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Showing 1-10 of 679 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 721 reviews
on December 21, 2010
I had been looking for the perfect fountain that wouldn't stand out too much in my room. I've had plastic fountains in the past that would have film grow on them pretty quickly between cleanings so I was unsure that I'd buy one at all. I have three cats and actually bought this one for one of them in particular who loves to knock his water bowl to make waves - and spilled it often. He is very happy with this product. But a pleasant surprise is that one of my other cats is ten years old with a chronic respiratory infection that in his later years has led to high sodium and other bad readings in his blood work. A month prior to getting this fountain he'd been in ICU for a week and after being released I had to administer SubQ fluids nightly. He drank prior to my getting the fountain but once it got here he drank so much more - even sleeps by it sometimes. He's by no means cured but I no longer need to give him the SubQ nightly which is a huge relief. All three cats share the fountain well. Asthetically, it is actually semi decorative and is very quiet. I've cleaned it regularly and the filter is great at stopping the minimal fur that falls in. I have already recommending it to friends and definitely suggest it to anyone looking to purchase it. Hope this helps.
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on September 29, 2012
I have owned several cat fountains, and the biggest problem is always how difficult they are to clean and keep clean. This is is the best I've bought. It's porcelain surface makes cleanup quick and easy. Also, it's bit enough to hold quite a lot of water, which is nice. It's attractive looking. And it runs MUCH more quietly than any other we've had, so we don't have to turn the volume up on the TV to hear over it. :) A good product well worth the price to keep our kitties hydrated and healthy.
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on December 17, 2014
Let me start by indicating we have owned the regular sized Pioneer Ceramic Drinking Fountain for almost 11 years with no complications nor complaints. So, what made me buy this? The size. We were going on an extended trip and I wanted to make sure the cats continued to have a fresh supply of water during our absence rather than just leaving extra bowls of water down. Additionally, I also knew someone who had owned the stainless steel version and her cats loved it. I chose to stick with the black ceramic so that both of the fountains would match.
• For those owning the smaller Pioneer Ceramic Drinking Fountain you’ll be happy to know the pump, and fountain casings are exactly the same. Therefore you can continue to use both and not have to worry about having to buy different size filters. Uses same filters. Plus, if one of the pumps fails you can always go down to the one fountain with the same pump.
• Ceramic Drinking Fountain allows me to run the ceramic pieces through my dishwasher, including the sanitize feature without risking health concerns of 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.
• As I stated in my previous review of the original Pioneer, plastic can allow for soap or micro-bacteria to adhere due to the porous nature.
• Heavy so it makes it much harder to tip over- one of my cats is always swatting at other bowls I put down for him and has turned over several.
• 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 or small dog’s view rather than a larger dog). One of my cats loves drinking from the top part because he doesn’t have to bend down at all. It is face level.
• Pets have fresh constantly filtered water, without having to change out the water daily
• Ceramic comes in black or white, 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).
• This larger fountain holds enough water to satisfy even a large dog for about a day, so with my 2 cats I typically have to add additional water every other day.
• 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)
• Even with the large bowl there is currently no way to add an additional reservoir add-on. Unlike the Petmate, you cannot just simply slide on an attachment which holds more water.
• I can only comment on the black ceramic, 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 or pump). I believe this is why several people have complained about leaking in the smaller version on this one. The nice thing about the larger Max version over the smaller version is there isn’t the power cord outlet tube located under the top part of the fountain. But keep in mind the water is moving underneath where the pump is located, so do not fill the fountain all the way to the top. I usually leave about ½ inch to an inch from the top. After 11 year with the smaller version, we’ve definitely learned to hear differences in the sound of the pump that indicate it’s time to add water, but I learned that with my four previous plastic fountains too.
• 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. Nice thing is the same filters work in the regular Pioneer Fountain as the Pioneer Max Fountain.
• 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). That being said, I’ve had no cracks or breakage in the original ceramic unit we’ve owned for almost 11 years, but I haven’t dropped it on tile or hard wood either.
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on January 19, 2011
This is THE pet fountain you've been looking for.

We had a plastic fountain for the last two years. Overall, I had no complaints. It *did* have some cleanliness issues though (it needed to be periodically scrubbed for algae, and the filter would clog with fur), and my cat did not help the problem because when she drank, she preferred to let the flow of the fountain flow over the top of her head. It only pooped out recently, and it might have been our own fault for letting it run too dry... but either way, once it pooped out, we started investigating ALL our options, wondering if just buying a new pump was really worth it...

