Finally! An Alternative to Plastic Pet Drinking Fountains!

Sat, Aug 28, 2010


Pioneer Pet Fountains

I have been meaning to post these since I saw them at the Global Pet Expo earlier this year. Most pet drinking fountains are made of plastic, which can be difficult to keep clean, causing feline acne to develop in some cats. Remember my post about poor Mackenzie with his feline acne? I had to get rid of all plastic bowls and drinking fountains and switch to stainless steel and ceramic, which are both much easier to keep clean.

That’s why I’m so excited about these two new pet drinking fountains from Pioneer Pet! Not only do they come in your choice of stainless steelor ceramic, but they are very easy to clean. Some of the other fountains I’ve tried have all sorts of little parts and they are difficult to take apart, making cleaning a big hassle. And if you don’t clean your drinking fountain regularly, that’s when the acne-causing bacteria start to grow. Ick!

This sleek little design not only looks good, but it only has a few parts that are easy to remove and clean. The fountain will keep water flowing, which is attractive to cats and encourages them to drink more. These fountains also have a replaceable charcoal filter to keep water fresh and they can both go in the dishwasher.

Both are available from Amazon. Stainless steel is $57.95 and ceramic $47.75.

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53 Responses to “Finally! An Alternative to Plastic Pet Drinking Fountains!”

  1. 1

    This is wonderful. I have one kitty who love love loves running water, but we gave up on the water fountains years ago because of how disgusting they would get in such a short time. Now, I’m willing to give it a go again. Thanks for the info. Gracie will be so pleased :-)

  2. 2

    I would love to know if there is a chance of these being available in the EU (specifically the UK). We’re on our second fountain and they’re a devil to clean.

  3. 3

    I’ve seen these Pioneer fountains but have never bought one yet. They do look nice. I prefer ceramic fountains and my favorite is the one on which I have had for awhile now. It is quiet, easy to put in the dishwasher, my kitties love it and it is great looking.

  4. 4
    caren gittleman

    This is not only gorgeous and sleek looking but much, much needed

    I hate when I see people still feeding and giving water to their pets in plastic bowls. It is sooo bad for them!

  5. 5

    These are so gorgeous.

  6. 6

    LOVE IT! And they don’t cost an arm and a leg either – even better!

  7. 7

    omg Kate this is great! I’ve been using the petmate fountain and it is pain the butt to clean it. So I swithch to normal bowl…I’ve been looking foe simple one, easy to clean now here is!! So cool!! I love this. Thanks you so much!

  8. 8

    These look awesome!! One of my cats recently stopped drinking water from the fountain we have. Maybe this will get her to start drinking water again!

  9. 9

    We have the typical plastic fountain, which is a bit of a hassle to clean, but I bought the cleaning kit, and use it every time. The felines LOVE the fountain; we haven’t had any problems, but I would much prefer the ceramic one!

  10. 10

    These are nice, but pricey. I made my own fountain for my allergic-to-plastic kitty after much research.

  11. 11

    NOT SO FAST! I too was thrilled that a ceramic version became available instead of the bacteria-laden, hard to clean Drinkwell. But reviews of both the stainless and black ceramic reveal that the materials are very cheap, the ceramic made in China and therefore don’t know how safe it is, and has a huge problem with all the water spilling out. One review mentioned Glacier Point as being superior. I reviewed the product philosophy there and THAT’S the one I’m buying. My pet’s health outweighs the lack of cool moderncat design.

  12. 12

    Is it a plug in or battery operated? I would love a battery-op fountain so I don’t have to have it plugged in 24/7.

  13. 13

    Candace, thanks for the info. I haven’t tried these myself, have only seen them in the manufacturer’s booth at the trade show. Good to know!

  14. 14

    Please pardon my laziness; this is what I posted on Facebook:

    For a while Drs. Foster & Smith were selling a chrome Drinkwell 360, then it disappeared from the Website. I contacted Veterinary Ventures (who makes Drinkwell) and a customer service person told me the chrome version would be available nationwide this fall.

  15. 15

    Sadly, the kittkies really didn’t care for the cascading water type of fountain. However, the kind with a loose stream of falling water (like ) they like and use a lot. Sadly, these don;t seem to be able to replace that one.

  16. 16


  17. 17

    A far more effective non-plastic water fountain is the Glacier Point Perfect Pet Fountain™ manufactured by Sierra BioScience. It is more expensive, initially, but well worth it. I have had mine for my multi-cat family since the first of the year without a single issue. I know my senior cats are well hydrated, drinking far more than they did before the fountain arrived. Every promise made by the inventor, a retired medical products designer, is true: “Chilled, circulated water that mimics what animals are used to in nature; Your pet will drink more water; The charcoal filter removes chlorine and other harmful toxins; The Lead Free Ceramic basin is easily cleaned and sterilized; 60 day no hassle Money-Back Guarantee and 18-month full warranty.” I ordered mine direct from him, all questions were answered immediately via phone or email. This is one of the best purchases I have ever made for my cats’ health and well-being

  18. 18
    Cara S.

