Kitty loves running waterHow complicated can it be to pick a water bowl for your pet, right? Well, that depends on how basic or complicated you like it. There are a few things though that are considered thoughtful to keep in mind with regards to your feline companion - such as the fact that they don't usually enjoy having their whiskers squished between their cheeks and the bowl. This is why they tend to prefer wide, shallow bowls to eat and drink from. 

Aside from that, your cat tends to be content. Whether you will be content however is another story altogether. What exactly does that mean? Well, some kitties enjoy toppling their bowls for sport - flooding your floor. So, while they're perfectly happy with that, you might not be. An anti-slip ring on your bowl can help prevent that. 

Some cats gravitate towards running water and might just favour your toilet and kitchen sink to their water bowl for this reason. In fact, most cats appreciate running water so you might want to put a water fountain on their list for Santa - especially as it tends to encourage them to drink more which is beneficial for their health.

See? As complicated or as basic as you'd like. Let's have a look at some of the options out there:

The Perfect Basic Choice

A simple, stainless steel bowl with an anti-slip ring on the bottom. Durable, simple, cheap and effective - everything you could ever ask for. The stainless steel makes it dishwasher safe while not trapping any bacteria in any crevices and the rubber ring on the bottom keeps the dish in one place while reducing the noise a stainless steel bowl normally would make when clanging against the floor. Meanwhile it is wide enough to accommodate kitty's whiskers. 

Basic effectiveness personified. Just make sure you keep it away from the food bowl to keep the bowl from being contaminated.

OurPets Premium DuraPet Cat Dish 16oz
Amazon Price: $8.99 $4.33 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)

The Basic Multi-Cat Option

While the basic shallow bowl works wonders for a single pet or cat, you might find it a bit lacking when you have to refill it 4 times a day. Enter the water dish that comes with its own reservoir. 

No toppling, plenty of water for everyone and a wide bowl to accommodate everyone's whiskers. And although it is made of plastic, the manufacturer boasts the dish is dishwasher safe and antimicrobial. With no real technology to break down, it does come with filters that need to be replaced on a regular basis, so that is something to keep in mind. 

Overall though, this is the perfect basic unit for a multi-cat household.

Petmate Replenish Pet Waterer with Microban, 1-Gallon, Brushed Nickel
Amazon Price: $21.99 $12.34 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)

The Conversation Piece

Can't get your cat to stop drinking from the toilet bowl? If you cannot beat them, join 'em - or so the saying goes. Now you can enjoy their crazy antics without being grossed out and give them their very own toilet bowl to drink out of.  Your friends and family are bound to be amused, seeing this in your kitchen.

The bowl itself is ceramic so it is prone to chipping.  Careful handling is therefore a must. However, it is a material that tends to be dishwasher-friendly and won't trap any bacteria, even after being washed. It will also easily cater to a multi-pet household as the aforementioned model does.

CSB Toilet Bowl Dog and Cat Fountain
Amazon Price: $30.00 $25.26 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)

The Popular Water Fountain

Kitty drinking from the pond

Water fountains are often greatly appreciated by cats as running water attracts them and encourages them to drink more. They are handy to keep a multi-pet household hydrated and  keep kitties out of toilets, bath tubs and kitchen sinks. There is no toppling and the water stays fresh longer - though there might still be some splatter danger with some of the more playful kitties. In that respect, it doubles as environmental enrichment which is a definite bonus, especially for indoor cats

The downside is that it can break down due to the technology involved, the filters needed and taking it apart to wash it regularly in the dishwasher can be...inconvenient. And it will need an outlet to work properly. Still, the benefits for your cat certainly outweigh these objections, provided you do your research on the model you get.

This particular one, for instance, is made of plastic but is dishwasher-friendly. It provides plenty of water for a multi-pet household and makes little to no noise - unlike some other types out there. Keep in mind that the pump and bowl itself need regular cleaning and the filters last about 3 months before they need replacing. 

Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain 168oz
Amazon Price: $69.99 $37.59 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)

The Classy Water Fountain

Made from stainless steel and stylish in your kitchen, this particular model offers your cat the same perks as the model shown above, with the added bonus of stainless steel being easier to sterilise. It also makes noise when it doesn't have enough water to work with, alerting you to the situation. The filters do need to be cleaned out properly every few days for the bowl to stay free of contaminants and the pump will need regular cleaning as well.  It has several settings, with the highest being audible and the lowest being near silent. It is heavy enough so it won't be toppled, but light enough to be carried to the sink to be filled up.

Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Fountain Raindrop Design
Amazon Price: $69.99 $44.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)

As you can tell, there are a multitude of options available to find the perfect solution for you and your cat(s). Whichever system you choose, be sure to provide your kitty with readily available fresh water - especially when you feed them dry food - to safeguard their health and kidneys in particular. In that respect, it might be worth contemplating your own preferences and picking the solution that does not make you sigh in frustration or avoid it due to inconvenience.

In other words, if technology isn't your best friend and taking apart a pump gives you a head ache just to think about it, the basic water bowl might just be your best friend. If refilling a bowl 4 times a day or a cat in your toilet bowl is driving you batty, that water pump might not be such a big deal in comparison. So choose wisely ;)