Rescue Cats & Other Adventures
Pioneer fountain disassembled
Cat Hack

Family Watering Hole

Back when I had multiple big dogs, I invested in a nice ceramic Pioneer water fountain water bowl. The big dog thought it was cool but the backup medium dog was suspicious that it would leap at him and give him an unexpected bath. It was all too much for him.

The cats on the other hand… the cats find it endlessly amusing. It is the one thing they all seem to agree on. It’s the cat family watering hole. They like the big pond-like bowl, and the blurbly top bowl, and the wobbly slide of water into the big bowl. It’s the bee’s knees.

Cats don’t naturally drink a lot of water. They usually get their water from the meat of their prey. But we domesticated them, and now give them dry cat food (or gross canned stuff), and so we need to give them a good source of fluid. Some cats develop issues with drinking enough water.

A water fountain is a great way to keep your kitties drinking good water. The only drawback is that in all seriousness, it needs to be kept clean, and it needs a deep clean once in a while. We had a mild lip infection whip through our cat population recently and I feel guilty because one source may have been the water bowl.

It’s a soggy process to take apart the bowl and wash the ceramic parts. And the plastic filter housing gets popped open and scrubbed out (I just do hot water and a tiny, tinny bit of soap, with a sponge and an old toothbrush to get the corners). And I don’t change the filter every time–guilty to say I’m cheap. The tough part of cleaning is that you have to keep going, like a Russian nesting doll. The little pump should get opened up and carefully cleaned (no soap at this point, just toothbrush finger tips). I recommend a few q-tips to get the tight spots, and especially the chimneys where the water is pushed out. Those get super gross if ignored.

A while back, my pump was just not moving water, and was making a funny sound, but the thought of ordering a new pump plus shipping–I’m just not ready to toss money at a problem. So I poked around online and stumbled across a video by the Pioneer folks showing how to clean the pump. And they pointed out that these instructions were in the original fountain paperwork. So, duh.

You can get a cleaning kit,or you can use things you have like toothbrush and q-tips. You can buy the filters (they’re not expensive). You can even buy a new pump if yours goes out (also not terribly expensive). There’s just going to be some maintenance and care for this fountain.

Totally worth it.

Once everything is cleaned, put it all back together making sure to line up the outflowing chimneys, fill up the bowl, and plug the pump back on. Your cats are going to be more than happy to hang out and slurp up good water. If the water gets low, you’ll hear the pump start to hum, so keep it topped up. And if you have more than a few cats, you’ll need to clean it more often because the fur gets sucked in to the grill. Still, totally worth it.


*I’m not in any way compensated by Amazon or Pioneer for this. I just like this fountain, and the cats love it.

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