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How to Prevent Slime in Pet Water Fountain?

We love our pets and want only the best for them. However, if you are someone who has a pet water fountain for easy dispersal of water, you might have dealt with slime in the fountain at some point or another. You might ignore this fact, but it surely could be a cause of concern for you as well as your pet. Let’s dig into how to prevent slime in pet water fountain?

What is Slime?

what is slime

Slime seen in the pet’s water fountain or bowl could be bacterial formation oven watery surfaces that tend to form a slippery film. It is also known as a biofilm. In the worst case of infestation, this could make your cats sick. However, in the least harmful scenario, it might cause dental issues, watery eyes, tear stains, upset tummies, and so on.

This slime present in the pet water fountain can also potentially affect you in different ways and even cause sickness if you accidentally touch the same.

Note: The best cat water drinking fountain is a device that provides fresh, moving water for cats. A cat’s instinctual response to a running stream of water is to drink from it, and the sound of flowing water may entice your pet to use the fountain.

Why Cat Fountains Get Slimy?

There are four major reasons for slime development in cat fountains which are:

  • Stagnant Water: Almost every water fountain comes with tubes that allow the water to flow in an upward direction to help the pet drink from the nozzle. However, the water isn’t always flowing & tends to be stagnant when not being used. This stagnancy leads to bacterial growth and hence slime.
  • Pet Saliva: Your pet would introduce saliva into the water when drinking from the fountain. They might also leave remnants of food after they have finished up eating and chug on the water. This is enough to feed the bacterial colony and contributes to the slime foundation.
  • Sunlight: Certain units have a heating segment to provide the pet with warm water. Apart from this, if your pet’s fountain is close to doors or windows that allow sunlight, it could lead to slime growth.
  • Water Quality: If you use the tap water, you might accidentally introduce planktonic bacteria to the pet fountain. The municipal water supply comes with these bacteria and needs to be boiled or filtered properly before introducing pets via the pet fountain.

In this guide, we will enunciate the ways that would help you prevent this slime formation in the pet fountains.

3 Benefits of Cleaning Slime from Cat Water Fountain

It will save you on medical bills that occur due to the ailment of your cat, I see it as the biggest advantage while there are three other like:

1. Helps Prevent Serious Infections

While the slimy green growth is bad for your pet’s health, the pink ones can be even more disastrous. The pink slime is known as S.marcescens bacterium. It can cause issues such as meningitis, skin issues, or other infections. So, make sure you clean the water fountain regularly.

2. Prevent e.coli and Salmonella Bacteria

Slimes are also notoriously popular for containing bacterial variants such as e-coli or salmonella. This can cause severe gastrointestinal issues such as severe vomiting & diarrhea. It could also be a causal factor for meningitis, urine infections, blood infections, & other diseases that ail immune-compromised and weak pets.

3. Prevent Periodontal Diseases

The top health issue that affects most pets is periodontal disease. When they reach to 2nd year in the lifecycle, about 70% of cats & 80% of dogs tend to develop one or another form of periodontal disease. The biofilm tends to form plaque in the mouth and causes dental calculus, dental caries, & other systemic diseases.

Moreover, biofilm can also lead to the formation of systemic inflammation, urinary tract infection, cardiovascular diseases, & chronic kidney issues when left untreated in the long run.

How To Prevent Slime in Pet Water Fountain?

Truth be told, it isn’t difficult to get rid of the slime or even prevent it from forming at all. Here are the best ways to prevent the formation of slime in the water fountain.

1-Change the Fountain Water Regularly

When considering the prevention of slime formation, the easiest and best way is to replace the pet fountain’s reservoir with fresh water regularly. You need to do this even if the water isn’t finished. Just use the old water to irrigate your plants or anything that would help avoid any wastage.

The frequency of water replacement should be daily. Various modern-day pet water reservoirs feature an indicator that alerts you whenever it’s empty. However, this could take time, especially if you have just one or two pets at home. They might not be able to finish the water daily. So, it would help if you never waited more than a day to replace the water. Otherwise, you would start to notice the formation of slime in the pet fountain.

The goal here is to replace the saliva-stained water and avoid bacterial growth with some clean water.

2-Place the Fountain Far Off From Light and Heat Sources

You might be replacing the water daily, but there is still a possibility of slight slime buildup in the pet fountain. If this happens to you, the key is to check the location of the fountain. In case the fountain has been kept in a place close to light or heat sources, it’s time to relocate it.

Things such as warmth from the sun can encourage and accelerate bacterial colony growth. It could further aid the algae formation in your pet’s water fountain. So, the right way to go about it is to keep it in an accessible place away from the sources that contribute heat & light.

3-Clean the Pet Fountain Regularly

Regular cleaning is an obvious answer when it comes to preventing slime formation in the pet water fountain. Regular cleaning is a masterstroke for slime prevention. However, even when you have been regularly replacing the water, the bacterial buildup can surface at obscure places like the inner segments of the fountain or the tubing.

It is why a regular cleaning session is essential for your cat’s water fountain. It can also eliminate the pink residue buildup, which is a variant of slime. To clean the slime in a better way, the ideal way to go about it is to use items such as:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Bleach
  • Mild Detergent

Ensure you wash off any remnant that might be present in the pet fountain, especially if you plan to use bleach or detergent to clean the fountain. Any remnant that hasn’t been cleaned properly can seep into the water and cause health issues for your pets.

Cleaning should be a weekly thing for your pet water fountain!

4-Use Stainless-Steel, Ceramic, or a Porcelain Fountain

If your efforts to clean the water fountain include all the above steps and yet you end up with slime now and then, the material could be blamed for it. Certain materials are less prone to slime buildup that includes options such as:

  • BPA-Free Plastic
  • Porcelain
  • Steel Tops & Spouts
  • Ceramic

These materials naturally discourage the formation of slime. Vets also recommend using these materials as they tend to be less porous than normal plastic and prevent bacterial growth. Plus, these materials can also be cleaned with ease & don’t actually require any heavy-duty scrubbing.

It would help if you also avoided the fountains prepared from cheap materials prone to abrasion and scratching. These dents and dings serve as a thriving space for bacterial colonies. So, ensure that you bring home a durable pet water fountain that is resistant to abrasion.

Can Additives Be Helpful?

how to prevent slime in pet water fountain

Truth be told, it is better not to include additives in your pet’s drinking water. You never know what your cat might be allergic to. Something as innocent as vinegar could lead to issues such as acidity and an upset stomach.

It is better to clean it off and use the above practices to keep away the slime formation.

You can use vinegar to soften water and hence slow the slime growth process. However, this would be an oxymoron as your cat won’t drink this vinegar-loaded water as the smell could deter them.

If your cat is hesitant to drink water then learn why are cats scared of water? And clean cat water fountain with vinegar often to maintain the cleanliness which felines like most.


So, the next time you wonder why your pet’s water fountain is all green and pinkish, it’s slime! With all these pointers in mind, you can keep the water safe for consumption and prevent slime formation. First, invest in a naturally slime deterring material used for your pet’s fountain.  

Hopefully, you get an answer to “how to prevent slime in pet water fountain?” now start tracking for slime and make proper arrangements

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