Pros and Cons of Large and Small Cat Fountains

In our shop, http://www.catfountains.etsy.com we offer both large and small capacity fountains and each has their virtues and their drawbacks. The purpose of this post is to address those issues so potential customers can make an educated decision on which size of cat fountain to buy.

I define a small capacity fountain as holding anywhere from 4 to 7 cups, a medium cat fountain holds from 8 to 12 cups and a large capacity holds upwards of 12 cups all the way up to 24 cups. Any fountain meant for a cat larger than this is disadvantageous, for a variety of reasons, discussed below.

The fountain below holds about 5+ cups. This fountain would need replenishing about every other day or so if for a single cat. If for two or more cats you would probably want to replenish it daily. It’s advantage is that it is light weight so easy to transport when filled with water.

The next fountain is in the medium sized range, holding about 8 cups.

Still light weight but can go a few days without adding more water. This is about the size fountain my cat, Bijou has. I clean it once a week and it is very easy to work with.

At first we are tempted to think that the larger the fountain and greater the capacity the better but this is only true if you have several animals and don’t want to be frequently replenishing. The disadvantage of a large cat fountain bowl for one or only a few animals is that because it doesn’t need replenishing often it may not receive the cleaning it needs when it needs it. After all if the fountain still has lots of water there is a temptation to just leave it but this is not the best practice when considering your cats’ health.

Any fountain, even the best of the ceramic cat fountains such as ours which are handmade of 100% food save stoneware and tested and proven glazes still need an occasional cleaning. Though the copper used in many of our fountains inhibits a lot of bacteria growth, water is the natural home of billions of organisms and if allowed to sit will eventually become distasteful to your cat. Generally, cleaning about once a week seems good, at least for Bijou who is a very clean, short-haired cat but with other breeds and more cats more frequent cleaning is probably in order – possibly about once every four days.

Because cleaning of these fountains (and do note, this is not true of the manufactured cat fountains such as the Drinkwell, and others), is so simple, requiring about 3 or 4 minutes, cleaning every few days is not a hardship.

Below is one of our large capacity fountains. The primary downside to such a large capacity fountain is that it is really heavy. Empty it weighs 15.5 lbs – not a problem, but filled to its two gallon capacity it weighs 40 lbs. Ok for many but too much for others.

As suggested, the other potential drawback of a large capacity fountain is that it may not get the frequency of cleaning that is optimal for clear, clean and healthful cat drinking water. There is a reluctance to picking it up and carrying it to the sink and as the water will will continue to look perfectly fine long after it has become not as appealing to your cat – this can be disadvantageous.  Of course, if you keep it next to the sink this is not an issue, and, you can always scoop out some of the water before lifting so this can still work as a cat fountain.

As an indoor fountain for home decor, cleaning the fountain is much less of an issue and needs to be done much more infrequently and that was the real intend behind the making of this fountain. It is being offered as a cat fountain but will probably sell to someone who wants it for its beauty.

When you go to buy a fountain for your cat, consider your needs. For one cat any fountain from 4 to 12 cups is plenty. For 2 or more cats aim for the 10 to 15 cup capacity cat fountain and if no one will be there to replenish the fountain for a couple of days, stay to the higher range.
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THE BENEFITS OF COPPER IN WATER

Copper Cat Tap

Having discovered the benefits of copper in drinking water  (see this link:

 

 

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimicrobial_properties_of_copper I have begun adding more copper components to my fountains. You can see these at http://www.catfountains.etsy.com. In fact, most of my fountains have at least a copper spout. Copper will not corrode in water or air and in fact is an antimicrobial which helps purify water – thus its use in ancient times and in high scale home building.

Above is the 1 Cat Cat Tap and below is the 2 Cat Cat Tap.

Note that these are handmade from pure copper and that the solder is lead-free. Great for the countless cats who like to drink from the tap. You can see these and other copper elements in my fountains at http://www.etsy.com/shop/catfountains

The Drinkwell ‘Ceramic’ Lotus Fountain

This fountain has some nice features, to be sure. I like the mechanism for adjusting the flow and the water falls nicely from the upper bowl to the lower, at least so long as the gasket on which the upper bowl sits, lasts.

I found the pump to be too noisy and the process for taking it apart and cleaning it much too involved. They advertise a sponge filter, which it does indeed have, but they say it needs to be replaced every 2 to 4 weeks and that it is not necessary.However, they do use this as a selling point.

To take it apart for putting in the dishwasher you remove the inner pieces, disconnect the pump cord from the transformer, loosen the nut on the bottom of the bowl, pull the pump out, remove the plastic tube the cord goes down through and the plastic clip which holds it in place. To reassemble you reverse that process. More than most people will want to go through every week.

