Antimicrobial Properties of Thirstycat Fountains

Man has exploited the inherent antimicrobial properties of copper since the earliest civilizations

It has been demonstrated clearly in many scientific studies conducted over several decades that copper has rapid, broad spectrum antimicrobial efficacy against some of the most toxic species of bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Ancient civilizations took advantage of the antimicrobial properties of copper long before the concept of microbes became understood in the nineteenth century. In addition to several copper medicinal preparations, it was also observed centuries ago that water contained in copper vessels or transported in copper conveyance systems was of better quality (i.e., no or little visible slime (biofilm) formation) than water contained or transported in other materials. Molecular mechanisms responsible for the antibacterial action of copper have been a subject of intensive research. Scientists are also actively demonstrating the intrinsic efficacies of copper alloy “touch surfaces” to destroy a wide range of microorganisms that threaten public health. 99.9% pure copper has this same effect in your cats’ fountains, helping prevent the build-up of undesirable materials. It is important that the copper be kept clean and not allowed to build up oxidation which will naturally occur.

Cleaning copper is simple, quick and easy. Simply soak it for a few minutes in a mixture of 1 tablespoon of salt to 1 cup of white vinegar to maintain the beneficial antimicrobial properties.

copper spout

This is easily achieved simply by dropping the copper component into a solution of 1 tbs salt to 1 cup vinegar occasionally. To our knowledge, Thirstycat Fountains is the only fountain maker that includes with almost every fountain a copper component which has this effect.*1 All our bubble-up designs have an antimicrobial copper spout (which you can use or not – the fountains all run perfectly without if you choose), and all our Cat Taps are made from this material. We have the one cat, the two cat and the 30 d Cat Taps as well as the copper Waterleaf and the Downflow Cat Tap. All are antimicrobial.

How We Create Anti-Microbrial Copper Tubing for a ThirstyCat Fountain

Here is the antimicrobial copper tube being annealed to form a Downflow Cat Tap. Annealing (heating to cherry red) allows us to bend the copper without it kinking. We created the Downflow after learning from many cat owners that their cats are constantly asking to have the faucet turned on.

After annealing and shaping the Cat Tap, a pleasing line is cut with a jewelers’s saw where the water exits. The piece is then cleaned in salt and white vinegar, polished with a course polishing bit and then fine polished with a fine polisher.

The finished piece is placed in the fountain it was designed for or if previously purchased, for a fountain of the same dimensions (each antimicrobial Cat Tap is made to fit a particular fountain), and tested. If any adjustments are necessary they are made, the piece is tested again and ready to go.

Finished Copper tubing in a ThirstyCat Fountain.