My oldest cat drinks a lot, and he prefers running water. He constantly begs my husband and I to turn on a bathtub or sink faucet, even though he has multiple water bowls. This finally inspired my spouse to order the Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Raindrop Design Fountain, which constantly circulates the water, as a possible solution. Not only does the geriatric cat love it, but my other three all take turns drinking from it, too.
An Odd Design
As the name implies, the Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Raindrop Design Fountain has what could be considered a "raindrop" shape. The water bubbles up from the stainless steel bowl and cascades down a slightly inclined surface back into the bowl. The water circulates constantly, as long as it's plugged in. It's made to appeal to both dogs and cats.
Although the water is simply recirculated, as opposed to fresh water from a faucet, my husband hoped the motion would attraction our old cat. He got the Pioneer Pet fountain in exchange for "Paws Points," which we earn from our cat litter purchases. Since we didn't have to lay out any cash, he thought it was worth a try.
The cat in question likes to play in his water bowls, splashing the liquid all over the floor. The raindrop design turned out to be helpful, since I was able to slide the open bowl part of the fountain under our cabinets and leave the part with moving water fully open for drinking. Thus far, this has prevented any mess.
Fairly Easy Assembly
Assembly was fairly easy, although the fountain didn't work on the first try. My husband reassembled it, we refilled it with water, plugged it in again, and it promptly kicked on. The motor makes some noise, which immediately piqued all four of my cats' curiosity. They quickly gathered around, but no one was bold enough to actually try to take a drink.
I left the fountain plugged in (you'll have to find a convenient outlet and monitor the cord to make sure your felines don't chew it), and sure enough, when I returned a few hours later, our old guy was busily lapping up the moving water. Since then, he has almost completely stopped begging for water from the faucets. We don't have any problem with needing to get our cats to drink more, but if you do, I suspect this fountain might encourage them.
Our other three cats soon warmed up to the Pioneer Pet fountain, too. I've seen all three of them drinking from it, although our youngest cat favors it the most. I leave it plugged in most of the time, although I unplug it when we're going to be gone for several hours. I worry that the cats might play in the water and make the level low enough to damage the pump because there isn't enough to circulate.
The fountain is in the bathroom that is attached to my bedroom. I can hear the motor, but it's not loud enough to bother me. I see it more as white noise, on the level of a refrigerator.
Cleaning and Filters
The bowl and motor need periodic cleaning, and you have to change the fountain's filters regularly. My sneaky old cat still manages to get his paws in the water, which sometimes drops cat litter into the bowl, meaning that I must maintain the Pioneer Pet fountain regularly. The stainless steel makes cleaning a breeze, and it's more sanitary than a plastic drinking bowl. I top off the water level daily in the meantime.
I'd like to keep the bowl in my kitchen, but my cats spit dry food into their regular bowls, and I know they'd do the same with a fountain. I'm sure that would wreak havoc with the pump!
I'm not happy about the prospect of having to order filters, but that comes with the territory of having a pet fountain.
The Bottom Line
If your cats aren't already interested in running water, it's possible they wouldn't respond to the Pioneer Pet fountain. But if you have felines who love drinking from faucets or you want to try to entice them to raise their water intake, it's worth a try. I'm sure it would work well for dogs, too, although I think the drinking area would be a bit small for very large breeds.
We try to keep our senior cat as comfortable and happy as possible, and the Pioneer Pet fountain helps us accomplish that.