Why is Ceramic Superior to Plastic or Stainless Steel?
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Plastic Cat Fountains
Apart from the severe environmental disasters caused by both the manufacturer of plastic as well as the attempt to dispose of it, plastic is a vastly inferior material for any product used for eating or drinking. Some of the additives that are infused into plastic can cause permanent harm to our and our pets’ metabolism. Chemicals such as phthalates and BPA are widely used as additives that prevents degrading of plastic, (why plastic products remain in the environment indefinitely) and they also interfere with our natural hormone levels which can cause serious problems to both males and females. Those plastics which claim to be BPA-free frequently have an equally harmful alternative – a practice called ‘regrettable substitution’. Below are a just a few of the many plastic pet fountains available.
Additionally, all plastic becomes scratched
and in the presence of water, those scratches become home to vast colonies of harmful bacteria which can, and do, cause a variety of feline ailments including chin acne, a painful and frequently very difficult to treat disease characterized by blackheads, pustules and open sores. Plastic fountains are also notoriously difficult to clean due to both the bacteria growth as well as to the build up of slime from the accumulation of biofilm. The only way to deal with the harmful bacteria and biofilm that grow in plastic cat fountains is by frequent scrubbing with bleach, concentrated hydrogen peroxide or something similar. After scrubbing, the fountain must be very thoroughly rinsed to get rid of the odor or your cats won’t go near it.
Stainless Steel Cat Fountains
have few of the issues plastic cat fountains have. Generally, stainless steel cat fountains don’t become scratched and if they are made of all or mostly all metal they won’t harbor bacteria but be sure to examine them thoroughly to make sure there are not significant components made of plastic. Below are two commonly sold stainless steel pet fountains.
There Are Many Classifications of Stainless Steel
Some stainless steel pet bowls made overseas have been found to contain lead and radioactive metals. There are also many thickness grades of stainless steel, so quality can vary. If too flimsy, they won’t last and may rust, even though they are stated to be rust-proof. It can be helpful to read some reviews, (though beware,
up to 60% of reviews on Amazon were paid for by shady third party companies or the manufacturers themselves). So when it comes to shopping on Amazon, just make sure to be extra vigilant and take what is written with a grain of salt; or watch videos on Youtube to learn more about this. Cats may or not be put off by the metallic taste of stainless steel fountains, and you may or not like the designs available. That said, a stainless steel pet fountain is vastly superior to a plastic fountain.
Ceramic Cat Fountains
do not wear or oxidize, they can take heat and pressure and are resistant to chemical attack, they do not deteriorate in sunlight as does plastic and they exhibit extreme hardness. More importantly, they do not become scratched so don’t harbor bacteria and they do not develop biofilm. There is no environmental impact from the creation of ceramic pet fountains. A well made ceramic pet fountain is food safe and with reasonable care should last a lifetime.
There are Some Caveats Here However
A ceramic pet fountain is not 100% food safe if it contains any toxic elements such as lead or toxic colorants, or if it has too much of any colorant. For the fountain to be durable the clay needs to be of a certain density. (Both a less dense clay and the use of lead lower firing costs). As none of this is regulated in China and many other countries as it is in the United States, none of this can be known for any Chinese or foreign-made ceramic cat fountain. If ceramic studios in the United States do not make their own glazes they too cannot verify if they are safe as no ready made wet or bagged glaze gives its recipe of ingredients.
Easy To Clean
Another advantage to ceramic is that it is easy to clean, requiring simply warm soapy water and a sponge, but again, some caveats. If it is a lower class of clay/glaze, if the glaze is applied such that it is less smooth than it could be or if the fountain has a lot of corners or crevices, cleaning will be more difficult.
The only way to ensure that the ceramic pet fountain is of the highest quality
and is truly safe, is to know if the potter or ceramic studio employs strict oversite of the entire process of creating the fountains. The clay should be of stoneware or porcelain (both of which are quite dense but more expensive than lower grades of clay), the glazes need to be made from raw minerals for complete control over their ingredients, and the proportions of the various elements that go into the glaze need to be carefully determined according to guidelines established from testing by ceramics specialists for food safeness. The fountains also need to be fired to a very high temperature to ensure durability. The higher the firing temperature, the greater the cost of firing so expense cannot be the determining factor in choosing the clay, glaze and firing temperature. In fact, cost of creation cannot be the primary factor at all. Quality must be.
Variety of Designs.
is another of the many benefits of ceramic pet fountains – at least of handmade pet fountains. (This does not apply to fountains made in a mold). Simply by the nature of clay and the craft of hand-throwing and hand-building, designs are essentially unlimited for ceramic handmade cat fountains. One of the many advantages to this is that fountains can be made for longhair and flat faced cats; short hair cats; cats that want a gentle, quiet fountain; cats wanting a prominent water display or a faucet or stream; aggressive cats; very large cats or small cats and and just about any other characteristics your cats may have. In addition, with a handmade pet fountain you can choose from an essentially endless variety of forms and colors to suit your personal tastes as well as your cats’ and to harmonize with your decor.
There Are Several Brands
that meet all these requirements and the most known and valued among them are ThirstyCat Fountains. Each fountain is completely handmade from start to finish and consequently, all are one-of-a-kind. We make our glazes from raw minerals following the guidelines established by the extensive testing of scientists/potters John Hesselberth and Ron Roy and set forth in their book Mastering Cone Six Glazes. We bisque fire our ware to 1945°F and glaze fire to 2,232° F. We spray our glazes in a spray booth for maximum smoothness and test every fountain for a variety of issues including surface quality, quietness, quality of flow, no splash and other concerns. Below are is small sampling of our designs.
And What About Cost?
If you want to read what our customers write, See this Page.