Three Choices For Ceramic Cat Fountains
When it comes to ceramic cat water fountains there are three basic choices: Mold-made abroad (mostly in China), mold-made in the United States and Handmade in the United States. Here we examine each of these options in turn. First is foreign mold-made (mostly in China). Mold-made means that liquid clay is poured into a mold where it dries and creates a form such as those you see here. This is distinct from being handmade. Here is a page about that.
Ceramic Cat Water Fountains Mold-made Abroad
The above are three of about a dozen ceramic cat water fountains that are made by slip-casting, (mold-made). The left and center fountains are offered by the same companies that offer plastic versions of cat water fountains. The one on the right is from Miaustore which offers only this design but in several glazes and includes a version with a 24 carot gold band around the rim for around $500.
It used to be thought that there is nothing functionally disadvantageous in a ceramic cat water fountain that is mold made. However it has recently been discovered that there is a serious fault in these many foreign made ‘ceramic’ fountains such as you find on Amazon. After a time they become as slimy as plastic cat fountains and the slime cannot be removed. The reason for this is that they are made of low density clay with low-fire glazes and are porous. Not so much that they leak but enough that water penetrates into the body of the clay, bacteria grow and slime is the result.
Whereas cleaning corners and such might have been an issue with these ceramic cat water fountains, cleaning a fountain in which bacteria has colonized is nearly impossible without some powerful agent such as bleach.
That we distinguish these from American mold-made ceramic cat fountains is for the purpose of due diligence: The materials in foreign made fountains may or not contain toxic minerals (cadmium, lead) which may not be regulated in their place of manufacture whereas in the US at least lead is not permitted and toxic colorants such as cadmium, which gives bright colors such as rich red are cautioned against excessive use.
Ceramic Cat Water Fountains Mold-made in the US
This ceramic cat water fountain on the right is from Glacier Point and appears to be the only design available though different colors are offered. It is slip cast in a mold and features one or more water bottles and a refrigeration unit which chills the water. The claim is that cats want chilled water, (in spite of cats being hereditarily desert creatures.) It is certainly a well made unit with a price tag ranging from about $170 to over $300 depending on the options you choose and it is probably made of a high-fire clay so is not porous.
These ceramic cat water fountains on the right are a few varieties from Ebi pet fountains, we believe are located in Florida but we are unable to verify this as their Contact Us page is not working.
Although all of the bowls are mold-made in several different styles and sizes, the upper portions may be handmade or mold-made and they offer a variety of them and a variety of glazes as well. Prices range from the mid $200’s to over $400. These are well-built fountains. The aesthetics may not be for everyone, nor the complexity but they are certainly solidly made pet fountains.
Handmade Ceramic Cat Water Fountains
There appears to be only one source of ceramic cat water fountains made completely by hand worldwide and that is us, ThirstyCat fountains, located in Cambridge, NY.
“Completely Handmade” means that each part of the fountain; the bowl and center piece and cord cover, is either thrown on the wheel or built by hand (or both) at the ThirstyCat Fountains Studio. They are made of stoneware clay. Each piece is then bisque fired and glaze fired to 2,232°F. ‘Completely Handmade’ also means that the glazes are made from raw minerals by us, not bought bagged or wet, so that we know what is in them and how much of which minerals. (For food-safeness).
The Most Important Aspect of Handmade
There is another dimension to a completely handmade ceramic cat fountain that may not be readily apparent but which is of paramount significance. If you own a ThirstyCat fountain, you know that a small team of artists created your fountain. At ThirstyCats an individual with whom you may speak or whom you are welcome to meet threw the bowl and base of the center piece on the wheel. That person or one or two others may then have completed the center piece, either by carving, glaze-painting or by hand-building or all three. Every fountain is made this way, one at a time, by hand. Together we work out the best glazes for each fountain and work to make each one come out of the glaze kiln as beautiful as it can be. We ardently care about this.
This is what we do. We are a team of artists bringing to you what we intend to be the finest quality and most beautiful ceramic cat fountains available anywhere on earth. There is no other maker of cat fountains on the planet who offers what ThirstyCats offers.
And lastly (though in truth, firstly) is customer service. You can contact us, by phone, at least five days a week and speak with the maker of these fountains, before during or after your purchase and we are ready and quite able to help you. You can also email us. All questions are answered, all concerns addressed and resolved. Our many five star reviews testify to this.