Two questions that frequently arise concerning cat water fountains are; How do cat fountains work? And, Are electric cat water fountains safe? This article, along with the accompanying videos, answers both these questions.
Almost all cat water fountains contain a submersible aquarium pump, and as the name suggest, the pump is submersed in water. Millions of aquariums, man-made ponds and streams also use submersible pumps, though generaly pond and waterfall pumps are much larger than cat fountain pumps.
In the United States a cat fountain pump is 110 volts (in Europe they are the standard voltage for there, 220 volts) and the wattage for a cat water fountain pump is around 4 watts. This may vary slightly depending on the size of the particular pump. A ThirstyCat fountain pump, both our North American as well as our overseas pumps are 4 watt pumps which use very little electricity.
As this video demonstrates, the pump draws water in through a screen by way of an impeller (like a propeller) and ejects it out a nozzle into the vessel in which the pump sits, thus, recirculating the water. The pump is completely sealed, as is the cord, and both are meant to be in water. Almost all cat fountains have the same sort of pump which works in the same way and they are all safe.
All other aspects of the functioning of the various brands of cat fountains, however, vary considerably, depending on the fountains’ design. This link will take you to videos showing several of the more common cat water fountains. They were created by owners of those cat fountains and posted on Youtube.