* Prices may differ from that shown
We have now got three cats in our household, known as my fur kids. Dude and Geezer are aged 6 and 5 respectively and then the baby Asbo is just 2 years old, we have had them all from being 8 weeks old and yes they are spoilt rotten, they have more toys to play with than my niece and nephew put together, they eat fine foods and are generally treated as adults.
However when Steve and I are both at work, the one thing I do worry about is that they have plenty of water to drink, as with human beings, it is imperative that your cat has fresh water to drink because it makes up 70% of their body and now that I have three cats I wanted a solution that would mean fresh water all day long without having to leave the bathroom tap running. I solved that problem back in 2005 when I read a review on another website about the Cat-it Water fountain which provided my boys with fresh drinking water all day, you simply assembled the fountain together, added the water and plugged it into your mains electricity supply and that water would be pumped around the fountain to create fresh flowing water which cats love and adore. So being 4 years old, the Cat-It fountain we have, which is still in good working order, has become a little tired looking and whilst my boys still love to use it, I thought it was about time I either bought another one or updated it and tried to find something similar, so I looked around online and found the Catit Fresh & Clear Small Drinking Cat Water Fountain for £14.99 on pet planet and purchased it.
You can find these Catit Water Fountains from many online retailers such as EBay, Amazon and Pet Planet, where I purchased mine from and these products sell from £15 to £40 depending on where you buy it from, the cost of postage and packaging and the range of accessories that you buy. You should note that you will need to purchase extra water filters which for a pack of three retail currently at £4.25 and if you should choose to purchase a floor matt then they usually retail for around £9.99 but some retailers include the floor matt and the extra feeding dish within the package that you have bought, I didn't need to buy one because I have two already from my last purchase. Do shop around before you buy is the best advice I can give to you because prices do vary greatly.
Catit Fresh & Clear Small Drinking Cat Water Fountain arrives in a fairly over the top big cardboard box and displayed prominently on the front is information such as:
* Large Capacity: 2 litre vol.
* Fresh, better tasting, filtered water
* Encourages pets to consume more water
* Leads to a healthier, happier animal
* Great for both cats and small dogs
* Multistage filtering process
* Foam mat/replacement filters separately available
The idea behind such products is that they provide an indoor source of moving water that simply encourages your cat to drink more, if your cats are anything like mine, and then the second I run the tap at any of the sinks in my house, they are up trying to catch the water in their paws to drink it. The movement of the water also means it remains clearer and more hygienic, helping to prevent crystal formation that can lead to urinary diseases, which is why it is especially useful that cats are given fresh, clean drinking water every day.
The company behind these products is called Hagan and they state that:
"The Catit® Drinking Fountains responds to your pet's need for a continuous supply of water. Re-circulating water with greater exposure to oxygen provides fresh-tasting, cool, filtered water for pets with a multitude of health benefits. Encouraging cats to drink more water helps ensure proper kidney function and may decrease the incidence of crystal formation and urinary disease (FUS)." I am much more confident and content knowing that now my cats drink water very regularly that I am helping to keep them fit and healthy. If you need anymore information on this water fountain then visit www.hagen.com and then follow the link on the right hand side of the screen for details.
So whilst all of this sounds very impressive, you will find inside your box that are of the pieces are wrapped ready for you to assemble them and this is a really easy task that you don't need the instructions for, but they are provided should you want to consult them. Within your box you should find:
* A 12V power cable and adaptor
* A base looks like a plant pot and this is the actual fountain which is pure white
* A filter - which is a round disc shaped object
* A food dish and a place matt - if they have been included
So to assemble the fountain you will find a dome which holds approximately two litres of water but before you add anything to it, you are asked to clean it, just incase there is any dirt caught in the fountain base. Once it has been cleaned following the instruction manual which for this exercise I suggest following, you place fountain directly beneath tap and fill it up. As the fountain fills with water, you will notice that there is a red water level indicator on the top of the fountain which will begin to rise. Once the fountain is filled to capacity the red water level indicator will become fully visible and this means it has reached the limit for holding water. If at any times it makes a gurgling sound this means the water limit is very low and it needs to be topped up, I have found on very hot days that my cats drink a lot more water than they would usually and it is always worth checking to make sure there is enough water within the fountain so it doesn't make the gurgling noise, which my cats don't like. Once this has all been achieved you can then add the power cord (it uses a 12V adaptor) to the AC adaptor, please ensure that the power cord does not come into contact with the fountain and that it the cord is tied up properly to stops your pets from chewing it.
