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My little cat Simba regularly suffered from urine infections and the urine tests also showed that his urine was always highly concentrated as he was not drinking enough water. Getting cats to drink enough water is a common problem which can lead to a host of health problems. It was my vet who recommended that I try a water fountain and I chose the catit design from Zooplus which cost £18.
The Catit fountain is essentially a 3 litre plastic bowl with a pump and filter inside it which keeps the water oxygenated and therefore fresh which the cats like better than still water. It stands about 6 inches tall and is the perfect height for a cat to drink from.
When the pump is in use then it makes a noise and you can see the surface of the water moving gently above the filter. This slight noise was enough to put my Simba off the fountain and he refused to use it, even after a month of having it. My other cat, Shadow, would happily use the fountain despite the noise but he drinks loads of water anyway so I didn't need it for him. Simba would drink from the fountain when it was switched off but that defeats the purpose of it and makes it just a very expensive drinking bowl.
Another annoyance about the fountain is that my Simba learned how to pull the centre part which holds the filter out of the unit by hooking his paw under it and pulling. He is the type of cat who does things like open doors for the sake of it so this provided him with a lot of amusement and left me with a soggy mess to clear up daily.
The filter needs replaced monthly at a cost of around £5 which works out expensive. Even with the filter, the bottom of the unit ends up full of cat hair and assorted debris, and the fact the fountain holds 3 litres of water means it is fairly heavy and cumbersome to empty and refill.
The Catit water fountain did not prove to be a good buy for me, in fact after a few weeks it ended up being boxed up and sent to the charity shop. I bought a bigger water bowl with a large surface area which Simba was happier to use than the expensive fountain.
Regular readers of mine might be aware that I have a cat. She is two and a half and she is an indoor cat who isn't very active due to a health condition. Because of this getting her to drink water can be something of an issue and to help prevent water infections and other problems due to lack of fluids I have been using a water fountain for her for almost two years. I did own a different water fountain, that I reviewed a year or two ago, but unfortunately it got damaged by my clumsiness and I had to look to replace it with something. When I spotted that it was out of stock on Amazon with a delay of several weeks until it was back in stock for delivery I decided to look for something else and stumbled upon this Catit fresh & clear drinking fountain.
Wet food provides my cat with quite a lot of her daily water intake, as it should, but if she is a little under the weather she doesn't want to eat as much as normal and then I have an issue with making sure she has enough fluids. I found that my cat never used to drink enough water and her first water fountain was fantastic as she used to often be seen there having a drink and sometimes even just washing her paws, which she inevitably then licked afterwards, all of which increases her fluid intake largely.
I paid around £16.00 for my fountain from Amazon and it was delivered within a couple of days, as I expect of Amazon really. The fountain comes boxed with a wrapper around the fountain and the fountain is basically just a large white bowl with a green section that clips in to the top. There is then a green circular part that has a filter underneath it and then this clips in to the top. This means that if you are wanting to change the filter, which you will want to do every few weeks to keep things clean, you just need to remove the circular part that cascades the water down to do so. This makes it very simple. The green top is easily removed too and it has a part on the white bowl that it clips on to. This might sound complicated but it took about 10 or 15 seconds to put the fountain together and get it working. The power adaptor that you use for this is in two sections, one within the white bowl that has a wire coming out of the side and then you clip this in to the wire that holds the plug that goes in to the wall.
There was an instruction booklet with this but I didn't even really glance at this as the fountain has been very simple to set up and use and I knew that it held 3 litres of water. There is even a squiggly line on the edge of the bowl indicating where the fill up to line is and this is simple enough to use, particularly as I use a 1 litre jug to keep this topped up. I find that I need to fill it every other day to keep it to a sufficient level for the water to still cascade over the circular part in the centre, if the water gets low then this cascade of water becomes a trickle and my cat loses interest, hence why it is important to keep it topped up.
The replacement filters that I have mentioned sell for around £5 for 3 and I change mine every 2-3 weeks because I find that generally the filter doesn't catch much mess but I like to change it just to ensure that the water that is being filtered is clean and hygienic for my cat.
I must say that when first filling up this fountain I'd recommend that you have it in place and then fill it up while it is in place as it can be quite heavy and because it is made entirely of plastic it can feel a little flexible and this can lead to water being spilt everywhere when first filling it up and putting it in place (trust me!).
