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on March 22, 2010
This is the first time I've bought a fountain for my cat, and I've done quite a bit of research on them. Though there isnt much information about this fountain online compared to the drinkwell and petmate fountains, I went for this one after seeing what the insides of the other fountains looked like. I wanted to write this review in amazon so others can get a bit more information so they can make an informed choice.

The main advantages that this fountain has over others are:
1. It's CERAMIC. No scratches in the plastic leading to bacteria. No allergies to the plastic, which some cats get.
2. QUIET PUMP. The pump is absolutely silent. There are three settings on the pump and the first one gives no sounds whatsoever. I have it set on the second setting to get the sound of trickling water. The pump is still quet.
3. EASY TO CLEAN. This was the main reason I got this one. The Drinkwell and petmate fountains requires disassembly and cleaning with special brushes. This fountain is only THREE PARTS. The top part where the water flows down, the main bowl, and the pump. Since it's ceramic, I basically set it at the hottest water setting to scrub it down and sanitize. No special brushes, no bleeding knuckles.
4. NO LEAKS. Just because of the way this fountain is designed (top ceramic dish sits on top of the main bowl), there is no way it can possibly leak. Unless you crack the ceramic dishes, of course!
5. It's pretty.

The only thing I wonder about the other fountains is whether or not my cat would like the waterfall-type fountains. My cat seems to like to drink out of the part where the water comes out of the pump more than out of the bowl. Nevertheless, he gets fresh water and seems to enjoy it.

So far, I'm satisfied with the fountain, and my cat seems to like it, too. As for the pump, I'll have to see how long it lasts.
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on January 30, 2012
This is my 3rd Raindrop Fountain - not because they haven't worked, but because I couldn't settle on the style I/my kittens liked best. I started with the black ceramic, but it made finding bits of kibble difficult so I gave it away when the stainless steel version arrived. That version was light weight, but the hard water in Dallas left white deposits that I couldn't get to come off - for me, it needed to look shiny and new - for my little boy kitten, it needed to withstand his putting his metal springs in it... the top portion turned out to be too light and I woke up one morning to a water incident that left the fountain almost out of water, the top part akimbo, and a nice lagoon under the fountain and food bowl. Thankfully I had just switched the may to one that absorbed, so the drama was minimized. I decided I needed to go back to the weight of the ceramic... and stumbled across the white version. SUCCESS! It stays clean looking - I can quickly spot swimming kibble - and spring play does not result in a floor soaking. It is considerably heavier than the stainless version - but if you need a sturdy fountain this could be the one for you!
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Let me first start with the fact that pet fountains in general are much healthier for your pets than standing water. If you are like me and don't change out your pets water daily, fountains are a must since they help constantly filter water and minimize bacteria and mold from the water. Plus, I hate the taste of tap water, why shouldn't I expect my cats to also find it less than desirable.

I have owned several different types of pet fountains pretty much since they came out over 10 years ago. And anyone who owns pet fountains knows one of the biggest pains is cleaning them. The major two leaders in the market the Drinkwell and Petmate Fresh Flow seem to dominate the market making finding filters easy. They are great, personally I found the Petmate's quieter than the Drinkwell, that and the cats seem to prefer drinking the water pouring down the slope design of the Petmate than the water tricking down the spout of the Drinkwell. The Drinkwell also didn't last as long as my two Petmates (both the large and regular size still work after some 3-5 year respectively). I also own the Hagen CatIt Fresh & Clear, which has water trickling down the sides of a dome bubble, which one of my cats loves. (Don't recommend attaching the side food bowl to the CatIt, it increase the amount of food that ended up in the water than just leaving it unattached and setting it a few inches off to the side).

So you are probably wondering why I recently ordered the Pioneer Pet Fountain when I own three other usable fountains. The answer is maintenance. The plastic water fountains must be cleaned completely by hand. They cannot be put in the dishwasher, because dishwashing detergent (doesn't matter the kind) leaves a residue on plastic, which is porous, that can be unhealthy for pets after extended use and cause water to taste like the cleaning product. Plus it is very difficult to get water scale build-up off of plastic. Yes, the water in pet fountains constantly is being recirculated, but if you think about your bathtub or toilet which gets fresh water there still builds up a ring at the top of the water level. Well I've found our water has the same problem with the pet water filter. And attempting to get it off the plastic can be difficult since again detergents you might normally use to help will leave a residue. So, I bought (received as a present from my wish list) this Ceramic Pet Fountain. Both the stainless steel variation and the ceramic one can safely be put in the dishwasher and are safe enough to run sanitizing option without concern to the plastic breakdown or melting near the heating unit. Thus making cleaning the unit easier. However, I must note that you will still need to clean the pump and pump housing by hand since they are plastic, but a small fist size item is much easier to clean than the whole unit.