Now you have assembled your water fountain you will see the water come up through the middle of the fountain through the whole where the pump pumps the water and it goes into the blue bowl so that the cats can get to it and you should see and hear the water running freely. Unlike the other Catit fountain that I have got, there is no dome shape for it to run over the side of, the water in the newer fountain stays within inside the bowl but you can still hearing it running and it is that noise that attracts my boys to the fountain to have their drink.
Maintaining your water fountain is just as easy as assembling it. The manual states that you should wash and rinse it on a weekly basis with a soft sponge, do not use soap or a scouring pad or something which will scratch the surface, and rinse thoroughly. If you follow the instructions given in the accompanying book, it will show you how to thoroughly clean your fountain as well as telling you how to clean the pump and the valve which do need to be done because they do get clogged up with dirt and fur from your lovely fur balls. Again. the filters should be replaced every three weeks and this is mentioned within the manual that comes with your fountain and these can usually be bought in your local pet store or you can purchase them online, the reason they need to be replaced is because they are responsible for keeping the water pure and clean and if like me you live in a hard water area they soon become all manky and vile looking, so I always make sure I have got a spare box of filters in the kitchen drawer.
We have had this cat fountain for about 3 months now and I have to say that I am really impressed with it and I much prefer it to the original Catit fountain because it is much smaller in shape and sits much easier next to where I place their food given it is a much better designed and although it holds a litre less of water, it doesn't seem to be a problem. Both Dude and Geezer regularly drink the water from it having been encouraged to do so since buying the original water fountain, before we had it, they would very rarely drink water from a bowl and Asbo now also uses the fountain although a little advice for someone who is buying one of these for the first time, buy a water proof mat to go underneath the fountain because as soon as he spots the water coming up through the hole he has his paw in the fountain trying to catch the water before eventually becoming bored and instead drinks from it, the reason for the mat underneath said fountain is because you'll end up with water everywhere.
One of the reasons I really like these products is because I do feel they have encouraged my cats to use because it is like a running tap, all cats that I know love the taps to run so they can drink the water and this provides a good substitute and if Steve and I are at work for long periods of time or are out for a day or whatever we don't have to worry about them not having enough water to drink because there is more than enough readily available with this fountain. So this is a definite recommendation for me for all of you Dooyooers with a cat or three.
Oh dear. What do you do when you hate something that your cat loves? That's the quandary I'm presently in thanks to the Catit drinking fountain.
I'll start with the positives and the biggest is that both of my cats love it. They definitely drink a lot more water now. From my perspective it's a reasonable size and the filter, as another reviewer has mentioned, definitely lasts longer than is recommended. Perhaps the biggest bonus for me is that one of the cats was forever tipping the water bowl over - but this fountain is very stable - he can't tip this baby over though which is a massive relief.
However.... for some weird reason it's noisy. I top it up regularly but if it goes down below a certain level (and not a very low level either) it vibrates very loudly. To the point that I can hear it upstairs even. Sometimes moving it around a bit will lessen the noise, but it eventually starts in again. It also is sort of a pain to clean. It doesn't need cleaning often, especially in comparison to a normal bowl, but it does go slimy around the top if you don't give it a good clean about once week or so. Now obviously I know anything like this needs cleaning but because you have to unplug it and take it apart to properly clean it, it's not a task I particularly relish. But perhaps the most annoying part is that if you don't put it back together quite carefully it leaks - many times I've cleaned it, put it back, filled it, and found a puddle of water coming from it shortly thereafter. Maybe that's operator error, but it's happened often and I do try to be quite careful about putting it back together properly.
