Are Little Bugs in Cat Water Fountains Harmful?




Are Little Bugs in Cat Water Fountains Harmful


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I remember being terrified when I saw little bugs in my cat, Muezza’s water fountain. It made me filled with doubts and utmost disgust toward those hideous insects. However, I pulled myself together and dealt with them.

So are little bugs in cat water fountain harmful? These little bugs will compromise your cat’s health. Some cats might be just lethargic when infected, but others can have severe issues. Diarrhea, vomiting, GI infections, septicemia, and UTI are possible too.

Moving on, I will tell you more about the harms of these nasty bugs in water fountains. Moreover, I will give additional information to help you through this situation.

Are Little Bugs in Cat Water Fountains Harmful?

Little bugs in a water fountain aren’t something to be taken lightly because they can risk your cat’s life. Cats can get infected by the bugs in their water. The symptoms of this infection can be mild or severe depending on the type of bug. Moreover, this increases the risk of little kittens acquiring the infection.

These issues should be tackled immediately. Otherwise, your cat will end up with a very weak immune system. A weak immune system can never be a good sign, be it a cat or a human. This applies more to little kittens, they are comparatively more fragile and prone to infection.

So, if you notice any changes in your cat’s water fountain, don’t hesitate to rush them to the vet. You could save them from a great deal of pain just by doing this. 

As a cat owner, the best thing you can do is observe your cat’s behavior. These bugs can impact the way your cat is feeling and behaving. As previously mentioned, lethargy is a symptom but your cat might act out in different ways too. Muezza wasn’t feeling her best when this happened to her

Types of Bugs in Cat’s Water Fountain and Their Consequences

Bugs in your Muezza’s water
Bugs in your Muezza’s water

Different bugs act in different ways. You can find various types of bugs in your cat’s water. So, it’s good to know what kind of bugs you are dealing with.

1. Gordian worms

These are white parasitic worms that like to stay in a water source until they find a host. They are slender and can be as long as up to 24 inches. However, the good thing is they aren’t parasitic on humans, pets, and plants.

This doesn’t mean Gordian worms are good for your cats. Drinking Gordian worm-infested water can cause diarrhea and vomiting for your cat.

2. Roundworms

Roundworms have a white to brownish color, with large round bodies of three to six inches. Once ingested, they will mess up your cat’s digestive system causing a bunch of symptoms. Vomiting, coughing, diarrhea, and weakness are likely to happen with these bugs.

If this goes on for a long time, your cat will lose a lot of weight. This might lead to other issues like poor growth rate and a pot-bellied appearance. However, it can be cured with medical intervention.

This doesn’t mean Gordian worms are good for your cats. Drinking Gordian worm-infested water can cause diarrhea and vomiting for your cat.

3. Larvae

If you notice little black bugs, it’s probably mosquito larvae. This will only be a problem for your cats if they have sensitive stomachs. However, you should get rid of these immediately as they can be a hassle for humans.

Black bugs could also indicate drain fly larvae. This doesn’t do much harm to your cats. However, as mentioned before this can be a hassle for you.

You might also notice little red bugs which are the larvae of a variety of insects. This is harmless to cats but it’s still not something you would want in your cat’s water. Also, you need to drain out all the larvae for your own sake.

What to Do If My Cat Ingested Bugs?

You don’t have to worry too much if your cat experiences a bit of drooling, diarrhea or even vomiting. These are the symptoms that clear up on their own. If they continue for more than a couple of days, you should ring up your vet.

Your vet should examine if your cat has any diseases associated with insecticide toxicity. They will ask you a bunch of questions regarding your cat’s health history, and you need to be prepared for this.

How to Get Rid of Bugs in a Cat’s Water Fountain?

As cat owners, we all know to replace the water at least once a day. However, this is a reminder to clean the cat water fountain regularly. Sweep the fountain interior once a week and thoroughly clean the components once a month.

To get rid of any larvae build-up, you can use store-bought enzyme cleaners. You can make one of your own as well. Just pour some vinegar, baking soda, and water into the water fountain.

Moreover, keep the area around the fountain clean. Our cats will make a mess but it’s our responsibility to clean it up. Try to keep the area dry and get rid of any food crumbs or anything that causes odor.

Also, this goes without saying, keep your cats clean. Check for bugs, mites, fleece, and lice especially if they’re allowed outdoors. Oftentimes, they can bring home all sorts of bugs.

Here’s a video of how you should clean your cat’s water fountain that might help;

Here’s a video of how you should clean your cat’s water fountain that might help:

How to Prevent Bugs in a Cat’s Water Fountain?

  • Clean the fountain regularly, and replace the water. Don’t just top it up when the water gets low and call it a day. Instead, rinse it out thoroughly and refill the fountain. Also, change the fountain’s filter when and as required.
  • Make sure to place the fountain in a good environment. A well-aired room with low sunlight should be good enough. Also, it’s very important to keep the fountain running almost all day. If the fountain isn’t used for a certain period, bugs and bacteria will build up.
  • Change the filter if you haven’t used the fountain for more than three or four days. Before adding a new one, rinse it properly as instructed in the manual. Most importantly, don’t ever leave a damp filter in a fountain you won’t be using for a while. Moist areas are loved by both bugs and bacteria.

