* Prices may differ from that shown
It is an unwritten law of nature that the amount of money a cat product costs is inversely proportional to the amount of time the cat actually spends using the product.
Provide a cat with a kitty-skyscraper of scratch posts, climbing apparatus and dangling toys and he will prefer to hide in the box it came in. Try him with an expensive radiator seat and he'll sniff at it disdainfully before curling up on a pile of old mags. A multitude of tunnels, remote control mice and baby mobiles have passed in front of our cats uninterested noses. A battered tennis ball, a toilet roll or some polystyrene shapes and it's a different story.
It was, therefore, with some trepidation that I shelled out just under £30 on a Drinkwell Water Fountain from Petplanet for my two cats, Cleo and Jasper.
This, I hoped, would provide them with something new and interesting to play with and look at and, as an added bonus, would be good for their health. As Jasper is addicted to running water, spending many happy hours curled up in the sink waiting to be dripped on, I was more confident than usual that it would get a fair amount of use.
I use www.petplanet.com quite regularly and have always found them to be reliable, if not always overly quick. The RRP is apparently £51.05, but Petplanet are currently selling it for £28.58, and you can get it a bit cheaper if you shop around.
Cats in the wild get the majority of water from their prey. Domesticated cats obviously don't get this, so it's important (particularly for cats like ours on dry food) to drink water. Obviously, like us, there are many benefits to cats in drinking water, according to on-line sources (I haven't done any research personally or anything!) these include:
- Improved kidney function may decrease crystal formation and urinary disease. This is a particular problem with male cats, and one that my previous cat suffered from.
- Prevents dehydration
- Improves vitamin absorption
- Aids food digestion
- Helps produce shiny coat, fresher breath and improves all round health
Of course, the solution to this is cheap and obvious; water bowls. I use a variety of bowls, cups and glasses spread throughout the house (they generally prefer pint glasses), So why invest thirty quid on a water fountain?
- Cats are bored and distracted easily and quite often don't get enough from normal water bowls. The sound and movement of running water appeals to their natural instincts, attracting them more often and maintaining their interest for longer.
- Constantly circulating the water prevents it become stagnant
- Helps prevent bacteria growth
- Fresher water as there is more oxygen due to the surface area of the water
- Can also act as a toy to play with, especially if your cat is as mental as ours.
So, having ascertained the fact that getting cats to drink from a water fountain is a good thing, how about the product itself?
Aesthetically, the Drinkwell water fountain is small and unobtrusive. It would never be mistaken for a piece of modern art or anything, but it's an inoffensive light blue and certainly not an eyesore.
The product has easy to follow instructions and is incredibly easy to assemble; basically the user just needs to insert the charcoal filter, fill it up with water and plug it in! It is a self contained unit; you don't need to connect it to a water line. It is very light when empty, but holds a fair amount of water (about six cups) so is obviously slightly more difficult to handle when full. You can also buy a refill accessory to double the amount of water it holds, but I haven't found this necessary.
The spout is about 5 inches above the large bowl. The bowl itself is sloped in order to reduce the noise of the water. It is fairly quiet when full with water; the only real noise is the humming of the motor. It does get slightly nosier when the water starts running low but not enough to cause a real nuisance.
It is a sturdy product; even Jasper who is part cat, part hippo hasn't managed to knock it over or spill any of the water.
Maintenance is straight-forward; obviously the water needs refilling periodically and it's a good idea to give it a good clean every week or so as hair can get into it. Cleaning kits are available from Petplanet (£7.29) to do this, but it's easy enough to clean without going to this added expense. The filter can be cleaned but will also need to be replaced every couple of months. These are on sale at Amazon for £3.79 for three.
Personally, I prefer not to leave it on whilst I am work. Although I'm sure it's safe and relatively economical, water, electricity and unsupervised cats just doesn't sound like a good mixture to me. I'm quite happy to leave it on all the time I'm home, however.
Most importantly, my cats both love it and four weeks after purchase, the novelty hasn't yet worn off.
Some owners have reported that their cats are scared by the noise originally, but my cats were just curious as they are with most new things. Both still come running when they hear it being switched on, and I'm convinced they are now drinking more. Both will stare at it mesmerised and Jasper will occasionally try to catch the running water.
