What is the best bowl for your cat?
When you decide to get a lovely cat, usually the first thing to purchase is the feeding bowl. At first, you may not think about it seriously, but selecting the right cat bowl – be it water or food – is a very important decision if you want to make your cat feel comfortable and healthy. The numerous of shapes, types, designs and colors may be confusing at first, but do not worry. This post is here to make the decision process easier and help you to select the right bowls.
Based on my experience and after doing a lot of research, as a helpful hand, I selected the following bowls for your reference, so you don’t have to waste your time going through the hundreds of choices. Take a look through the article and choose the best bowl for your cat!
for food and water
no rubber grip
not microwave safe
for food and water
not microwave safe
How to choose the best bowl for your cat? – A simple guide to help you to find the best cat bowl
This may look a bit silly question at first, but selecting the right cat bowl – be it water or food – is a very important decision if you want to make your cat feel comfortable and healthy. As you most probably know already, cats are quite particular when it comes to their food or their water, thanks to their highly efficient sense of smell. Some cats might just finish their food off while others may look around to check the environment for threats around their meal. Therefore, not only the material, size or shape of the bowl will matter but the location as well. In conclusion, purchasing the right cat bowl is almost as imperative as offering the right cat food at the right location.
If you want to provide the best for your cat, you have to leave behind your taste or choices and take into consideration what is the best for your kitty, even if it does not match your home decoration. But this should not concern you much.
Have you ever been to a pet store or a pet section in a supermarket? If your answer is yes, you may have some clue already that cat bowls are available in different styles, colors, and sizes, not to mention the huge variety from deep to shallow or from plastic to stainless steel. Some are very fancy, some are moderate while others are very simple. But which one is for water and which one is for food? You can be sure they are not the same, and some will be better for your cat’s health and taste than the others.
After all this, you might be confused how to choose the best water and best feeding bowl for your pet, but do not worry. This post is here to make the decision process easier and help you to select the right bowls.
How many bowls to buy for a cat?
When you decide to get a lovely cat, usually the first thing to purchase is the feeding bowl. As you step inside the pet store or supermarket to buy the first bowl for your new furry friend, you might have the same question as I had: How many bowls will the cat actually require?
Since cats require water and food, usually people purchase at least two bowls, one for water and one for food. It is not rare either that people keep a third separate bowl for wet food. Giving your cat food and water regularly will mean that you have to clean and wash the bowls in daily basis or keep two separate bowls for food, one for wet and one for dry and another one for water.
So depending on how you are going to feed your cat, you may consider more bowls. My recommendation is to have at least two: one stainless steel for water and one ceramic for food.
What is the best-shaped bowl for cat food and water?
The first important criteria for a cat bowl is its shape. To choose the right bowl, first, we have to understand our cats. Cats like to keep a watchful eye on their surroundings during mealtime, and they don’t really like it when their whiskers become dirty or touch the sides of the bowl while eating. So considering these facts, a deep and narrow bowl will surely never be a good choice.
The most comfortable shape for most of the cats is a wide and shallow bowl. However, the feeding bowl has to be age, size, cat and breed appropriate as well.
Age and size:
Kittens will require smaller and shallower bowls while adult cats will appreciate the wider and little bit deeper ones. When you choose, ensure that the cat food bowl is large enough for your little friend to access and can hold sufficient portion of food for a meal.
Also, be aware that the size of the bowl is especially important when it comes to water. The cat water bowl has to be slightly deeper than the food bowl to ensure that your cat can drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Cat and breed:
While fat-nosed cat breeds like Persians or Himalayans need relatively flat bowls, larger breeds like Maine Coon or Ragdoll will appreciate larger bowls to avoid the whiskers to touch the sides of the bowl. Longhaired cats will require larger and shallower bowl to prevent their fur from being dirty.
After all, be aware of your cat breed, size, and age to ensure the best food and water bowl for her. Though choosing a wide and shallow feeding bowl and a slightly deeper water bowl will definitely be a good decision.
GOOD TO KNOW
What is the best cat bowl material?
Plastic, glass, ceramic or stainless steel?
As you shop for the perfect cat bowls for your pet, you have to take the best material into consideration. Cat bowls come in numerous variety of materials, and each of them has its own pros and cons. So which one to choose? The basic requirement should be that the bowl is either heavy enough or has a rubber grip on the bottom to prevent sliding, and it also should be long-lasting.
Most commonly used materials include plastic, glass, ceramic, and stainless steel, however, paper plates can be purchased as well. Since materials really do matter for the cat’s health, you should be very cautious which one to choose. Here is a list of the pros and cons of each cat bowl material.
