Ceramic vs. Stainless Steel Cat Fountains: Which Material Reigns Supreme?


  1. Durability: Built to Last
  2. Ease of Cleaning
  3. Cost Considerations: You Get What You Pay For
  4. Aesthetics: An Important Factor
  5. Noise Level: The Quieter the Better
  6. Added Features: Simple vs. High Tech
  7. Last words

When you decide to buy an electric cat fountain, you want to choose an option that will last for a long time and keep your feline friend happy and hydrated. Two of the most popular materials for cat fountains are ceramic and stainless steel. Both offer significant pros and cons, so it's important to determine your priorities to choose the best fountain for your cat.

In this article, we'll compare factors such as durability, ease of cleaning, cost, aesthetics and more between ceramic and stainless steel cat fountains to help you make the best choice for your cat's needs.


Ceramic vs. Stainless Steel Cat Fountains


Durability: Built to Last

Ceramic Fountains Durability

Ceramic is naturally scratch-resistant, protecting against cats batting at the fountain. Ceramic is also dishwasher-safe. However, ceramic can crack if dropped and may chip or fade over many years of use. The motor and pump components still require eventual replacement. For the most part though, a ceramic fountain can last for several years.

Stainless Steel Fountains Durability

Stainless steel is exceptionally durable. It is rust-resistant, scratch-resistant and also dishwasher-safe. A high-quality stainless steel fountain can last for many years with minimal maintenance required. Stainless steel may dent if dropped from a height but won't crack. It also has a higher risk of scratches. Choosing a stainless steel fountain with a weighted, stable base will maximize its lifespan. Overall, stainless steel has an edge in durability over ceramic fountains.

Ease of Cleaning

Both ceramic and stainless steel fountains feature non-porous surfaces that resist the buildup of bacteria, grime and odors. For most messes, a simple wipe down with a damp cloth or scrubbing with a plastic brush will do the trick for either material. For stuck-on mineral deposits or other stuck messes, you may need to disassemble some parts of the fountain and scrub with an abrasive sponge or scrubber, regardless of the material. Some fountains also have extra components like pumps that require hand cleaning. Both materials are also dishwasher safe for many models, making cleanup simple.

Cost Considerations: You Get What You Pay For

Ceramic fountains are typically more affordable, especially for smaller models designed for one cat. However, larger multi-cat ceramic fountains may end up costing more than comparably sized stainless steel fountains. Stainless steel fountains usually have a higher upfront cost, but their extreme durability means they can last for many years, potentially offsetting the higher price over time. For maximum value, choose a high-quality stainless steel fountain with premium features.

Aesthetics: An Important Factor

Ceramic fountains come in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, and glazed colors, providing an elegant and decorative look. Stainless steel has a sleek, modern appearance but is limited to silver/steel colors and typically offers fewer style variations. Stainless steel fingerprints and water spots also show more easily, requiring frequent wiping down to maintain an attractive appearance.

For contemporary spaces, stainless steel may have a slight visual edge. For traditional or transitional decor, ceramic likely complements the style better.

Noise Level: The Quieter the Better

When properly maintained and of comparable quality, neither ceramic nor stainless steel fountains are inherently noisier. The water flow rate, motor strength, and overall design primarily determine a fountain's noise level, not the material.

Cheaper fountains with weaker motors and components tend to be louder, while more expensive, higher-quality models are optimized for near-silent operation. For the quietest fountain, choose a well-rated model from a reputable brand, regardless of material.


Ceramic vs. Stainless Steel Cat Fountains


Added Features: Simple vs. High Tech

Both ceramic and stainless steel fountains are available with basic or more advanced features including:

  • Multiple streams and levels: Provide more interest for cats but require a stronger, potentially louder motor.
  • Built-in filters: Charcoal filters remove bad tastes and odors while cotton or foam filters catch hair and debris. Multiple levels of filtration are best.
  • Faucet extenders and splash pads: Help contain mess from playful cats.
  • Timer, motion sensor, pet camera or app controls: For high-tech functionality, at a significantly higher price in either material.

For most cat owners, a fountain with essential features like an adjustable flow, quiet operation, non-skid base and basic filter is adequate. If desired, ceramic and stainless steel also come fully loaded with high-tech options for an additional investment. Choose features based on how much you're willing to spend and how automated or interactive you want the fountain to be.

Last words

In summary, while both ceramic and stainless steel make excellent cat fountain materials, stainless steel has a slight advantage in terms of maximum durability and lifespan. However, ceramic may be cheaper, especially for smaller fountains. Either can be an excellent, health-promoting choice for your cat.

With the range of options from brands, you can select a durable cat fountain in your desired material and at your desired price point. But remember Petlibro is the best choice for you. Why? Check our blog for more information. No matter which direction you go, keeping your cat hydrated and happy for life is the top priority.

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