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PetSafe Drinkwell Hy-Drate Water Filtration System for Cats, Ice White
|List Price:||CDN$ 26.39|
|Price:||CDN$ 19.11 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details|
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- Water movement increases your pet's natural instinct to drink more water
- Quiet, submersible pump for continuous use
- Activated carbon filter removes chlorine, odor and small particles
- Powerful mini suction cups keep it in place
- Energy efficient and dishwasher safe
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Color Name: Ice White
The Hy-Drate Cat is a healthy way to turn your cat's ordinary water bowl into an automatic water fountain. Designed to fit in your cat's favorite bowl, it remains securely in place with small, powerful suction cups. Fresh water continuously circulates through the Hy-Drate, while small sediments, like fur and food particles, stay trapped in the filter's mesh. One charcoal filter included.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now to see if the cat will even get near it...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
We've already been using on the bestselling pet fountains on the market: Drinkwell Pet Fountain (range from about $30 to $46 for the deluxe).
The Fountains are have a large footprint and have to be strategically placed (lots of floor space, and near an outlet). This may be difficult for smaller kitchens. Plus even though they are much larger water capacity (ranging from 50 ounces to over a gallon), you still have to check it daily. Your pet can spill it, there's a chance of leaks, the motor can get clogged with debris, & if it gets empty you can burn out the motor.
Additionally, the Fountains require larger filters that also need frequent replacement (and they're more expensive).
THE HY-DRATE: BEFORE USE...
The complaints about charcoal powder residue are a non-issue. You get the same charcoal powder in home water pitcher filters & home water filtration for human consumption. It's perfectly harmless, but you should read the instructions & rinse off for about 10-20 seconds before use. That goes for human water filters as well - anything with activated charcoal.
As for complaints about the motor safety ...the submersible pump used here is the same type and even same brand used in dozens (maybe hundred) of other products (discussion below). I'm not saying it's foolproof, but rather, if you're going to use a product with a pump such as a Filter or Fountain, this product is no more (and no less) safe than any other product.
THE HY-DRATE: TESTING...
This is a clever little device, almost nothing to it. Easy to take apart & rinse out. Easy to adjust flow rate.
The Hy-drate uses a normal little pump (like a fish tank pump), appears to be the same brand as they use in the Fountain. I find the claim that it's "whisper quiet" a little disingenuous - same noise level as the Fountain, as a fish tank pump, as the pump in our little tabletop zen garden. Not loud, but not any quieter than any other pump.
They claim the device fits in any pet bowl, BUT, the device is bulkier than it needs to be and requires a 3.5" diameter bowl with a FLAT bottom (look at pic - you'll notice they gave the cat a HUGE bowl like 14" diameter). Our pet bowls are not flat like that, so we had to dig out a large soup bowl.
It performs just fine. I think it does encourage my cats to drink more, which is a particular perk if your pet has ever had a urinary infection.
THE HY-DRATE: CLEANING...
PLEASE note, you still have to wash out your water bowl, and change out the water, on a regular basis. One user reported that this product "caused" a slime build-up. This is just a pump + filter. There are no chemicals here that "cause" slime. What he's describing is a build-up of saliva (or, if like my cats who clean themselves in the water, possibly a buildup of dirt & hair, too).
There's nothing we can do to stop our little guys from playing in their water bowl :) ... which is why we like the idea of a Fountain or Hy-Drate filter. But please realize, a little 3-inch pump isn't going to "clean" and disinfect the water, the bowl, and itself. We wash our bowl once or twice weekly (dishwasher/sterilize), which seems to do the trick.
MONEY & TIME SAVING TIPS...
(1) Make sure never to run it dry - it will kill the motor faster than anything.
(2) Turn off at night (alternatively, only turn it on at night, whatever is best for your schedule). It doesn't need to be on all the time to work. This will almost double your filter life, save electricity, save motor life, dramatically reduce the chance of motor or adapter overheating, and your pet still gets all the benefits of filtered water.
(3) Filter Replacement - These filters are super-tiny, need replacing very frequently if you run it 24/7.
However, I took the unit to the pet store and there are lots of activated charcoal filters that fit just fine in this unit - that both last longer, & are less expensive. I know I'm cutting into the company's profit model by suggesting this. Also, ask for help at the store to make sure the replacement filter doesn't block water flow or disrupt your device's normal operation.
DRAWBACKS OF CHARCOAL FILTER...
This is just a charcoal filter. In my book, it's better than nothing, but I'm not sure I consider it "filtered" water (i.e., not distilled, not reverse osmosis, etc).
