flowing stream
Honorable Mention
Picked by 31 people today!

Petkit Eversweet 2

  • Features three filters for superior longevity and water freshness
  • Easy to disassemble and clean in the sink or dishwasher
  • Indicator lights tell you when the water is low and when it’s time to change the filter
Most Versatile Fountain
Picked by 25 people today!

NPET Automatic Pet Fountain

  • Choose from three flow modes
  • Generous 101-ounce reservoir
  • Transparent, easy to monitor the water level
Best Multi-Tiered
Picked by 18 people today!

Cat Mate 3-Level Fountain

  • Multiple drinking areas for a varied experience
  • Adjustable water flow
  • Dishwasher-safe

But it’s not the best option for everyone. We bought and tested five water fountains and identified where each one’s strengths and weaknesses lie. Whether you’re focused on budget, need a stainless-steel fountain to fight acne, or have both dogs and cats in the home, there’s something here for you.

Why Buy a Cat Water Fountain?

It can be a struggle to keep cats hydrated—dry diets and a low thirst drive combine to make cats under-hydrated and prone to urinary tract stones and other complications of inadequate water intake. When you add on the fact that many cats view their water bowls as dirty, stagnant puddles, chronic dehydration becomes almost inevitable.

Water fountains are a strong solution to the feline dehydration problem.

They oxygenate the water, making it taste fresher than water in a bowl and encouraging your cat to drink more. Secondly, they make life easier for you. Instead of refilling the bowl once a day, you’ll have to refill your cat’s water fountain only once every week or two.

What a fantastic little machine, right? A water fountain keeps your cat’s water cleaner, encourages him to drink more, and cuts back on the amount of time you spend cleaning and filling a water bowl. But pet water fountains aren’t going to work for every cat.

Signs that your cat might appreciate a pet water fountain include drinking water from the toilet or bathroom faucet and playing with streams of fresh water.

Remember, also, that pet water fountains pack the most punch for cats who eat dry food. Cats on a strictly canned or otherwise high-moisture diet may get all—or almost all—the fresh water they need from their food. But a little extra hydration never hurt anyone!

Here’s How We Chose the Top Eight Cat Water Fountains on the Market

Before testing out our eight recommendations, we spent hours researching cat water fountains, establishing what they do, why you might want one, and what separates bad fountains from good ones. In the end, we found several qualities that are essential to the best cat fountains on the market today.

  • They’re sturdy and long-lasting. Your cat shouldn’t be able to knock over the fountain and spill water on the floor. Nor should the fountain be made from flimsy materials that break after a couple of months. We looked for water fountains that were well-designed, made from robust materials, and could withstand a few bumps without toppling, keeping water level at a solid rate.
  • They’re easy to disassemble for cleaning. You’ll want to wash your cat’s water fountain once every couple of weeks. The best ones make this chore as easy as possible. We looked for fountains that had relatively simple designs, didn’t have a lot of parts that could accumulate dirt, and were easy to break down when it’s time to clean. Ideally, they’re dishwasher-safe so you can pop them into the dishwasher and know you’re getting a complete clean.
  • They’re made from hygienic materials. Stainless steel and ceramic are non-porous and less likely to capture bacteria, making them the cleanest materials for water fountains. Other materials—namely plastic—may collect bacteria, promote chin acne, and might need to be cleaned more frequently.
  • They have a good carbon filter and prefilter. All high-quality water fountains contain a carbon filter, which captures odors and small particles. Most also feature a prefilter, which captures larger debris before it can reach the carbon foam filter and a submersible pump. By protecting the filter and pump, prefilters help extend the life of your water dispenser without the need for replacement filters.
  • They’re quiet and unobtrusive. We looked for water fountains with a reputation for quiet operation and good water supply without a lot of motor noise.

Based on these criteria, we narrowed down our options to eight water fountains that consistently received great customer reviews, were reasonably priced, and had sturdy, reliable designs. We selected the fountains independently with no input from the companies that sell them.

Our top eight water fountains were the Petkit Eversweet 2, Catit Flower Fountain, Petlibro Automatic Pet Fountain, Pioneer Pet Raindrop, Tronssein Battery Operated Cat Water Fountain, PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum, NPET 101-ounce Automatic Pet Fountain, and Cat Mate Fountain.

After the Fountains Arrived, I Subjected Them to a Series of Tests

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

Ease of Assembly

I ran a timer while assembling the water fountains, tracking how long it took to get each one up and running. In addition to tracking the assembly time, I took note of how many parts were involved and the clarity of the assembly instructions.

On average, the water fountains took 2 minutes and 30 seconds to assemble, fill, and start. The Cat Mate had the quickest assembly at 1 minute and 44 seconds, while the PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum took over seven minutes to set up the water flow settings—it took a couple of splashy trips to fill the reservoir and bowl.


After they were assembled, I tested the water fountains’ particle filtration ability, dropping pinches of cat hair into each bowl. After letting them run overnight, I checked to see how much of the hair had been captured in the filters and how much reached the main filter.

The Petkit Eversweeet 2, PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum, and Cat Mate all performed decently in this test, capturing almost all of the hair in the prefilter before it could reach the carbon filter.

Since the Catit Flower cat water dispenser doesn’t have a prefilter, the hair eventually stuck to the carbon filter. Both the Petlibro and the NPET fountains are designed with an enclosed reservoir, so the water flows through the filter after passing through the spout and the water tray. This negates the need for a prefilter but does mean that particles may collect more quickly on the filter.

The Pioneer Pet Raindrop was the outlier in this test. After running all night, the fountain looked the same as it did at the beginning of the test—the hair was still floating in the drinking bowl.