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Pros
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* Easier to clean

* Heavy so it makes it much harder to tip over

* Cleaner design, allows pets who want to drink from moving water to do so without having stretch neck the water standing water reservoir (think of it from a cat's view rather than a larger dog)

* Fresh constantly filtered water for pets, without having to change out the water daily

* Ceramic one is black and there is a stainless steel one which may match someone's kitchen appliance themes (yes I realize some people care about this kind of stuff).

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Cons
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* Reminds me of a small toilet bowl with a cover for water to run down (sounds exactly like one when you hit the two ceramic pieces together)

* Much louder than the Petmate, about the same loudness of the trickling water as the Drinkwell (can be irritating to some people if their fountain is anywhere near their main living areas listening to water dripping constantly, it will be peaceful to others)

* In my opinion I would not find it suitable for medium or large dogs, the fountain only holds about 36 ounces of water, and if your dog doesn't like drinking the bubbling water the area to drink from the other water is only about 6-7 inches wide. So your larger dog would constantly be licking the top piece as they drank.

* No reservoir add-on available. Unlike the Petmate, you cannot just simply slide on an attachment which holds more water.

* The ceramic one is black, which can make it difficult for people to see the water level to know if they put too much water in, or need to add water (easier to listen to the sound of the water).

* Still have to wash some of the pieces (pump and pump housing) by hand so not completely dishwasher safe

* Same as any pet water filter, the cost of the filters can add up. And unlike fish filters you cannot just add carbon and fiber to a snap together unit. I suppose one could try, but the filter housings in this unit are fused together.

* The ceramic unit will be much easier to break if you drop it while cleaning it (Trust me I've dropped the others a few times when hands have gotten wet)

* Unlike the Petmate variation, there is no adjustment to how fast the water is pumped (ie. Bubbles on the top). There is only one speed which is fast, this has caused one of my cats to have a harder time adjusting to the unit (he's the one that loved the PetIt which has a slower and quieter trickling over the dome than any of the units I've tried)

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While I've only owned it for a short time over all I'm happy with the unit so far despite the cons I've listed above. I just wanted to be honest to the shortcomings, since I know they can be big issues for some people. And as we know companies are far less likely to mention them. Wouldn't you rather know what some people have experienced before spending over $40. I hope this review helps.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Update: We have now owned this fountain for almost 11 years and I'm still happy with it. In all this time we have only had to replace the filters. I'm still using the original dish, pump, and casing. So in all this time what have I experienced & learned?
* There have been NO cracks nor other damage to the fountain. I treat them as I would any other dish such as my Corningwear or Pyrex, neither excessively forceful nor gentle.
* The softer rubber tubing gasket that connects the pump casing to the top ceramic piece is still in good condition with no sign of drying out or breaking down. I recommend that for those buying this fountain or the larger one to invest in a baby bottle brush with the nipple brush to help clean this rubber tubing as well as the pump. This can help clean out any additional slime or food buildup from items.
* Recommend not placing food dish directly next to water bowl, this goes with any fountain, but I've noticed that my cats even though their food dish is on the other side of the kitchen still manage to drop uneaten dry food into their water dish. This helps lead to the need for more frequent cleanings.
* Make sure your cat has access to either the top flowing part or the main dish, one of my cats only drinks from the top bubbling part of the fountain whereas the other prefers the main storage area.
* Several people have complained about leakage, they are over filling their bowls. The way the fountain is designed there is an access tube that allows for the power cord to the pump to exit the dish from underneath the top part of the dish making it difficult to judge if you have put too much water in so that the water also exits this tube especially once the water starts flowing. I recommend using the bottom lip of the top piece as a guide. Fill the main part of the dish until the water level is about ¼ of an inch under this lip. If you are concerned about leaking, put a puppy pad or dish drying mat under the fountains to save your floors just in case.
* Oh, and one of the cons I published previously, I was corrected and have since found the adjustment slide on the front of the pump to adjust the water flow. You can open it all the way and allow for stronger flow of water (note more noise), or slide the lever over to lower the amount of water the pump will take in at a time and thus lowering how fast the water flows and noise level.
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on April 3, 2012
I'll keep the review part of this short to make room for the modification... Basically this works great. My cats both drank out of it right away although the older one was a little timid for a few days. Now they both drink quite a bit more water which was the goal. We always feed dry food, canned only comes out once a month or less unless they're sick and need coaxing to eat. With a dry diet they need to have access to lots of water and be encouraged to drink, this product does that.
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The Cons: Some water noise and a very small amount of splash over the edge. Enough that I'd put it on a plastic tray if I didn't do the below modification.
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The Mod: This mod will cost about $3 and fix both the noise and the splashing. Order this fountain and then go out and buy some Sabra hummus, eat and enjoy, retain lid. (google image search Sabra Hummus) Once you're done take some scissors and cut the lid along the "wave" in the label, discarding the part of the lid with the label. Now trim off about 2/3 of the red rim on the remaining section of lid leaving a tab or hook in the middle. Slip this between the "waterfall" part and the bowl and you're done! For me this solved both the noise and the splash with about two minutes work. (PS, try the Buffalo Wing hummus!)