Although paper plates have some benefits, such as it can be purchased in bulk, it can be easily thrown away, and most importantly it is very cheap, it is absolutely the worst choice for the cat. They are lightweight which means they usually keep moving around. Just imagine how hard it would be for your furry friend to chase after her meal every time she tries to eat the food from the plate. Even for dry food it is not practical because the food can easily slip off the plate. Try to avoid this option completely.
Plastic cat bowls
Although plastic cat bowls are very popular, they are absolutely not ideal for cats. Many people purchase plastic dishes for their little pet because these have some benefits, without having the knowledge that they can also pose some dangers to their beloved companion.
Then why do they buy it? Because plastic feeding bowls are quite durable and very easy to clean. They are relatively cheap which means that even replacing them regularly would not be a big issue. Plastic cat bowls are also easily available and come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.
Despite all these advantages, please note that plastic can easily cause problems to your kitty.
First of all, plastic cat bowls are lightweight and tend to move around when the cat is eating, not to mention that they can easily be knocked over as well. Therefore, they are not practical for a hungry cat.
The next disadvantage of a plastic bowl is that these dishes can chip very easily resulting in tiny plastic pieces in the cat’s food. On the other hand, a determined, hungry cat might chew on the bowl as well causing health problems to the pussycat like internal bleeding or intestinal blockage.
Although it is quite rare, some cats may also be allergic to plastic which can result in skin allergy, called feline acne. Not only can plastic cause an allergic reaction to the beloved kitty, but they also provide a perfect harbor for bacteria. How? Plastic bowls get scratched up very easily, and these scratches are ideal places for bacteria to thrive. Even with cleaning they can be hardly removed. Some cats can get skin problems and medical issues from the exposure to the bacterias in their feeding bowl’s scratches.
According to some experts, plastics are made of different toxic chemicals which are also known to cause several dangerous health issues, like neurological problems, diabetes or even cancer.
On top of it all, plastic cat bowls get stinky as it retains odors. Since cats have a great sense of smell, they might even refuse the food or water offered in such cat bowls.
So while you might be tempted to use plastic bowls (just as many other people as well) because they are inexpensive, easily available and come in many styles, sizes, and colors, be aware of these dangerous disadvantages and avoid plastic altogether. Even as a water bowl, please do not use this material.
Glass cat bowls
Glass cat bowls are much better than plastic ones because this material is non-toxic and it is highly unlikely to hold bacteria thanks to its non-porous feature. A shatterproof durable glass bowl is sturdy, and it does not retain odors. Although it is not the cheapest option, it is very durable so replacing it does not have to be so regular. It is also very hygienic, easy to clean, dishwasher-safe and can be sterilized.
The glass material’s disadvantage is that it can be breakable, and it is hardly available. Unfortunately, you will not find too many different sizes, shapes, colors and designs to choose from. Also, be exceptionally cautious if you use it outside. Glass can heat up very easily if it is exposed to the sunlight which can cause food to spoil quickly.
After all, choosing glass cat bowl is not a bad idea at all (be it water or food), and your cat will most probably like it as well.
Ceramic cat bowls
Ceramic bowls are probably the most attractive dishes among all the materials. They are available in huge variety, you will find numerous of colors, shapes, models, and designs. They are generally hygienic and dishwasher-safe, so it is very easy to keep them clean. Ceramic material is quite long-lasting, so you do not have to be bothered about replacement for a long time. The biggest advantage of this material is that almost all of them are microwave-safe. Though, check it on the label before heating the food on it. These cat bowls are heavier in weight so it can be hardly pushed around and tip over.
When choosing a ceramic bowl, please make sure that it is pet and food safe. Speaking for myself, ceramic is one of the best materials for cats to eat from. However, I would suggest it only as a food bowl and not for water. A ceramic food bowl is definitely a good choice.
Although ceramic food bowl is a good choice for your hungry cat, it also carries some disadvantages. The most important thing worth mentioning is that this material can be cracked. As scratches on the plastic dishes are home to several bacterias, the cracks on the ceramic ones can also house them the same way. To ensure your little friend’s safety and health, please discard this kind of dishes as soon as this happens. Even though they are sturdy, they can be broken if dropped.
Stainless steel cat bowls
Stainless steel is the best kind of material for cat bowls, not only as food bowls but water bowls as well. These dishes are the most popular thanks to their numerous of good features. They are very classic and generally safe.
Most of the pet stores and supermarkets have a huge variety of shapes, depths, colors and designs of this kind of feeding bowls. Choose the one which has rubber grip surface on the bottom. This rubber rim will prevent noise and the dish from sliding around, however, there are heavier stainless steel cat bowls available which are less likely to slide or tip over.