It’s main drawback though is the considerable plastic components which have been proven to give cats chin acne – a nasty disease you definitely do not want to expose your cat to. Whether from the plastic itself or from the inevitable scratches which will accrue and which harbor bacteria, plastic is not good material for pets food and drinking bowls. Ceramic – all ceramic – is best, such as those found I make and sell at http://www.catfountains.etsy.com.

Cat Fights

Woke up this morning (about 4:30) to the sound of a cat fight. It was my “artist not a fighter” Bijou facing off a large black cat never seen before. It was vicious.  Screaming, howling, battling, tearing into one another. I could just see from the vantage of my bedroom window, then went down for a closer look.

It was hard going all around. They seemed equal and equally unwilling either to give up or to completely dominate. But this is Bijou’s territory so the duty for mastery was his to achieve.  Don’t know how my being there (I encouraged him, verbally but it didn’t seem right to completely interfere) affected the outcome. They scuffled more (Bijou came in with claw marks on his face and body and black hair in his claws) and the other cat made a slow if very willing retreat.

But it took its toll on Bijou. He was hurt. Not in any physical way that required medical attention, but somehow, perhaps in spirit, perhaps in exhaustion and he behaved differently. He lay on the carpet, contained, not giving up anything. With calling he came up on my lap and by and by he purred and seemed ok but he was not quite himself. He ate but not much and returned to his exclusive, by-myself-leave me alone posture.

So happens Jackie was under the weather. She carried him up, bodily, to the bedroom where they both spent most of the day, he purring and she delighted to have him so. I think he is ok. In fact, I believe he just went out.

New Designs for Fountains

We continue to refine our fountains, both for feline hydration as well as home decor and we believe that cat drinking fountain should contribute to your home decor as much as to your cats’ health. It should absolutely not be made of plastic but rather ceramics and it should be as enjoyable to see as any of your favorite art items.

Thrown on the wheel by me (Keith) and then hand-built by Jackie, here is a fountain that I believe deserves prominence in your home and should be available to your cats.  Here is a video of it.

The Cat Tap – a Video

To see how the new design of the Cat Tap works, check out this video.

Cats & Moving Water

I may have mentioned this before but given the importance of the issue, a little redundancy may be a good thing. Why is it important? Because cats are very vulnerable to kidney failure due to lack of hydration. They tend not to drink enough yet this need not be the case.  The fact is, cats are not attracted to a still pool of water.

In nature the safest water is moving water that the sun shines on. Still water harbors dangerous bacteria, becomes stagnant and foul so cats are hardwired to seek moving water. They also are attracted to the visual and aural stimulation moving water provides. Almost every time I set up a new fountain for testing in my home Bijou goes straight to it. In this link he is drinking from something I call the Drinkbetter design.

Free Fountain Giveaway

Want to win a free fountain like the one below? Floppycats and I are doing a free giveaway. Click the image to go to the site where this is taking place.

Free Fountain Giveaway

 

It’s Catching On

Customers are telling their vets about our cat drinking fountains, vets are telling their clients about the value of cat fountains, people are telling one another and it is quite obvious to me that a great many more cat owners are aware of the value of ceramic cat drinking fountains than was the case even a few months ago.

A Customer's Cat Enjoying One of Our Fountains

Sales have almost doubled since March of this year with each month showing a significant increase. Of course, this isn’t happening all by itself. Jackie and I work at this about 80 hrs/week, 7 days a week. Further, it took 6 years of research and development to come up with the best products, materials and techniques for creating truly attractive, healthful, food-safe cat fountains.

I am deeply familiar with every fountain pump available in America, including all the imports and I know which are the best and what makes them so. I have pending patents on several innovations used in the creation of these fountains and with Jackie’s ornamentation ability and my background in creating gardens we are able to present a product that is far above the competition in both functionality and aesthetically while being much easier to set up and to maintain. Hard work, and lots of it, along with some innate talent and lots of experience is why we are at the forefront of this industry, but the reason this industry exists is and is growing is, quite simply, because of the cats.

People love their cats and it has finally become widely known that cats prefer, need and will thrive with moving water. It was our cat who led us into this industry (I made indoor fountains and found him using them all the time so did some research) and it is other people’s cats who are keeping us in it.

Not Only Fresh, Oxygenated Water, Entertainment Too - From Another Customer

 

 

The Cat Tap Fountain – A Customer’s Video

A customer sent me this video of her cat enjoying his new fountain, the Cat Tap.