In addition to testing the fountains’ ability to capture hair, I tested their carbon filters by dropping peppermint extract into the clean water and waiting for the filters to neutralize the taste and odor. All of the water fountains performed well in this test, eliminating the mint taste and smell within a few hours.

Maintenance Costs

All of our water fountains cost between $25 and $48, but their maintenance costs varied widely based on the prices of their respective filters.

Our test was limited to a few days, and I wasn’t able to experience filter replacement and operating costs over time, so I did a little research to determine how much it would cost to maintain each water fountain over time.

Most carbon filters need to be replaced once a month, adding up to typical annual costs between $9.33 and $40. The outlier here was the Petlibro Capsule Fountain, which comes with a recommendation for changing the filter every two weeks, though you could probably get away with doing it once a month.

Surprisingly, our most expensive option—the PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum—would likely be the most economical over time.

Yearly replacement costs break down as follows:

  • Petkit Eversweet 2 – $40 in normal mode and $13.59 in smart mode
  • Catit Flower Fountain – $31 to $62
  • Petlibro Fountain – $49.96 to $99.93
  • Pioneer Pet Raindrop Fountain – $26.97 to $53.94
  • PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum – $9.33 to $18.66
  • NPET Automatic Fountain – $12.99 to $19.49
  • Cat Mate Water Fountain – $38.85 to $77.70

How often you need to buy a new carbon filter varies based on the quality of the prefilter. So, a unit with a poorly-designed or nonexistent prefilter may translate to more frequent filter replacement.

Operating Noise

I ran each of the fountains one by one, taking note of their noise output. I listened for a motor hum and any splashing sounds. The sound of the Eversweet 2, NPET, and Cat Mate fountains was almost imperceptible, while the Catit and Pioneer Pet fountains both hummed faintly as they ran. Though still quiet, the PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum was the loudest of the bunch, producing a distinct hum that you could hear from across the room. It was also the only water fountain with noticeable water noise.

Cat Appeal

I enlisted the help of my two cats, Wessie and Forest, to evaluate the appeal of the water fountains. The cats showed some curiosity—Wessie seemed particularly interested in the Petkit Eversweet 2 and gave it a cautious nose-bonk—but neither of them took a sip during the duration of the test. Both of these cats eat a high-moisture diet and seldom drink tap water anyway, so this shouldn’t count against the water fountains.

Ease of Cleaning

Mallory Crusta / Cats.com

After running them for a couple of days, I broke down each of the water fountains and, if possible, put them into the dishwasher. I took note of how easy it was to take apart each fountain and how well each one fit into the dishwasher. If there were any parts that weren’t dishwasher-safe, I took note of how easy it was to handle and clean them by hand.

Best Cat Water Fountains: Our Top 8 Picks Reviewed

Now that we’ve gone over the testing process, let’s discuss the merits of each water fountain individually.

#1 Overall Best: Pioneer Pet Raindrop Stainless Steel Pet Drinking Fountain

When hygiene is a priority, stainless steel water fountains like this one are your best option. Compared to plastic, stainless steel is less likely to collect bacteria and other contaminants. When it gets scummy, the fountain is a cinch to disassemble and safe to pop into the dishwasher, making cleaning almost completely effortless for cat owners.

Compared to the white or gray plastic of the other fountains on this list, the Pioneer Pet Raindrop tends to show dirt more easily. After just hours of use, I noticed smudges and smears on the high-gloss surface.

This elegant, low-slung water fountain has two drinking areas—a freshly-aerated pool and a bubbling river. It’s one of the smallest fountains on the list, carrying 60 ounces of water. This is plenty enough for one cat, but if you’d like a larger fountain, consider Pioneer Pet’s 96-ounce raindrop fountain.

Of the fountains on this list, the Pioneer Pet Raindrop is one of the most streamlined and easiest to assemble. The carbon filter and pump are built into a single compact unit that sits on the floor of the fountain. Suction cups hold the unit to the bottom and help to ensure that the pump lines up with the top of the fountain.

The Pioneer Raindrop fountain is a no-fuss, no-frills option. But what it lacks in style it makes up for in hygiene and ease of use. It’s the kind of water fountain you can clean quickly, and it stays cleaner longer than other fountains because it’s made from hygienic materials.

What We Liked:

  • Features a carbon filter to keep the water tasting and smelling fresh
  • Made from easy to clean, hygienic stainless steel
  • Elegant ceramic design

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Lacks adjustable flow control
  • Shows dirt quickly
  • Does not have an isolated pump system

#2 Best for Multi-Pet Homes: PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Cat & Dog Water Fountain

For multi-pet households, the Petsafe Drinkwell 360 is hard to beat. This fountain has a huge capacity of 128 oz and provides 360° access for multiple cats or even small dogs. Additionally, it has several water spouts, which means more than one pet can drink at a time. Although it takes up a lot of floor space (14.3 X 14.3 X 9.3 inches), I’d say it’s a fair tradeoff considering the number of pets it can cater to.

The fountain comes with five interchangeable spouts, which offer different flow options. You can adjust the strength of the flow by turning them.

We have to admit this was the hardest fountain to assemble, and the cord clips holding the center cone in place were tricky to remove. It was also one of the loudest fountains, mainly because the water travels the longest distance from the spout to the bowl below.

What We Liked:

  • Hygienic stainless steel
  • Includes both a carbon and foam filter
  • Generous water capacity (128 oz)
  • Interchangeable spouts for different flow options

What We Didn’t Like:

  • More challenging to assemble
  • Pricier option

#3 Best Budget: Catit Flower Fountain

The fountain’s easy assembly, whimsical design, and low price have made the Catit Flower Fountain a perennial favorite among cat guardians.