Once I had this fountain set up it was only a few minutes before my cat started drinking from it, as she had with the previous fountain that I had from a different company, which was a big relief as she had been using her water bowl for a few days before this arrived and got set up.
Now before I say anything more about this fountain I must state that this is my REPLACEMENT fountain as the first one that I had only lasted from July until November when it suddenly stopped working. There was no apparent reason for this to stop, I had changed the filters regularly as instructed, kept it topped up and kept it in the same position once I had it in place. I hadn't mucked around with the plug at all and no water had got anywhere near it, however I just noticed that this was topped up and seemed to be working but the water just wasn't flowing as it should have been. I contacted Amazon and they arranged a replacement for me and I sent the faulty one back. I've been using the new one for almost three months now and so far so good but of course I will update if I am unlucky to have another faulty item.
This fountain is very quiet when running and I can't really hear it at all, particularly because I have a fish tank with a large filter running in the same room within about 5 feet of this fountain. This doesn't seem to get noisier when left on and I have mine running all day every day with no problems or excess heat from the plug at all.
The water in this fountain is always kept cool thanks to air circulating around the water and the constant flow of water. This is ideal for my cat as she seems to love fresh cold water rather than warm water, like most people I guess!
Cleaning this fountain is simple and I usually just run a damp piece of kitchen towel around the rim of the bowl every other day to ensure that there is no build up of hair or dirt. I can wash up any parts of this fountain should I choose to as everything, besides the plug, is designed for use with water although of course it is important to clean all parts thoroughly to ensure that my cat gets clean, fresh, cool water.
Overall I would say that this is worthy of 4/5. Obviously I am basing this on the one fountain I'd already had being a faulty item that broke because of bad luck. I feel that the fountain works well, as long as it is kept topped up, and it is very simple for me to change the filter. Occasionally when changing the filter I notice a little bit of a build up of hair and this is because my cat is a domestic long haired one and so she leaves hair behind sometimes when getting herself a drink. This is why it is important, for me at least, to change the filter often to ensure that her water is being filtered correctly and is not full of hair or other nasties that will end up in her stomach. My cat loves using this fountain although she does love drinking directly from a human's glass of water even more - no idea why! I like to know that my cat is being looked after as much as possible and while a water fountain might seem like an extravagance to some, mainly my Mum, it turns out that it is a fantastic idea because it increases the amount of fluid that my cat takes in and since using a water fountain she hasn't had any problems with urinary infections or other related illnesses and generally she has been in good health until last week.
I feel that this fountain is great value for money and I would definitely say that this is fantastic. My cat seems to love it and I didn't have to coax her in to using it which is a huge plus point. The price of this was reasonable and Amazon were great at replacing my item when it was faulty. Unless you see otherwise on this review then assume that my replacement item worked fine as I will definitely come back and update this review to 1/5 instead of 4/5 if another one breaks in quick succession!
By now I'm sure you all know that I have a kitten at home who is a little bit spoiled. You may also know that he has already had his fair share of problems - namely with urinary issues and occasional tummy troubles too.
==Why are there cat drinking fountains on the market?==
A key cause for concern for cat owners is fluids. Kidney failure in cats is very common and sadly can be fatal. Cats have not evolved adequately when becoming domesticated in order to understand they need to drink water. In the wild, a cat would get pretty much all of their fluid needs from prey they have caught. Although wet cat foods do provide around 80% of a cats recommended daily intake of fluids, lots of cats are still not getting enough. Dry food contains much less moisture and I believe it contains around only 10% of a cats needs however this will of course vary depending upon brand and quality. Therefore it is important to encourage cats to drink water in addition to having their food.
Dukes urine is very concentrated. Therefore this would imply he does not get enough fluids. He has actually had to go to the vets before and be administered fluids immediately - if I hadn't have taken him when I did he could well have died so you could say this is an area where my OCD really comes into the light - Must. Get. Duke. To. Drink. When I first got him he was drinking regularly from his bowl so I thought he was getting enough fluids. However, the vet recommended I looked at fountains as it is an evidential fact that cats prefer fresh, clean and running water.
