If you are looking to purchase a pet fountain for your cat, check out our review on the Drinkwell® Butterfly Pet Fountain from PetSafe Canada and see if this model is a good fit for your feline companion! With this simple and fun design, it may just be the affordable option you were looking for.
Why is drinking water important for your feline companion?
If you have a cat you most likely know that they do not have a high drive for drinking water yet it's so very important for them to stay hydrated - especially males. Why? There are a number of factors (ie. diet, stress, etc.) that can contribute to urinary blockages or health issues which can be caused by low water intake for all cats.
"It it recommended that cats drink 3.5-4.5 ounces of water daily per every 5 lbs/2.3 kg (www.preventativevet.com)."
Specifically, male cats have smaller urinary tracts and are more susceptible to getting stones or crystals which can result in urinary blockages.
A high moisture diet is best for any cat which is why some cat guardians will add water to their cat's food if they're picky, feed them wet/raw food or purchase a water fountain as another option to drink (www.petmd.com). Some (such as myself) do a combination of all of the above! In the wild, cats drink from freshwater springs or bodies of water. You might have a cat that prefers to drink from a tap or your fresh glass of water for this reason - they want FRESH water not water that's been sitting in their bowl for weeks which has accumulated dirt and bacteria. Now, think about the bowl(s) of water you have out for your cat(s). How often do you clean their bowls or change their water? It might not be as often as recommended which is every couple of days (www.vetstreet.com). It's also important to consider that cats in the wild do not drink where they eat so as to avoid contaminating their water source (www.treehugger.com). If you have a bowl of water located where your cat eats, consider having another bowl somewhere else as well. Another thing that you might not be aware of us whisker fatigue (www.petmd.com). Smaller bowls can put strain on a cat's whiskers so wider bowls are ideal for eating and drinking.
"Ideally, having a few different spots and options where your cat can drink is best because then you can observe and see which location or bowl is most desirable for your cat."
Gibson actually has 3 different spots and types of bowls where he can drink from (and we have a small apartment, too, yet we sacrifice the space knowing that drinking water is so important for his health). One is on top of a filing cabinet in a smaller/deeper bowl (cats like high spaces), another is beside his food in a wider/lower bowl (to avoid whisker fatigue), and our Drinkwell® Butterfly Pet Fountain is underneath a side table (to allow for a fresh source of water in a wider bowl to again, avoid whisker fatigue). He drinks from each of these sources at different times depending on how he feels.
Our Review on the Drinkwell® Butterfly Pet Fountain
Now that you understand the importance of water intake for cats and the need to consider a variety of options for them to encourage drinking more water, I will move onto our review of this product. Firstly, we wanted to thank PetSafe Canada for sending us this fountain to use and review! Now, onto "the good stuff".
The Good Stuff:
Fresh & Constant Flow of Clean Water - This is a big deal! With bowls, you should be cleaning them and changing the water every couple of days. We clean this fountain 1-2 times a week since the carbon filter catches any water or debris that may fall or sneak into it. Changing the filters inside must be done at least once a month.
Size - This fountain holds 1.5 litres of water which is more than enough water for a cat's needed daily water intake. If this device was any bigger it would just be taking up unnecessary space.
Simple Design - In the box you will find just 8 pieces which is so easy to understand in putting together. Once assembled, you only ever have to take off the top to replenish or change the water/filter (see photo 5, above). Because the parts are so minimal it's also really easy to clean.
Options - The butterfly is such a fun addition allowing for 4 small running streams of water for your cat(s) to drink from (see photos 1-3, above). However, if your cat(s) doesn't like this device it can easily be removed leaving one single spout which keeps the water running continuously to offer that fresh drink (see photos 4 & 6, above).
Affordability - This fountain is priced at $46.99 on the PetSafe Canada website. I think that is a totally fair price for this device which encourages your cat(s) to drink more which is ultimately better for their health!
The Stuff I'd Change:
The Top Part - Since the top is really shallow, I find that it's a challenge to pick up the fountain, bring it to the sink, and dump it to replenish the water, change the water, or change the filter. If you are carrying the fountain far and do not hold it completely level you can easily spill water all over the place. This shallow top also makes it difficult to find the perfect spot to put this device. Since we live in an older house, the floor is not completely level and the water will easily spill over if the surface you put it on is on any kind of slant (see photo above). Finding a spot for it was hard because we had to have a plug close by as well as a completely level surface.
Material - I do prefer Gibson to drink and eat out of stainless steel or ceramic since bacteria is more likely to form in plastic once it cracks or scratches. It then may start to stink as the bacteria builds. While the plastic is BPA free, I still would much rather have one of the two above desired materials (but Petsafe also offers such fountains).
Filter Replacement Fee - There is an added fee for the carbon filters which need to be replaced every 2-4 months which costs $15.99 for a 4 pack on Amazon. The foam filters will need to be changed every 4 weeks which costs $7.97 for a 2 pack on Amazon. While I know that this is the case for any other water fountain you purchase, I still consider it something I don't love about the product.
Limited Colour Options - I would love to see the option to choose different colours (and even the shape of the spout at the top) if you aren't a fan of blue or butterflies. Customizing the look you want makes it aesthetically a better fit in anyone's home.
Since we have an older house which doesn't really have level surfaces and I prefer stainless steel or ceramic over plastic, I feel that I would go with another design of water fountain by PetSafe Canada. The challenge of finding a flat spot with a plug nearby was no easy thing in a small space! I did really love how affordable this model is, though. I also really liked the simple design as it makes cleaning this item pretty easy. If your cat does not drink enough water I would recommend first speaking with your vet to see if there are any health issues. Once any health issues are ruled out, I would recommend trying other options of drinking stations for your cat and including a water fountain such as this if you feel that it meets all of the criteria you are looking for in a pet fountain!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read. I'd love to hear your thoughts on your experiences with water fountains you've used! Feel free to message me on Instagram, email me, or drop a comment below (just note that I cannot comment back but always read what you write).
xx Sarah & Gibson