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I'm sure I'm not the only cat owner out there who has become annoyed and frustrated by their pet jumping up on the kitchen or bathroom side and drinking from the sink (usually when I'm trying to wash my face/dishes etc!) - or even worse, drinking out of the toilet bowl!
Cats generally dislike drinking from/ignore a traditional water bowl - which you can hardly blame them for, as who would want to drink warm water that's been sitting for hours? Cats prefer cool, fresh running water from the tap! Most pet owners don't have time or energy to be changing the bowl water multiple times a day. But it can also a real worry if your pet isn't drinking enough. Cats, especially males, can be prone to kidney problems and urine infections if they don't drink enough.
The answer to both problems - the unhygienic drinking from the taps, and getting them to drink plenty of water - has to be a water fountain. Other advantages to a fountain are that it keeps the water clean, cool, and more oxygenated, which is much more healthy for your pet. There are a number of fountains on the market, many of them extremely large. I have a very small kitchen and don't have the floor space for one of the huge designs, so sought out a smaller one and came across the Hagen Catit small water fountain.
The small Catit fountain is a round design with a small footprint - it takes up about the same amount of space as a normal bowl. It has a water capacity of 2 litres, whereas most larger fountains hold around 3 litres - but 2l is more than enough for one or two cats. It pumps the water up centrally over a curved shallow surface, and it gently flows over the inner edge. There is no open stream of water, which makes it much quieter in operation as there is no splashing.
The fountain itself consists of the white base which contains the pump and the water, and a carbon filter which reduces odours, absorbs water impurities and traps dirt and debris. You then have the blue (or there is a pink version) plastic top, which clips on to the base and hides the inner workings, and is the surface on which the water flows. There is a little red float in the blue plastic top which helps you see how full the fountain is, and prevents overfilling. The whole unit is easily taken apart for cleaning.
When I bought the fountain, my cat immediately investigated and started to drink from it with no problems. He seemed to really enjoy having him own source of flowing water, and has stopped trying to jump up to the sinks. I began to notice him drinking a LOT more than before, going regularly to his fountain and even going to it before his food. I have to refill the water every couple of days, so I know he's drinking a good 1.5l every couple of days which is fantastic. You know when the water supply needs topping up, as the fountain will start making a groan as it struggles to pump the lower level of water. It's recommended to wash the whole unit out once a week and replace the filters every few months.
The Catit small water fountain cost around £25, but I got ours for about £17 on offer which was a real bargain. The replacement filters are only about £4-5 for a pack of 3. The only downside I have found to this fountain are of course that it costs money to run on electricity - but it's fairly low energy. Also the plug is a continental 2 pin, which comes with an adaptor, and it doesn't sit tightly in the adaptor - it also makes the plug very bulky, and it gets very hot if left to run continuously so I tend to turn ours off at night.
I would 100% recommend - in fact tell - all cat (and dog) owners to get a water fountain for their pet for the health benefits alone! The Catit small water fountain is a brilliant design for someone wanting something more compact.
The Hagen Catit Small Water Fountain promotes your pet's health and guarantees fresh great-tasting water for cats and small dogs.