Following all these little steps has worked wonders for me. I haven’t noticed any bugs or bacteria films since then. All this may feel tedious but it’s all worth it when I see my cat happy and healthy.

Reasons Behind Bugs In A Cat’s Water Fountain

In order to tackle the problem, you need to know the reasons behind it as well. We will tell you about the most common reasons that almost every cat owner, including myself, has faced.

  • Larvae Build-up: Insects larvae in your cat’s water fountain is very common. Once the larva matures and becomes an insect, this can be very problematic for you and your family. So, keep the water fountain clean.
  • Environmental Reasons: Other times, this happens because of environmental causes. Living in a hot and humid area is hard mainly because the weather makes it suitable for the bugs to breed. Get frequent pest control services if you live in such areas.
  • Bug Infestation in Your Cat’s Body: Besides, your cat could also be the one responsible for the bugs. Your cat’s mouth or body can be infested with bugs. Kittens sometimes pick up worms from their mother’s milk that travels to the fountains when they drink water. So, get your cats checked and dewormed if necessary.

Are Cat Water Fountains Better Than Bowls?

Water fountains are better if you choose the right one with good quality. It is made of non-porous materials that prevent bacteria buildup. Also, the replaceable charcoal filter removes food crumbs, cat hair, dust, and dirt particles very easily.

Bugs can easily build up in bowls too. Since the water fountains have a better ability to stay clean, you will notice a lot less bugs in them. Furthermore, cats are very fascinated by water fountains. They find running water fresher than water in a bowl and so are more likely to drink from water fountains.


Q. What is the white stuff in my cat water fountain?

This could be a layer of non-biting larvae or biofilm from bacteria build-up. Either way, you should get it cleaned immediately.

Q. How often should I clean my cat’s water fountain to prevent bugs?

To prevent bugs from growing in your cat’s water fountain, it is recommended to clean it at least once a week. However, if you notice any slime or debris buildup, clean it more frequently.

Q. Do vets recommend a cat water fountain?

Yes, vets say cat water fountains tend to be very beneficial for cats. This is because cats crave moving water more than water in a regular bowl.


To sum up, are little bugs in cat water fountain harmful? Yes, they can impact your cat’s health in numerous ways. It can be as simple as lethargy or as severe as GI infection. I didn’t take this lightly when I noticed the bugs and neither should you.

Water fountains can be a great addition for your cats as long as you’re cautious about them. So, keep the water fountain in a clean, dry area with low sunlight. Get rid of the little bugs as soon as you can, so that your cat continues to be in awe of the water fountain. Good luck!

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2 responses to “Are Little Bugs in Cat Water Fountains Harmful?”

  1. Angela brown Avatar
    Angela brown

    There are super tiny bugs that were running all over the outside of his fountain twice now .. i dint have roaches they are not 9n the water fountain just on the outside fast super tiny and freaky .. they aren’t larvae of any kind and they’re as small as a baby bedbug.. however they aren’t bedbugs either . I live in Pocatello Idaho .. they also are not drain flies .. their fast moving tiny tiny bugs .. my cat is afraid of them and won’t drink his water that is how I found them .. i we r to clean his water fountain and they were everywhere .. so I sprayed them all with hairspray that killed them all ..and washed his fountain .. three weeks later here we are again 5ge sane ones the same size on his fountain .. i did the same thing
    I sprayed again.. they’re nowhere to be found but I’m certain they’ll be back .. can anyone identify these brown super tiny bugs

    1. Adnan Avatar

      Thank you for sharing your experience and providing more details about the tiny bugs you have been noticing around your cat’s water fountain. I understand how concerning and frustrating it must be to deal with these mysterious insects repeatedly showing up.

      Based on your description of them being super tiny, fast moving, and brownish in color, it sounds like you may be dealing with springtails. Springtails are tiny wingless insects, usually measuring 1-2 mm in length, that thrive in damp environments. They likely started appearing around the fountain because it provides a moist habitat that they like.

      While springtails themselves are harmless to cats, having an infestation around your pet’s water source is understandably worrisome. The good news is that they can be controlled through keeping the area around the fountain clean and dry. Here are some tips that may help:

      1# Thoroughly scrub and disinfect the water fountain weekly to remove any organic debris springtails may feed on.

      2# Allow all fountain parts to completely air dry before reassembling. Springtails need moisture to survive.

      3# Vacuum and wipe down the area around the fountain to eliminate hiding spots. Pay close attention to corners and crevices.

      4# Remove any excess water that splashes outside the fountain after your cat drinks.

      5# Consider using desiccant dusts like diatomaceous earth around the base of the fountain to dry out the springtails.

      6# Monitor to make sure the springtails do not return after cleaning. Repeat the steps if they do.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions! Controlling these frustrating pests takes diligence, but is very possible. I hope this information helps resolve the issue, so your cat can enjoy his fountain without tiny invaders.

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