Can Water Fountains Make Cats Sick?

sick cat from water fountain
(Last Updated On: May 25, 2023)

Cats are quirky creatures that can be finicky about their water sources. Some cats prefer running water, while others are content with still water in a bowl. But can the use of a water fountain make cats sick? It’s a question that many cat owners have asked themselves, and the answer is not as straightforward as you might think.

While cat water fountains can provide a constant flow of fresh water, they can also harbor bacteria if not cleaned regularly. This can lead to health issues such as urinary tract infections, which can be painful and costly to treat. So, the question remains: can water fountains make cats sick?

The answer is yes, but only if they are not properly maintained. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of cat water fountains (even stainless steel fountains) and provide tips on how to keep them clean and safe for your feline friend.

Can Water Fountains Make Cats Sick?

Cats are notorious for being picky drinkers, and many pet owners turn to water fountains to encourage their feline friends to drink more water. While using a water fountain for your cat is great way to keep your cat hydrated, they can also harbor harmful bacteria that can make your cat sick. In this section, we will explore how water fountains can make cats sick, the symptoms of illness in cats, and how to prevent illness in cats.

How Water Fountains Can Make Cats Sick

Water fountains can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria if they are not cleaned regularly. Bacteria can thrive in the stagnant water that accumulates in the fountain, leading to infections and illnesses in cats. Additionally, if the fountain is made of a material that is prone to scratches, bacteria can hide in those scratches and be difficult to remove even with regular cleaning.

Symptoms of Illness in Cats

If your cat becomes sick after drinking from a drinking fountain, they may exhibit a range of symptoms. These can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and a lack of appetite. In more severe cases, cats may develop urinary tract infections or kidney disease. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Preventing Illness in Cats

The best way to prevent illness in cats is to keep their water fountain clean. This means emptying and cleaning the fountain at least once a week, and more frequently if you have multiple cats or if the fountain is particularly dirty. It is also important to use a fountain made of a material that is easy to clean and doesn’t scratch easily, such as stainless steel or ceramic.

In addition to keeping the fountain clean, you can also encourage your cat to drink more water by placing multiple water sources around your home. This can include bowls of water, as well as fountains. You can also try adding wet food to your cat’s diet, as this can help increase their overall water intake.

In conclusion, water fountains can be a great way to encourage your cat to drink more water, but they can also make your cat sick if they are not cleaned regularly. By keeping the fountain clean and providing multiple water sources, you can help keep your cat healthy and properly hydrated.

Different Types of Cat Water Fountain to Keep Your Cat Hydrated

If you’re considering getting a water fountain for your feline friend, you’ll quickly discover that there are several different types available. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it’s up to you to decide which one is right for you and your cat.

Electric Water Fountains

Electric water fountains are the most popular type of cat fountain. They are powered by electricity and have a pump that circulates the water, keeping it fresh and oxygenated. Some electric fountains also have filters to remove impurities from the water.

One of the benefits of electric water fountains is that they are typically very easy to clean. However, they can also be more expensive than other types of fountains, and some cats may be scared of the noise from the pump.

Gravity Water Fountains

Gravity water fountains rely on gravity to keep the water flowing. These fountains have a reservoir that holds the water, and as your cat drinks from the fountain, more water is released from the reservoir.

One of the benefits of gravity water fountains is that they are very quiet, as they don’t have a pump. They are also usually less expensive than electric fountains. However, they may not be as effective at keeping the water fresh and clean, especially if your cat is a messy drinker.

Manual Water Fountains

Manual water fountains are the simplest type of fountain. They consist of a bowl of water with a spout or fountain attachment that you manually pour water into.

One of the benefits of manual water fountains is that they are very affordable and don’t require electricity or batteries. However, they can be more difficult to clean, and they don’t provide the same level of filtration and circulation as electric or gravity fountains.

Ultimately, the type of water fountain you choose will depend on your budget, your cat’s preferences, and your own personal preferences. Whichever type you choose, make sure to clean it regularly and replace the water frequently to keep your cat healthy and hydrated.

Cleaning Your Cat Fountain

As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to keep your cat’s water fountain clean. Not only does it ensure that your cat has access to clean drinking water, but it can also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can make your cat sick.

Why Cleanliness is Important

Cats are notorious for being picky drinkers. They may refuse to drink from a dirty water fountain, leading to dehydration and other health problems. Additionally, stagnant water can harbor bacteria and other harmful microorganisms that can cause illness in your cat.

How Often to Change the Water

It’s recommended that you clean the pet water fountain regularly, at least once a week. However, if you notice any slime or discoloration in the water, it’s best to clean it more frequently. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance.

Tips for Cleaning Your Cat’s Water Fountain

Cleaning your cat’s water fountain doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are some tips to make the process easier:

  • Unplug the fountain and disassemble it before cleaning.
  • Use a mild detergent and warm water to clean the fountain.
  • Rinse thoroughly to remove any soap residue.
  • Use a toothbrush or small brush to clean hard-to-reach areas.
  • Replace the filter regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Consider using a water fountain cleaning solution to help prevent the growth of bacteria.

By following these tips, you can keep your cat’s water fountain clean and your cat healthy and hydrated.

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