It is by now well documented that plastic pet fountains can cause chin acne in cats, as many an unhappy cat owner has discovered. This is not simply a matter of a few pimples but can be an ugly and painful rash of raw, open wounds all around the mouth. Fortunately, there are now several makers of both stainless steel cat fountains and ceramic cat fountains which can eliminate this threat. This article is a brief review of those available.
Drinkwell’s Lotus Pet Fountain is advertised as ceramic and the upper and lower bowl are, however the large central tower through which the water is delivered is plastic. Though relatively attractive, it is a complicated unit to clean, requiring considerable dismantling and as the water is constantly in contact with the plastic, it would seem to defeat it’s own purpose. This unit sells for around $100 and is made in China.
Pioneer makes both a stainless steel cat fountain and a ceramic model. The design is sleek and modern and the unit is fairly simple and easy to maintain. Both models are made in China, however, and there is no certification as to food-safeness or whether the glaze on the ceramic model is lead-free. Customers have also reported that these fountains splash. They sell for around $49 -$59.
There are several makers of ceramic cat fountains in the United States. Glacier Point makes several ceramic models. All models are comprised of rectangular boxes, cast in molds and each has upside-down glass bottles on top providing a large capacity of water. Except for the high grade, food-safe tubing and connecting devices they are 100% food-safe ceramic and, unlike plastic models, will not scratch, thus do not harbor harmful bacteria, which grow in the scratches in plastic fountains. Glacier Point’s refrigerated units keep the water chilled, possibly making it more appealing to pets, thus inducing better hydration.
On the down side, the refrigeration makes the fountain more costly to run. In addition,the Glacier Point pet fountains are definitely not designed with aesthetics as a guiding value. This brand is probably for those who take a purely practical stance on watering their pet and don’t much care about other issues, such as looks.
Whereas all the above mentioned fountains are manufactured, there are at least two individuals in the United States who make ceramic cat fountains by hand, using food-safe ceramics. Both sell their wares on the online store for handmade goods, Etsy. The shop, NoodleDoo Designs (http://www.noodledoodesigns.etsy.com) sells a great many other objects other than cat fountains. She does very whimsical work and though her cat fountains leave something to be desired (for example, the pump cord drapes over the rim), at least she offers an alternative to plastic pet fountains, not made in China. Fountain prices begin at around $100.