Felaqua Connect cat water fountain review: Tracks cat’s drinking habits
When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
- The Felaqua Connect is a smart water bowl that tracks your cat’s water intake with a handy app.
- It was easy to set up, but took a while to acclimate my finicky cat.
- The system works well, but the app cannot provide clear data if two animals are drinking together.
Cats are said to be arid, able to thrive in dry environments, but they need to drink water every day: about 4 ounces (about 118 milliliters) per 5 pounds of lean body weight, according to Feline Health Cornell University Center.
It’s easy to help your cat stay hydrated when you’re home to track their intake – just check the level in the water bowl and refill it daily. But tracking intake when you’re away from your cat is no small feat, especially if you have multiple pets that drink from the same sources.
A “smart” water bowl for cats, the Felaqua Connect from Sure Petcare uses
to monitor your cat’s drinking and sends you updates via an app on your smartphone. We tried it for a month with our 4 month old kitten, who shared the waterer with our dog and an older cat.
Our opinion on the Felaqua Connect cat bowl
The Felaqua Connect has three main components: the inverted, battery-powered, Bluetooth-enabled water tank that attaches to a shallow bowl, the hub (sold separately) that connects to WiFi, and the app you download to your phone. Sensors in the water tank detect when the cat visits it, how long it stays there and how much water it drinks each time. All this information is transmitted to the application.
What is it to use
Setting up the Felaqua was the easy part. It took about 20 minutes, from downloading the app to my phone, unboxing and connecting the Hub to my WiFi, registering my kitten’s microchip and getting her to “talk” to Bluetooth.
The hardest part was getting Mr. Kitten used to using the fountain. He just seemed wary of it, the same way our tester cats reacted when trying Sure Petcare’s Feeder. An FAQ on the Sure Petcare website states that the fountain makes a bubbling, fuzzy sound when the reservoir dispenses water into the bowl, which startles some cats. He suggests manually filling the shallow bowl for a few days before using the tank, avoiding the jamming noise while getting your cat used to the fountain.
When our kitten started drinking from the fountain, the display on the Felaqua app noted the 15-20 milliliters he drank each time, displaying his photo (which we had uploaded) and his microchip number. But then, after a few days, reading the app showed the kitten swallowed 52 milliliters of water in a single visit. Since he only weighed 6 pounds, that seemed excessive. The next day, the app recorded that he had consumed 58 milliliters; again, a big sip for a little guy. Was something wrong with him, or was it the device?
A day or two later we saw our dog, who is not microchipped, drinking water from the fountain while the kitten was using it. The dog also apparently drank it on his own, which we inferred from reading the app which sometimes showed 60-70 milliliters of water being mysteriously “removed” from the bowl (next to a question mark on the timestamp).
Since only the kitten was microchipped, every time they drank water together, the display showed the kitten’s photo and gave it all the “credit”. Although it is possible to link an RIFD tag (sold separately and attached to the pet’s collar) instead of a microchip, I had my doubts as to whether it would help me track water intake. of my cat. Indeed, the Sure Petcare website notes that Bluetooth cannot identify who drank how much, whenever pets drink together or even when they “gather around the water cooler” at the same time.
What sets it apart
With only two parts to unscrew, the Felaqua tank was easy to install, clean and fill. It holds 1 liter (946 milliliters) and sends a notification to the app when the water level is low. As for the overall system setup, I liked that the cat “ears” on the hub flashed red to alert me to a WiFi connection issue, which I quickly resolved with l troubleshooting guide help from the Sure Petcare website.
Other pet water dispensers use charcoal filters and battery-powered pumps that move water like a fountain. However, very few track a pet’s water intake. There’s the Pawbo Spring Dog and Cat Fountain that offers readings of a pet’s water intake via a tracker that attaches to the pet’s collar. It also filters water and costs about the same as the Felaqua. Although we haven’t tested it, it has very mixed reviews.
Getting a nervous little kitten to get used to drinking Felaqua took a while, as the sound of water rushing out of the fountain tank into the bowl startled him. Even with this problem solved, the Felaqua is not a good choice for households with more than one pet drinking from it simultaneously. The Sure Petcare website has tips for solving this problem, such as positioning the feeder at an angle to allow only one pet to visit at a time or buying a second device. Neither option is ideal and may be prohibitively expensive for some.
The bottom line
If all of your pets are microchipped or paired to the device with an RFID tag, the Felaqua has the potential to accurately track their water intake, an important aspect of your pet’s well-being. It’s easy to set up and fun to use, with the app giving detailed readings alongside your pet’s photo. But unless all pets are equally trained to wait their turn to drink from it, the readings will be confusing. However, those who live in single-pet households will find it very useful for keeping tabs on their cat’s health.
Advantages: Easy to configure and troubleshoot, useful app
The inconvenients: Reservoir is small and requires frequent refilling, reservoir noise discourages finicky cats, cannot record accurate data for pets drinking together