The Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Pet Fountain looks like the greatest idea in pet products since the litter box. For the cat it means always-fresh water circulating in a kitty enticing way. For the human it means healthier water for their pet with less effort. Right? Well, that's what I thought, anyway. I also liked the idea of having that gurgly water sound to soothe us in hard times.
How it actually went down: I set up the Fresh Flow fountain, turned it on, and waited to admire the sight of my cats drinking happily from it. Instead, the cats ran as fast as they could in the other direction. When I carried the tabby back to the kitchen, he behaved as if I was carting him to the gallows. After much time attempting to show them that the fountain was their friend and good water could be had from it, I gave up, happy that they would at least enter the kitchen again. It never got any better than that. I assume they drank from it, as they did not die of dehydration during the testing period, but I never saw it happen. I suspect it was done surreptiously in the dark, when they hoped the thing was sleeping.
My reaction wasn't much better, although I kept up appearances for the cats' sake. It's noisy. It's not noisy in a vacuum-cleaner-with-a-bad-fan-belt kind of way, it's just constantly reminding you that it's there. You can't enjoy the water gurgle over that forever humming sound. Some days it grumbled more than hummed, without any reason that I could discover. Perhaps it felt slighted by the cats.
It requires more cleaning than a bowl of water, by far, and that was what finally brought about its retirement to the back of a closet. I'd rather just buy purified water and pour it in a bowl. The cats like it and it never grumbles.
If you have young cats or cats that are already drinking from a sink or moving water source, you may do fine with this. My cats are old and distrust anything that moves or makes noise. I am also getting old, so I distrust anything that needs extra cleaning. On the positive side, the thing seemed durable enough and is not terribly expensive. The Petmate Fresh Flow fountain might be worth a try to see how you and your cats react.
*Creative Commons Photo by Andreas D.