The water fountain has a generous 100-ounce water capacity and is easy to assemble. After you fill the bottom bucket with water, insert the filter disk and waterfall attachments, then start it up. Depending on how you adjust the center flower, the fountain can create free-falling streams, gentle bubbles, or calm streams.

Though it’s not noiseless, the Catit Flower Fountain is a quiet unit. The motor produces a faint, almost imperceptible hum.

By virtue of its plastic construction, the fountain isn’t as hygienic as a ceramic or stainless steel unit. Though it’s easy to disassemble and easy to clean by hand, Catit doesn’t say the fountain is dishwasher-safe. Many customers, however, say they’ve successfully cleaned it in a dishwasher.

According to some customer reviews, the filter has a tendency to get dirty fast. The carbon filter is seated right under the waterfall top, exposing it to any debris and hair that drops in. With no prefilter to catch large particles, everything goes straight to the activated carbon filter.

During our hair test, the Catit fountain was the only one to catch hair on the carbon filter. Though it’s the cheapest fountain on the list, its exposed carbon filter needs to be replaced frequently, adding up to at least $30 in annual filter replacements.

The water fountain isn’t the sturdiest on the market, so it’s not the best option for particularly rowdy homes. The top of the fountain sits on top of the water reservoir without anything holding it in place. This means that if you have dogs or active cats, they can easily topple the fountain or knock off the top in the heat of playtime.

What We Liked:

  • Large water capacity allows you to refill less often
  • Adjustable flow cap allows you to create varied drinking experiences for your cat
  • Cute, colorful design makes it a fun addition to your home
  • At just over $26, this fountain is a good value for the money
  • Popular and well-loved by cat guardians

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not the sturdiest water fountain on the market
  • Doesn’t have the most robust filtration system
  • Made from plastic, not stainless steel or ceramic

#4 Best Battery-Operated: Petlibro Dockstream Battery-Operated Water Fountain

Cat water fountains are an excellent tool for boosting your cat’s hydration, but they don’t always fit where you want them to. Most cat water fountains use a power cord, which means you’ll have to find a spare outlet in a location your cat tends to frequent.

The Petlibro Dockstream cat water fountain is a more convenient alternative. Because it’s battery-operated, there are no wires to trip on. Simply charge the 5,000mAh lithium-ion battery and enjoy up to 30 days of continuous power. The unit is equipped with a high-level waterproof charging port that ensures consistent and long-lasting performance.

This fountain offers a generous 2.5L (84-ounce) capacity with a detachable water tank for easy cleaning and refilling. It features a vertical filtration system that draws water from the bottom of the tank through a wireless water pump and dispenses it into the stainless-steel water tray. The water then passes through a 4-layer filter to remove pet hair, heavy metals, odors, and other contaminants before returning to the reservoir.

The Dockstream from Petlibro has several helpful features that make operation and maintenance easy. Intelligent indicators on the base of the unit tell you when water or battery levels are low, and the Foreign Object Detection (FOD) system automatically shuts off the power when a metal object (like a collar) touches the charging base.

With this water fountain you can choose from two water modes. Continuous flow mode creates a 24/7 flow of fresh water while radar induction mode activates the flow only when your cat is detected within 80cm (31.5 inches). In radar induction mode, flow is activated for 20 seconds every hour as well.

While the Petlibro Dockstream fountain is full of convenient features and designed with both cats and cat owners in mind, you pay for it. The fountain is pricier than other options at $70. It’s also a new release, so there are very few reviews available online. That being said, the majority of the customer reviews available so far are positive.

What We Liked:

  • Generous 2.5L water tank is detachable for easy refill
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for cord-free function
  • Dual water modes, continuous or motion-activated
  • Stainless steel water tray is more hygienic than plastic
  • Vertical filtration system with 4-layer filter
  • Intelligent sensors indicate low battery and water level

What We Didn’t Like:

  • More expensive than other options
  • Very new, limited customer reviews online

#5 Quietest Fountain: Petlibro Capsule Automatic Pet Fountain

While many cats enjoy drinking fresh water, the sound of a pet fountain can be alarming. The Petlibro Capsule Automatic Pet Water Fountain is one of the quietest models we’ve tested. In fact, the Petlibro features a special patented valve that quiets the fountain’s noise right at the start. It also integrates noise-insulated tubing for added noise dampening.

In addition to running silently, the Petlibro offers strong filtration to keep the water smelling and tasting fresh. With the fountain’s stacking design, water flows through the filter after being pumped into the drinking basin, so pet hair and other debris get trapped in the filter tray before being cycled back through the reservoir.

In terms of setup and maintenance, the Petlibro is very easy to set up. Its unique design makes it easy to refill without having to completely disassemble it. You simply remove the filter and water trays, then carry the unit to the sink to refill.

The biggest downside with the Petlibro is the cost of maintenance. Petlibro recommends replacing the filter every two weeks, though you may be able to make it last for three or four weeks in a single-cat household. You can purchase replacement filters in a 4-pack for about $16, which puts your annual maintenance costs near $100 if you follow through with two-week replacements.

Though the Petlibro is one of the more expensive options we’ve reviewed, we love how easy it is to set up and maintain. The transparent tank makes it easy to monitor the water level and we appreciate its quiet performance as well.

What We Liked:

  • Translucent tank, easy to monitor the water level
  • Built-in noise-insulation tubes reduce operation noise
  • Two drinking modes: bubbles or flowing stream
  • Easy to clean, rounded corners don’t accumulate bacteria

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Replacing filters every two weeks can be expensive
  • May not be ideally sized for multi-pet households

#6 Honorable Mention: Petkit Eversweet 2

The Petkit Eversweet 2 is more expensive than most small water fountains, but its smart features aim to make it a cost-efficient long-term investment. When in Smart Mode, the unit uses a light sensor to determine whether it’s day or night. When the Eversweet decides that it’s nighttime, it reduces the water frequency. By slowing down during low-demand times of day, the Petkit Eversweet 2 manages to cut back on energy consumption, pump wear, and filter usage.

