Where Is The Best Place To Put A Cat Water Fountain?

## Where to Place a Cat Water Fountain

Cat water fountains provide fresh, circulating water for cats to drink. They encourage hydration by mimicking natural streams and taps that interest cats more than a still bowl of water. Proper placement of a cat fountain allows easy access for drinking while keeping the area clean and safe. When deciding on fountain placement, consider high cat traffic areas, accessibility, cleaning convenience, electrical safety, and avoiding direct sunlight.

Away from Food

Cats instinctively prefer their water sources to be far away from their food bowls. In the wild, cats would avoid drinking from water sources located near their prey, as contamination from the dead prey could make the cat sick. This instinct remains strong in domestic cats. As veterinarian Dr. Justine Lee explains, “In the wild, flowing water sources are preferable, and wild cats will avoid ‘stagnant’ water sources where kills may have been made.”

It’s important to place your cat’s water fountain far from their food bowls to avoid contamination. Bits of food, saliva, and even bacteria from your cat’s mouth can transfer from their food dish into a nearby water source. Dr. Lee recommends placing your cat’s water fountain at least 3-4 feet away from their feeding area.

Keeping water sources a good distance from food bowls will help satisfy your cat’s instincts. More importantly, it prevents disease-causing bacteria from spreading from your cat’s food into their drinking water. By following this simple tip, you can keep your cat’s water clean and appetizing for them to drink.

High Traffic Area

Placing the cat fountain in a high traffic area that cats frequent will encourage them to drink more often. When the water fountain is in an easily accessible spot along your cat’s normal pathways, they will pass by it and be reminded to take a few sips throughout the day. According to this article, the easiest way to get a cat to drink from a fountain is to ensure it is in a convenient location they visit regularly.

Good high traffic spots to consider are near the food bowl, in the kitchen, family room, or other communal areas of your home. You want your cat water fountain situated in places your cat already hangs out daily. Passing by the water source frequently will pique their curiosity and interest each time. The more often your cat has access to fresh flowing water, the more likely they will be to hydrate properly. Just be sure to avoid placing it right next to food, litter boxes, or noisy appliances.

Quiet Location

Cats dislike loud noises while drinking from their fountain. Noise and activity can startle cats as they drink, causing stress. Therefore, the fountain should be placed away from loud appliances.

A good spot is in a quiet room away from the washing machine, dishwasher, television or other noisy electronics. The kitchen and living room tend to have more appliances and activity. Instead, consider a spare room, bedroom or home office. Place the fountain in a peaceful spot where your cat can drink without distractions or surprises.

Some fountains also generate a quiet humming noise from the pump motor or flowing water. If this is too bothersome for you or your cat, look for a model advertised as silent or whisper-quiet. You can read customer reviews to determine how loud a fountain is before purchasing.

With a quiet location away from appliances, your cat will feel calm and relaxed while drinking from their fountain. This ensures they are getting enough hydration without being disturbed or stressed out.


When choosing where to place a cat water fountain, it’s important to consider accessibility for your cat. The fountain should be at a height that is easily accessible for your cat to drink from. Many experts recommend placing the fountain at the level your cat would naturally drink from a bowl on the floor. For the average adult cat, a fountain placed at a height of around 6 inches is usually ideal.

If you have a senior cat or a cat with arthritis, choosing a fountain with a raised bowl area can make drinking easier and more comfortable. Raised bowls lift the water to a height that reduces strain on your cat’s neck while drinking. There are fountains designed specifically for this purpose, with bowls 4-6 inches off the ground. Check with your veterinarian if you are uncertain what height is best for your individual cat.

No matter the age of your cat, select a fountain positioned at a good height for easy access. This ensures your cat will actually use the fountain rather than avoiding it if difficult to drink from.

Cleaning Convenience

Cat water fountains require frequent cleaning and maintenance to keep the water fresh and prevent buildup of dirt, grime, and bacteria. Cleaning a fountain every 2-7 days is recommended, depending on the number of cats using it. Placing the fountain near a sink greatly improves the ease of maintenance.

According to pet owner discussions on Reddit, cleaning the fountain every time it needs a refill, which is about every 5-7 days, helps keep it fresh [1]. Pet brands also recommend weekly cleanings for fountains [2]. More cats drinking from the fountain means more frequent cleaning is required.

To clean the fountain, disassemble all parts – pump, filter, bowls, lids, tubes etc. Wash thoroughly with hot water, removing any slimy buildup. Vinegar can help remove stubborn hard water stains. Dry fully before reassembling. Keeping the fountain near the kitchen sink makes regular cleaning much quicker and easier.

Ample Space

When selecting the ideal spot for a cat water fountain, it’s important to allow ample space for your cat to drink comfortably without the fountain crowding them or getting in the way. According to Thirsty Cat Fountains, even small cat fountains should have a basin diameter of at least 11 inches for a single adult cat. For multiple cats, an even wider basin is recommended.

Additionally, be sure to leave space around the fountain so it doesn’t risk getting knocked over or tipped while the cat is drinking. ZeePet recommends their stainless steel fountain with dimensions of 9 x 8.6 x 5.1 inches, citing the size as pet-friendly.

Allow about a foot of clearance around the fountain basin so cats have sufficient room to access the water without bumping into walls or furniture. Position it in an open area without cramping your cat while they drink.

Electrical Safety

It’s important to consider electrical safety when choosing a location for your cat’s water fountain. According to Thirsty Cat Fountains, cat fountains generally have safe pump systems, but you should still take precautions.

Don’t place the fountain near appliances that could get wet like toasters or microwaves, as this creates an electrocution risk. The fountain should have space around it. You can further reduce risks by plugging the fountain into a surge protector rather than directly into the wall outlet. Surge protectors prevent power spikes that could damage the fountain.The Cat Site recommends GFCI outlets for fountains to prevent electric shocks.

With proper precautions, electric cat fountains can be perfectly safe water sources. Just be mindful of placement near appliances and use a surge protector.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

It’s best to avoid placing your cat’s water fountain in direct sunlight. Exposure to sunlight can heat up the water in the fountain, which can promote bacterial growth and algae formation.[1] Cats tend to prefer cooler water for drinking, so a fountain placed in the sun may deter your cat from drinking as much as they should.

Additionally, direct sunlight on the fountain can cause algae and biofilm to accumulate much faster. This can clog up the fountain and require more frequent cleanings. By keeping the fountain in a shaded area, you’ll prevent excess algae growth and your cat will have nice cool water available at all times.


In summary, there are several important factors to consider when determining the ideal placement for a cat water fountain. You’ll want to locate it in an area with high foot traffic so your cat is reminded to drink water regularly. However, also be sure to position it away from your cat’s food bowls and in a relatively quiet spot to avoid startling them while drinking. The fountain should be easily accessible for your cat while still allowing convenient access for you to refill and clean it. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight or areas that could get wet or dirty. With adequate space for your cat to comfortably drink and proper electrical safety precautions, finding the perfect spot for your cat fountain ensures healthy hydration.

Proper placement of your cat’s water fountain provides multiple benefits. It encourages drinking by making water readily available in an enticing flow. Cats tend to drink more from fountains than bowls, helping promote urinary tract health. The circulating water also stays fresher. With a conveniently located fountain, your cat will stay optimally hydrated.

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