    I have one of these in the stainless version and I like it – I was looking for a fountain and did not want plastic. I think the quality is good. Water does splash over the sides – very subtly – and over time will make a wet mess. I have mine sitting on a placemat with raised edges. I made a mistake when I first got it in turning it on, which scared my cats and they were afraid to drink out of it for the longest time even with the pump off. Right now I still use it with the pump off because I only recently solved the splashing/mess issue.

  19. 19

    Ack. Correction: The Drinkwell 360 is stainless steel, not chrome.
    I’d love to have the disposable cash for that Glacier Point, though.

  20. 20

    I’ve been waiting for a non-plastic fountain for a long time now! Thanks for posting this!

  21. 21

    there is also this one in ceramic:

  22. 22

    When I first saw these new fountains several months ago, I was really excited and ordered the stainless steel one right away. My cats loved it equally well. They played with the water many times a day so much so that there were more water splashed on the floor than remained in the fountain. I had to place a large glass baking pan under the fountain just to catch the spilled water.

    But my satisfaction stopped about a month ago when the water pump stopped working. There’s no way for me to spend another $60 for a replacement. So we are back to the plastic fountain. The total life span of this expensive fountain was less than 4 months. If anyone has information on where to get replacement water pumps, it would be greatly appreciated.

  23. 23

    I own the stainless steel one. My pump has not stopped working. It has been great, and it is exactly as easy to use and clean as mentioned.

    For those who have problems with the pump, it is a basic fountain pump. If you have a plastic fountain with a working pump from previous use, you can just use the pump from it. You can also buy them anywhere that has aquarium supplies. Just bring in the old one so they can help you get the right size.

  24. 24


  25. 25

    These things are really unecessary. If you feed a species-appropriate diet (raw is best, but grain-free canned is o.k.), your cat will get most of her water from her food, as nature intended. Domestic cats are descended from desert cats, and hence, have a very low thirst drive as they are meant to get their moisture from the prey they kill. Just feed the cat correctly and don’t bother with these pricey gadgets!

  26. 26

    I also have a kitty with acne! He has the ceramic version of this fountain and it’s okay. I haven’t seen a better idea for a stylish and functional fountain yet! I would love the stainless steel instead of the ceramic, though, because the ceramic gets kind of slimy if you don’t wash it EVERY day.

    I love that people are recognizing the need for this stuff! :)

  27. 27

    I am tired of replacing the pump in my drinkwell fountain and did not know cats can get acne from plastic! I am dumping the drinkwell and getting one of these right away!

  28. 28

    Despite what Elizabeth thinks cats still need fresh water available and if you’ve got any like some of mine who hate water that’s not moving these fountains are a godsend- we actually use the drinkwell 360 in stainless steel- we have 8 cats, and 3 fountains, one on each floor of the house- but I also have a couple smaller fountains I use when I have to isolate a cat… I like the looks of this one and prefer ceramic or metal to plastic so I might replace my small plastic with these.

  29. 29

    Omg I have been looking for one of these forever! My calico (mostly white) is prone to cat acne which is caused by plastic. Do they make pet feeders as well?

  30. 30

    @Jo: there are several companies online ( that sell & ship internationally. Both the ceramic and stainless steel fountains are available there!

  31. 31

    @Candace: please do not be fooled. The plastic parts, e.g. the pc looking fan used to cool the H20, the pump, the filter housing, the tubing, the filter, and possibly charcoal, that make up the Glacier Point Perfect Pet Fountain are not being made here in the USA. These parts are most likely coming from China also. I’m not knocking Glacier Point but it looks like some tubing, computer and aquarium parts are rigged to make this unit. The only thing I see made in the USA is the ceramic base and possibly the H20 refill bottle.

  32. 32

    I bought the ceramic version back in May and I have no regrets. Prior to this, I had two other fountains and they were obnoxious to clean and grew even uglier as the months and hard water piled on. The Pioneer Pet fountain has a lovely design, couldn’t be easier to take apart, and I haven’t had the problem with spilling, though I do keep a plastic liner beneath my food and water bowls just in case.

  33. 33

    Yes, Wendy, cats should always have fresh water available. But if they are properly fed they will almost never USE that water, so it’s pointless to spend $60 for a water bowl. There is no need to “encourage” cats to drink more as long as they are eating either raw or grain-free canned.

  34. 34

    @Elizabeth: I am so with you on the species appropriate diet. I have 2, one eats raw and small amounts of canned. The other eats raw and whole prey. A long while back my Pax started drinking out of my H20 glass and his sister followed suit. Ever since, their drinking glass has been on the top of the coffee table. Pax is gone and I have a new little kitty but I always see he and Tatia drink. Tatia drinks more than him but they drink water. And nope, she does not have failing kidneys. Our recent trip to the vet with a full blood work up shows a very healthy 17 year old :D .

