What are the pros/cons of automatic pet fountains?

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Cats love running water, and that’s probably why they love drinking from the faucet so much. That’s also one reason why one of those automatic pet fountains may be so good for your cat—and you.

Cats aren’t big water drinkers, probably because of their desert ancestors, but, like all living beings, they need ample amounts of water. This is especially necessary if your cat has urinary tract problems, because the extra water prevents the formation of crystals in the urine and promotes kidney function. It also helps prevent bladder infections.

Still undecided? The advantages are:

• The water is constantly circulating and filtered, so it cuts down on bacteria and other nasty stuff in your cat’s water. Also, if your cat goes outside, a cat drinking fountain encourages them to drink clean water, rather than pond, canal or other standing water that they’d find outside
• It’s constantly oxygenated so it’s always fresh and cold—and many cats prefer colder water.
• Many models have adjustable flow rates so your cat can get a trickle or strong flows, whatever she prefers.
• There will always be water available, especially if you have a larger fountain or reservoir, so it removes worry if you’re away from home for any length of time.
• Most models come apart completely for easy cleaning. While a replaceable motor is an advantage, many reviewers say their motor lasts for years.

And here are some points to consider when selecting a model:

• Select one with a large enough fountain or reservoir, especially if you have multiple cats or are away from home frequently.
• Look for models with submersible pumps, because some cats don’t like the sound of running water.
• Ceramic or steel bowls tend to attract fewer bacteria.
• Look for one that comes completely apart for easy cleaning. Also, sometimes the spigots become clogged so be sure the manufacturer has provided directions on unclogging.

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