Charcoal filters will trap and remove chlorine, water sediment, and dirt/cat hair that your pet tracks to the water bowl. This is all very good.
It will NOT filter most toxins in water (sodium nitrates, etc). One recent study found traces of 80,000 chemicals in city water, and this was in one of the top rated cities! (traces of drugs like Prozac, herbicides like Atrozine, etc). For this reason, many users report putting filtered water in the bowl to start with.
NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS OF FILTERED WATER???
Ok, if you restock your Hy-Drate or Fountain with filtered water (like distilled, or through a good tap water filter), this is great for removing toxins, but many vets will tell you it deprives your pet of essential trace minerals found in the water supply. I AM NOT A VET, however, I know that ALL mammals (yes, especially humans) require trace minerals. Humans tend to have a more diverse diet than our pets, so they are more at risk of nutritional deficiencies.
There is an easy & inexpensive solution: Supplement their food with a small dose of something like this: (Barefoot Coral Calcium) - which has 80+ essential minerals. Our vet has given us his gold stamp of approval. Check with your vet first if your pet has special medical needs.
Here are our other recommended practices for most pets: In addition to filtered water, we give our pets a daily (Vitamin & Mineral Spray) on their food, a healthy dose of fresh/raw food (like carrots) to make sure they get some enzymes, fish oil supplements for brain health & coat/skin health, and other supplements as needed.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
The first problem was that the Drinkwell need to be somewhat near a plug in. This annoyed all three pets as now one of the communal water bowls was in a location other than where they wanted it to be. The second was that all three pets were more interested in the cord. Although most of it was safely hung up or obscured from where the pets could get it, there was still this clump of hard white in the water bowl with a bit of tempting and delicious cord sticking out. Cord + pets that want to chew on it + water = not something that was long for our household.
The second problem was that the Hy-Drate really didn't do anything. It was quiet, but there was also very little pressure and it barely seemed to do anything. We tried it in all three water bowls (which differ in size greatly and at most there was a little bit of motion a millimeter from where we plugged it in. There are different settings, but there was no discernible difference between the two .
Finally it just came down to all three animals refused to drink out of the bowl the Drinkwell Hydrate was in. This meant that you would see cat and rabbit drinking out of the safe bowl which would lead to the female rabbit growling or snapping at the cat for getting meat/fish flavored backwash in the water herbivores were drinking out of. So in the end the Drinkwell proved to do the opposite of its claims, present a potential threat for the pets and a crying cat as a rabbit headbutted her into submission. All in all, not a product I could recommend.
I did not test the filtration abilities of this unit until I saw how the gang reacted to it. Mostly what falls into their water bowl are food bits and insects.
I believe they were less than impressed.
I was able to soften or reduce the noise level on the water pump. The two little suction cups on the bottem of the internal pump did not adhere to the base. So it is likely that the pump is rattling around inside the device (unit housing) and causing excess noise. To remedy this concern/problem, I inserted to small rubber foam pieces on both sides of the pump. (I used foam that is actually ear guard/inserts designed to protect the ears of hunters and machine operators). They were the perfect size, and minimized pump virbration, though the pump noise is minimal even if one does not make these adaptations.
I now have two such fountains set up in my home. The maintenance and convenience is much less that traditional water fountains and of course, not nearly as bulky or large. However, I did note that one reviewer wrote that maintenance was very little and far less than other fountains/pumps. I don't understand how that reviewer could make such a claim, if he or she is disassembling the pump by removing the Impeller, Stator, Flow Control, and Intake Plate (internal components) at routine cleaning intervals. This is one down side or unfortunate feature, and yet hardly no different from any other pet fountain on the market. That is merely the "nature of the beast" in terms of maintenace and cleaning the device.
Overall, I believe the product to be exceptional in design and purpose. If buyers give the fountain (Drinkwell Hy-Drate Cat) a try and are willing to study the design a bit, are patient, and encourge their feline friends to drink from it (the container), I'm sure it will prove to be a worthy purchase for everyone!
The bad news is that after three days, my dog still won't touch her water with the device in the bowl. She sees a fairly sizable foreign object in her bowl and decides she'll just wait until she goes out and can drink out of her outside bowl. Knowing her cautious nature, I thought this might be the result. Potential buyers should consider whether their dogs are cautious or adventurous types.
All in all, if you want a water fountain for your dog, I think a water dish with integrated fountain is probably a better bet than adding a device like this to the bottom of a regular water dish though, of course, the integrated type is more expensive than this device.