How To Encourage Your Cat To Use A Water Fountain

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Cats are notoriously finicky when it comes to their drinking habits, but with a little patience and the right approach, you can encourage your cat to use a water fountain.

Our blog post will provide you with some tips to get your cat comfortable with their new fountain and help you make sure they stay well hydrated.

Choose The Best Location

Choosing the right location for your cat’s water fountain is essential for encouraging them to use it. When selecting a spot, consider convenience and accessibility from your cat’s point of view.

  • It’s important that the fountain is placed in an area away from loud noises, such as the television or washing machine, and any other sources of disruption.
  • The best location is somewhere that is away from foot traffic, drafts and direct sunlight.
  • Also, choose a spot that is nowhere near your cat’s litter box and food bowl; give the fountain its own “zone”.
  • You can also add small items around the fountain to make it feel more inviting to your cat – depending on the area you choose, this could include toys, scratching posts or beds.

It’s important to note that cats are creatures of habit so once you settle on a spot it’s best not to move it. If you do need to change its location, then ensure you do so gradually over time rather than relocating it all at once.

Putting a bowl of fresh water beside the water fountain can be helpful in getting your cat used to using it. This will give them the opportunity to choose which source of water they prefer, allowing them time and familiarity with their new drinking option.

How To Encourage Your Cat To Use A Water Fountain

The Big Introduction

Introducing anything new to your cat can be an scary experience for him or her. While cats are naturally drawn to flowing water, they may not be used to the sound of a bubbling fountain.

Get the fountain set up, complete with water, but don’t turn it on immediately. Let your cat explore and sniff it without any pressure or expectations for them to start drinking from it right away. If your cat is hesitant, simply allow them time and space to adjust on their own terms. I always find that if I walk away, my cat is more likely to explore any new item in the house.

If you notice that your cat is starting to become curious about the fountain, try turning it on and off while they watch so they become familiar with its sound and movement. This helps create a positive association with the fountain and can help encourage them to start drinking from it eventually.

Most cats prefer running water over still water, so if you have a model that allows you to adjust the flow rate or features adjustable streams of running water, this could be another way of luring them towards using it more often.

If after several days your cat still hasn’t taken a drink from the fountain yet, consider trying some other tactics like adding tuna juice or salmon oil (both safe for cats) into their drinking bowl so that they get acquainted with different tastes coming from their new source of hydration.

Make Sure Your Cat Is Comfortable

  • Creating an inviting and comfortable environment for your cat to investigate the fountain will help them get used to it.
  • Before turning on the fountain, let your cat get comfortable with it first.
  • Make sure that they have plenty of space to move around without feeling confined. This will not only help them feel more relaxed, but it will also encourage them to spend more time investigating the fountain and eventually drinking from it.
  • Use treats and praise as positive reinforcement when your cat comes close to or even touches the fountain. Offering rewards every time they take a step towards using the water source is a great way to associate positive feelings with their experience.
  • Start off with small treats like kibble or dry food, then gradually increase their reward size when they start drinking from it on their own. This type of reward system can help your cat stay motivated while getting used to their new water source.

If they are still hesitant to approach the fountain, use your fingers to splash the water a little while they watch. This should help them become more curious and less fearful of the fountain.

How To Encourage Your Cat To Use A Water Fountain

Keep The Fountain Turned Off At First

While running water can attract cats, sudden noises can be startling and could cause them to become scared or stressed out. Try keeping the fountain turned off for a few days if possible, then gradually increase how long you have it running each day until your cat becomes used to it.

This allows them to start associating the sound of the fountain with water and encourages them to come closer and investigate.


Introducing a water fountain (or anything else) to your kitty can be a slow and sometimes tedious process, but with some positive reinforcement, patience and understanding, they should eventually become comfortable with it.

Gradually reduce giving treats. Instead, give them with verbal praise and physical affection to help your cat become more confident around the fountain.

Eventually, you’ll be able to remove the second water bowl.


Each cat is unique and has his or her own set of likes and dislikes, as well as unique personalities. What works for one may not necessarily work for another so don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work right away – just keep trying different things until you find what works best for your pet.