The 9 Best Cat Water Fountains of 2024

| Updated: February 29, 2024
Cat drinking from automatic water fountain - best cat water fountain

Whether your cat is reluctant to drink water from a non-moving source or you want to provide them with clean, filtered water, a water fountain designed for cats is a great investment.

Studies show that many cats (mine included) are reluctant, or will outright refuse, to drink still water from a bowl even if they become dehydrated. Having a source of clean running water encourages them to drink more often, keeping themselves hydrated and improving their health. If this sounds like your cat, switching to a water fountain is a simple change that will help them consume all the water they need.

We researched 20 of the most popular cat water fountains, looking at spec sheets and digging through user reviews to narrow down our choices. We then tested 14 models that passed our initial requirements to determine which models we liked the best based on ease of use, water filtering ability, noise, and aesthetics.

Our favorite overall was the PETLIBRO App Monitoring Cat Water Fountain, which is easy to clean thanks to the wireless pump and is very quiet while running. But your needs may vary, and there are several other water fountains that may work just as well for you.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

PETLIBRO Dockstream App Monitoring Water Fountain

Petlibro App Monitoring Cat Water Fountain

What We Like

  • Quiet operation
  • Alerts you when water level is low
  • Wireless pump
  • Easy to disassemble and clean
  • Cheap replacement filters

What We Don’t Like

  • The WIFI doesn’t run on 5GHz
  • Not dishwasher safe

The PETLIBRO Dockstream App Monitoring Water Fountain is our top choice because it’s very quiet while running, has multiple settings for water control, alerts you when the water is low, and is easy to clean even though it isn’t dishwasher safe.

Cats were able to drink easily from the top spout as well as from the tray, allowing more than one cat to drink at the same time. The tray is wide enough that it didn’t seem to bother cats’ whiskers when they were drinking, potentially helping with whisker fatigue.

Assembly was easy and straightforward; the wireless pump and lack of extra cables made it a cinch. Connecting and setting up the app was a bit more tricky, but I believe that’s because it only runs on 2.4GHz networks rather than 5GHz, and I frequently have problems connecting 2.4GHz devices of any kind. Once it was connected and set up, the app was easy to navigate and use.

The alerts for low water levels, filter replacement, and tracking when and how much water your cat drinks were very helpful and gave an added peace of mind. You can also set reminders for a cleaning schedule and set the pump to run all the time or 15 minutes an hour, whichever works best for you and your cat.

The best part about cleaning this PETLIBRO water fountain was not having to deal with cords. You just pick up the tank from the base and carry it to the sink. It’s simple to take apart and clean, but only the stainless steel water tray at the top is dishwasher safe. PETLIBRO says putting the other parts in the dishwasher would risk causing them to deform. In our experience, if you’re hand washing the rest, you might as well hand wash the tray, too. Fortunately, the overall cleaning process is pretty simple and only takes a few minutes, and then your cats can have their water fountain back.

The PETLIBRO Dockstream forces water through its vertical filter to remove any hair, food tidbits, and other debris that might have gotten in the water. From our tests, it appeared to work well at removing small stray hairs and little kibble crumbs we dropped in. With any water fountain, I’d still recommend keeping them away from food bowls to try and minimize the amount of food particles that get in the water. The more it has to filter, the quicker the filters will need to be replaced, and larger pieces of food or debris may clog it.

Fortunately, the filters are fairly cheap to replace at $12.99 for a four-pack. PETLIBRO recommends replacing the filter every 2-4 weeks, which is in line with what the other water fountains recommend.

Best Ceramic

PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain White

What We Like

  • Cats loved the top reservoir
  • Aesthetically pleasing ceramic design
  • Different color options
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Long power cord

What We Don’t Like

  • Complicated pump
  • Falling water noise

The first thing we noticed about the PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain is that it’s remarkably sturdy and eye-catching. The heavier ceramic design means it’s less likely to get pushed around or spilled by rowdy cats, which is certainly not a bad thing.

The Drinkwell Pagoda has a dual-fountain design with a small top reservoir (that cats loved more than anything) and a lower flared basin, which provides another place for cats to drink from. A nice bonus compared to some other fountains is that the main ceramic components are also fully dishwasher-safe.

While we did like the Pagoda fountain very much, it’s not without its downsides. It features an internal pump design that is a pain to disassemble and clean. While operating, the pump itself is very quiet, emitting only a slightly noticeable hum, but the splash of water falling from the top reservoir is noticeable if you’re in the same room. Some people will probably like the noise, and it’s definitely better than a mechanical noise from a loud pump, but it’s worth mentioning.

If these two things don’t bother you, we still think the Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain is a well-designed water fountain that will serve you well. We also tested the PetSafe Drinkwell Avalon and loved it! It’s the same thing as the Pagoda fountain but in a round design instead of rectangular. Ultimately, it comes down to your aesthetic preferences between the two.

The PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Ceramic Fountain comes in four different colors: white, taupe, red, and Himalayan blue.

Best Wifi-Enabled

PETKIT Eversweet 3 Pro

PETKIT Eversweet Pro 3

What We Like

  • Controlled via app
  • Easy to clean
  • Stainless steel tank
  • Quiet while running

What We Don’t Like

  • Power cord adapter not included
  • Cats seemed unsure at first

Instead of a spout pouring water out, the PETKIT Eversweet 3 Pro has a different design that pushes water up in the center, almost like a bubbler. We loved it, and it’s very quiet, but the cats took a bit longer to get used to it than they did with other water fountains. Once they did, they proceeded to drink from it with no problem.

The Eversweet 3 Pro is very similar to our top pick, the PETLIBRO Dockstream, in multiple ways. Both fountains feature a wireless pump design, app control, and detaches from the base for easy cleaning without cables getting in the way.

The 1.35L capacity of the PETKIT Eversweeet 3 Pro is designed to provide 1-2 cats with water for 5-7 days. Of course, if it’s running low, you’ll be notified through the PETKIT app as well as the handy indicator lights on the fountain itself.

Best Large

Papipopi 1.8G Water Fountain

Papipopi 1.8 gallon large fountain

What We Like

  • Huge water capacity
  • Fairly quiet operation
  • Pump shuts off if the water level gets low to prevent burnout

What We Don’t Like

  • Reviews mention receiving defective pumps

If you have multiple large cats or need a water fountain to support cats and dogs, you’ll want a large fountain so you aren’t refilling water all day. The Papipopi water fountain isn’t just large; it’s huge! Boasting a 1.8-gallon capacity.

Right out of the gate, we noticed the fountain was lightweight (before adding water), but it surprised us with its quality. This Papipopi fountain was easy to set up and get running and felt equally easy to clean. We noticed many reviews stating that the pump didn’t work when they first received this fountain, but in all cases, they quickly received a replacement from customer service. We didn’t have this problem, but it’s something to be aware of.

There are no fancy features like some of the other water fountains on our list. The Papipopi water fountain was meant to provide a huge quantity of water, and it does its job!

Best Budget

Cat Mate 3-Level Pet Fountain

Cat Mate 3 level fountain

What We Like

  • BPA-free plastic
  • Long power cord
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Enough space for multiple cats
  • Easy to clean

What We Don’t Like

  • Needs refilling often, even with one cat
  • Not great at filtering hair or food crumbs

The Cat Mate 3-Level Pet Fountain may be the cheapest fountain on our list, but it packs a lot of bang for the buck. Although it doesn’t have all the fancy features of the PETLIBRO Dockstream, it provides running water, and cats seem to love it!

The design of the Cat Mate Pet Fountain offers 3 tiered levels of water for cats to drink from, though our cats found a fourth (the water slide from the middle to the bottom level). This isn’t the quietest fountain on our list, but the hum from the pump isn’t terrible if you don’t mind a little noise. Water is supposed to pass from the bottom level through a screen filter and then get pumped back up to the top. In reality, a fair amount of water seems to get past the filter (or around it), bringing bits of hair or food along with it.

If your main goal is to encourage your cats to drink more water or you want to test the world of cat water fountains before diving in, the Cat Mate Pet Fountain is a great starter option. However, if you’re interested in cleaner, filtered water or a water fountain you can fill once or twice a week, you might want to check out some of our other recommendations.

Best Flower

Catit LED Flower Fountain

Catit LED flower fountain

What We Like

  • Water pockets in the drinking tray
  • Backlit fill line
  • Multiple color options

What We Don’t Like

  • The plastic feels flimsy
  • Most of the water is inaccessible if you lose power

If you’ve considered a cat water fountain before, you’ve most likely come across the flower style. They all share the same basic design – water comes out of a plastic flower on top, where it splits into multiple streams that flow down into the drinking tray. Beneath the drinking tray, water passes through a filter until it reaches the bottom, where it gets pumped back up to the flower again, completing the cycle.

Unlike most flower fountains, the Catit LED Flower Fountain has pockets in the drinking tray that retain water even if the power goes out, which was ultimately the reason why we chose this one as our favorite. Because the filter design on flower fountains is based on gravity, if the power goes out on the other models, all the water will fall to the bottom, where cats are unable to reach it.

The Catit LED Flower Fountain was easy to clean and set up, but overall the design has its flaws, and the other fountains on our list tend to do a better job and offer more peace of mind. However, if you’re set on getting a flower fountain for aesthetic reasons, this is the one we recommend.