So all-in-all, it's got the cats drinking a lot more water and it's nice and stable so it doesn't get tipped over, and so I'll keep it. But it is a bit of a hassle.
As far as I am concerned the trouble with most, if not all, water fountains is that they are mains powered. My cats' dining quarters were not situated in a convenient spot for plugging something in and so I have long put off making the switch to a fountain, although always keeping an eye out for that elusive battery powered model. But with the new addition to my feline family in October last year, I realised I could not hold off any longer.
I rarely saw my older cat, Billy, drinking from his bowl. We always kept his water fresh, but seemed he was either drinking on the quiet or finding his water somewhere else, puddles perhaps. Edward the Persian was another matter though. I have never seen a cat consume so much water, I was actually concerned enough to mention his drinking habits to a vet at one point but thankfully all is well with him. Yes, Edward drinks copious amounts of water, he does not go outside and I just felt terribly sorry for him drinking from a bowl particularly as he was prone to dropping biscuits in the water and his long fur would get wet through as it trailed into the bowl as he quenched his thirst.
Thus I resigned myself to getting a mains powered fountain and putting up with unsightly wires; my cats' needs ultimately being more important than my own desire for an aesthetically pleasing gadget. I decided to buy this particular fountain as it seemed completely up to the job and was half the price of most of the others in the pet shop.
The fountain comes in a few pieces and there are instructions for putting it together although it would be intuitive for most people; mine was ready to use within a few minutes of taking it out of the box. The filter holder and filter are placed inside the main compartment of the fountain (the white part in the picture), the blue ring is put in place on top of the unit and then it can be plugged in and filled up with water.
Although this is described as a small fountain, it holds two litres of water, which I thought was rather a lot. On the blue ring around the top there is a small hole, as you fill the fountain up it is important to watch for a small red dot to appear and when it does it means the fountain is full. The water bubbles up through the middle of the blue ring and then flows back around the edges of the circular unit.
It took me a little while to adjust to the sound of bubbling water, I kept thinking I had left a tap running or had a leak. I did not initially notice any whirring noises from the pump itself, however a few months on and this has become more noticeable, but not much different to the noise of a fridge and it does not bother me.
The filters need to be changed regularly and it is recommended every three weeks or so. When I went to change mine after three weeks, I found it was virtually spotless and I can easily double the supposed life of the filters. As I live in an area with extremely hard water, I always top it up with water I have filtered myself anyway and I hope this will prolong the life of the filter and the unit itself too.
Of course the only opinions that really matter are Billy's and Edwards. As I mentioned, Billy never really bothered much with drinking he water we have put out for him in bowls, but he absolutely LOVES the water fountain and did from the word go. I have never seen him drink so much water before.
Edward on the other hand was sceptical and quite scared of it at first and I was disappointed as I thought I might have to get the bowl out again. However I decided to give it time and the next day after seeing his big brother drinking he overcame his concerns and soon he was happily lapping it up too.
I am amazed at how much water they are drinking; I tend to top the water up every time I see the red dot has gone right down and I must pour in a litre of water every day. The problem of Edward's long fur getting wet all the time is solved too, as you can see from the picture the cats drink from the top of the unit which is about 7 inches off the floor so an adult cat can drink without bending over. He can't really drop biscuits in either and I am so delighted to see them both enjoying cool, fresh and clear water. I would highly recommend this product.
I bought my fountain for £20 although I have seen it retailing from £13 since then. A pack of three replacement filters is typically £4.
I bought the Catit fountain because I am a bit of a sucker for cat gadgets, and I thought this looked really good.
When I installed it in the kitchen, my 2 cats were scared of it at first, but after a few days got used to it and started to drink from the fountain.
The Good Stuff
The continuous movement of the water keeps it fresher for longer.
It is something a bit interesting for the cats when they drink out of it.
If you go away for a couple of days, the person feeding your cats doesn't have to remember to give them fresh water as well as food, because it holds quite a lot.
The not so good stuff
The noise of the pump drove me mad, there is a continuous low buzzing sound coming from the machine.