This new fountain does NOT flow in a way where she can get her head wet. It also is whisper-quiet. I hear nothing... the old fountain made a distinct bubbling sound, and even louder if it had a low water level. People were rather grossed-out looking at the algae build-up, which was only removeable to a certain degree.

The new ceramic fountain will NOT be accumulating buildup in the same way, and it makes no bubbling noise at all. Best yet is how easy it is to refill... we just pour more water in, compared to the Drinkwell we had, where we had to remove the tank, refill it, and then carefully realign it without it spilling again. The pieces on this fountain are just so much more practical: two ceramic pieces and an easily-disassembled motor/filter. There were soooo many crevices on our Drinkwell that would clog with fur. Not so on this new fountain.

I LOVE it. It's even attractive, and nobody walks in and says, "Hmmmm....what's that moldy looking plastic thing with all the gurgly water??"

Update: The only criticism I have of this fountain is that it does not fully cycle the water. There are points around the outside of the bowl where there is water that seems to become somewhat stagnant if the bowl is not cleaned routinely. All fountains seem to have a "three week" or so time limit on filters, but on this bowl I would say it is even more vital. The bowl does accumulate algae, hard water deposits, and quite a bit of "floaties" around the outside perimeter of the bowl. When it gets to this point, the only "fresh" looking water is what is coming directly out of the pump.

It is still a better choice than the plastic because it is easier to clean, but it does have some cleaning needs that are inescapable. Keep it clean on a routine basis and there will be no issues... Go longer than your 3 weeks or so, and you will have a pretty gunky looking bowl...

Update-- Almost 2 years later: My pump *just* pooped out. Not too bad. I'm surprised to read reviews of all the bad pumps. I bought a new pump and I'm good to go. I still love it.
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on June 10, 2012
I have 5 indoor cats. I purchased this ceramic fountain last month and placed it in front of my fireplace (on the bricks) in my main family room (that's where the cats like their water for whatever reason). The product is GREAT, and the cats definitely drink more and seem to LOVE this much better than their plain water dish. They drink from the top (where it bubbles), and some drink from where the water falls, then also from the bottom of the dish. It's like a kitty entertainment center too -- sometimes, they just like to sit and watch the water bubble and flow. They do drink a LOT more water though, which is good for them. And, all 5 cats use it.

The ONLY problem for me is that I have to take it apart and clean it about 3 times a week because of dirt and cat hair. Also, it's larger than I thought and therefore quite heavy because of the ceramic. But I purchased the ceramic vs the stainless steel so they cannot move the top portion of the fountain away from the pump and bottom unit. I fear with the lighter stainless steel that I wake up to find the water all over the place. I do have some real curious and playful rascals who like to stick their paws under it (through the 2 pieces), around it, and in it.

It works really well and the kitties love it, but I have no idea about the longevity of the pump. If I were to design this unit for my cats, I would leave everything the same size except to make the bottom portion a little smaller. I've found that only one cat at a time uses this and that would make the ceramic base a wee bit lighter.
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on December 8, 2016
I have 3 cats and a small dog, and have tried multiple different fountains. This one is the clear winner and works so well for us that I bought two of them. I have also tried the Pioneer Teardrop Fountain and the Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain, but they both had enough troublesome issues that they've ended up stored in a closet.

This Big Max fountain has a large basin area that's spacious enough to drink from without bumping whiskers or noses into some other part of the fountain (this was the main, but not only, problem with the other two fountains I tried). The bubbling part is raised and open, and my cats really enjoy drinking from that part.

It's easy to clean, which is another huge plus. Twice a week I take it apart (including the pump), wash all the parts, then reassemble and fill with fresh water. It takes me 10-12 minutes per fountain, so less than an hour a week for both. There are no nooks and crannies that are hard to reach, though I do use a bottle brush to wash out the holes. If you don't clean it regularly, and especially if you don't disassemble and clean the pump regularly, you'll have problems, but it's a quick and easy chore. I replace the filters every 4 weeks.

There's a small amount of vibration, but it's not loud or annoying (a huge problem I ran into with the stainless steel Teardrop fountain). Also, the ceramic is solid enough that it can withstand being bumped into the sink/counter when washing; I've bumped it many times and it hasn't chipped or cracked.

