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Cats are notoriously fussy when it comes to drinking from their water bowls, and many will only drink free-flowing water from a cat water fountain.
However, most cat water fountains are powered by plugging into the mains, which is fine… unless there’s no plug socket nearby! This can lead to trailing wires across your home which acts as a trip hazard for both you and your cat. Some cats also love to chew on cables, which means a cordless fountain could be dangerous for your cat.
There’s an obvious solution to this: battery operated cat water fountains. These allow the motor to run on battery power, meaning you can place the water fountain anywhere you like in your home. Frustratingly, when looking to buy a cordless cat water fountain, not many seem to exist.
In fact, only a handful of all cat water fountains run on batteries, which can make it challenging to find a good one. Trust me, I went on the search myself for a battery operated cat water fountain and it was long and infuriating! So, to help you take the frustration out of this, I decided to compile a list of all the best battery operated cat water fountains and review them all for you. Let’s get started!
My Top Pick
The best battery operated cat water fountain is the HoneyGuaridan Smart Cat Water Fountain. Aside from this product, there is only really one other battery operated cat water fountain, so the competition isn’t too high! That being said, that doesn’t mean this product isn’t great.
This fountain is dual powered, meaning you can plug it into the mains if you wish, but it can also run just on battery power alone. It has a motion sensor so that the fountain only runs when your pet is nearby so that no battery power is wasted. Also, the clear design makes it easy to see the water level, and the charcoal filter purifies the water as it’s circulated. I love it!
You can read my full review of this product and the other cordless cat water fountain down below, along with some other solutions to your water fountain problems.
Best Battery Operated Cat Water Fountains
When on my near-impossible hunt to find a battery operated cat water fountain, there were several features that I would love to see in my ideal product.
- Battery-Operated: This one goes without saying, but the best battery operated fountain has to be, well… battery operated! There is also the option to get a gravity water bowl or a bowl with a long and chew-resistant cord, but more on this later.
- Automatic: To help conserve battery life and save you both time and money, automatic water fountains are preferable. These have a motion sensor and only turn on and off when your cat is nearby.
- Material: The material the bowl is made from must be safe for cats, non-toxic, and BPA free. As your cat will be drinking from this fountain, materials that aren’t can make them sick.
- Enticement: If your cordless water fountain doesn’t attract the attention of your cat, you may as well just use a water bowl. Therefore, the water fountain must encourage your cat to drink.
- Ease of Cleaning: Although cat water fountains only have water running through them, they can still get dirty and limescale can build up. So, the ideal cordless water filter would be easy to clean. Filters are important in cat water fountains too as they help keep the water clean for your cat to drink.
With there only being a few battery-operated cat water fountains on the market, finding a product that ticked all these boxes was a difficult challenge! However, here is how what is available stacked up.
1. HoneyGuaridan Smart Cat Water Fountain (Best All-Rounder)
The major issue with battery powered cat water fountains and the reason so few exist on the market is that for a motor to run continually, it takes a lot of energy. This means you will constantly be needing to buy and replace the batteries, which costs you both time and money.
Yet, with this water fountain, it will only run when it detects motion 1.5 feet away. Once detecting movement nearby, the pump will run for 1 minute before automatically switching back off. The pump is a little noisy, but because it won’t be on permanently I don’t see this as a major issue.
This water fountain is also dual-powered, meaning it can run on both batteries and from being plugged into a power supply. However, the battery mode is fully functional, and it does not need to be plugged in at the wall, meaning no trip hazards and no dangerous cables for your cat to chew. This dual power also serves as a temporary backup option if the batteries run out unexpectedly.
Unfortunately, the battery that this fountain takes is not included, and it is also a 18650 battery which isn’t a common size and may be more difficult to come by than your typical AA. Also, because it is a more rare battery type, it is more expensive to replace.
That being said, as one of the few cordless water fountains on the market, you’re not spoilt with options. This fountain does also has some other great features, such as a large 2.5L capacity, a fully transparent design so you can easily keep an eye on the water level, and a charcoal filter to remove dirt, hair, food particles.
- Automatically turns on when your cat is approaching
- Holds 2.5Lof water
- Transparent design to easily see when water levels are low
- Battery operated so no trailing cords
- Charcoal filter to capture dirt and clean the water
- Batteries are not included
- Requires rare 18650 batteries which are harder to find and more expensive
- The pump can be a little loud when running
2. Dog H2O Cordless Battery Operated Pet Water Fountain (Best for Multiple Cats)
If you’re looking for a large battery operated cat water fountain for multiple cats, you may prefer the only other cordless water fountain on the market: the Dog H2O Cordless Battery Operated Pet Water Fountain.