Best Plastic

PetSafe Drinkwell Pet Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell Fountain

What We Like

  • Multiple size options
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Adjustable water flow
  • Open bowl design

What We Don’t Like

  • Louder than other fountains

Overall the PetSafe Drinkwell Pet Fountain is a simple automatic water fountain, comparable in style to the Cat Mate budget choice we mentioned above. The big difference is in the quality and function.

The PetSafe Drinkwell is much better at filtering water, providing a cleaner drinking source for your cats, and it holds substantially more. There are also different sizes to choose from; half gallon, one gallon, and two gallon to meet the needs of larger pets or households with multiple pets.

The water flow can be easily adjusted on the Drinkwell Pet Fountain which can reduce noise slightly, but this fountain is still louder than our other recommendations.

Best Stainless Steel

PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain

PetSafe Drinkwell 360

What We Like

  • Durable stainless steel design
  • Control the number of water streams
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Long power cord
  • Larger capacity for multiple pets

What We Don’t Like

  • The fill lines are hard to read

The PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain has a simplistic design but one that works very well. The large bowl base has lots of surface area for multiple pets to drink from, plus a center tower that shoots water up through a filter and then splits it into controllable streams, providing additional drinking choices.

The plastic cap at the top of the Drinkwell 360 adjusts to control the individual number of water streams that come out from 1 to 5. In practical use, we set it to 3 streams so there was more space for the test cats that wanted to drink from the bottom bowl without having water splashed on their heads.

All of the stainless steel components on the Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain are dishwasher safe, but the internal parts need to be hand-washed, and they feel a bit delicate. It’s not terribly complicated once you get used to it, so we don’t view it as a downside; it’s just something to pay attention to.

All in all, the PetSafe Drinkwell 360 is one of our favorites, and for households that have multiple cats or dogs, it’s a great choice.

Best Motion Sensor

PETLIBRO Glacier Ultrafiltration Cat Water Fountain

PETLIBRO Glacier Ultrafiltration Motion Sensor Fountain

What We Like

  • External filter and quiet operation
  • Long-life filter
  • Motion sensor keeps the fountain from running continuously
  • Easy to clean
  • Some dishwasher-safe components

What We Don’t Like

  • Hair and food particles get caught in the top tray
  • Not all cats warmed up to the motion sensor idea

If you’re looking for a cat water fountain that isn’t constantly running in the background, a motion sensor fountain may be what you need. PETLIBRO, the same company behind our favorite overall pick, the Dockstream App Monitoring Water Fountain, also makes the Glacier Ultrafiltration Cat Water Fountain, which utilizes motion sensor activation.

The Glacier Ultrafiltration Water Fountain is easy to clean with some dishwasher-safe components and features an external pump to eliminate the risk of water getting into the electrical components. There are easy to read indicator lights on top that show the remaining filter life and if the water level is low. According to PETLIBRO, the filter needs to be replaced every 2 months, almost twice as long as other fountains.

The main downside of the PETLIBRO Glacier fountain lies in filtering water from the tray. Water that has been pumped into the tray passes through a small strip filter before going back into the reservoir. Some larger kibble crumbs sunk to the bottom of the tray and never made it through the strip filter, fouling up the tray water instead. Fortunately, you just need to remove and clean the tray, but it’s still a pain and makes this fountain less maintenance-free than others.

We also noticed the main feature of this fountain, the motion sensors, is hit or miss with cats. After we set up the PETLIBRO Glacier Ultrafiltration Water Fountain, it took some time for cats to understand how it worked and get used to it. Some test cats figured it out and would go to the fountain when they wanted a drink; others would only approach it to get a drink if it was already running, either because another cat set off the motion sensors or during the one minute per hour it dispenses water on its own.

How We Tested Cat Water Fountains

We purchased and tested 14 cat water fountains using several at-home testers, including single-cat households, multi-cat households, and multi-pet households. During our month of testing, the criteria we looked at included:

Difficulty of Setup

Was the cat water fountain difficult to set up, or were the instructions vague or misleading? We didn’t want any fountains that were excessively complicated to put together.


For many people, noise can be a big deterrent; no one wants an obnoxiously loud fountain buzzing away in the corner. All cat fountains use a pump to move water, which is going to make some noise, but how noticeable is it? Can you hear it through the house or over the TV? Or is the sound quieter than the hum of a refrigerator?


To test the filtration system of each cat water fountain, we dropped small hairs and cat kibble crumbs in the water and then evaluated how well they were filtered out.

Did Cats Like It?

A cat water fountain isn’t very good if the cats don’t drink from it. We evaluated how quickly cats took to drinking from the fountain, whether or not they had any problems, and if they drank more water than normal.

Chase Roseberry Author Image
Chase Roseberry

Chase’s life has been a remarkable journey into the world of animals. From his time spent working with an equine Veterinarian, raising exotic snakes, and live coral aquaculture, his diverse background fuels his passion for the animal kingdom.

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