In the interest of full disclosure, I need to tell you that I got my Petsafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain on the Key West Yard Sale page on Facebook. For free. With an extra pack of 10 filters. And a cleaning kit. About a week after we moved here. The guy said his dog “just didn’t take to it.”
Probably, that should have been a clue.
It looks innocuous enough, right? Kind of sleek and snooty. Like something some pampered Main Line cats who were yanked from their swanky address and dumped on a desert island would enjoy? Oh, wait, we’re in Key West, and they’re not abused and are in much nicer digs than they were.
Y’all know about Dark Lord Cheeto and Crowned Prince Nedward, right? Cheeto is hell bent on world domination, and ever since he survived the Great Ludo Massacre, he thinks he’s immortal. Remember when he made his bid for President of the United States? Honestly, when that whole thing started who could have imagined that there were two orange-colored Dark Lord Cheetos who liked to pee on things for entertainment? Anyway, his new goal is to engage the President on Twitter, and he’s still working on how to do that and about what because so far, he’s down with the current agenda since it will likely end in the death of all humanity. Also, he wants to be Chief of Staff when Priebus gets booted. He’s got a big ego.
And Nedward. He’s a good cat, as they go. Friendly. A little aggressive with the head butting, but he’s never laid a claw on anything but a cardinal and a couple of lizards. Ned wants badly to be an outside cat, but if I had to bet on him against a Key West Rooster? I’d put money on the rooster and hope I won enough to cover the cat vet bills. Also, he can say “fuck you human” in ways that most cats cannot even touch. I mean, I have literally looked at him, after one of his glaring, Siamese yowls and said, “Fuck you, too, asshole!” without missing a beat because his communication skills are so superior that there is no doubt at all about what he’s saying.
Back to the Pet Fountain I went and picked up for the dynamic duo.
About the Pet Fountain:
This is what the company has to say about it:
Research shows one way to improve your pet’s health is to get him to drink more water. Water is essential for supporting your pet’s vital organ function. On average, your pet should drink one ounce of water per pound of weight daily. The Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain provides convenience for you while giving your pet plenty of water to stay hydrated. The free-falling stream aerates his water, and an activated-carbon filter removes bad tastes and odors giving your pet the best way to stay hydrated and healthy.
- Free-falling stream adds oxygen for freshness and entices pets to drink more water
- Premium, replaceable activated carbon filter removes bad tastes and odors for fresher, better-tasting water
- Constant circulation inhibits bacteria growth in between cleanings
- Pre-filter catches hair and other large particles before they reach the pump to prolong pump life
- Submersible pump for safe and quiet operation
- Snap-on lid for easy filter replacement and to prevent accidental removal by pets
Then it goes on to talk about how to tell if your pet is dehydrated, and they finish up with this, which I don’t even think I could have written with a straight face about a pet fountain.
What is activated carbon?
The activated carbon replacement filters are made of coconut shells. The coconut shells are put through a process called carbonization, which removes all other elements other than carbon. The carbon is then ‘activated’ by adding back oxygen, creating a material suitable for adsorption. Activated carbon absorbs basic water contaminants, as well as chlorine from tap water. This helps improve the taste and remove odors from basic drinking water.
Obviously, this is a superior hydration system to the cats’ preferred beverage that I shall now call deactivated eau de toilet. So, we were really excited.
Assembling the Pet Fountain:
Murph and I put it together, which was not at all complicated. The pieces snapped together easily, the filter fit in right where it belonged. I would say you could get it right even if you were totally drunk. So on the Kraken Ease of Assembly scale, I’m giving it a 10/10.
It takes a bizarre amount of water to fill the damned thing up. I don’t even know where all the water it holds fits, but it will take at least three of those clear things to get it going plus you’ll have to fill it another time. I’d recommend putting it on the floor or counter or wherever your precious furball is going to enjoy it before you start filling it, which we did not do thereby causing a biblical flood in the kitchen. The conure thought this was hilarious. We did not.
It’s big enough on the floor that you’re not going to trip over it, but it’s got a low enough profile that it doesn’t take up a ton of space. Also, it really doesn’t splash at all if you add the water after it’s on the floor. There’s some dripping when you fill the tank, but no more than with a humidifier.
