Cat Water Fountains and Peristaltic Pumps

We recently stumbled across this article on reddit: 

It would be rude not to have an opinion. 


Cat fur gets caught up in the impeller type pump in the water fountains and clogs them up and they stop working.  

Proposed solution: 

Use peristaltic pump 

Spoiler alert:  

Maybe use a filter instead of a peristaltic pump. It's another thing to clean but with a peristaltic pump you need to change the tubing so the filter is probably is a much cheaper and a better solution ....and you can use a quieter pump type.


Love the comment:

"That noise is a deal breaker. My cats would just die from dehydration before they trusted that monster not to kill them."

Cat Water Fountains and Peristaltic Pumps

Yes, peristaltic pumps have a reputation for being noisy.

👉In the video - the pump is connected to a DC brushed motor with a planetary gearbox. They are super cheap but have a tendency to sound like a bag of nails. The alternative is to use a stepper motor without a gearbox (direct-drive) to drive the pump-head.


👉With a stepper motor you need a controller to drive it. You can’t connect it straight to a DC power supply like the motor in the video.


👉The peristaltic pump-head itself is noisy. Even premium pump-heads that retail for 300 USD + still struggle with noise. The bigger the pump-head the slower you can run it and the less noise is going to make. Go big or go home.


👉Food grade peristaltic tubing is super expensive. Other pump types might get clogged up but with a peristaltic pump - you will need to replace the tubing after a certain amount of time. Silicon tubing is most popular and cheap but has a short life - you might be better off using Santoprene/Marprene tubing.

Santoprene will have a longer life then Tygothane tubing. I think both are not a food grade tubing. Silicon tubing will have an even shorter life.

Article on food grade tubing:

The advantage of pumping water is that water is not a "chemically aggressive" substance so you can use almost any material for the peristaltic pump tubing.