After more than a year of use, still the best!

I bought a ThirstyCat fountain after my wonderful rescue kitty nearly died from bladder stones. He liked and used the fountain enough that I soon bought a second fountain. After more than a year of daily use, the fountains are still working well and more importantly so is my cat. He has not had a recurrence of bladder stones and in fact his overall health is much improved. He no longer has litter box issues and his chin acne is completely gone. Both his veterinarian and I attribute these changes to his much improved hydration from these fountains.

I spent less than $300 including shipping on two beautiful fountains from ThirstyCat — compare that with about $1000 in vet bills for diagnostics, sedation, catheterization and intensive care for one seriously ill cat. Not to mention his pain, suffering and extreme stress. After his urethral blockage I did try the $60/bag prescription urinary cat food but he wouldn’t eat it, hardheaded little beast that he is, so that was $60 wasted. The vet had mentioned that some cats don’t find it palatable. My cat now has the best of both worlds in that he can eat the food he enjoys while remaining free from bladder issues.

The cleaning/maintenance on the fountains is really easy and takes me less than five minutes about once a week for both fountains. I imagine if you have more than one cat or only one fountain you will probably need to clean it somewhat more frequently, but this works well for us.

The upfront cost of the ThirstyCat fountains definitely put me off for a while. I’m a stickler for living within my means — I budget absolutely everything, and if I can’t afford it I don’t buy it. After reading a couple pages of “top ten” or “best” pet fountains online, the cheap plastic fountains seemed like the way to go. Except, after I spent about $50 including shipping, the fountain I bought developed “slime” (bacterial biofilm) and the pet-safe products I used to remove the biofilm must have imparted an odor to the plastic, so my cat refused to use it. So that was $50 I might as well have lit on fire! My budgeting brain was deeply unhappy; you’re not saving any money if you buy something cheap that doesn’t work. I read more information and actual owner reviews online and decided a ceramic fountain would work best, but the $140-170 cost of the ThirstyCat fountain seemed like a lot of money for essentially a bowl with an aquarium motor. I continued to read reviews including ones for cheaper ceramic fountains (both factory and handmade) and realized that every single one of those cheaper fountains has significant drawbacks. Either they have a lot of hidden/recurring maintenance costs, they’re difficult or impossible to fully clean, or they consistently have problems with leaking/splashing because they’re badly designed and/or poorly made. Even if they cost maybe $50 less, with all those issues none of the cheaper fountains seemed like a wise purchase. Whereas there were just no real negative reviews of these fountains — a couple people were dumbfounded by physics (what? a ceramic bowl chips or breaks when dropped from height onto a hard surface? shocking) (incidentally, while packing for a move I managed to drop one of my fountains onto carpet — no chips or cracks, still in perfect condition). A few people were very unhappy that international shipping on a big heavy breakable object wasn’t magically free. Some reviewers seemed to have had particularly anxious cats, writing that their cats were scared of the waterfall on the model of fountain they purchased. I couldn’t find any other negative reviews from people who actually owned these fountains, which genuinely surprised me given how easy it is to hate on things online.

When I divided the initial cost of one of the bubble-up fountains over the course of a year, the ThirstyCat fountain cost about $12 a month. Totally reasonable, not a problem to fit in the budget, and as a bonus it’s supporting a locally owned small business that takes care of its workers and contributes to the community.

I’ve recommended these fountains to friends and other cat owners because I think they’re easily the best purchase you can make for your cat. For male cats especially, given their high susceptibility to bladder/urethral stones, these fountains practically pay for themselves. There’s definitely a significant initial cost but they’re well-made, easy to clean, last for many years with almost no maintenance, and honestly are so much less expensive than kitty ICU!

I wasn’t paid or compensated to write this review, I’m just truly grateful for these fountains and the huge difference they’ve made in my cat’s life. Thanks so much.

ThirstyCat Fountains