My cat has a stainless steel water bowl which I clean and refill every day. In the last few days, I have been looking for a drinking fountain (ceramic or stainless steel) because I want the best for my cat, but some comments in Amazon says that they can be pretty anti-hygienic as they have some plastic parts inside, and they are harder to clean (not for an every day cleaning).

Which one is healthier and better for water hygiene, the everyday-cleaned water bowl or a drinking fountain?

I want to add I have a water filtering machine at home, so both my cat and I drink filtered water.

3 Answers 3


Water fountains for cats are #1! I recommend the Catit Design Senses Fountain, It's really easy to clean - the top piece comes right off allowing you to easily clean inside. The water is also filtered, your cat will be drinking cleaner water than you!

Cats prefer running water over still water, hence why you see cats drink from taps all the time. Water consumption is VERY important in cats so the more enticed they are to drink the risks of crystals diminish as well as it promotes kidney health.

With this said, not all cats like water fountains - so keep your receipt in case you need to return it!

The downfall with bowls is cats tend to drink less and if you are to use plastic they are more likely to get bacterial infections like feline acne. Bacteria tends to easily stick to plastic and is more difficult to clean (they get wedged in the cracks/crevices of the plastic texture). If you need to stick with bowls, use stainless steel 100%.

  • Humans can tell the difference between sitting and moving (well aerated) water. Water that has sat out for a while is often described as tasting "stale." Cats may be able to tell the difference as well. I have both bowls and fountains, and the cats use both. I just got one of the ceramic fountains. I like it better than the stainless and plastic models. It is very sanitary, well constructed, can go in the dishwasher, and it is easy to clean by hand as well.
    – Beo
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 17:33
  • I concur with the Catit, though I like this one better: amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B0146QXOB0/ref=dp_ob_neva_mobile Also, my cats HATE the stainless bowls.
    – M.Mat
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 16:51

From my experience with cats, we only used bowls for their water. It was either in a plastic bowl or glass bowl. Three cats would share this bowl, and we would clean it or change out the bowl about once a week (it would get refilled daily). Our cats never had any issues with it, and lived long healthy lives.

As for the fountain, I would see this working just as well. Although if there are parts that are not able to be cleaned, buildups can occur, causing either the fountain to plug up or contaminate the water. But, if you would compare the two, I would say that a clean fountain and a clean bowl would have the same benefits.


I offer both a stainless steel bowl and a drinking fountain for my two cats (two different locations of the house). I have noticed Annabelle, my two year old American Shorthair, prefers running water and in fact will not even drink from the bowl but instead will use it to play in. If the fountain is empty or not running she will in fact go turn on facets in my house to offer herself drinking water. Cleo, my at least 15 year old long haired Babydoll mixed breed, will drink from either depending on where she is. She doesn't seem too picky and will even drink after the dog that lived in the same house as her for 7 years. (she lived with my sister and the dog but came to live with me after she adopted my dad as her owner). I personally prefer the fountain myself as it seems to keep cleaner whereas the bowl always seems so dirty and gets those buildups in it. The fountain looks amazingly clean (probably due to the filter) even after 3 days when I'm cleaning it with just a tiny bit of hair buildup whereas the bowl I find myself refreshing it at least once a day if not up to 3 (on the days the dog visits).

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