Why The Pet Fountain Was Free:
It took about ten minutes for the water to start pouring out of the top like a fountain. And it took about five more for me to realize why it was free. It sounds like there is someone peeing in your kitchen. I mean, that’s the exact sound. Like, I first yelled at Murphy to “stop peeing in the kitchen” before I realized that it was the fountain.
I decided to give it a chance, though. It was a spendy catch to get gratis, and in the event that a hurricane that wipes out our water supply, the cats could drink non-bottled water. At least, that’s what I told myself while I lay in bed listening to the sound of someone peeing downstairs, night after night.
For the two cats, I had to fill the reservoir about every third day. It’s easy to tell when it really needs to be filled because it makes a sound like an annoying, constant, low buzzing sound that I try to avoid.
They do drink more here, even though they’re in air-conditioned comfort most of the time. And I have gotten used to the pee sound, which sort of became white noise after a few days.
And for two weeks, all was well and Cheeto and Nedward happily drank from their activated charcoal pet fountain.
Then It Broke, Or So We Thought:
Finally, tired of the endless buzzing, I tried to fill the stupid thing, and water went everywhere. Clearly, something was wrong. I unplugged it, told the cats it was back to water in a bowl of their choosing and walked away. We figured we’d leave it there and use it as a water dish.
Not so much. To understand completely, you have to know that Cheeto is a pretty quiet cat. He’s not a talker. He’s more the silent, sneaky type. Ned? He has something to say about everything. So when we were sitting in the living room, and we heard Cheeto howling and caterwauling, I sent Murph to see what the problem was.
“I don’t know. He’s just sitting on the step crying,” Murph said.
Cheeto kept it up. We went to bed. The next day, it was Ned, yowling “Fuck the World” at the top of his cat lungs from the kitchen. I shot him with Murph’s Nerf Zombie Super Soaker (usually reserved for lizards who try to get in the pool with us), but he just moved out of range and kept singing the sad song of 1000 dying cats at the top of his lungs. Then Cheeto started again. It went on all day. I think we went out for dinner to escape them.
We went to bed and were awakened around 3 AM with both of the little furfreaks yowling like they’d trapped some kind of big game in the kitchen. I slammed the bedroom door and understood why there was a sign at the SPCA telling people not to throw animals over the fence when they are closed.
Day 3 of the never shutting up cats finally drew me in to investigate. Cheeto was panting next to the goddamned pet fountain, while Ned stared at it crying pathetically.
“Tell me that they are not refusing to drink from anything else?” I asked Murph.
“They’re real assholes,” he replied with no small amount of admiration.
It seems that once their feline palates were exposed to the free-falling, activated charcoal filtered water from their premium pet fountain, nothing else was ever going to compare, and they were prepared to die in protest if it was not restored to its cascading perfection. Much like the Meow Mix Crusade they fought and won when we tried to give them a better diet, you need to know when you’re fighting a losing battle.
Unable to afford a vet bill for fluids, I picked the fountain up and disassembled it. And that’s where I realized that the little place in the back of the bowl where the water goes back in had become clogged with cat hair. Also, the dish was pretty slimy so I washed it with the provided cleaning kit and some white vinegar then rinsed it all out. Slime gone.
Quick work and it was back up and running and the sound of someone peeing in the kitchen resumed much to the cat’s joy. Well, once they were rehydrated.
Yeah, I do recommend the Pet Fountain for your pets:
In sum, I’d say that if I knew how much they’d like this thing, I’d have sprung for one for them before I scored the free one. The sound of the water running really does become background in the house if it annoys at first, and also, we’re in a tile-floored house with a very open floor plan, so you can hear stuff all over. Your house may be different. It doesn’t really bother me anymore. Also, given how hot it is, I’m glad that they are drinking enough, even if they’re essentially ungrateful furry mobsters. Cheeto was last October, and that cost a fortune, so I try to keep an eye on him.
Also, I think it would run about 4 or 5 days without actually being refilled, so if you’re going away and leaving your cats, they would have fresher water than if you just filled up the bathtub and told them to cope. Not that I have ever done that.
I’d say go for it. Also, if you really hate it, Amazon has a pretty easy return policy. And, if you only have one cat, you can buy the smaller model (though the bigger really doesn’t have a large profile).
*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Please see Affiliate Disclaimer page for details. I will never, ever recommend a product I haven’t tried or wouldn’t buy for myself. Also, to date, I’ve 0.49 cents with Amazon, which got eaten by fees, so I’m not very good at selling stuff!
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