Four stars because they could have included a part like this in the design and I don't think it should need modification in order to not splash water. Maybe they should include a coupon for hummus?
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on July 9, 2010
I recently ordered one of these ceramic water fountains and really like it. It is easy to assemble, its quiet, my two cats immediately went for it. It definitely stays cleaner than Drinkwell.

The only drawbacks to this fountain is that it does have to be refilled almost daily and you really have to watch that the top portion is placed correctly on the bowl otherwise, the water will go all over the floor. My cats are bad about putting their paw in the bowl and moving the top piece thus draining the bowl on the floor. So, I would not keep this connected if I were going out of town overnight and not able to check the bowl.

I really love the ceramic though. Its great, and not as harsh as the plastic fountains. This is a major step in the right direction, but could use a few improvements in design to keep that top piece from moving just slightly to where the water spills all over the floor.

This is an addendum to my original review of this product. I've had it a while now and the only drawback to this fountain is the top portion. I have had more water spills all over the floor and the bowl empty because my two cats put their paws in the bowl and move the top piece. When moved every so slightly, it allows the water to go everywhere.
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on March 15, 2010
I bought two of these fountains after one of my cats developed a painful UTI. I wanted to encourage the cats to drink more water to avoid those kinds of health problems, and they both started drinking from it almost immediately. My two small dogs took a bit longer to get used to it but they still prefer to drink out of their regular water bowls. I don't mind though because the fountains are primarily for the cats.

These ceramic fountains are so much better than the plastic water fountains, both aesthetically (no ugly logos or institutional colours) and from a health standpoint. Plastic will harbour all sorts of bacteria but ceramic won't. It's a very simple, stylish design and is so easy to clean unlike some of the plastic fountains.

They are just like a very pleasant indoor water feature but with a practical function. The pump is virtually silent unless you let the water run low (which is, obviously, not recommended) and on a medium setting you get a nice tinkling sound of water flowing. If you don't want to hear the water running then you can set the pump to minimum flow and you won't hear it at all.

Overall, I think that it is a quality product and definitely money well spent!
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Like I did!

A lot of people have written good reviews for this product, and I agree: If you get a box that contains a top ceramic piece that matches the bottom ceramic piece, this is not a terrible fountain. But BUYER BEWARE: It was confirmed by both the manufacturer (in a phone conversation) and the seller (in an email) that what I received was defective.

With the top piece not fitting onto the bottom piece correctly, the fountain is time-consuming to assemble after cleaning. The pump housing does not fit where it should; the holes (that the water shoots through) do not line up properly and the heavy ceramic pieces wobble and sit precariously and are easily disturbed. The result is constant adjustment so that you can stop the water flowing out onto your floor.

The picture on the box shows the ceramic pieces fitting together tightly, except of course for that few inches where the water flows down. If you look closely at the picture on the product page, you can see that what they are selling now does NOT fit tightly at the back. Because of this the pump housing is not able to sit flat on the bottom of the bowl, which in turns causes a disruption in the water's path up through the pump, the plastic housing, and the water's exit hole in the top ceramic piece.

If this item was sold by Amazon it would be totally guaranteed--including shipping. That is not the case with this item. The seller--claiming to not believe that I had a defective fountain (when so many other people have been happy with their's)--insisted I return the item to them at my expense, which was over $20. Even with Amazon's A to Z guarantee, I will never recoup that $20. And now the seller has the defective fountain back to sell to someone else. UPDATE, Feb. 10, 2013: After I posted my review and gave seller feedback, the seller contacted me to say she will mail me a check to reimburse me for the shipping charge...after she returns from her 10-day vacation...Nice way of doing business, huh?

If you decide to take a chance on this product, and happen to get a good one, you should be aware of several things: You will need to buy filters almost immediately; only one is included in the box and they don't last long. And another thing: You need to totally dismantle the fountain each time you clean it--this includes unwinding the black power cord through the bottom ceramic piece by way of where it plugs into the adapter at the wall. The entire cord has to be pulled "backwards" through bottom ceramic piece. The cord is long and if your distance to the power supply is relatively short and you fold up and tie off the cord to keep it safely out of the way, you will need to unwind it each time you clean the fountain. If you were thinking to hide the black cord behind a wire camouflaging strip, you will not be able to.
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on July 9, 2012
I bought this beautiful ceramic pet drinking fountain to replace the plastic one that I have had for the last year or so. While I was happy with the low noise level and water capacity of my plastic one, I was grossed out by how slimy and grimy it would get and felt that I wasn't able to keep it as clean as I would like. I decided to go with the Pioneer Pet Ceramic Raindrop Pet Drinking Fountain in white because I liked the aesthetically pleasing style and knew that the ceramic surfaces would be much easier to clean and sanitize. I've had it running for about two weeks now, and I am still not entirely convinced that this is the ultimate fountain for my two adult kitties...