  35. 35

    Excellent! I had been thinking about getting a Drinkwell plastic fountain, but much prefer the stainless steel fountain! Five cats and two dogs in the house, we need that water filtered!

  36. 36
    Jackie McKannay

    You might also be interested the cat fountains shown here.
    They are far more attractive, I think, and what the pictures of those stylish fountains you show doesn’t show is that the cord goes over the rim on them whereas on these on the Etsy shop. This guy found a completely different way to make ceramic cat fountains.

  37. 37

    This is so nice to see! Its sad that people just don’t realize how bad plastic water dishes can be for their cats.
    Not only that, but it has such a modern look to it, almost like a piece of art ;) I might just have to get one..

  38. 38

    This is blatant self promotion but also useful and to the point. I happen to make what I believe are the best cat fountains you can buy. I hand make them from ceramics, and they are as much a home decor element as great for cats. You can see them here:
    You can see more images and videos here:

  39. 39
    Barry Farris

    @Tonka I am the inventor of the Glacier Point pet fountain and I’d like to clarify some things for you. Actually ALL of the tubing, filters, cabinets, fittings and the entire refill system are made in the USA and carry water safe certifications from the NSF and the FDA. No other fountain has these certifications. These parts were chosen specifically to create the healthiest possible pet fountain, and are the same parts used in the sterile environments of critical care hospitals in the US. That’s how important pet health is to us. Also, the fan and chilling technology (known as the “Peltier Effect”) predates the computer industry by over 100 years, so it is not related to a computer fan in any way.

    Our customers tell us that they spend many hours investigating every fountain on the market and then purchase a Glacier Point, even though the Glacier Point is more expensive, because they understand that it is the healthiest pet fountain on the market. Please visit our site to read more about our products and also check out the customer comments. If you need any further information, we’re happy to answer your questions.

  40. 40

    I really was disappointed to see these were made in China. I was even more disappointed to discover that I could find nothing on the internet about the manufacturer — all I could find were resellers.

    Oh, for Elizabeth — while cats are DESCENDED from desert animals, that was a long time ago, and lots of cats simply won’t eat raw or completely grain free. Even recovering ferals. And hey, even wild cats eat the stomachs of their prey, which usually contain grains.

  41. 41
    Clea Rathbone

    I’ve been through several cat fountains and was disappointed in all of them. They were either ugly, or noisy or my cats didn’t like them or all of the above. I finally found some really nice cat fountains that are handmade of ceramic (the only material your cats should be drinking or eating from) from the site I posted, cat fountains on Etsy. The guy really makes a great cat fountain. Sybil and Sybol think so too.

  42. 42

    I also feed my cats a raw meat diet (home made, with organic whole prey) but 2 of my 3 cats still like to drink water from a cat fountain. I had the stainless steel one pictured above, but I am returning it. First of all, it is tricky to maintain the correct water level. Too much and water spills over the edge onto the floor. Too little and the motor is very noisy. There is no reservoir to keep the level constant if your cats drink from it or water evaporates. Also the fountain became slimy after less than a week, using bottled water to fill it. THe pump housing was made of some very smelly plastic and that became very slimy. Right now I am using a plain old water dish, but I am shopping for a new fountain.

    Clea, how easy to you find the Etsy fountain to clean, does it become slimy at all? What about all those sea shells or stones, aren’t they a pain to clean?

  43. 43

    Well I bought one of the handmade ceramic fountains from Keith’s Etsy store and it is perfect!! Gorgeous, easy to clean (I chose not to put the included decorative sea shells in) and food-safe made in the USA ceramic. The cats have already drank from it. The pump is silent as Keith says – I can’t hear it even sitting right next to the fountain. I’m buying another for the second floor!

  44. 44
    Katzen Trinkbrunnen

    In germany is lucky kitty a brand of ceramic fountains for cats.

  45. 45

    Hey Folks,

    I have a ceramic fountain and the first couple weeks it’s been great but this last week I’ve found that the towel I keep underneath it is completely soaked when I get home from work and that the water level is nearly or completely drained. Is this common? I’m pretty bummed cause all the reviews look great and it’s a fantastic fountain– just curious if I’m the exception.

  46. 46

    The link to GardenHomeArt should be ignored, it looks like the domain expired and someone bought it to provide adverts.

  47. 47

    Is there a ceramic or stainless steel cat fountain that operates on batteries we travel a lot and do not have power hookup

  48. 48

    I think the plastic fountains are too big and ugly, this is just perfect!!! I would love this :)

  49. 49

    i like to know if it works whit electricity?

  50. 50

    Come on guys, people have been asking if it’s battery powered and getting NO answer. I too MUST have a battery powered fountain. PLEASE give an answer! Is it battery powered?

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