Cats have an unrivaled reputation for being clean creatures, and your pet kitty’s water fountain should be no exception. Keeping the fountain clean will help ensure that your cat continues to drink from it instead of drinking from an alternative source, like their food bowl or the toilet.
Luckily, cleaning a cat water fountain isn’t very difficult and can be done easily with some simple materials and processes. Here’s how to clean a cat water fountain.
Step 1: Disinfect the Tub
If your pet's water fountain gets slimy, it could be because you didn't properly clean it. Take out all of its parts and mix up some vinegar, warm water and dishwashing liquid in a bucket. Then, submerge all of its plastic components into that mixture for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes are up, remove them from that mixture but keep soaking it in hot water to wash off any residue left behind by cleaner. Then allow its parts to dry completely before putting them back together again.
Step 2: Scoop Out Old Bacteria
If you've had your cat water fountain for some time, you might notice that it has grown slimy at some point. This can make your pet hesitant to use it if he's not feeling well, which is why you need to clean out old bacteria and make sure there isn't an unpleasant odor coming from it.
You'll want to run warm water over all of your fountain parts and wash them off with mild soap and an old toothbrush (if needed). Be sure to rinse all of your pet's accessories completely; then, let them air dry. If any parts feel damaged or have broken off over time, replace them right away so no one gets hurt! Your pet should be back up and running in no time—now that his water is fresh again!
Step 3: Clean the Filter
Once a week, or once every 2 weeks if you use filtered water, take apart your fountain and clean out any debris from around its pump. Filters should be cleaned regularly with warm soapy water (don’t use vinegar).
Take extra care when cleaning to ensure that no soap residue remains in parts of your fountain that come into contact with your cat’s water (the metal areas of ceramic fountains are more porous than ceramic parts and must be kept spotless). If you have an animal hair-removal tool, you can use it on stubborn spots. Make sure everything is completely dry before reassembling.
Step 4: Scrub Down Every Surface
With your fountain’s water turned off, scrub every surface of your fountain with soap and hot water. This will loosen any debris in there and make it easier for you to rinse away.
Once you’ve done that, fill up a sink or bucket with soapy water and give it another good wash down. Allow your fountain to air dry completely before turning it back on again!
Step 5: Wait for it... Wait For It... WAIT!
It can be easy to forget about your cat water fountain as soon as you’ve cleaned it. And that could be a problem, because without regular cleaning and maintenance, your cat’s drinking water will quickly go from sanitary back to germy again. You don’t want that! So when you’re done with step 4, give yourself an extra day or two before starting Step 1.
That way you don’t put yourself in a pressure situation; if your cat doesn't immediately drink from their clean fountain right away, don't worry about it—you'll still have time later on to do more flushing/cleaning.
Step 6: Rinse it All Out
For regular cleaning, refill with water and give your fountain a good rinse every few days. If it’s been awhile since you cleaned your pet fountain, let it soak for 30 minutes in warm water with an enzyme cleaner that's made for cleaning pet dishes (use about one cup of liquid cleaner to two cups of warm water).
Do not submerge any electrical parts. After letting it soak, scrub down all surfaces with soap and hot water or an antimicrobial wipe. Allow fountain to air dry completely before refilling and plugging back in—this will keep mold from growing inside again too soon.
How often to clean the cat water fountain?
A cat water fountain is a great investment in your pet’s health, but it does require some upkeep. How often you clean your cat’s water fountain will depend on how dirty and smelly it gets. I recommend cleaning once every two weeks with good results; however, if you notice lots of debris collecting in and around your pet’s water bowl (especially algae), you may want to clean more frequently. If things get really bad, I would consider changing out either part or all of the water in your fountain with fresh water.
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