In conjunction with the Petkit Eversweet 2’s three-level filtration system, this energy management system allows the filters to last longer than those in most water fountains. If used in Smart Mode, you’ll have to replace the carbon filter once every three months. Most water fountains recommend filter replacement once every two to four weeks.

This boxy 68-ounce water fountain packs a lot of features into a small body. Provided that you don’t have several cats or dogs guzzling water, it should be large enough to keep your fur family hydrated for a week or more between refills.

With indicator lights letting you know when the water is low and when it’s time to change the filter, this is a helpful little device that makes water fountain management easy. When it’s time to wash the Petkit Eversweet 2, it’s easy to pull apart the nested components and pop the plastic parts into the dishwasher.

What We Liked:

  • Features three filters for superior longevity and water freshness
  • Easy to disassemble and clean in the sink or dishwasher
  • Indicator lights tell you when the water is low and when it’s time to change the filter
  • The attractive, boxy design fits into a modern decor scheme
  • Large capacity reservoir

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t have any adjustable flow control or varied flow functionality
  • Small capacity may not be enough for every home

#7 Most Versatile Fountain: NPET Automatic Pet Fountain

This automatic pet fountain from NPET is remarkably similar to the Petkit Eversweet 2 in form and the Petlibro Capsule fountain in function. It features a square shape with a 101-ounce reservoir, and all the parts are stacked together into a compact unit.

The NPET fountain is made from transparent, BPA-free plastic. Because it is clear, you can easily monitor the water level and check the water quality as well. This is a fairly low-tech option that doesn’t come with any indicator lights, but you don’t really need them.

Although this pet fountain is fairly simple in design, it does offer one unique feature which sets it apart from the others on this list – it comes with three flow modes. Choose from a standard waterfall, a bubbling fountain, or a three-way leaf design that produces separate streams. With all of these options, you can customize the NPET fountain according to your cat’s preferences.

In terms of setup and maintenance, the NPET fountain took a little longer to put together, but only because the pictures in the manual were very small and a little difficult to decipher. The unit was up and running in a little over three minutes and, once it was, it was incredibly easy to refill – you just pop the top piece off and refill it in the sink.

One thing worth mentioning about this fountain is the filter. It is made from ion exchange resin and activated carbon. The carbon filter is paired with high-density cotton, which performs the function of a pre-filter. Like the Petlibro, the NPET filters water after it passes through the drinking bowl.

Overall, the NPET fountain is a versatile, moderately-sized option that works reliably and is very easy to clean. Plus, you need to replace the filters only every two months and they are fairly inexpensive.

What We Liked:

  • Choose from three flow modes
  • Generous 101-ounce reservoir
  • Transparent, easy to monitor the water level
  • Simple to disassemble and easy to clean
  • Carbon filtration system, lasts for two months

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May not be ideal for multi-pet homes
  • Plastic materials aren’t as durable or hygienic as stainless steel

#8 Best Multi-Tiered: Cat Mate Pet Fountain

This ultra-quiet water fountain is one of the most affordable choices on this list and an all-around good option for budget pet owners. It’s the only water fountain on this list with a three-year warranty, giving you peace of mind in case something goes wrong years down the road.

It’s made from BPA-free plastic but doesn’t have the robust feel of the Eversweet 2 or the Catit Flower Fountain. Instead, the plastic is lightweight and slightly flexible.

It has a compact square design with several different levels and drinking stations. Water cascades down from the top bowl into a second level, then tumbles down a ramp into the bottom basin. The ramp reduces splashing and reduces water noise. Speaking of noise, this is one of the quietest water fountains we’ve tried. The motor produces a faint, almost imperceptible, hum, while the water makes barely a sound.

The Cat Mate fountain has a carbon filter to minimize odors, plus a prefilter that captures larger debris. In our hair test, the Cat Mate’s prefilter worked extremely well, collecting the cat hair before it could reach the carbon filter and pump inside.

Of the water fountains on this list, the Cat Mate is the easiest to assemble and break down. In our tests, it took just 1 minute and 30 seconds to get the Cat Mate set up and running. With just two plastic parts and almost effortless disassembly, this water fountain is a breeze to break down and wash. It’s dishwasher-safe and its moderately-sized square pieces fit easily in the dishwasher.

With a 70-ounce water capacity, this fountain is on the smaller side, but it’s large enough to satisfy the needs of most cat-only households.

What We Liked:

  • Carbon filter eliminates odors and bad tastes
  • Adjustable water flow
  • Multiple drinking areas for a varied experience
  • Extremely easy to set up, disassemble, and clean
  • Safe to clean in the dishwasher
  • Has a longer warranty than the other products on this list

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May not have a large enough water capacity for every home

Relevant Content:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cat water fountains worth it?

We think so! If your cat is willing to use one, a water fountain can encourage hydration while keeping water cleaner than a standard water bowl.

Do cat water fountains keep water fresh?

Yes—though, some do a better job than others. You’ll have greater success with filtration systems that include both a foam filter around the pump (to catch hair and debris) and a carbon filter (to keep water tasting and smelling fresh).

How often should you change the water in pet water fountains?

This will vary depending on the number of cats using it, but generally, most fountains need a water change at least once a week.

Where is the best place to put a cat water fountain?

The best place will be where your cat normally drinks. Ideally, this will be away from food bowls and litter boxes to prevent contamination. Choose a spot that’s easily accessible to your cat and away from high-traffic areas.

