What To Know When Selecting A Fountain

This page addresses the concerns many people have for the fountain they are about to purchase. It is intended to make your life a little easier and your selection well suited to your cats and you. Addressed are:

Cup capacity – how much water the fountain holds with the water level at about ½ inch below the rim

Size – the actual dimensions of the fountain measured across the diameter and from the floor to the rim.

Weight – in lbs. – full and empty, rounded to the nearest half pound.

Water SoundsHow loud or quiet the fountain is when running (water sounds, pumps make no noise), measured in decibel level (dB).

Cup capacity, size and weight are stated with each listing with decibel levels soon to be added. Cup Capacity is shown in the title and again in the second line of the description; Size in the first line of the description; Weight, full and empty, in the third line and where provided, Decibel level in the fourth.

fountain selection guide


The fountain should be easy enough for you to carry and fit comfortably where you want it with enough room for your cat to maneuver around it. You might expect your cat to drink from one particular  place on the fountain but she may well have other ideas about that. Remember too that you can always empty some water or not fill it all the way when you need to take it to or from the sink – or fill it in place.


If someone is there to top the fountain off, cup capacity is less relevant. Generally though:

1 cat – 6 cups or more

2 cats – 10 cups or more

More than 2 cats and,or another pet (such as a dog) – 11 cups and up.


All our fountains are made by hand of stoneware ceramic (high-fire clay) and are fairly substantial, weighing in the vicinity generally of four to six pounds empty. One cup of water weighs about half a pound (8 oz.), so A 4 lb. 8 cup capacity fountain will normally weigh about eight pounds filled, including the bowl, pump and center piece. A twelve cup capacity fountain will weigh about eleven pounds filled but these weights will vary slightly from fountain to fountain.


Water falling into water will always make some sound – so all the stream fountains have water sounds but this varies considerably from fountain to fountain. For any particular Stream fountain the water sound level can be adjusted but not eliminated. Here is a link on fountain water sounds.

Raised bubble-up fountains are generally silent but can be made to have slight trickling sounds at a higher volume.

Bubble-up fountains can also make no water sounds as the water generally falls onto the center piece but they too can be made to have burbling water sounds at a higher volume setting or with more water in the bowl.

The Serenity Flow Cat Tap add-on can be silent or give slight water sounds, depending on the pump setting (volume). The Downflow Cat Tap is generally silent as they are designed to have the water falling onto the center piece. This too is adjustable slightly. Check the listings for any particular fountain.

ThirstyCat Fountains