As professional Cat Lads & Ladies, we observe many hundreds of felines behaving in their natural environment – their homes. And when it comes to their drinking water, they can be, well, finicky. Cats prefer to drink from moving, fresh water. It’s their instinct to seek out fresh, moving streams over a standing pond or puddle. We have a seen many of our kitties drinking from the faucet, and a surprising number of clients even instruct us to leave the tap on a steady drip so that their cats can drink from it, instead of a bowl.
That’s where Thirsty Cat Fountains comes in. WINNER OF THE 2014 CAT FANCY EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARD and FEATURED IN MODERN CAT MAGAZINE, Thirsty Cat Fountains are beautiful, functional works of art. And pets LOVE them (our cats and dog certainly do). Here is our interview with Keith Davitt, one of the master potters:
pB: Tell us how Thirsty Cat Fountains began – what’s your story?
KD: I have always loved moving water. As a landscape designer for twenty five years almost all the landscapes I designed had a water feature of some kind. (You can see these in the various books I’ve written.) Five years ago I had an idea for an indoor fountain I wanted. It was a thing of beauty.
I was a potter and began making indoor fountains and placing them around my home and found our cat, Bijou, drinking from them all the time. I realized I had never seen him use his water bowl. I was watching him drink one day and a light bulb came on. I went to the computer and typed in ‘cat fountains’. Over 6 million entries came up and for the first time I became aware of the problem of feline hydration. I learned that cats prefer moving water and because many don’t get it, they don’t drink enough, causing a range of health problems. I also learned that there were many commercial cat fountains, most of which are made of plastic, which can scratch and harbor bacteria, causing chin acne. Clearly, there was a need for a high quality, attractive cat fountain. Thirstycat Fountains was born. I opened our Etsy shop on my birthday, Feb. 21, 2010.
pB: I used to have the Drinkwell cat water fountain – the plastic, commercially-made one you buy at Petco, and from the very first day I hated it. It was a weird globe-like thing and part of the assembly was using “the oils in my hands” to spread the water over the globe – it was strange and didn’t even work. In a week it puttered and stopped working. How do Thirsty Cat Fountains differ?
KD: We are a crew of artists of various kinds. My wife, Jackie makes jewelry, as does Joyce who also does splendid work in other media and is a wealth of creative ideas. Kylie is a professionally trained potter who also creates and sells her own work, and Lee is a bright, intelligent person who values quality work and shares with us lots of good ideas. Together we are continuously attempting to create ever new, innovative and attractive, high quality fountains.
Each week you are likely to see in our shop a design never offered before. And although we do offer ‘reduced’ fountains and occasionally, ‘seconds’ we often discard fountains. This is because not only do they need to be visually attractive, they need to work well and ceramics is notoriously variable. If, for example, a fountain splashes, it is tossed, and that after hours of work have gone into it. Essentially our fountains are simple, which is why so many reviews talk about how easy they are to clean. Our foam pre-filters increase the longevity of the pump and should last years (we’ve only been using them for about 8 months.) Our high density, activated carbon filters last from 6 months to a hear, depending on conditions.
It is our dedication to quality and beauty, and our ability to deliver it, that sets us apart from all other pet fountain makers.
pB: You’ve generously donated a $150 gift voucher to our current Holiday Kitty Photo Contest (on facebook). That’s so awesome! It’s still fairly early, and we haven’t seen all the entries yet. Have any of the photos so far stood out? We like the mischievous cats – Max Myslinky and Smitty. And of course everyone loves Blue Chip, Sydney, Diesel.
KD: When it comes to pictures of cats, how can anyone choose? They are so beautiful in so many ways. The ones you mention, certainly, but I wouldn’t take Nikko or Mimi or Bellatrix out of the running either. I wouldn’t take any out of the running.