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Why Does My Cat Water Fountain Foam? (Filth or Foam?)

If you can see some foam collecting in your cat’s water fountain you may be wondering why this is happening. And, if there is anything you can do to stop this from happening…

Why Does My Cat Water Fountain Foam? 

The foam at the top of your cat’s water fountain is typically organic matter like cat food, saliva, and more. This happens simply because cats drink after eating, and leftover material washes off their chins.  

So, now you know. But, when does this foam usually develop? How can you stop it from forming? What is the purpose of a foam filter? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

When Does This Foam Usually Develop?

Cat drinking water.

Cat drinking water.

White foam is a clear sign that your cat’s bowl needs cleaning or your water needs replacing. Foam typically appears a few days after your fountain needs cleaning. So, when you see white foam, go ahead and clean your fountain! You may also want to consider changing your water more frequently in the future.

How Can I Stop My Cat Water Fountain Foam Foaming? 

Change your fountain’s water at least once per week. This will keep your cat’s fountain clean, the water fresh, and your cat happy.  

If your fountain is still getting foamy, you may want to think about adding a filter if you are not already using one. This will filter out any food that gets washed from your cat’s chin. 

Your cat’s eating habits might be something else to consider. If they are a messy eater, it might be helpful to invest in cleaner food or try wiping their mouths before they drink water from their fountains.

What is a Pet Water Fountain Foam Filter? 

A pet water fountain foam filter is something that you place in your fountain to filter out foreign objects from your cat’s water. Foam filters are placed around your pump and are replaced every 1 or 2 months. 

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What are the Benefits of a Cat Water Fountain? 

There are many benefits to using a cat fountain such as increasing your cat’s hydration! Investing in a cat water fountain is a great idea for your cat! 

Cats Love Running Water  

Cat drinking water.

Cat drinking water.

Cats love fresh, running water which is why having a fountain is ideal for your feline friend. Between general curiosity and their natural instincts, cats are drawn to running water. Running water is more appealing because it proves there are no contaminants in the water.

On the other hand, stagnant water might be full of bacteria or the feces of their prey. 

Cats Are Encouraged to Drink 

Water fountains encourage cats to drink because of how drawn they are to running water. This is because when a cat sees running water, they immediately draw on their instincts. In other words, running water means clean water.  

Cats are more likely to drink from a water fountain than they are to drink from a water bowl. That is unless the water in the fountain is unclean. Above everything, cats care about cleanliness. 

Water Fountains Prevent Whisker Fatigue  

Whisker fatigue happens when your cat’s whiskers are provoked too much. This occurs for many reasons like drinking from small, deep bowls. It often leads to your cat’s whiskers falling out which can lead to imbalance, uncertainty, and stress.  

Because water fountains are open, flowing water sources will not squish your cat’s whiskers and cause whisker fatigue.

Do Cats Like Drinking from a Bowl? 

Cats like to have multiple water sources including fountains and bowls. Having multiple water sources around your home gives your cat choices. This is important if you have placed their fountain in a high-traffic area or have multiple pets. 

It is recommended that you supplement all water fountains with one or more additional shallow cat water bowls. These bowls should be wide enough to prevent whisker fatigue and change every other day.

How Often Should You Change the Water in the Cat Fountain? 

Change your cat’s water every six days, or at least once per week. This will keep their fountain at optimal cleanliness. A clean water bowl keeps your cat healthy and happy. 

Should I Leave My Cat’s Water Fountain on All the Time? 

As long as your pump is submerged underwater, then your cat water fountain can be left continuously running. Most pumps will make strange noises and spurt when there is not enough water in their fountain. This can lead to your fountain breaking and the need for a replacement pump! To avoid this, regularly check that your fountain is full of fresh water. 

Can a Cat Water Fountain Make Them Sick? 

If your cat has gotten sick after drinking from their cat water fountain you may want to consider the material that your cat water fountain is made from. Sometimes, cute designs fool us, and we forget that the material used to make these designs can be toxic to our kitties!  

Plastic fountains are very harmful to cats. The chemicals in the plastics can easily cause allergic reactions or worse, be lethal. Furthermore, these plastic water fountains can get easily scratched and become breeding grounds for bacteria which ends up hurting your cat.

This is also true for stainless steel fountains which can also become scratched and end up being bacteria breeding grounds. 

That is why the best choice for a cat water fountain is a ceramic water fountain. Ceramic water fountains are resistant to scratches which means bacteria cannot hide within crevices and poison your cat. They are also heavier than both plastic and stainless steel which means your cat cannot knock their fountain over when they get a case of the zoomies!

Ceramic does not have harmful toxins and chemicals, either and they can be washed in your dishwasher which saves you significant time!

Where Should a Cat’s Water Fountain be Placed? 

You should place water fountains away from cats’ survival areas. Cats are very selective; they sleep in certain places, drink in specific places, and so forth. That is why there are very important rules of where cat’s water fountains should or should not go. 

Water Fountains Cannot Go Near Food 

A cat’s water fountain should be placed far away from their food. By placing water close to food, they will associate the water with a toilet instead of a drinking source. This comes from the primal idea that prey goes to the bathroom in the watering hole. 

Consider the Traffic Around the Water Fountain

Movement and loud conversation might spook even the most social cat. Or at least distract them while they are trying to take a sip of water. Place their water fountain in a low-traffic area where they can make the most of their hydration time. 

Place Water Fountain Far from Litter Box  

Cats will never drink water that is close to their litter box. This is off-putting and will generally make them feel uncomfortable. After all, who would want to drink right near their bathroom? Gross!

To Share or Not to Share the Water Fountain

Many cats do not like to share, especially with dogs. Placing your cat’s water fountain up high is a good way to avoid letting your dog get a gulp! If your cat hates to share with other cats, you may want to purchase multiple water fountains and place them in different rooms.

Do You Need to Use a Filter on a Cat Water Fountain? 

Water fountain filters are not required but it is highly recommended so you can filter out hair, cat food, and other debris. Using a filter may also prolong the life of the cat water fountain since you are protecting your water pump from sucking up foreign objects. If you do not use a filter, you are risking the chance of your pump directly sucking up these things.

Lindsey Browlingdon