Pros:
-As I mentioned, the ceramic makes it very easy to clean and sanitize. The ceramic fountain and bowl comes apart in two pieces that can easily be put in the dishwasher.
-Aesthetically pleasing, zen like style. No monstrous plastic fountain taking up your floor space!
-My cats took to it very quickly. They love the fresh running water.

Cons:
-I'm not trying to sound lazy, but I have to fill it up much more than I expected. With just my two cats, I still have to fill it up once a day to keep it from making the low-water, vibration sound.
-It makes much more noise than my previous plastic version, even when filled to capacity. It isn't white noise to me; it's an unpleasant vibration sound. It's the sound of the motor - not from the ceramic pieces sitting on each other. I have tried positioning the fountain many different ways and nothing has stopped the sound.
-As others have mentioned, it seems a little too easy for the top piece to become dislodged if not positioned correctly. This happened to me in the first couple of days - luckily, the fountain was on a lipped pet placemat so the water was contained. It only happened once and has not happened since.

While I want to love this fountain, I just can't. More than anything, I am disappointed with the sound of the motor. I am happy enough to keep it for now, but I will continue my quest for the perfect pet fountain. I want something that is pleasant on the ears, looks nice, is sanitary, and provides my cats with nice, clean water without me having to fill it up as if it were a regular bowl.
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on May 6, 2013
I have an 18-year old "granny" cat who has a bit of ADHD and is very persnickety. So, getting her to drink healthy amounts of water is a challenge. When she was younger and more spry, she would jump on the bathroom counter and drink from a faucet that I left trickling. That kept her well-hydrated, but increased our water bills.

When she stopped jumping up, I would lift her up for awhile, but that was too hit-and-miss.

After a broad search, I found the "Raindrop Drinking Fountain." Spendy, but made of ceramic, not plastic or stainless steel, and some pretty decent reviews.

After two months of use, both my cat and I LOVE it!

She drinks frequently and deeply and is maintaining her hydration really well.

Now for some details and "tips".

It's hard to tell from the product photos how this thing works. I've posted a video, which should help. A submerged pump under the roundish bowl on the top piece moves water up to the bowl. TIP: Set the pump to its lowest setting. It's quieter and works better.

The water then runs down the curved trough of the top piece and falls through a slight, curved notch between the top piece and the bottom piece. The water falls into the "pool" that's in the bottom piece and recirculates. TIP: The level of water in the "pool" will affect how much visible and audible flow is created. If you fill it too full, the water will circulate, but with no "tinkling" noise and not much apparent current on the surface. My cat is drawn by the sound of running water and likes to drink from flowing water, so it took me a while to realize what the "trick" is to getting the "raindrop" effect.

Even on the lowest setting, the motor is not silent. In fact it produces a quite audible, although not loud, hum. Using the lowest pump setting minimizes the hum, but on a hard surface there's a transfer/amplification effect. So, I put a layer of bubble-pack under it (on top of a tile bathroom floor), and it was much quieter. I would suggest the manufacturer provide an optional, thin, cut-to-size pad for use on hard surfaces.

When I first placed the fountain where my cat had her water bowl, she wouldn't go near it because of the motor hum. So, for about ten days, I just placed the bottom bowl (without the motor) in the spot and used it like a regular bowl. My cat quickly adjusted to that change. Then I added the top piece, still without motor, for another ten days, and my cat never missed a beat. Then I added the motor, and she was a little hesitant at first, but within a few days, she was headed straight for the fountain after she eats.

The fountain is ingeniously shaped so if you position it right, there's room for the cat's head and mouth to face the stream. That's the way my cat always drinks. In the video, she's approaching it from the side because I was in her way to capture her drinking.

BTW, there's a filter in the pump, which you can remove or maintain and replace on a regular basis. I keep it in so it filters out the occasional debris she has on her whiskers.

Hope this long story helps some of your own little critters enjoy their own in-home "stream."
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on October 14, 2010
Here's the video I just made of my cat drinking from the fountain. It's been two weeks since mimi (my cat) started drinking from the fountain. However, this is my first time catching him drinking from the top. So for those people who are unsure if their cats would drink from it, just wait a while and see! Don't worry and just relax! Enjoy!
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