What is great about this battery operated cat water fountain is that it is designed to be exclusively battery powered. Because of this, it uses regular D size batteries which are easy to source from most stores and has been made with battery life in mind, with batteries lasting up to 3 months.
This water fountain is also made from food-grade material that is BPA-free. Plus, all the components easily disassemble and can go straight in the dishwasher. Cleaning is then further assisted by the water-softening filter pads which help to reduce limescale build-up.
However, there are several drawbacks to this cordless water fountain. For one, the batteries are not included which is slightly frustrating. You also have the problem with the base of the fountain being black; while it is see-through, the dark color makes it harder to see the water level. Additionally, this fountain is designed for dogs, and while cats can use it, small breeds or kittens may find it too large.
The biggest set back though is that this fountain only circulates the water for two minutes once every 90 minutes, which can be changed to once every 45 minutes in the settings. While great for conserving battery life, it’s not great for your cat!
Unless your cat happens to be at the water fountain when it does its 2-minute cycle, they may as well be drinking from a still bowl of water which won’t provide your cat with much encouragement to drink more. That being said, if you simply want a water fountain so that you don’t have to remember to fill up your cat’s water bowls regularly, this is a great product.
- Large enough to supply multiple cats with fresh water
- Designed specifically for battery-operated use
- Easy to clean as dishwasher safe
- Made from food-grade BPA-free materials
- Requires D size batteries which are easy to find in stores
- Batteries last for up to 3 months
- Batteries are not included
- The black base makes it harder to see the water level
- Doesn’t circulate the water continuously
- Designed for dogs so not suitable for small cat breeds
3. VaygWay Self Dispensing Pet Waterer (Best for Forgetful Owners)
Okay, so the VaygWay Self Dispensing Pet Waterer isn’t a battery operated cat water fountain, but it is cordless and it’s a great option for owners who are looking for a cat water fountain not to encourage their cats to drink, but rather for the convenience of not having to frequently refill a water bowl.
This product works similar to a water dispenser we may find in an office or a waiting room; the gallon water bottle can be filled up and will slowly dispense into the attached water dish as your cat drinks what’s in the bowl. You can easily clean both parts by simply separating the two – simple!
The obvious major downfall of this cordless water fountain is that it doesn’t bubble or splash or move the water. Therefore, it will not encourage cats who don’t like drinking from their water bowls to consume more liquids. That being said, if your cat does drink from their bowl and you’re just fed up with constantly refilling it, this is a convenient solution.
The lack of batteries also means you’ll be saving money on replacements. As this will not have flowing water, there is also no need for a filter, which again keeps ongoing costs to a minimum.
- A cordless design that helps to avoid accidents
- Conveniently refills the bowl so you don’t have to remember to
- Easy to clean as the bowl and bottle can be washed separately
- Made from non-toxic and safe plastic
- Doesn’t require replacement batteries or filters
- Not a water fountain but rather a dispenser
- Will not entice and encourage cats to drink more
Battery Operated Cat Water Fountain Buying Guide
As you can see, the selection of battery operated cat water fountains is small, and with few products to choose from it can be hard to know which one is right for you, as none of them are perfect. However, this handy buying guide will hopefully make the choice easier for you. Weigh up the below options to find out which product suits your needs best!
Reason for Buying
There are generally three main reasons why cat owners want to buy a cat water fountain:
- To encourage cats who don’t drink for their water bowls to drink more water.
- For convenience so that you don’t need to remember to fill your cat’s water bowls up regularly throughout the day.
- To stop your cat from tipping over their water bowl when they drink.
You may be looking to buy a cat water fountain to help with one, two, or all three of these problems!
If the reason you are getting a cat water fountain is that your cat doesn’t drink from their bowl, then you need to focus on the fountain being free-flowing. If this is you, my top recommended product is your best bet.
On the other hand, if you are simply purchasing a cat water fountain for convenience or to stop your cat from splashing water everywhere, then my #2 or #3 recommended products would work a treat as they hold large volumes of water, meaning you won’t need to top up the fountain often. However, with little to no bubbling feature, these won’t be effective for cats who don’t drink from their water bowls.
Budget is also a key consideration, and not solely with the upfront cost of the battery operated cat water fountain; as these products rely on batteries to function, you need to consider both how expensive the size batteries the product takes costs, as well as how long the fountain will be able to run for before the batteries go dead.