Overall, I would say that I'm really happy with my purchase. I can't guarantee that it'll make my cats live longer but I do know that all evidence points to it being beneficial to their health (and it certainly doesn't do any harm) and they enjoy using it. Recommended, particularly for indoor cats or cats that need to be encouraged to drink more.
NB Product is also suitable for small dogs.
My other half regulary enters competitions online and recently won one of these in some kind of competition draw that she randomly had entered. Personally I am glad she didn't go out and buy one of these as I have seen them priced at £35 upwards and don't see the point but, seeing as we had got it for nothing, I decided it could do no harm and last week decided to put it together.
First time assembly was fairly simple and didn't take too long though this is a little larger than you might expect and, once filed with water, is a little cumbersome and heavy so you are better off deciding where you are going to put it BEFORE you fill it!!!! It comes with a charcoal filter, which is reccommended you change once a month, and is designed to provide your pet with clean, filtered, oxygenated water which is supposed to have numerous health benefits for your cat or dog. The motor which operates this fountain does give off a slight hum which can be noticeable at night when all is quiet and still but, during the day, is in no way intrusive. It is also advised that you clean this out once a week with hot soapy water because the fountain can get easily clogged with cat fur etc but you are provided with a neat little brush which is ideal for getting into all the nooks and crannys!
Personally I still cannot much see the point of this. My cats drink no more water than they formerly did out of their bowl though it was quite funny to watch the first time they used this as they really were not sure what to make of it!
Overall, this is a lot of money for what it is and feels a little unnessecary! If we hadn't won it, I would not be buying it but I can see how some owners who really dote on their pets might be tempted. I would say think about it seriously before you buy as I am not sure if this is an essential purchase by any means!
We bought one of these a few years back when one of the cats was being funny about drinking water. She had taken to not drinking water regularly, was going to the toilet behind desks and sofas and her behaviour was generally weird. A trip to the vets resulted in one of these being recommended to stimulate her desire to drink more water. Quite what was wrong with a normal pot of water I shall never know and I frowned upon this stupid device sitting in the kitchen.
Here is how it works, you simply fill up to capacity with water from the tap and then plug in at the mains. The device produced a constant and gentle fountain like effect which is meant to entice your moggy to drink from it. The water is easily filled and the mechanisms are easy to work with, so no complaints there. My complaint comes now! The machine is too big for smaller kitchens and looks silly on the floor. I used to trip over it a lot and the low fill trough meant the water was always splashing out. The cats often nudged it too which caused water to spill out. There was no dripping from the fountain itself, but the machine is just too clumsy for my liking.
The next point I shall make, it did not really work. The cats used it, but no more than the standard saucer of water that they had before. The cat in question got over her illness and we got rid of this machine shortly after. The idea of running water might be pleasing at first to watch, but it is a nuisance to keep clean and replace filter sections and also quite messy when you knock it over. Plus, it's another thing that uses electricity. Our cats prefer drinking water from drains outside, so I really do think this is an unworthy buy. The price tag of thirty odd pounds is also dear so it's back to the old fashioned method of saucer and water for our cats!
I decided this time round I would spend my dooyoo earnings on something other than the wedding. To be honest I was getting bored of making a little extra cash and not being able to spend any of it. I will admit I love shopping and spending money so with the wedding coming up I've had to stop spending and start saving.
So looking through Amazon one day I came across the cat water fountain, not just one of them but several different products. I decided that with having 6 cats it would be good to get one to make sure the water is as fresh as possible for them throughout the day whilst we're at work.
Finally I found a way to justify me spending money. Now all I had to do was work out what one to buy. I looked at the reviews on Amazon for each product but to be honest the reviews were pretty limited so I was no further on. Then I decided to come and read some reviews on the trusty Dooyoo site. After looking through I decided that Drinkwell had the best options and that led me to buy the Drinkwell Platinum Water Fountain.
Why choose the Drinkwell Platinum Water Fountain?
Well there was so many to choose from and with reading reviews on Dooyoo I decided that the Drinkwell pet fountain would be the best choice for my lot. Looking on Amazon at the choices I then came across the new improved water fountain which is called Platinum Water Fountain.
My main reason for choosing this particular model was the reason that many people had said the Drinkwell Water Fountain was quiet and this one states that the motor is fully submerged making it extremely quiet. This had to be the case because I didn't want to buy something the cats would never go near because of the noise of it.
