I began making ceramic fountains for home decor and putting them around my house and found my cat, Bijou, drinking from them far more than I ever saw him use his water bowl. I was watching him drink from this fountain when it occurred to me to do a search on cat fountains.
Low and behold, over six million results popped up and I was ushered into the vast world of cat fountains.
Turned out feline hydration is a big issue, the lack of it a major health problem and the addressing of it a big business.
There are a number of major manufacturers of cat fountains, most of them plastic and all of them made in China. So, what’s wrong with that? Two things. Plastic is notoriously bad for health and many cats get chin acne from drinking from plastic cat fountains, such as the Drinkwell and others. Chin acne can be very severe and entail serious lesions of the skin. The other issue is that nothing that comes out of China is certified food safe. Lead is more than likely to be one of the key ingredients in the glazes of the ceramic fountains made there. Here is a quote a customer left as public feedback on my Etsy store: “I finally found the perfect cat fountain!! I’ve tried Drinkwell, Petmate, etc. This one is quite and not a pain to clean. I forgot to order the cord w/ the switch and I’d recommend getting that. But really, this is GREAT.”
Ceramic is the best material to use for drinking water if it is made with lead-free glazes. It doesn’t scratch (another problem with the plastic fountains – they do scratch and harmful bacteria grow in those scratches) and it keeps water cool.
So, I began making ceramic cat drinking fountains and offering them for sale, and sell they do. There is a large world of cat lovers out there and many of them had been searching for a healthful cat fountain. I make mine out of 100 %, tested food-safe ceramics and I try to make them as suitable for home decor as for feline hydration.
The fountain on the right is the Drinkwell Platinum and the other is a ceramic fountain with a copper and enamel ‘waterflower’.
As I mention elsewhere, copper is the perfect material for delivering drinking water. It does not corrode and it actually inhibits bacterial growth. Enamel is lead free glass fused to copper, in this case, at about 1500F. The glazes on ceramic pots are also glass, fused at about 2300F. Both are completely inert and stable.
This is why I attribute the advent of these fountains to Bijou. If not for him I would never have realized the need or even had the idea of making ceramic cat fountains. He is also involved in R&D. Every new design is put in front of him for evaluation. So far he hasn’t seen one he didn’t drink from.