Duke has anything he needs. If I am short on cash I would rather not eat than have Duke needing something. Therefore before I even got home from the vets (I went to my parents first) I had ordered his very own drinking fountain!
==Why choose the Catit fountain?==
The range of cat drinking fountains is actually quite vast! I looked on Zooplus first as this is my first port of call for anything Duke related. I was expecting to spend around ?30 which I had no reservations about at all and so I set about picking one.
I found it very difficult to pick a fountain! I wanted one where the water was visibly moving in order to attract Duke but I also wanted one which didn't look ugly and would sit nicely in my home. I also wanted one that had good reviews and a good sized water capacity.
I thought I had decided on a fountain for around ?25 and then I saw the Catit Design Fresh and Clear Fountain. I am a MASSIVE fan of the other Catit products (especially the speed circuit) and I have found them to be of brilliant quality and reasonably priced. I had a good read of the description to assess whether this fountain would fit our needs and I found it would do perfectly so I snapped one up.
==How much does it cost?==
I paid just ?16.99 for this fountain which I thought was exceptional value. Currently on Zooplus it is priced at ?19.99 which has made me feel quite proud of myself for bagging a bargain however ?19.99 is still a good price in my opinion. Replacement filters are ?5.99 for a pack of 3 which again I think it very reasonable.
==Whats in the box?==
In the box you are given the fountain, the power lead, an adapter (the plug is actually European), an instruction manual and a filter.
==Setting it up==
Setting the fountain up is simple. You just pop the filter in the bottom then add the filter and the top cover and you are ready to go. You do need to put the water in before putting the cover on and the fountain holds a really good amount - 3 litres. This is quite heavy to carry so if you are worried about this it is easy to use a rinsed out milk bottle or a pint glass to top it up. It is also worth noting that if it is in need of a top up you can just carefully pour some fresh water on the top surface (with the cover on).
==Duke and the fountain==
The water comes out of a small hole in the middle of the top cover. It does go up a small way instead of just coating the cover which I like as Duke finds this interesting. Cats can either drink directly from this stream or from the covering of water on the top cover.
Initially, Duke was rather wary of the fountain. He was very intrigued at what it was but did not want to take a drink. Eventually he began sticking a paw in and then looking astounded that his paw was wet. Within half an hour or so of sitting with him and coaxing him he had his first sip!
He has had his fountain about 6 weeks now. He never uses his regular bowl now and I often see him taking a drink from this. In all honesty I don't see him using it now as much as he has done but he definitely does use it and he does definitely prefer the running water than the still water he would have had otherwise.
==Was it worth the money?==
Since having this, Duke has only had a couple of very mild toilet troubles(!) This is minimal compared to prior to the fountain where we were having a very poorly kitty on a weekly basis.
Sadly, I don't ever think Duke will be a non-sufferer but this fountain has definitely helped him.
I was a bit concerned about the noise a fountain could make, especially as I had housed it right next to my bedroom! However it is practically silent. I am a very light sleeper but neither the pump or the running water have caused any concern.
The plug unit does get quite hot but I leave this on pretty much constantly now, 24 hours a day and there have been no problems.
It is recommended that the filter is replaced every 3 weeks and when you can see deposits in the water eg. hair, bits of old food etc. My filter is still running perfectly so I haven't changed it yet but I know this will be simple because you just push it onto a small pole in the middle of the water tank.
==Verdict on water fountains overall==
I think that water fountains for cats are a brilliant idea. Some people may think its a step too far but it really does help to hydrate animals and therefore can prevent numerous health conditions.
My mum bought our 2 15 year old cats a fountain of their own after I got mine and they both love it - using it all the time and even sleeping next to it to guard it from the other getting any water!
==The Catit fountain in particular==
I love this fountain and Duke does too! It has a simple yet stylish design and encourages cats to drink more which can only be a bonus. It is almost silent when running and I can leave it on without worrying about it being safe.
As I'm sure you can tell, I really like this fountain. It provides Duke with fresh, clean and cool water at all times which will be fantastic if we ever have a summer again and he does use it. It also provides me with a bit more peace of mind concerning his fluid intake. For less than ?20 I think it is brilliant value for money.
The Catit Fresh & Clear drinking fountain is suitable for cats and small dogs. It holds a large volume of water and has a greater surface area so that it can absorb more oxygen. Dual function filter.