A Guide to Cleaning Your Cat’s Water Fountain

An animal’s natural instinct in the wild is to seek out cool, moving streams of water to quench their thirst. Because of this instinct, vets from all over the world have suggested that pet owners purchase a pet water fountain to ensure good hydration levels that will enhance the pet’s health and well-being.

Thousands of pet fountain owners can attest to the efficacy of the water fountain in increasing the pet’s interest in drinking, making for a good hydration habit which results in good health.

For people who live in areas that have hard water, some good quality pet fountains have replaceable filters that will remove unwanted impurities in the water. This filtered water makes for good-tasting water free from unpleasant odors and tastes so that pets will surely love drinking it. However, in the process of filtering water, the trusty pet fountain can become clogged due to hard water deposits.

Cleaning the fountain regularly and keeping a regular maintenance schedule will ensure a fountain’s effectiveness and longevity.  Make sure you stretch out every dollar that you spend on your cat’s fountain by making sure that your fountain will last years and years through proper cleaning and maintenance.

Cleaning your cat’s water fountain can become such a chore to some pet owners. But, when done regularly, the task becomes easier because water deposits do not build up too much.

The type of pet fountain you choose also affects the cleaning process. Each type of material has a different maintenance requirement. Some materials are easier to clean, while other designs are more complicated. Here is a guide to help you out when cleaning your cat’s water fountain:

Getting Ready to Clean

Different types of brushes for cleaning cat water fountains are available on the market. These brushes have specially-shaped tips that are made to clean complicated fountain shapes and make hard-to-reach crannies accessible.

Some people forgo these specialty brushes and just use a toothbrush, or a plastic mesh scrubber and a cleaning brush with small bristles. These brushes are usually available in aquarium supply stores and are suitable for most fountain materials and surfaces.

When cleaning the fountain, follow specific instructions for disassembling the unit for cleaning. Basic household supplies like salt, baking soda, vinegar, and lemons are great to use when removing hard water stains.

Some commercial cleaners are also available, but the natural solutions work as well. Always unplug the unit and take out the filter before attempting to clean your cat’s fountain.

Plastic Water Fountains

Using a bit of salt, hard water spots can be easily removed from plastic fountains. The first step to cleaning this material is to empty out the water without completely drying it.

Second, sprinkle a liberal amount of salt over the hard water deposits on the damp plastic material, then take a moistened plastic mesh scrubbing pad and scrub the salt until it forms a paste. Third, scrub the deposits until they loosen up then rinse the fountain thoroughly under warm running water.

Ceramic Water Fountains

Harsh scouring powders and abrasive substances can do more harm than good for ceramic materials, so make sure to stay away from using these as they can leave unsightly scratches where mineral deposits can easily build up. Using distilled white vinegar is the best way to go about cleaning ceramic water fountains.

Apply the vinegar to the hard water deposits in the bowl and let it soak for at least ten minutes to loosen the deposits. For a second time, apply vinegar then sprinkle baking soda over it. This will create a bubbling and fizzing reaction that lets you know that the mixture is working. Finally, scrub the remaining deposits gently with a non-scratching plastic mesh then rinse thoroughly.

Stainless Steel Water Fountains

Hard water deposits are usually stubborn to remove because they usually cling to the tiny scratches in the stainless steel. These scratches usually develop with use over time, and acid-based cleaning agents are great for getting those stainless-steel materials bright and shiny again.

A good quality stainless steel cleaner can be made at home by placing lemon peels in a mason jar then covering them with vinegar. This solution should be kept for two weeks before transferring to a spray bottle. Spray this mixture generously on your stainless steel fountain then use a plastic mesh scrubber to get rid of the stubborn stains.

Small Parts

Small parts like intake tubes, impellers, and water spouts can easily be cleaned by soaking them in a bowl with distilled white vinegar for up to 30 minutes. Loosen stubborn mineral deposits by using an aquarium tube brush, and then rinse well under warm running water until the smell of the vinegar is gone.

Regular Maintenance Schedule

Keeping a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule makes cleaning your cat’s fountain a less-complicated chore. By sticking to a routine, hard water deposits do not build up too much.

Some people prefer cleaning the fountain once a week and changing the filter every two weeks. Some pets will refuse to drink from a poorly maintained fountain, so keeping the fountain clean is the best way to go about ensuring the unit’s effectivity and longevity.