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The purrfect watering hole retreat your kitty will love

A water fountain is the ideal must-have item to
complete your catio garden zen. After a hard day
out bug hunting in the Serengeti, the cats flock
to gather and gossip at the watering hole.

Turn your catio into a cat paradise with this easy fountain hack

cat drinking fountain hack for cats

Last updated July 27th, 2021

A water feature you and your cats will love

You have created the perfect outdoor space for your cats and they’re loving it! There are cat grass pots, hanging catnip baskets, and various arrangements of other cat-safe plants. What more could a happy cat want? But there is something missing. An element that is vital to our wellbeing and is an essential component in the art of feng shui – water, the giver of life. 

Ollie loves running water. There is something magical and soul rejuvenating about the sound of trickling water that we cannot resist. I am convinced our feline companions feel the same way. Cats may not always want to drink water because their thirst drive is so low, but when stumbling upon a stream of running water, curiosity wets the paw!

If your cats have access to an outside garden or catio it is essential to provide a water source for drinking. This is especially important to prevent dehydration if your cat spends some time outside on a hot day.

Follow these easy instructions to create the purrfect water feature to complement your catio or cat garden for your cat to enjoyClick To Tweet After all, bug hunting is a tiring job out in the Serengeti and kitty will appreciate a rest and a drink from the watering hole.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase when clicking a link I will make a small commission which helps maintain this blog (and perhaps the Chirpies’ weekend catnip habit!) but won’t cost you a cent more! Read my full disclosure.

You will need:
  1. Bamboo Accents 12″ – three-arm water fountain kit from Bamboo Accents (excludes bowl). The spout of this fountain rests close to the water’s surface so the sound of the water trickle is subtle and calming.
  2. A large ceramic mixing bowl or salad bowl. Whatever bowl you use, make sure it’s ceramic so that it’s easy to clean, sturdy and durable. Avoid a bowl that is easily tipped over. For the 12″ three-arm fountain I recommend a diameter of between 10″ and 20″ and a depth of 3.5″ to 4″h or more. The water bowl I used is 13.5″ wide with a depth of 3.75″
  3. Tumbled gemstones to accessorize such as rose quartz, agate jasper, amethyst. Malachite, lapis lazuli and tiger’s eye should not be immersed in water as these could leach potentially toxic metals into the water. I personally use either rose quartz or these amethyst crystals in the water.
  4. River stones are the ideal complement to a water feature in a zen garden, enhancing the ambiance of a peaceful creek out in the wilderness. 
  5. Pioneer Pet T-Shaped fountain filter This is optional, but if you would like to keep the water fresh for longer, a charcoal filter is recommended. This T-shaped filter is a perfect fit for the bamboo accents fountain. NOTE: This fits perfectly on the pump that comes with the 12″ wide three-arm fountain. A filter will greatly reduce the amount of biofilm or prolong the formation of algae between weekly cleanings! 👍

Why I like the Bamboo Fountain

It fits in perfectly with our catio decor.
It’s pressure treated with a non-toxic and pet-safe solution to prevent attracting insects. So your kitty can drink in peace and safety.
It’s lightweight and very portable. You can easily move the fountain to a different spot.
Vietnamese bamboo is used which is naturally insect resistant and grows without the use of pesticides and fertilizers
Easy to clean! Big bonus. Who wants to clean a big bulky fountain?
The 12″ three-arm fountain is ideal for shallower bowls which makes this design very practical. So that salad or pasta bowl at the bottom of your cupboard that you’re not using can be put to good use!

Are you ready for setup? Let’s go!

One step closer to the purrfect zen garden

1. Open the packaging and rinse the tubing and spout with cold water. Wash the bowl with soapy water, rinse thoroughly and set aside. Rinse any other accessories which will be immersed in the water such as river stones to remove dust and debris.

Setup the perfect zen garden for your cat with this easy fountain hack

2. The three-arm spout sits atop the water bowl and is quite close to the water surface. This produces a softer trickle. If that is what you desire then you’re all set. Rest the spout on one end of the bowl. If you want a louder slightly more full water trickling sound then you could elevate the spout. Here I used pieces of wood off-cuts to rest on the bowl. Position the spout on top of the wood.

Simple salad bowl fountain hack for your catio
Setup the perfect zen garden for your cat with this easy fountain hack

3. You may have to cut the fountain tubing as you probably would not need it to be that long. Attach the end of the nozzle provided and attach this to the pump. The pump can be set to adjust the flow.

easy diy fountain hack for catio garden

4. Arrange your river stones or gemstones around the pump to hide it. I used one of my tiny ceramic bowls I made in pottery class to contain the pump and arranged the river stones around it.

5. Fill the bowl with water almost to the brim and plug in the outlet to see the watering hole come alive!

Setup the perfect zen garden for your cat with this easy fountain hack

6. Use any other river stones or gemstones to decorate the three-arm spout. You are only limited by your creativity. Why not add some solar lights or cat-safe cut flowers or silk flowers on either end!

How to add the T-shaped fountain filter to the pump

After step 3 above, you can also fit the Pioneer Pet T-filter to the pump as shown below. Remember to remove the cover plate and attach the T-shaped filter directly to the pump. This ensures unobstructed water flow.

What the cats think of their new watering hole

Setup the perfect zen garden for your cat with this easy fountain hack
Lunchtime stroll to the watering hole. Refreshing!
Setup the perfect zen garden for your cat with this easy fountain hack
After supper time visit to the watering hole. Oh! What’s this!
Setup the perfect zen garden for your cat with this easy fountain hack
Cat relaxing in his zen catio garden
Early evening bedtime stories with Mr. Literary cat.

I like to change things up and I recently bought this planter bowl and used it for the fountain. I think it looks pretty good 😉

cat drinking at outdoor water fountain

Tips for easy cleaning of your water fountain

Keep your fountain in a shady spot to slow down the formation of algae, which forms when nutrients naturally occurring in the water are exposed to light. But regular cleaning every few days should prevent build up anyway. Our water fountain is on the lowest plant shelf which gets mostly shade throughout the day.

I use a small brush to clean the inside of the spout and the pump and rinse thoroughly under cold tap water to remove any build-up. Mild dish detergent is okay, but no bleach or chemicals.

I clean this fountain more frequently than the indoor pet fountains which have filters for catching hair and debris. In between cleanings during plant watering sessions, I would hose on the surface of the water to get rid of any leaves and surface debris. 

This is a really fun project and easy to maintain and move around for cleaning or just to change up the catio layout. No heavy lifting a big bulky fountain!  Even though our cats love their indoor cat fountains, this fountain provides an attractive outdoor watering hole solution that blends seamlessly with our catio decor. We will definitely be bringing this inside in late Fall when we set up the cats’ indoor salad bar for winter!

The Bamboo Accents fountain is a wonderful and essential addition to any catio and provides endless watering hole gossip for the kitties!

Our overall rating
Functionality and ease of usePurrfect

Do your cats like running water? Do you think you might give this a try?

Like this? Pin it!

For ultimate catio 'zen' try this easy fountain hack for you and your cats to enjoy!

Now let me go see what the latest gossip is at the watering hole!

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About the author

The Lady Cat

Whiskers make me smile.
Coffee is good for you.
And cats are for life.
Helping cats live enriched lives with their people.
(Yasaar Nakchbendi)


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