About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

57 thoughts on “The 8 Best Cat Water Fountains – And We Tested Them All”

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  1. Jessica Herring

    I’ve had the stainless steel teardrop fountain for almost 5 years now and I love it! It has held up very well in a three cat household. The filters are inexpensive and it’s easy to disassemble/reassemble for cleaning.

    As long as I don’t let the water level get too low, it’s very quiet. It’s aesthetically pleasing and I don’t mind having it semi-prominently displayed in my kitchen. However, I have noticed that hard water stains have begun to collect on it.

    I recently ordered the black ceramic version of the same fountain for my bedroom. The ceramic material means that the sound of the water trickling is amplified. It’s much louder than the stainless steel counterpart. Other than that, no complaints whatsoever!

    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for your comment! It’s great to hear a review from someone who’s used the Raindrop for so long. Your observations on the noisiness of the ceramic fountain are also interesting—that’s good to know!

      Thanks again for adding to the review,


  2. Ellie

    I love this article. It’s a wealth of information I desperately needed after my cat started having food issues which compounded his not drinking. I’m still on the cusp of choosing a fountain. I wondered if you could take a look at this water fountain mylovelyfeline.com/collections/feline-care/products/the-magic-feline-fountain and maybe do a review? It’s going around on facebook and looks like a great option, but I’d love to hear the All About Cats take. Thanks so much!

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Ellie, that fountain looks like it could be a good choice! I like that it has a 5-stage filtration system and appears to be easy to clean. We’ll consider doing a complete review on it in the future, but for now, I’d say that it looks like it’s worth a try. Hope this helps!

  3. sophie Flensburg

    Thanks Mallory – great review transparant and well written 🙂 I am looking for a fountain for my 16 year-old cat with kidney problems, after reading your review I think I´ll go with Petkit. This since it´s the best , but I also think you have to consider the cost in the long run. If you buy a cheap one it will cost you more in the end since the filters cost so much. I really appreciate that you took the time to look into this!

    All the best Sophie from Sweden

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Sophie, thank you for your comment! I hope that the Petkit water fountain works for you. Since this article was last updated, Petkit has also released a newer model with a stainless steel top, which should reduce your cleaning time and make the fountain more hygienic for your kitty. Here’s a link to their product page: https://prf.hn/l/8xovx8w

    2. Vivian

      Hi Mallory,

      My family and I are on the cusp of bringing home 2 rescued kittens that are approximately 6 months old and will experience cat ownership for the first time. We are looking forward to establishing love filled, respect saturated relationships with these cats. There is a plethora of information out there and we have been watching as many videos (allaboutcats and Jackson Galaxy on Youtube) and reading as many articles to seek out advice and find the most ideal products to ensure the present and future safety, comfort and contentment of the cats. Any advice would be much appreciated.

      One specific question – have you seen the Petkit Eversweet 3 in person or evaluated it more thoroughly? Would you opt for the Eversweet 3 over the Eversweet 2?

      Thanks so much,

    3. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Vivian, thank you for the comment! While I’ve not tried the Petkit Eversweet 3, I believe that were we to update the review, I would replace the 2 with the newer model. The Eversweet 3 has a stainless steel bowl, which makes it significantly more hygienic and lower-maintenance than the all-plastic Eversweet 2. It does have a smaller capacity than the older Eversweet, but I believe that the updated pump and stainless steel construction should make up for that difference. Hope this helps!

    4. Bill

      HI Mallory, I purchased the Petkit Eversweet3 late October 2020. It has since had the pump fail. I have not had any luck with Petkit responding to customer service requests to purchase a pump and also noted that many recent reviews on Amazon for this product are showing the same problem. Many have the unit run for 3-4 months and then the pump fails and no customer service and no parts available. I plan to steer clear of Petkit as a company based on this, which is sad. My cat and I both really liked the Eversweet3 and now I have to go find something else that will work and not cause more work than it saves.

    5. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Thanks for letting us know, Bill. I’ll keep this in mind if we do an updated review and when talking with others about the Petkit Eversweet 3.

  4. K

    Thanks for research results. Have had experience with Drinkwell (brief – noisy) and Cat Mate. Found Cat Mate pleasantly quiet, well accepted in multi cat household. It is somewhat easy to clean but but there are many crevices where bacteria can grow. Recently material composition has become a concern. I scrub by hand and rinse with hydrogen peroxide / rinse. One of two units appears white and clean but turns yellowish after a few days. That is why I think it is time to change to ceramic or metal. I think Cat Mate filter cost exceeds their efficacy. As far as design, the way the motor is held in place is favorable to quiet operation. However, I expect the material cost could be tweaked by eliminating corners and pockets to enable thorough cleaning.

  5. Deborah Vernon

    The Catit flower fountain was purrfect, or so I thought, except it made a lot of noise. I was concerned about needing to refill the water so frequently for a 3 cat family. Then I realized way too late that it was leaking. The water got in under the floorboard and it’s now discolored. I live in an apartment so I don’t know if it rotted the wood behind it. Since the cat elevated food bowls were on a mat next to it, the water attracted something alive, little black, tiny rice sized awuirmy things and black eggs I guess, that looked like a poppy seed. I moved everything and threw the Catit fountain away. Cleaned thoroughly. I monitor the area still for critters and clean thoroughly. Don’t buy it.

