How Often To Change Water In Cat Fountain

September 29, 2022 // 7 minute read

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Now that you’ve got your cat a water fountain, the main question is “How often to change water in cat fountain?” There are many answers to this question and all of them might be right. Some say that they just top it up when needed but what else does changing the water entail? There’s a lot more than just changing the water. 

Most water fountains come with a filter that also needs to be replaced now and again. This filter purifies and cleans the water that your cat is drinking. We are going to find out more about this as we go further in the article. 

We will also be giving you tips on the signs to look for that tell you to change the water in the fountain. This will make it easier for you to tell when you need to clean it and change the filter. Let’s dive in and answer these burning questions. 

how often to change water in cat fountain

What Does A Water Fountain Do For Your Cats?

Water is an essential part of any living thing’s health. For cats, it is a primal instinct that they all have. Looking for a clean water source is just a part of them. Without clean water, your cat may become stressed and will be at risk. Knowing how often to change water in cat fountain is very important!

For those who still haven’t transitioned to a water fountain as their cat’s water source, water bowls can be easily dirtied and your cat will not want to touch, let alone drink, the water inside it. A water fountain can filter out any dirt that enters the water. 

However, always remember that a cat water fountain is not a self-cleaning product. It will still be needing cleaning and washing to maintain the quality of the water you provide to your cats. That’s another conversation, though, in another article. So, that’s why knowing how often to change water in cat fountain is crucial.

A cat water fountain can do a lot for you and your cat. One main thing is that it entices them to drink more water than usual. They will search for clean, running water when they can, and will they drink from there. 

Related article: How To Clean A Cat Water Fountain

How Much Water Should They Drink?

Once they do start drinking from the fountain, how much of it should they drink? 

On average, a cat must drink 60mls/kg of water a day. In saying that, a 5kg cat should be drinking 300mls of water a day. Drinking that much water ensures your cat’s health and it makes their bodies function properly. 

Also, take into consideration the diet that they are on. Canned or wet cat food contains around 80% water so they might not need to drink as much. Those on dry cat food, however, may need to drink more as these foods contain only 10% water. 

When you are using a cat water fountain, you can check that by knowing the capacity of drinking water the water fountain has. 

tricolored cat drinking from fountain

How Often To Change Water In Cat Fountain: How To Change The Water

Now we come to the main event, changing the water in the fountain. Generally, most manufacturers say that you should be changing the water in the fountain every 2-4 weeks or so. However, some users, like myself, find that the 2-week mark is more appropriate as a lot can happen in those 2 weeks. This is one of the best answers to “How often to change water in cat fountain?”

I, myself, change the water when I see signs that the water in the fountains is already dirty. I will be sharing with you some of those signs so you can keep your cat’s water as clean as possible. 

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How Many Cats?

The number of cats that you have at home can greatly affect how many times you change the water. If you have 2-3 cats at home, it won’t matter as much. For some who have more than 5 cats in the house, you might want to check it more often as cats tend to paw at the water before drinking them. This will result in more debris, hairs, and other things that may fall into the water. 

What To Look For?

Persistent Bubbles: Bubbles are a clear sign that you should change the water. Foam and white bubbles in the water mean that there is organic matter – cat food, saliva, and others – has infiltrated the water system. Your cats might be reluctant to drink from the water now. They are usually consistent and can appear almost at the same time every week. If this appears 7 days after you just changed the water, the 5th or 6th day might be the perfect time to change the water. 

Hairs and Debris: Hairs and debris can easily get into the water system. We can’t really tell our cats to not paw at the water. There are also a lot of things that come from your cat’s mouth that fall into the water as they drink. When these things appear, you should definitely change the water. 

Discoloration: Perhaps, the most noticeable sign that you need to change your cat’s water is if there is already discoloration in the water. Most of the time this can be caused also by organic matter in the water. By changing the water when this happens, you are helping your cat become healthy and safe. 

How Often To Change Water In Cat Fountain: The Filter

When answering the question “How often to change water in cat fountain?”, you must also consider the filter! The water is not the only thing that needs changing when it comes to cat water fountains. One of the features that most of these fountains have is a filter. 

These filters often have carbon that keeps the water cleaner and improves the taste and smell of the water. This lures your cat to drink more water to keep them healthy. 

Moist manufacturers say that these filters need changing every 2-3 weeks. It still does depend on the situation of the filter on hand. If you see some black debris in your cat’s water fountain, it is the fallout from the filter.  

One of the things you can do to keep that from happening is by rinsing the filter under tap water before placing it inside the fountain’s circulation system. This ensures any debris coming from the filter will not get into the water system

fluffy white cat drinking from fountain


Cat water fountains are very useful and have saved countless cats’ lives. Having a cat fountain in your home gives your cat a chance to drink water by tapping into that primal instinct that they have to search for clean, running water. 

It really does help, but it is not a self-cleaning machine. Human intervention is still needed to ensure you are giving your cat the purest of water for its health.  Also, make sure that you are giving them enough water for them to function properly. 

There is no calculated formula on when to change your cat’s water in the fountain. It is up to you to decide when to change it. It may be those signs that we gave you are it could be that the weather has not been moving for a couple of days. Always check on them to guarantee their safety.

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