It has to be plugged into the mains, so you are using your electricity.
You have to buy filters to keep the water fresh, so there is an ongoing expense
I relegated my fountain to the garage after about 6 months, because the buzzing got louder and it was a pain to clean. I've since realised that my cats prefer to drink from a bowl, the pond, or a muddy puddle :)
As a product, it does what it says on the tin, but it wasn't for me - a bowl of water is more cost effective and less maintenance.
For a while now we have been having problems with Mew spilling his drinking water during the night. We have no idea what he does but when we go into his room in the morning his water bowl is half empty and the carpet tiles are very wet. He obviously isn't overturning it as there is water left in the bowl. We have tried other bowls but the same thing happens. Someone has suggested that maybe he tries to wash his paws in it and splashes it everywhere - although I don't know if cats do this or whether this person was having me on!
Anyway we decided to take a look round to see if there was anything that we could buy for him to see if we could stop this happening.
In Pets at Home there was a small selection of drinking fountains for cats and so we decided that we would treat Mew to one of these.
We chose the Catit Fresh and Clear Small Drinking Fountain for Cats priced at £19.56. That cat costs us a fortune - I keep telling him that I am going to send him out to work to earn his keep but he takes no notice of me! LOL!
The fountain comes packaged in a sturdy cube shaped cardboard box with a clear picture of the product on the side so that you can see exactly what it looks like when set up. There are also various bits of information about the filter around the box.
Inside the box there is the main body of the fountain, the top, the filter, the filter holder, the flex and the adapter. There is also a set of instructions which I did find a bit strange. Each step of assembling the fountain is clearly explained but in 5 different languages, then it takes you to the next step if you see what I mean. I must admit I find it easier if the whole thing is written from start to finish in one language at a time.
Even though the instruction booklet is a bit fiddly the fountain is simple to fit together. All you have to do is place the filter holder inside the main body of the fountain and put the filter on top. You then place the top part of the fountain onto the main body. You now have a white unit about 8 inches across and 7 inches deep with a blue lid. In the centre of the lid there is a column up through which the water will eventually bubble.
You then fill the fountain with water, attach one end of the flex to the side of the main body of the fountain and the other to the adaptor and you're ready to go. You just plug it in and off it goes!
The water bubbles up through the middle of the blue part, forms a film over the top and then runs back down the inside of the main body of the fountain back into the well at the bottom to go round again. There is a little red marker on the top to show that there is enough water in the fountain. When this red marker disappears the water needs to be topped up.
I find descriptions like this very difficult but I hope that I have given you some idea of how this works. This means that there is always fresh, aerated, clean drinking water for your cat. The machine makes a slight humming noise but this shouldn't cause your cat any anxiety.
So there we are then a lovely supply of fresh water for Mew - he would be so pleased wouldn't he?
Wrong! He wouldn't go near it! We tried showing it to him, dipping our fingers in the water and offering them to him to lick so that he could see it was just water and we took away all other sources of water. I thought that once he was thirsty he would drink - no chance!
The first morning I went down to open his cat flap and give him some food and he came into the main part of the house ran up the stairs and jumped onto the bathroom sink to see if there was any water in the sink that he could drink. We do have a bidet in the bathroom which was there when we moved in although we have never used it so I turned on the tap to run some water into it and Mew jumped up and drank his fill!
We persevered with the fountain but Mew still would not touch it and preferred his new drinking bowl also known as the bidet! Dave suggested that we might have one fitted in his room for him - he was joking of course - at least I think he was!
Luckily before we purchased the fountain we did ask if we could take it back for a refund if Mew didn't like it and they said that we could do so providing that we kept the packing and the receipt. Just so that you know I did take it back and I got a refund without any bother.
Dave did suddenly have a brainwave and he tried one of those shallow dishes that you can buy for standing planters on. He gave it a good wash and put some water in it and Mew did seem to like that so we'll have to wait and see if that really is the answer to our problem.
If anyone has any good ideas feel free to pass them on won't you?
Provides clean & oxygenated water for pets / Capacity: 2L (64 fl oz)