Xiaomi Smart Pet Fountain test: a connected water container that doesn’t make too many waves

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Convenience of use

With its two-liter capacity, Xiaomi’s water cooler logically takes up more than a simple bowl, but the area required to install it is still reasonable: it occupies a square of less than 20 cm on each side. On the other hand, it is preferable to have an outlet near the dining area. The Smart Pet Fountain only works on the mains, and the included cable measures 1.50 m.

Getting started couldn’t be easier. The cable is inserted on the back of the fountain and it is enough to fill the tank, insert it at the bottom and cover it with the plate. The pump is attached to the latter and plugs allow the current to reach it from the base. The water begins to circulate.

Smart Pet Fountain in spare parts.

It’s easy to figure out where the parts of the Smart Pet Fountain go.

Thanks to the pump, the water rises on the plate on one side and flows on the other thanks to its slope. This cover is also hollowed out to keep a small amount of water available to the animal in case of e.g. a breakdown. It is also possible to set the fountain to light up periodically, thanks to an integrated button on the front or via the application. A battery would have reassured the most anxious users, but it would still take a long time for the animal to run out of water.

Smart Pet Fountain in operation.

There is no storage system for the excess cable.

By keeping the water moving, the pump limits the risk of bacteria growing in it, and Xiaomi adds two filters to it. The main one – the “carbon filter” – fits under the tray and therefore filters the water as it flows. It includes four layers, which should respectively trap hair, deposits, soil and other fine dirt, residual chlorine and odors and finally the CA and MG ions, which are mainly responsible for kidney stones.

Unfortunately, we are unable to test the efficiency of this filter, but note that it is advisable to replace it every month for optimal efficiency. It ends with a small sponge filter to be inserted at the pump inlet, the last bastion against dirt before the water rises to the plate.

The charcoal filter.

The carbon filter simply slides into the opening under the tray.

The Smart Pet Fountain is very quiet. Xiaomi had the good idea to integrate the pump in suspension under the lid rather than against a wall or at the bottom, from where it could shake the fountain and create small friction sounds on the ground. The flow of water is almost inaudible. When it goes up, it creates little more than small eddies on the board, which also has the advantage of not scaring the animal, even fearfully.

However, it should be noted that animals, and especially cats, may be more attracted to trickling or gushing water. If you are looking for a fountain to encourage a cat prone to urination problems to drink more, for example, it may therefore be preferable to choose this type of system, although it is still best to have the choice, as with the Catit 2.0 or PetSafe Drinkwell Papillon.

Smart Pet Fountain in operation.

No hesitation for Tarti when the thirst awakens.

To function, the Xiaomi fountain needs a minimum of water. We could go down to about 400ml. In addition, it stops automatically – the advertised capacity of two liters is therefore a bit misleading. However, the automatic stop has the advantage that it preserves the pump and signals to the user that the water level is too low. There is also a red indicator light, while an alert can also be sent to the smartphone.

Thanks to a small window on the front, it is possible to check the water level at a glance rather than waiting until the last minute, and the fountain is easily filled as needed. There is a small tab to pull the lid and the removable bowl avoids having to move it entirely, but also to unplug if the sink is too far away.

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

Application

Like most devices in Xiaomi’s catalog, the Smart Pet Fountain can be connected to the Mi Home app. The latter was not able to detect the fountain on its own by scanning the devices around it during our tests, but the pairing procedure, in 2.4 GHz wifi, remains quite quick and easy with the manual method, and there is a safe bet, that the problem will be solved by a simple update. On the other hand, it must be recognized that the interest of the application is much less here than with the Smart Pet Feeder.

Mi Home essentially allows you to be warned when the water level becomes insufficient and to switch from continuous operation (standard mode) to split operation (intelligent mode). With its button and small window, the Smart Pet Fountain is well enough designed to do without these functions, although the reminders can be interesting for the most airy. The app also counts the remaining days until the main filter needs to be changed, according to Xiaomi’s recommendations, and maintenance tips are also offered.

My home

Smart mode turns the fountain on or off every 10 minutes.

Editor's rating: 5 out of 5

Maintenance

The Smart Pet Fountain requires little more than refilling water when it runs out. Dirt can settle on the edges of the tray or become stuck flush with the filter and grid below. However, the assembly is removable for easy cleaning, as is the pump system. It is recommended to regularly clean the inside of the tank and the connections on the back of the base.

The smart pet fountain pump

The main elements of the pump are simply connected to each other.

If necessary, a small illustrated guide takes up these steps in the application, where there is also a counter for the filter – which it is advisable to change every month to maintain the water flow, a silent flow and avoid Reservoir water pollution. Xiaomi offers a package of two carbon filters, two pump filters and a tube for €49, which still seems very expensive. We found the same package for about twenty euros at an online retailer, but it is clear that these consumables are not very well referenced at the moment, like the fountain. And it is probably even worse in physical stores.

Strong points

  • Up to 1.6 liters of water in reserve.

  • Small footprint.

  • Easily removable for maintenance.

  • Silent system.

  • Water level display and low level reminders with the app.

Weak points

  • Filters difficult to find commercially.

  • Only one flow mode.

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