Cat Won’t Drink From Fountain

Cat Won’t Drink From Fountain

Your cat may not be drinking from a fountain because it is not yet used to the fountain. If you just recently introduced a water fountain to your cat after giving it water from a normal bowl for its entire life, it can be a big change for the cat. The experience is new, so it may take your cat a few days to get the hang of drinking from the water fountain.

Other reasons your cat does not drink from the water fountain are the noise it makes and the taste of the water.

If you just got your cat a water fountain and are wondering why it is not drinking from it, keep on reading.

Why will my cat not drink water from a fountain?

Most cats do not like changes in their routines and environment. If you have been giving your cat water in a bowl since it was a kitten, suddenly making them drink from a fountain can be quite a shock.

Your cat may also hesitate to drink from a water fountain because of the noises it makes and the taste of the water that comes out from it. Some cats may have no issue with the noise a fountain makes- they may even enjoy the sound- but other cats may get startled easily and need some time to figure out how drinking from this new device will work. Some water fountains are made of plastic, so when water makes its way through the fountain, it might make the water taste strange to your cat.

What are the benefits of using a water fountain for my cat?

Keeping your cat well-hydrated is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Providing your cat with a constant supply of fresh water is vital, so a water fountain is a safe, healthy, and practical option to the usual cat water bowl. Here are some reasons why it is worth it to splurge on a water fountain:


Water fountains will keep your cat’s water one to two degrees colder than a typical water bowl. This means the water will be cooler than room temperature. Two degrees is just the right amount of difference in temperature to make the water refreshingly inviting so your cat will drink more.


Drinking the recommended amount of water is important for your cat, especially if they are on a diet that consists mostly of dry cat food. These cats are not getting the extra water cats on a raw or wet food diet are getting, so they must drink more water throughout the day to compensate. Proper water consumption improves a cat’s digestion, increases nutrient absorption, and aids in flushing out the toxins and bacteria that have built up in the digestive and urinary tracts. A fountain can be a godsend for a cat that has a history of urinary tract infections.


Cat water fountains have a filter located in the motor that is usually made of carbon. Carbon helps remove impurities from tap water. It can keep water clean and may even improve the taste and smell. Filters can catch debris, such as hair and dirt, from building up in the water. If you look at your cat’s water bowl after a few hours, there is probably gunk that has settled at the bottom or is floating around. With a fountain, your cat’s water will stay much cleaner.


Most water fountains can hold two to three liters of water, sometimes even more. This large amount of water means you will no longer need to refill your cat’s bowl as often as you used to. If you have more than one pet, a water fountain’s ability to hold more water will help provide all your pets with more water throughout the day.


Bacteria breed much faster in standing water. The circulation in a water fountain can prevent bacteria and fungi from building up, so it will help keep your cat’s water clean and safe by constantly moving it around. If your cat likes to drink from the tap or even the toilet, the movement of water in the fountain can attract their attention and can keep them from drinking from the tap and toilet.

How can I get my cat to drink from a fountain?

The first thing you need to do is to move your cat’s previous water source next to the fountain while the fountain is turned off. Put water in the fountain as well as in the old water dish. This is so your cat can drink from either water source for a few days. This will help your cat get used to the fountain as a possible source of water.

Next, if your cat has been regularly drinking from the fountain while it is turned off, stop refilling your cat’s old water dish. Eventually, the water in the old water dish will taste stale and run out. Try to avoid giving your cat other sources of water such as the tap.

Meanwhile, continue washing and refilling the water fountain with still water. Try turning it on for a few hours at a time for a couple of days until your cat gets used to the sound.

When the water in the old dish runs out, remove it completely. Hopefully, by this time your cat is comfortable with drinking from the fountain while it is turned off. Turn it on more and more often everyday. The more comfortable your cat becomes drinking from the running fountain, the better.


If your cat does not drink from a fountain it could be due to your cat still trying to adjust to drinking from a new container. Cats are creatures of habit and they do not like when there are changes to their routine or to the things around them. Some cats do not like the noise that a fountain makes, while other cats may not be a fan of the plastic-y taste the water circulating in the fountain might have.

A water fountain is a great investment for your cat because it keeps the circulating water clean and cool, which encourages your cat to drink its daily recommended amount of water to stay healthy.

Encourage your cat to drink from a water fountain by placing its old water dish next to the fountain. Wait for the water from the water dish to become stale and run out so your cat moves on to the fountain for water. Eventually, your cat will prefer the water from the fountain.

Image: / Daria Kulkova