Review Of Brands Of Ceramic Cat Drinking Fountains
When it comes to ceramic cat fountains
there are now several choices available; from the foreign-made mass produced, to the American mold-made, to the American hand-built from scratch, to the made-everywhere-and-assembled-in-the-United States cat drinking fountains. Each of these cat fountains has its virtues and flaws. Here we present those choices to you for your consideration.
Plastic Fountains Are Out
With the growing realization that plastic is a very poor choice for any vessel used for eating or drinking (for numerous reasons – go here to read more on this) and after decades of producing plastic pet fountains, most of the major manufacturers now offer a (mostly) ceramic model. Pioneer, Petsafe, Drinkwell, Ipetttie – pretty much every mass producer of cat fountains now provides a ceramic option. The good news is that ceramic definitely is the right material. The not so good news is that being made in China or Mexico neither the virtue of the clay body itself or the glazes can be verified and their quality is, in fact, questionable. More on this further on.
We have examined several models of mass produced ceramic cat drinking fountains and have found them to all work well. The water is more accessible in some than others (on the Pagoda fountain to the left, for example, the lower basin is cramped but the streams and upper basin are easily accessed), but the flow is generally good. Water sounds vary from model to model.
For the most part these cat fountains are not unattractive, though your choices are limited to one or two designs or colors for any given manufacturer. Generally speaking for all of the mass-produced ceramic cat fountains the clay seems less dense than stoneware ceramic and fired at a lower temperature, thus saving in production cost, and is less durable than stoneware. They are mass-produced where glaze components are not controlled (China mostly) so the glazes may contain lead and other toxic minerals which also lowers firing temperatures/costs but renders them not food-safe. This cannot be verified one way or the other.
Prices for these fountains range from just under $40 to around $90. The Drinkwell Pagoda, for example is just under $80, however with filter replacement at the recommended frequency, that cost quickly escalates. More on this here.
The Miaustore cat fountain, to the right, is a more recent introduction to the world of ceramic cat fountains and is also made in molds. The one we purchased was made in Mexico so may be of earthenware and the glaze recipe is of course, not known. Their ad says there are eight drinking areas – we don’t find eight, but that is not important. What may be important is that the streams are very short for those cats seeking a faucet experience. The bottom drinking area is cramped but the three raised areas are quite ample and easily accessed. Cost is in the vicinity of $90 or so.
Made In America
Bringing it to the United States we have the Glacier Point Pet Fountain, an elaborate affair (at least in this model) complete with a refrigerator unit and extra bottles of water. These are mold-made (this is obvious by the fact they are all the same shape), which is only an issue if you are looking for a unique fountain. (The next two brands we present provide this.) It is also a bulky fountain pretty much requiring placement in the kitchen or garage but if you do go for this model, it is best to keep it away from your cats’ food. (Their food and water shouldn’t be near each other). This particular model costs over $300 but they have less expensive models too.
Also made in the U.S.A are ThirstyCat Fountains. These are the only completely handmade ceramic cat drinking fountains for which both the fountain bowls and center pieces are wheel-thrown and hand-built, and the glazes are made from scratch from raw minerals. The value of this is that complete food safeness can be and is certified. Another virtue of a ThirstyCat fountain is that each one is unique. Because they are made by hand, no two are exactly the same, though different designs are repeated, and there are many styles and glazes from which to choose. Cost for these fountains ranges from about $125 to about $200. The filtration system, however, is quite robust and over a four year period the overall cost of this brand is less than most mass produced brands.
Made Everywhere, Assembled in America
The newest arrival to the ceramic cat fountain scene are the Cattaps cat fountains. This company purchases high quality ceramic-ware and re-purposes the pieces, creating beautiful cat drinking fountains which they certify to be food-safe. These are intended to be as much works of art as they are cat fountains, a value they share with the makers of ThirstyCat fountains. Prices hover around $300 but there are also more and less expensive models.
It is now thoroughly established by Veterinarians and others
that plastic is not a suitable material for cat fountains or fountains for any pet and there are now a good variety of ceramic cat fountains from which to choose, from the fairly low end to the high. Somewhere in there are bound to be cat water fountains to suit your pets, your home and your budget.