The answer to this may depend upon what you mean by ‘worth it’. If you mean – do they contribute to your cats’ health, are they economical, are they time saving or are they an investment you won’t regret, the answer will depend on which brand of cat fountain you are speaking of.
Plastic (which contains BPA and may be harmful in itself) cat fountains are known to cause chin acne from bacteria which inhabit the inevitable scratches that occur in plastic. Steel, glass or ceramic do not do this. So plastic cat fountains cannot unequivocally be said to be beneficial to your cats’ health and may actually be harmful. In general though, cat fountains are advocated by veterinarians across the globe for helping to keep your cats hydrated – a very important and often unmet requirement for feline health. Cats crave moving water and fountains provide that, enticing them to drink enough.
Are they time saving? Again, this depends on which brand. No brand of cat fountain is easier to clean than a plain ceramic bowl. However, some cat fountains are really difficult to clean because of all the parts and or nooks and crevices, and if not cleaned properly, regularly, they will build up bacteria and slime. Other cat fountains (such as Thirstycat Fountains) are very simple, don’t scratch or build up slime, take about four minutes a week to clean – a little more than a plain ceramic bowl. But how much time (and money) does it take to bring your cat to the vet – over and over? A quality cat fountain will save you considerably in this area because your cat will stay healthier with a healthful, food safe cat fountain.
Are they an economical investment you’ll be glad you made? Again, this depends on which brand. Many cat fountains are cheaply made and though they seem like a good buy, they don’t last, so you’ll be buying more, and then more as time goes on. Most also require regular, frequent replacement of the filters which over a few years greatly adds to the cost. Other, such as Thirstycat cat fountains last a lifetime and have filters which last many times longer than most commercial brands. So though the initial cost is higher, the long-term cost is in fact less than the cheaper brands.
There are more reasons why cat fountains are worth it. Here is the review a veterinarian and animal hospital owner left on the Thirstycatfountains.com website, which you can read there too, along with numerous other reviews.
“I am a veterinarian with specialty training (ie board certified) in internal medicine. Cats are my favorite species and I’m always on the look out for ways to improve their well being. I first saw these fountains on the American Association for Feline Practitioners website.
I was impressed and eventually ordered a fountain for my cats (their Brackentree design).
Yes these fountains cost more than the “Economy” varieties, but there is a saying, “you get what you pay for”, and when folks complain about prices….well…I’ll take quality over junk any day.
I have Thirsty Cat Fountain brochures at my hospital, so clients can find out about this wonderful product. No more dripping faucets… and wasting water… a “no-no” here out west. The cats drink more and geriatrics are able to find the water surface much easier. This eliminates paw drinking and contaminated water. It also helps keep old cats with arthritis and cats with kidney disease hydrated. Plus they just plain old like it!”
So, the answer to the question, are cat fountains worth it seems to be a hands down; Yes, the right ones are very much worth it!