The large basin part seems to be very important, at least for my animals. Both of the other fountains I tried didn't offer a pool of water large enough that could be accessed without bumping another part of the fountain, and my cats unanimously consider that a dealbreaker. With this fountain, they were wary at first, and all 3 started drinking from only the basin area to begin with, but once they became comfortable with it they all moved on to the bubbly part and LOVE that. They all 3 drink so much more now, just because they seem to enjoy interacting with the fountain so much. Dogs are easier to please in most respects :)

I'm attaching some pictures, one of which shows the fountain and pump completely disassembled. There really are very few parts, and none of them are hard to clean. Like I said, I disassemble and wash twice per week, but that's with 3 cats and a chihuahua. For smaller pet households, you probably wouldn't have to do it as often.

Love this fountain, it's worth the cost and is the only one I've tried that works for all of my pets.
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on December 5, 2014
I've had my eye on this fountain, the Pioneer Pet Big Max ceramic drinking fountain, for a long time. When the price dropped to something affordable, I snapped it up, and I am so glad I did. I'm replacing the Drinkwell stainless steel fountain, which I owned for several years. I now wonder why I waited so long to get this fountain.

Overall, the Drinkwell fountain is a great fountain, but it has a few serious design flaws. The biggest flaw is that cats have to stand at a specific angle to drink from it. Our largest, fluffiest cat had to position himself just so in order to drink without bumping his head against the central water tower or the sides of the fountain. (I'm not sure the designers are very familiar with cats, or they cared more for aesthetics than they did for functionality.) The other big design flaw is that it requires very strong hands and fingers to be able to fully take apart the fountain to clean it. That meant that I didn't completely dismantle it for cleaning as often as I should have.

With the Pioneer Pet Big Max fountain, my cats can now position themselves comfortably without having their fur or heads touch any part of the fountain, and they can either drink from the bubbling upper spring or from the large, calmer pool at the base. Also, this fountain is a breeze to clean. For one, it's not as heavy as I expected. For another, the parts easily lift apart so you can get to every spot to clean it. Also, I love the fact that it's porcelain; it looks great and won't harbor bacteria like plastic fountains do. When it comes time to change the filter (they say change it once a month), I plan to take it apart and refill it as other reviewers have. (I did, and it was successful; see Edit 3 below.)

If you are on the fence about this fountain, get it. You won't regret it.

Edit 1: The pump stopped working after a week. While researching replacements, I found information on how to clean the pump. So I took it completely apart and found a human hair in the works. Cleared that out and the pump is working perfectly again. The instructions are here:

Edit 2: It might be helpful to know that this fountain is super quiet.

Edit 3 Refilling the filter cartridge: When it came time to replace the filter, I very gently pried it apart. I removed the old charcoal and filter pad and put in new filtration media. I tried replacing the loose charcoal with more loose charcoal, but my aquarium charcoal was too fine and fell through the holes in the filter housing. So instead I used the Deep Blue Professional ADB41002 Super Activated Carbon Media Pad, 18 by 10-Inch, which you can get here on Amazon. For the plain filter pad, I used the Deep Blue Professional ADB41001 Plain Polyfiber Media Pad, 18 by 30-Inch. I used the original filter pad to cut out pieces from the Deep Blue pads. The total cost of these pads was about the cost of two replacement filter cartridges, and I estimate I'll be able to keep cutting from the same pads for about 12 more times, so I am saving a huge amount over the cost of buying the replacement filters. Both the charcoal and the plain polyfiber media pads are pretty thick, but they both fit within the filter housing. However, although I think the thickness of the charcoal pad is a plus, I may try to find a thinner plain filter media.
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on September 21, 2015
This water dish is sleek and beautiful! The pump motor is extremely quiet, I am listening to soft classical music at a low volume and can't even hear the pump within 5' of where I study. Hint: if you ever feel that the pump is too loud, readjust the top dish, the housing is ceramic and when they are misaligned, the pieces vibrate causing a loud hum. This goes away with slight adjustment! :)

My cat loves this new water fountain (he's lucky he's cute, because this thing is more expensive than I'm typically willing to spend on a pet accessory); my boyfriend's dog has used it and neither had much apprehension about it. They love the flowing water feature and even if they didn't end up using it, I'd keep it as a decorative fountain because it's so visually pleasing!