    1. Ann T.

      I’ve had the Catit fountain in the past and although it’s really cute, I didn’t keep it very long. The one I purchased was noisy and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t correct that problem. I’ve stuck with the stainless steel fountains for hygienic reasons and all my cats drink from the fountains. I have both the Pioneer Pet Raindrop design and a larger Pioneer stainless fountain. As long as you properly clean the motor (removing the parts that can be removed and cleaning them) the motor should last a long time. The stainless steel will show hardwater stains and the water sometimes looks scummy, so I unplug it and dump the water and refill. I have found the best thing to remove the hardwater stains is an SOS Brillo cleaning pad. I use that to remove any hardwater stain, then I wash with dish soap and rinse thoroughly before refilling. I don’t have a dishwasher, so ease of cleaning parts is important to me. I’ve had other plastic fountains that were difficult to clean because of all the parts and the shapes of the parts.

      I’ve also tried ceramic fountains, but I didn’t like all the little pieces I had to clean. And they’re heavier…something to keep in mind, especially if hand strength is a concern.

  6. Monique Chalker

    Did you agree to have your likeness used for The Pet Family Water Fountain ad on Instagram? My husband and I had the ad recommended to us but we didn’t see that fountain on this list and in the ad, your face was there, your words from the 15:08 mark of this video about the PetKit EverSweet 2 fountain, but they didn’t show you and their fountain in the same frame and they captioned your words but the name associated with it was “Kate.” Their Instagram handle is thepet_family__ but I couldn’t find you on Instagram so I couldn’t tag you. Plus, their comments are turned off so, that makes it extra sus. I will report them if you like.

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Monique, thank you so much for mentioning this. We did not agree to have this done and this does sound like an unethical use of our video. I’ll look into it. I greatly appreciate you reaching out and letting us know about this.

  7. Chris

    This review is very helpful! I’m leaning towards the petkit eversweet, but I saw there’s a 3.0 version that’s made from stainelss steel, do you have any experience with it?

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      As you mentioned, the Eversweet 3 is a new model worth considering. Overall, I think the stainless steel bowl justifies the added cost in terms of reduced cleaning frequency and a lower risk of exacerbating feline acne. It appears that the fountain may use a different type of pump (referenced as the 2.0 pump in the description), so the lack of a foam filter could be related to this change. It wasn’t available when we first released the review, but if I were to update our review, I’d include the newest model instead of the Eversweet 2.

  8. Barbara Eisman

    I just ordered this from Amazon and it arrived two hours later. I was wondering if this fountain was among those you tested and why it was not included in your final five. I was put off by the negative reviews of the Pioneer Raindrop. It is the ORSDA cat water fountain stainless steel 67 oz pet Fountain Dog Water Dispenser, Ultra-Quiet Automatic Cat Drinking Fountains with 6 Replacement Filters & 1 Silicone Mat for Cats, Small Dogs. It was easy to set up although the pictures in the instructions were very small and difficult to read. Very quiet, although my cat, Nino, woke up for a deep sleep in his cat tree to come down and try it out.
    Annandale, VA (Suburban Washington DC)

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi there, Barbara. I know that the ORSDA fountain is a very popular and well-rated fountain, and I’ve tried a similar model with my own cats. Overall, I believe it’s a good choice, and we’ll consider it for a future update of this article.


    To join the great group of cat folks a head of me: THANK YOU for this outstanding review and article!

    I have been researching and trying so many fountains for my 4 cats (3 foster-failures and 1 independent outdoor rescue). They each have unique needs, with one being prone to Cat-acne and one being extremely insistent on very fresh water.

    We started with the Flower fountain. It was a fast-fail since it was plastic and was quick to cause breakouts and couldn’t stay clean enough. Tried another plastic one. My mistake. We now have a very large ceramic fountain that works very well, but is too large for me to handle for cleaning.

    Your review is the only one that even mentioned about the plastic issue. Thank you again!! Now I am off to shop with a well educated list!

  10. Marilee, Aurbree and Goolyamo

    I have been using the Miaustore Ceramic water fountain for nearly a year now. It is completely ceramic, NO FILTER and has a
    TEN YEAR warranty on the water pump. You did not evaluate this product, maybe it was obscure in your research, but I and my Kitties have been fans of it.

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi there! Thanks for mentioning the Miaustore fountain and your experience with it. We’ll consider it for a future update of this review.

  11. Hannah Burleson

    Hello Mallory! I really enjoyed your article! I was using the Catit flower fountain, and completely agree with your review! It worked well but after a couple months of use, the motors began to spit out what we assumed was anti-leak material. Do you recommend any water fountains that don’t have motors submerged in the water (if thats even possible?!) ? We don’t want our cat to accidentally drink anything toxic or potentially get shocked!

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Hannah, thanks for sharing your experience with the Catit Flower Fountain. As disappointing as it must have been for you, it’s good to hear about your longer-term experience with this product, and I’m glad you’re sharing with all of us. As for the issue with the motor being submerged, that’s a good question. From Pumps and Systems: “Submersible motors are not like other induction motors. They are specifically designed to safely operate in and under water. Their rugged construction, secure sealing and protective safety monitoring provide long life and safe operation with pump equipment.” Of course, I suppose it would be possible to use an external motor with some kind of long pipe that runs into the water reservoir, but I’ve not found any products that use this model, nor does it seem necessary given the safety of submersible motors. I hope this clears things up a bit. – Mallory

  12. Janet

    Hi, I think your link to the Petkit Eversweet 2 needs to be updated. The current one links to a random seller on Amazon for over $100 and it’s $33 from the Petkit Amazon seller. The company also has a new slightly smaller fountain, the Petkit Eversweet Solo that’s $20. The filter system and pump seem to be the same, so I’m wondering if you know the difference besides appearance. Thanks!