A bowl made of stainless steel is very durable because it is unbreakable (even if you drop it) and cannot be cracked and hardly scratched. It is also non-porous, so there are no places for bacteria to hide. It does not get stinky over time, as it does not absorb odors.
Stainless steel bowls have another great advantage: they are hygienic, easy to clean and can be sterilized thoroughly. They are also dishwasher-friendly and resist rust and corrosion.
Stainless steel cat bowls are very good options, I would highly recommend them not only as food but as water bowl as well. Considering their price and their advantages, they are absolutely worth having for your lovely cat.
What type of cat bowl is the best?
Single, double, or any other special?
Standing at the cat bowls section at the pet store or supermarket, you will realize that not only the material matters but the type also. You can choose from simple single or double ones, but it is not rare to find special ones like automatic, ant proof or even elevated bowls. So which one to choose? The following list is here to help you with this decision.
Single cat bowls
These single bowls allow you to choose separate bowls for dry or wet food and water. Speaking for myself, this is the best choice for cats. You can choose from a huge variety of different materials, shapes, sizes, styles, designs and colors. Just remember which shape (wide and shallow) and material (stainless steel for water and ceramic for food) is best for your cat and pick the ideal one.
Double or duo cat bowls
This type of bowl consists of a holder and usually two bowls, which can hold either both types of food: wet and dry or food and water.
Although the dual system may encourage a cat to drink more water, it also has a big disadvantage. Because of the close distance, it is highly possible that food particles will end up in the water or the food will get too wet making the offered meal unappealing to the cat. Additionally, most of the cats prefer to have big distance between their food and water and will refuse to eat or drink if they are close together.
Other special cat bowls
Searching for the ideal bowl for your beloved kitty you might find even specialized bowls like ant proof, elevated, automatic or other types. Before you decide, think about whether special features would be more beneficial to your cat or you can stick to the traditional single bowls. For the beginning, I would surely recommend the traditional ones even though here or there you will find great features in these specialized cat bowls.
Ant proof cat bowls
Many people battle with ants, especially when they have outdoor cats. This type of bowl will solve that ant problem in your pet’s food or water bowl by keeping them away.
Elevated cat bowls
Elevated cat bowls are the ones which are raised off the ground in order to help your cat to have a better position when eating. In this way, the kitty has a posture that helps to avoid future problems in the spine and improves the pet’s digestion as gravity helps to get the food down. It is usually used for senior cats with swallowing or digestion problems, therefore, I would not recommend it, unless your cat’s veterinarian suggests you to use it.
Cat water fountains
These water fountains provide constant supply of water to your thirsty kitty. Although this can save some time for you and can prevent dehydration in your cat, with this option you will also lose physical contact with your furry companion, and you cannot monitor her water intake.
Different cat feeders
By now you must have realized how many different types of cat bowls are there in the market, however, the list is still not complete. Did you know that even gravity, slow-feeding and automatic feeders are available?
Slow-feeding bowls allow pets to eat only a few pieces at a time, and it is a great feature for cats who eats too fast. In contrast, gravity feeders provide continuous access to food at all times, so this option is absolutely a bad idea if you have a cat who tend to overeat. Automatic cat feeders can be an ideal choice if you are away from home for a longer period. It provides constant supply of food at a regular basis.
Although all these machines are great inventions for humans to reduce their burden and responsibility, it should never reduce the interaction between you and your cat as feeding your beloved kitty increases the bonding between you two.
What are the other criteria in cat bowls?
Cats are very hygienic, and they have a strong sense of smell. Before you buy the ideal cat bowl for your pet, make sure that it is made of materials that can be easily cleaned and sterilized. You can even find dishwasher safe bowls. Pick the right one and always keep your cat’s bowls cleaned to avoid that disappointment that your furry friend refuses the food or water. It is recommended to wash and disinfect them well at least once a day (if not after each meal) and make sure that the soap or detergent you used for washing is completely removed as it can cause irritation to the kitty’s tongue.
Sometimes cats are messy eaters. To avoid dirty floor in your home, you can purchase feeding mat. They are inexpensive, easy to clean and might prevent noise and the bowl from sliding around. I recommend the followings:
A cat bowl should not be easily scratched or cracked as these are ideal places for bacteria to thrive which can cause health issues for your cat. Any bowl that looks even a little bit scratched should definitely be discarded and replaced with a new one.
Feeding bowls need to be pet safe and manufactured from materials that are not harmful to the cat’s health. Also, be aware that some cats like to chill in their bowl. Looks silly, but they do. So make sure that the bowl is safe in this way.