Opting for an automatic battery operated cat water fountain will also help to keep costs down if you’re on a budget, as the batteries will only drain when the pump is running. If you know you won’t have the time or money to keep buying replacement batteries, then a cordless cat water dispenser is a better option.
Why Doesn’t My Cat Drink Much Water?
The majority of owners looking to buy a cat water fountain are doing so as they’ve noticed their cat doesn’t drink much. But why do cats show this strange behavior?
In the wild, cats will usually only drink running water. This is because in nature, still pools of water likely contain bad bacteria that would make cats sick if they were to drink from it. Therefore, to cats, standing water is a sign of contamination. Conversely, running water is perceived as safe to drink. Although domestic cats will not get sick if they drink from their water bowls, it is instinctive for them to avoid standing liquid.
It is also possible that your cat suffers from whisker fatigue, which is where their whiskers are highly sensitive. Cats’ whiskers are sensory organs that cats use to learn about their environment, and if your cat’s whiskers are highly sensitive then they will hate them being touched. When anything touches their whiskers it can be overwhelming and cause them distress.
If your cat’s bowl isn’t big enough, their whiskers may be pressing on the sides of the bowl when try to take a drink, which makes drinking time stressful. So, they simply avoid it.
It is also well known that cats have poor vision, especially when trying to see things up close. Therefore, it is possible that cats aren’t drinking from their water bowls as to them it looks empty! As cat water fountains have flowing water, it is easier for your cat to see that there is water there. Plus, even if they struggle to see it, they will be able to hear it.
Battery Operated vs. Electric Cat Water Fountains
You may be trying to weigh up your options – is it worth getting a battery operated cat water fountain instead of an electric one? Truth be told, there are advantages and disadvantages for each!
Advantages of Battery Operated Fountains
- Can be Placed Anywhere: The obvious advantage of battery operated cat water fountains is that they can be placed anywhere. This is great as you don’t need to work around where the plug sockets are in your home. If you are traveling with your cat, you can also use a battery operated cat water fountain on the go.
- Safety: Cordless cat water fountains are also safer for two reasons. Firstly, there are no trailing cords which could act as a trip hazard for you and your cat. Secondly, cats love trailing wires and may try to paw and chew at the cables, which can be dangerous. Therefore, a cordless fountain avoids these potential hazards.
Disadvantages of Battery Operated Fountains
- Lack of Options: The main drawback of cat water fountains that are battery operated is that there are not many to choose from. Therefore, you may not find a product that is exactly what you’re looking for. If you want a huge range of products to take your pick from, you’re better off choosing a corded electric design.
- Price: Price is also an issue with cordless cat water fountains as you will need to buy replacement batteries and filters. Whereas electric cat water fountains will still need new filters and use electricity to run, their overall running costs are far less than battery operated designs. The type and price of the specific battery the water fountain takes also has a big impact on costs, so don’t forget to check this.
Advantages of Electric Fountains
- Huge Range of Products: There are hundreds, if not thousands of electric cat water fountains on the market for you to choose from, from ceramic cat water fountains to plastic ones which are available in a large variety of interesting and enticing designs. This means there’s bound to be one that you and your cat love.
- Run Continuously: Most electric cat water fountains run continuously, which is great as it means the water will constantly be circulating which helps to keep it fresh. This is important if you’re having a tough time trying to get your cat to drink more.
Disadvantages of Electric Fountains
- Limited Placement Options: Electric cat water fountains must be plugged into a plug socket so that the pump can circulate water through the fountain. However, this does limit where you can place the cat water fountain in your home – if there’s no socket nearby, you have a problem!
- Trailing Cords: Water fountains that run on electricity have dangerous cords that could trip you or your cat up. Also, if your cat decides that the cables are their new favorite toy, they could potentially chew through them, which is extremely dangerous.
How Else Can I Encourage My Cat To Drink More?
With a very limited number of battery operated cat water fountains on the market, you may be wondering if there are any other ways that you could encourage your cat to drink more water. Thankfully, there are a few different types of products you could also try, as well as some easy changes.
Spill Proof Cat Water Bowls
Spill proof cat water bowls are a great alternative to cat water fountains if you are searching for a product that will stop your cat from spilling water all over the floor. Often, cats that refuse to drink still water from a bowl dip their paws in the water to create a ripple effect. Seeing the water moving can encourage them to drink, but it can also lead to a huge puddle all over your kitchen floor!