Falling Stream of Water - The water runs freely out of the top of the fountain almost like a running tap. My cats have never had the chance to drink from a tap but always been intrigued when I've had water running so I thought that they would adapt to this one a lot quicker than some of the other fountains. As well as the cats being able to drink from the constant flow of water there is also enough water at the bottom for the cats to drink from just like a normal cat bowl.
Size - This product looked quite small on Amazon which is just what I needed. Unfortunately it doesn't tell you what size it is and even now I have it at home I'm not sure of the sizes but I know it's small enough to go un-noticed by visitors but big enough for 3 of the cats to sit drinking water from it.
Also I chose this one is because I really liked how it looked and with it having neutral colours thought it would blend in instead of standing out too much. Ok this isn't a big issue but it did give me another positive to choose it over some other products.
What you need
Well obviously you will need to purchase the water fountain itself which is priced at £38.99 which is slightly more expensive than other similar products but it's also not the most expensive water fountain available as they range from about £15.00 - £55.00.
You will also require filters for this product to keep the flowing water clean and free of cat hairs floating at the bottom. You will need Drinkwell Replacement Carbon Filters. These are priced at £3.99 for a pack of 3 which I think is pretty reasonable as they do a fantastic job of keeping the water fresh and clean.
Only if required - I have bought a food mat which cost me £1 from Tesco. The reason for this is because I didn't really know what to expect from the fountain with constant free fall water I thought it would splash all over the place. Thankfully it doesn't splash at all and is actually easier to maintain than a bowl of water.
Receiving my product
Once ordering my fountain from Amazon I only had to wait two days for it to arrive as we did the express delivery because we were moving house and didn't want to have to come back for it. I'm quite impatient anyway so express delivery is always the best option for me.
Opening the box it came in I then was confronted with another large box which had a picture across the box of the fountain as well as the name of the fountain in big clear writing. As soon as I seen the box I knew it was the fountain for the cats.
Now to get it out of the box and set it up. I opened the box and the first thing I came across was a leaflet telling you to remove all the blue tape from the fountain before use. I'm not 100% sure why there was tape on it anyway but I'm assuming it was to hold everything in place in the box.
I the got the instruction manual out and started to read it as I didn't want to get anything wrong with doing it, I had read on Amazon that people found the setup of it quite tricky and I wanted to make completely sure I knew what I was doing. My partner then came in the house and looked at the fountain, took it all out of the box and he had it connected up, plugged in and ready to go within 5 minutes! So even though I didn't set it up I am assuming that it was easy enough to do with the short length of time James took to set it all up.
Now on with the cats drinking from it -
I was looking forward to this, for days I had imagined them tumbling into the house and playing with this new "toy" until they found out what it was for. I was so excited to see this but I knew that it may not go that way at all as some people had mentioned their cats took a while to get used to it.
One cat saunters in over to her food and takes on look at the fountain and walks off. Ok not what I really expected but there's still 5 cats to go.............But still none of the cats would go near the water fountain. I have now had it for a week now and they are still staying away from it but I am leaving it out for them to get used to and in time I'm sure they will become used to it and decide to use it.
Cleaning it -
I am quite lucky that I have not needed to clean this yet as my partner has done this and put in fresh water. He did advise me that it is very easy to clean and also really easy to change the filter on this. It only takes a couple of minutes and looking at the filter shows how well the product works as you can see all the dirt and cat hairs in it.
Other Information -
You will require this product to be near an electrical socket as it does need to be connected to the mains as this is what operates the product to have water constantly running and to filter it all.
It doesn't connect to your water. I first thought that this may need to be to contacted to your mains water to always have water but all you need is to fill up the water holder at the back of the unit which on this model holds over a gallon and a quarter (178 fluid ounces). I don't think my cats will need this topped up often when they do start using it because they all eat wet food so don't drink a lot of water.
Overall Opinion -
Ok my cats haven't used it yet but I'm optimistic that they will start to use it in time. We have just moved house so once they settle in properly it will become normal for them to see this with the flowing water.
It's very clean and splash free so even though I bought a mat to go under it I don't actually need one and I wouldn't recommend getting one unless your cats are messy. The other great thing about this product is how quiet it is and you don't even notice the product is on most of the time which is exactly what I wanted.
If you are looking for one of these I would recommend this one as it is such a great fountain and even if you buy one and that cats don't use at first just keep optimistic and I'm sure in their on time they will try it out.
Suitable for cats and small dogs / Capacity: gallon and a quarter (178 fluid ounces)