Where to put the cat food and water bowls? – Find the right location to feed your cat
You may not know, but choosing the right place to feed your kitty is absolutely important, and many people tend to pick a spot which is not really ideal for cats, like the kitchen or even the bathroom. While deciding on the best spot, consider the following things:
- Is it away from passages and hallways?
- Is it away from noisy machinery?
- Is it away from the kitchen and the cat’s litter area?
Make sure to select a location in your home that will allow your little friend to enjoy her meal. If you place the feeding bowls in a busy area like passages or hallways that have a lot of activity, your cat may feel threatened because of which she may refuse the offered meal. Instead, find a calm atmosphere which will encourage her to eat properly and drink plenty of water.
Cats are extremely sensitive to sound so placing your cat’s bowls in a noisy area (like next to the washing machine) would definitely be a wrong decision. The location should preferably be peaceful and quiet so that she can enjoy her mealtime.
Even though it might make sense to place the bowls in the kitchen, as it would be very comfortable for us for cleaning and filling them, but it is absolutely not comfortable for the cat. The kitchen is a busy and usually noisy area which is absolutely not ideal for feeding a pet. You must find a quieter and more practical private spot where your beloved companion can fairly have her meal.
Also, ensure that the feeding bowls are not placed near to the litter box. Feeding your cat near her elimination area can make her confused which can result in two things. Either she will become a finicky eater or she will avoid using the litter box. I think we can agree, that none of them are good, so please do avoid this place when choosing the right spot.
If you have more pets, it is wise to find separate feeding location to each of them or at least keep their bowls at a pleasant distance from each other. This way you can avoid competition between them and monitor their eating habit, so if something goes wrong, you will easily know which of your pet needs more attention.
I hope these tips will help you to find the perfect spot for your lovely cat, but if you still have doubt, as there may be things that we overlook which could bother or scare them, you can let your pussycat decide her feeding location by herself. How? Just keep an eye out on your kitty’s body language, and see how she reacts. Even if you do so, remember, cats are creatures of habit, so once you decide the ideal feeding spot, it is important not to switch locations. And in the end, even though it is obvious it is worth to mention, keep in mind that your cat will become old one day or can get injured so make sure that the eating area is easily accessible in every way.
DID YOU KNOW?
What are the best tips to find the best cat bowls?
Considering all that is said, it really seems that despite the numerous choices, all the materials, shapes and types have a few disadvantages. However, our lovely cat has to eat out of something. So as a recap, I collected some useful tips to make your decision easier:
- In general, a cat requires at least two bowls: one water and one food bowl.
- In your household, there should typically be a wide and shallow food bowl and a slightly wider and deeper water bowl. However, the bowls have to be also age, size, cat and breed appropriate.
- small cat, kitten – smaller, shallower bowl
- adult cat – wider, deeper bowl
- flat-faced cat – flat bowl
- large cat – larger bowl
- The minimum requirements for the best bowls are:
- easy to clean (dishwasher-safe)
- not sliding around (heavy enough or should have feeding mat or rubber grip on the bottom)
- hard to break, crack or scratch
- does not retain odor
- From among the materials, I recommend ceramic or stainless steel, or even glass is a quite good option while paper plates and plastic bowls should be avoided.
- Single bowls are preferable to double ones as cats do not really like to have their water with food particles inside and also like to have some distance between their food and water.
- Consider having a special type of bowl if necessary. If you have a cat that eats fast, you can opt for a slow feeding bowl. If it is recommended by your vet, go for an elevated bowl. Ant proof bowls are perfect if you have an outdoor cat, and you battle with lots of insects while automatic feeders and water fountains will provide enough food and water even if you are out.
- Whatever type of bowl you choose, wash it regularly (even more times a day) and make sure it is clean all the time. Watch out for scratches and cracks. Damaged or perished bowls must be replaced right away.
- If you like to keep your house clean, you can consider purchasing a feeding mat. It is not only beneficial for yourself, but it will prevent noise and the bowl from sliding around.
- Remember, the feeding bowl has to be pet safe as well.
MORE FUN STUFF
- Regarding the right location:
- Avoid busy and noisy areas like kitchen, bathroom or hallways.
- Do not place the bowls close to the litter box.
- The best spot for feeding a cat is a peaceful and quiet area where she can nicely enjoy her meal.
- If you have more pets, consider choosing separate locations for their bowls and make sure that each of them have their own set of bowls to avoid competition between them.
At first, you might have a difficult time when selecting the ideal bowl for your lovely cat because of the huge variety of shapes, materials, types, and designs, but by now, after reading this article, I hope you have enough tips on how to choose the best cat bowl.