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Janet, apologies for the late reply, and thank you for commenting. I’ve switched out the links so they now direct users to the $33 listing from Petkit. As for the Petkit Eversweet Solo, the biggest difference besides size is that the Solo doesn’t have a night mode, so the water will always work in 3-minute intervals every 5 minutes, while the Petkit Eversweet 2 will automatically reduce its recirculation periods to 3 minutes every hour. Additionally, the Solo is a little bit quieter than the Eversweet 2, producing about 30 db in contrast to the Eversweet 2’s operating noise of 40 db. You can learn more about the differences between various Petkit water fountain models here: https://petkit.id/EVERSWEET-SOLO.pdf

  13. Debbie Vernon

    Hi Mallory, I love your reviews. I purchased the Petlibro capsule water fountain. I agree that it is high on maintenance costs, but with your promo code and the bundle that includes replacement filters, it does make it affordable. After using it for 3 months, with 3 cats, I will say that my cats really have taken to this fountain as compared to the 3 other fountains I have tried. Initially, I had to contact customer support as the instruction book is not very clear on cleaning. I thought the parts were dishwasher safe based in several videos I had watched and reviewed. There is no indication that this product is not dishwasher safe in the product manual. However, the manufacturer said it was not, and that doing so would cause breakdown of the materials. I also found that the top of the fountain, where the water comes out, along with the top white layer, is prone to gather a sticky film likely from saliva build up from too many cats using the one capsule. This film is very hard to remove, involving soaking, a toothbrush, and scrubbing, adding much time to cleaning. Again, this may be due to too many cats using 1 fountain. The manufacturer said that the capsule was not intended for multi-cat use and suggested their larger stainless steel model. I will also will mention that as my cats lap the water from the fountain, there is a lot of water that splashes out on the opposite side of the fountain. This means that wherever you put this fountain, there will be backsplash. I have not found a solution to this. I have the fountain on my kitchen counter and the water will splash onto the top of the eating surface! I purchased the Petlibro capsule for my neighbor, who has 1 cat and liked to drink out of the tub, etc. She has not had problems with backsplash ( her capsule is on the floor on a cat mat), he has stopped wanting to drink out of the tub, and he enjoys the fountain very much. Since she travels, it is very helpful. And I don’t have to top off the water as often as I do ( every day). A final caution: because of the petite size and composition of the fountain, be wary of the risk of cat acne on the chin and pimple formation on the bridge of the nose. My one cat developed this since using the Petlibro and it is a very painful and hard conjoin to treat. I’m not saying that this product caused this condition. However, keep in mind that stainless steel is preferable, along with ceramic and other feeding/drinking bowl products not made of plastic, as plastic is a known irritant linked to cat acne and pimples. Conclusion: there are pros and cons to every fountain. This is based on my experience. Unfortunately, because if the cat acne and pimples in my one cat, and my multi-cat household, I will be shopping for a stainless steel water fountain.

    I saw one on Jackson Galaxy’s website. Wish I could post the link, but it’s stainless steel with several holes in the fountain top with a good stream. I haven’t seen any reviews in this and I don’t believe it’s his brand. But it allows for all my cats to drink at the same time.
    I welcome any recommendations. Thanks.

  14. Lara

    Hello! These reviews are super helpful. I’m inclined to go with the PetKit Eversweet, but Catit also makes a Pixi fountain that is super cute and has some of the same features – quiet, automatic shutoff – and one model has a steel bowl option. I’d be very interested to know if there any reason that the Pixi was excluded, that would make the Eversweet a better choice? In any case, thanks very much!

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Lara! Apologies for the late reply. I haven’t done any in-depth research or testing on the Catit Pixi fountain, but from what I understand, the Pixi looks good! We’ll consider it for the next update of this article. The variety of features and performance look comparable to that of the Petkit Eversweet 2 and 3, but there do seem to be some concerns around the function of the app and the longevity of the backlight for the nose. Other than that, the whole unit looks great. It’s expensive, though. At $114+, they’re charging a fair bit more money for the luxury of a stainless steel bowl. For instance, Petkit offers a fountain with a stainless steel bowl and app control for $69.99.

    2. Lara

      Good to know about PetKit offering the steel bowl, thanks! And yes, the smart version of the Pixi fountain is extremely expensive – I was only looking at the non-smart Pixi versions that come in a few nice colors and one white non-smart version that comes with a stainless steel bowl. The auto-shutoff and quietness are appealing, just like for the PetKit. Thanks again!

  15. Stephanie Barnard

    This is my favorite cat fountain thirstycatfountains.com. I know they are a little pricey, but they are beautiful and you won’t mind putting them anywhere there is an outlet. Ceramic, made in the USA. Each one is unique. I have two of them. They are very easy to clean and all 4 of my cats use them daily. The water is horrible in my town, so I always use “Zero Water” filtered water. I’ve had both for over 10 years. I have a cat who likes to push her water bowl across the floor to watch the water slosh out. These are so heavy, she can’t move them at all. She is the reason I bought the first one.

  16. Karen Cress

    My main issue with kitty water fountains in general has nothing to do with the fountain itself, but with the PUMP! I’m not sure it you’re aware, but scummy muck quickly builds up inside the water pump over time and serves as a constant source of recurring foulness. I’ve realized that every time you wash and clean the fountain, you MUST disassemble and clean the pump as well. Every model of pump has LOTS of tiny parts and crevices that are EXTREMELY difficult to clean, so I found myself buying new pumps every few months. Not at all cost efficient. So I’ve just stopped using water fountains altogether. Much easier and less expensive to wash a simple water bowl every day. No more water fountains for us!

