Dear Molly, Do you recommend a drinking water fountain for cats? If so, is there a style or brand that you suggest?
I don’t personally use a water fountain because bacteria grows so fast in a cat’s water bowl. The saliva goes back into the water as they’re drinking and their mouths have SO much bacteria, it grows on the bowl quickly. Usually if you run your finger along the bottom of the cat’s bowl you’ll feel a slimy coating – that’s the bacteria growing. Cats have an insane ability to detect the slightest amount of contamination, and often it will repel them to drink. When using a fountain, there are lots of parts (pump, hoses, etc.) that get slimy so they are very hard to clean. Personally, I use a glass bowl and keep it on the counter near the sink so I remember to wash it out a couple times a day.
I tried stainless, ceramic and plastic fountains and found the same problem with all of them.
However, you should indulge your cat in water - as much, as often, wherever, whenever he wants it! If your cat jumps up to drink out of the faucet while you're trying to brush your teeth, I recommend you let him. Cats are designed with a very low thirst drive and it's difficult to keep them well hydrated, so we want them to drink out of whatever makes them comfortable. Just be sure to keep it clean or no matter the vessel, they will not like the smell and not drink.
Hope that helps!