On to the most important feature: hygiene. I purchased this fountain to replace a plastic fountain that gave me endless moments of gagging because it seemed to collect and culture endless bacteria and constantly developed what's called a biofilm or slime, both on the surface of the water and along the surface of the plastic. There were so many crevices which allowed bacteria to get into, you never want so much surface area exposed in a watering dish! This ceramic fountain minimizes surface area and the ceramic glaze smooths all of the microsufaces so that cleaning is a cinch!

Changing filter: EASY. Rinse a new filter, pop out the old one, stick the new one in and click the motor cover back together. Boom. Done.

Price: Was a bit of a factor, but after I saw how visually pleasing the fountain is in my kitchen and how clean it has kept over the last week and a half, I'd be remiss to say that the price should keep any future customer away. It's worth every cent.
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on February 28, 2015
Pros: It's big and heavy which helps reduce noise from the pump, which is virtually nonexistent as long as the water level is kept within an inch of the rim. The ceramic surface is much easier to clean and keep clean than plastic. It looks nice.

Cons: It's big and heavy which makes cleaning a bit more of a chore. Even with the pump set to highest power and all tubes perfectly aligned, the pump barely supplies enough water to the top basin for tiny trickle of water to go down the spillway. Most of the water just drains back out of the intake hole in the basin. By aligned, I mean there are three tubes through which water passes as it shoots up from the pump to the top basin. The tube from the pump doesn't quite reach the inner tube of the pump housing, and the outer tube of the pump housing doesn't quite reach the tube in the bottom of the basin. These gaps allow too much water to escape before reaching the basin. I fixed this problem with two small sections cut from a 41 cent piece of 7/16" plastic tubing which bridge those gaps (still need some alignment under the basin intake hole). Still, the pump must be set to full power just to get a bit of a rise at the water surface in the top basin, but at least it lets our cat know something is happening, and there is a bit more than a trickle of water down the spillway.

Bottom line: After making the necessary modifications, our cat loves drinking from this fountain.
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I purchased the Big Max after weeks of trying to get my cats to use first the CatIt flower fountain and the Drinkwell Pagoda fountain. As with almost any product that you introduce to cats, it took some patient and coaxing, but now both of my cats are happily drinking from the Big Max!

For cats, the Big Max offers the interest of a bubbling fountain but also a wide enough basin for water-shy cats to get their faces into the bowl without being splashed. The pump has the added benefit of being adjustable, so you can find the appropriate intensity for your pet.

I have only had a few complaints with the Big Max:
1) The plug is 2-pronged, leading me to believe it is not grounded, so I plugged it into a surge protector. I called customer service to inquire about this, but neither the person who answered nor her superior knew whether or not the plug was grounded--in fact, they said they had never gotten that question. They said, though, that the current is extremely low.
2) The electric cord does not feed out of the fountain in a way that it is protected from the water, instead, it goes up over the edge of the basin and under the upper reservoir. To provide myself peace of mind, I wrapped a few layers of water-resistant tape around the portion of the cord that was in the water, and also put a cable cover over the remaining portion, to ward off curious nibbles. (Better safe than sorry!!)

One issue I cannot resolve is that the unit that hold the pump forces the pump to face in such a way that the cord wraps around, which looks like it may lead to crimping if there is not enough slack.

If you have cats and are trying to train them to use the fountain, I suggest taking the following approach:
- First, do not take away their original source of water. Cats are finicky and may not migrate to the fountain at all; depriving them of another source of water does not necessitate they will use the fountain--cats will go hungry/thirsty if they are dead set against their source of food or water, especially if it causes them stress.
- When you first get the fountain, fill it and do not plug it in for a few days to a week, so they learn they can drink from the basin. My non-water-friendly cat needed this time to realize she could get her face into the bowl without being splashed.
- Take some time to sit with your cats and the fountain. I dipped my fingers in and splashed around a little bit--my water-friendly cat became enamored right away.
- Try different pump powers. A slower speed of water flowing may appeal more to non-water-friendly cats, while cats who like to play in water may prefer the higher speed.
- Refill the water often. Let your cats see you pour water into the basin. This helped draw my cats to the fountain.
- Be prepared to clean at least once a week. Such a large basin will collect a lot of hair, especially if your cat likes to play with the water or if you have multiple cats.

Overall, I am extremely happy with this purchase!!
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