  17. Greg

    Hello, I love this review and appreciate the resource very much! One thing I do wish was included in the reviews are a bit more about the filter cartridges. I’ve noticed quite a few pet fountains have filter cartridges with plastic parts. I am not a fan of disposable plastic so one of my most essential criteria for a fountain is that the filters have zero plastic pieces and are simple filter media whatever it may be. I know the Npet Catit and drinkwell have no plastic in the filter cartridges but it would be nice to know more about all of them incase I’m missing anything.

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      This is an interesting detail to consider. All of them build the filters into either the pump housing or some other part of the fountain, not in a disposable plastic housing. The closest is the Petkit, which does place the prefilter in an extra plastic housing, but you don’t need to buy replacements and can use the same one for the life of the fountain.

    2. Greg

      Thank you for the response Mallory! That is really good to know as most it’s very difficult to tell from the photos whether the filters are made with disposable plastic. Everywhere I’ve looked even in stores it appears the Pioneer Pet stainless has plastic built into the filters so I’ve avoided it but really love the stainless design. One thing I noticed as well is another review site I read mentions access to water in case of loss of power. That’s definitely a helpful bit of information living in stormy Florida though it’s quite easy to determine based on design at least for me. Thank you again I really appreciate the reviews!

  18. Krista Jonas

    I just wanted to let you know you should review the aquapurr. I have been using it with my cats for 3 years and it is the best and they love it. You don’t have to clean it or worry about them getting enough water. And the guy who makes them is really great to work with if you have any problems. aquapurr.com It is on amazon as well.

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Thanks, Krista. That’s a good idea—I’ve met the guy who makes the Aquapurr before and have considered covering this product before. We’ll think about featuring it in a future update!

  19. Trinette

    I am loving this website. Especially the food information! (Years ago I used to make raw rabbit recipe for an IBD cat.)

    To the fountains: I have owned the Pioneer Pet (white porcelain model) for many years, and the Cat-It fountain (which was under $20 at the time). What I dislike about cat fountains is cleaning and especially changing the filters and disassembling/cleaning the motors, etc.). I got close to pulling the trigger on the cordless Petlibro Dockstream, until I read in PetLibro’s information that the filter needed to be changed every two weeks.

    The Cat-It recommends that you dump the water and clean it twice weekly fyi. I don’t typically do this, but top up the water over two-three weeks before changing. I’m never sure if I am changing the filter frequently enough, but the cats drink from it and no one has died (or gotten ill) so what I’m doing must be okay.

    The Pioneer Pet Teardrop white porcelain model gets a scale (I live in hard water Mountain West) that I can feel (not see) so I will soak it in a diluted vinegar solution and rub until the surface is smooth and I can no longer feel the scale with my fingertips. The filter is in the motor unit and the motor should be disassembled/cleaned somewhat frequently. (Not too difficult and the more you do it, the easier it seems.) I used this model long enough to replace the motor (after 2-3 years) and then the replacement motor stopped working and I replaced the model with Cat-It.

    My “dream” fountain would be a cordless with a long-lasting filter (esp. a filter sensor). I am looking at Petkit Eversweet in smart mode for the filter longevity aspect, but I do have two cats now. Also, looking at the NPET since I can see the water and it mentions filter lasting two months. Oh yeah – a stainless steel or non-lead ceramic drinking tray would be nice too. Remember to make sure you are good with the cost of the replacement filters.

    All in all, after all my research, I decided to pull out the Pioneer Pet and I got the motor working again. So I am using that fountain and the Cat-It for my two new adoptees. My personal take away is I truly dislike emptying, disassembling and cleaning these things, and I am never sure about when to change the filters; still, I will always offer my cats the fountain-style drinking option. Way better than dirty water in a bowl that needs to be refilled frequently.

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Really appreciate all of your long-term insights. I agree that the maintenance is annoying, and such frequent filter changes are a hassle. I don’t think there is any perfect fountain yet, especially given your desires—perhaps the Eufy pet water fountain comes close, since it has the stainless steel top, cordless functionality, and a 6-week anticipated filter life. Thanks again for the thoughtful comment, from a fellow Mountain West dweller. – Mallory

  20. Margot

    I purchased the Cat-It flower fountain for my 3 cats. One of them developed a sore on his chin, I think he is allergic to the plastic.

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Stephany, sorry about the late reply! Just catching up on comments now. I’ve heard very good things about the Catit Pixi fountain!

    1. Mark

      I am really looking forward to your newer review. I was hoping ‘near future’ was before New Year’s but I’ll keep holding my breath. I’ll be a happy camper (and my kats too) whenever this review releases. Thank you for this review and next one too!

  21. Debra Wilson

    Regarding best cat water fountains, Mallory, can you review the Rellaty Cat Water Fountain Stainless Steel: 3.2L/108oz Pet Fountain Water Metal Kitty Spout for Cats Inside with 4 Replacement Filters – Amazon https://a.co/d/gls9VS3; I purchased this one and it seems to be a good quality stainless steel fountain. I would just like your input.
    Thank you and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  22. Ava

    My friend has the Catit fountain and it has worked in a household for 2 cats in an apartment. Has been working for over a year now, no leaks. Thinking of getting it in the future

  23. Yang

    I have used the Catit Fountain and I have a lot of regret. I’ve gone through so many filters because the filters are so poorly made. I buy official Catit brand and I still have this issue.

    The filter leaks so much charcoal. I wash my fountain every 3 days and every time I clean it, it’s a murky black color for water. I’m worried about some sort of issue from consuming the charcoal so much so I’m planning to switch. I would include that as part of the review or concern.

    Keep in mind, I have tried so many different tactics. I soak the filter for 10 minutes twice. I run it under cold water. I run it under hot water.

    1. Kate Barrington

      Yikes! Thanks for sharing your experience, Yang. This article is slated for an update this summer, so we’ll keep your experience in mind when considering product replacements.