Spill proof cat water bowls are weighted and non-slip, making it hard for your cat to tip over or splash water out the top. Therefore, if you can’t find a battery operated cat water fountain that tickles your fancy, this could be a good alternative for containing mess.
Whisker Fatigue Cat Bowls
Your cat may also not be drinking water from their bowls if they suffer from whisker fatigue. If their water bowl is not large enough to accommodate their whiskers, their whiskers will touch the sides of the bowl when your cat tries to take a drink, making drinking time extremely stressful!
Therefore, swapping to a wide and flat water bowl could be all it takes for your cat to start drinking enough again. These bowls are called cat bowls for whisker fatigue and are also worth a shot if you have a fussy cat who you’re concerned isn’t drinking healthy amounts.
Electric Cat Water Fountains
If none of these options work, you may want to purchase a regular cat water fountain that plugs into the mains. There are a huge variety of these cat water fountains on the market, so you’ll be spoilt for choice! Ceramic cat water fountains are the best as they are durable, safe for cats, and resistant to scratches.
If your reason for having a preference for a battery operated water fountain is because you have no plug sockets nearby, search for electric cat water fountains with long cables – you can easily find ones that are 6ft long. Also, you can get chew-proof cables which can provide you with peace of mind and protect mischievous cats from getting into trouble.
Some people prefer battery operated cat fountains over electric ones as they think cat fountains use a lot of electricity. However, if this is deterring you from getting an electric cat fountain then think again – cat water fountains cost less than $10 per year to run. Over the same period, you would likely have spent more than this on replacement batteries if using a cordless fountain.
Change Water Bowl Location
Cats are notoriously fussy creatures, and getting your cat to drink more may also be as simple as moving their bowl from where it is to a new location.
If you keep your cat’s water bowl next to their food bowl, try moving it further away. Whereas we like a refreshing drink to wash down our dinner, cats can instinctively be put off by the smell of their food when it comes to drinking as it can make them think that the water is contaminated. Similarly, if your cat’s water bowls are near to their litter tray it can have the same effect. Move it further away and see if this encourages your cat to drink more.
Q: Are there any battery operated cat water fountains?
A: Yes, there are battery operated cat water fountains, but only two true ones on the market. People tend to prefer fountains that plug into the mains thanks to the reduction in ongoing costs and time taken to change the batteries. They are hard to find, which is why I’ve written this article.
Q: Are cat water fountains safe?
A: Yes, cat water fountains are safe. If anything, they are safer for your cats than water bowls as they encourage your cat to drink more which is good for their health. As long as you keep your cat’s water fountain clean, there are no safety concerns.
Q: How often should you change the water in a cat fountain?
A: You should aim to change the water in a cat fountain every 3 to 4 days to make sure the water is clean, fresh, safe, and tasty for your cat.
Q: Do cat fountains use a lot of electricity?
A: No, cat water fountains do not use much electricity. On average, the pump will use around 2W to run, meaning that having your cat water fountain running for a year will cost less than $10. If you are concerned about electricity usage, try using an automatic fountain. The pumps on these fountains only turn on and use energy when your cat is nearby and triggers their motion sensor.
Q: What is the best battery operated cat water fountain?
A: In my opinion, the best battery operated cat water fountain is the HoneyGuaridan Smart Cat Water Fountain, which has a motion sensor to help conserve battery life, a charcoal filter to keep the water clean and fresh, and flowing water to encourage your cat to drink more.
Q: Do cats prefer cat water fountains?
A: Yes, generally cats prefer drinking from water fountains as it is instinctive of them to avoid standing water, as in the wild this could be dirty and make them ill. However, it does depend on your cat!
Q: Will cat water fountains increase my cat’s water consumption?
A: If your cat isn’t drinking from their water bowl, they may drink more from a water fountain as they generally have a preference for flowing water. However, this is again down to the preferences of each individual cat.
Q: What are the benefits of a cat water fountain?
A: Cat water fountains are a great alternative to water bowls as the flowing water will likely increase your cat’s water consumption, plus you won’t need to replenish the water as regularly, saving you time in the day! If your cat always tips over their water bowl, water fountains can also be an effective solution.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
Cat water fountains are a great product for any cat owner to buy. They encourage cats to drink more water, are convenient as can be left for 3 to 4 before the water inside needs replenishing, and can’t be tipped over as easily as water bowls.
Battery operated cat water fountains also have the benefits that they can be used anywhere and don’t have any potentially dangerous trailing cords. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many to choose from! That being said, if you choose a product based on your needs, you’re bound to find an option that works for you!