Introduction: Cat Drinking Fountain
This is Rosie - her nickname is "Luv Muffin".
She loves water from the faucet. Every time I walked by the bathroom, she would run down the hallway, jump on the counter and meow at me. I'd stop and turn on the water. Her sister, Lily, started to drink faucet water too.
I wanted to get a fountain for them, so I didn't have to turn on the faucet all the time. I searched for cat water fountains. I wasn't happy with the reviews and how hard they seemed to clean. A fountain should be easy - a pump, hose and a way to set it for water to flow from the bowl and back into it.
I googled outside fountains to see how what fountains could look like. I went to Amazon and searched through their aquarium decorations to find what I wanted to use.
Bowl - use what you want to use. Make sure it will hold enough water cover the pump plus more water, so it can't run dry. Also make sure that your cat can drink from the bowl without getting hit by the water. Some cats like moving water, but don't want to drink from the flow.
Silicone - https://www.amazon.com/Marineland-31003-Silicone-2... I chose to use aquarium silicone to be cat friendly.
Water Pump - https://www.amazon.com/PULACO-Submersible-Aquarium... Make sure you get a pump that has suction feet to stick to the bottom of your bowl. This pump came with a long piece of tubing. I bought the 5W pump as some sources said this was the appropriate wattage to use around cats and water.
Something with holes in it to hold the hose. I chose this fish aquarium barrel: https://www.amazon.com/Ulifery-Broken-Aquarium-Dec... as it had holes in it to hold the hose. It had a hole I could stick the tube into and a hole the tube could go out of.
Something to put the hose holder (barrel) on. It should be high enough to allow the water to drop into the bowl. I used a large mason jar with a lid and screw top ring. You can use anything you want as long as it puts the hose high or low enough to put water in the bowl.
If you want - something to fill the mason jar with to give the jar some weight so your cats couldn't knock it over or move it. I used great northern beans.
Gallon ziploc bag.
Step 1: Dry Run
Really a 'wet' run.
Set up everything as you plan to set it up. Putting it all together and running the water will confirm that your idea really works.
Put the pump in the bowl, connect the tubing, run the tubing through the tube holder (barrel), put the tube holder on the mason jar or other support items, position the tube over the bowl and fill the bowl with water. Turn on the pump and see how it works for you. Don't cut the tubing!
Things to look for:
- Does the water splash on the counter? Adjust the water flow or the height of your supporting item or the tube.
- Is there a good height between the hose and the water?
- Can a cat drink from the bowl without getting wet? This is important if this bowl/fountain will be the only source of water for the cat(s).
In the first picture I used a large drink cup with a lid. In this dry run, I found there was too much water splashing on the counter around the bowl, so I decided to use the large mason jar. The mason jar had less splashing
I set the fountain up for a day to see if the cats would drink from it. They did!!
Step 2: Silicone
Now that you see that it works and have an idea of how it will all go together, now it is time to do some siliconing or gluing.
I unplugged everything and let it all dry for 24 hours. This may not be necessary to do.
I placed silicone on the inside of the mason jar lid and put the lid inside the ring. I put some plastic wrap across the top of the jar and put the lid on the jar. I used the plastic wrap so the lid wouldn't stick to the jar.
I used silicone to attach the log to the mason jar lid.
I put a big blob of silicone on bottom of the barrel. I wanted the hole on the 'top' of the barrel to be closest to the lid.
I used some tape to secure the barrel to the lid and set everything in a safe spot to dry for 24 hours.
Step 3: Optional - Beans in Mason Jar
I wanted to add some weight to the mason jar so it wouldn't tip or get moved by a cat. You can skip this step if you want.
I put a gallon ziploc bag in the mason jar, then added beans and closed the top of the bag. Push the bag into the jar and put the lid on it.
You could use gravel or other items to fill the jar. I used a ziploc bag, so if water got into the jar, the beans wouldn't get wet.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
Put the lid with the attached barrel on the mason jar.
Attach the hose to the pump.
Thread the hose through the barrel. You can use some silicone to attach the tube to the barrel, but I didn't find it necessary to do this.
Add water to the bowl, making sure the pump is completely covered.
Plug in the pump.
Adjust the flow and location of the bowl/mason jar as necessary.