With an amazingly big assortment of cat food bowls of different types and sizes, what are the best cat food bowls for your cat? We will find the answers for you right here.
What Bowl For Cat Food?
Cat owners will very quickly understand that they need to present the food for their cat in a bowl or on a plate. It’s very easy to just quickly grab a dish or bowl that you use yourself for food, but is that actually the type of bowl that your cat prefers? Even more important, is this a product you should use for the benefit of your cat’s health?
Do cats even have preferences for things, or do they just go for the food wherever it is presented? Let’s look at those options.
Depth Of Cat Food Bowl
Cats have those white or black antenna’s coming from their nose called whiskers, with which they feel and sense. Cats whiskers are very sensitive to the touch, so it is important to give your cat a big enough bowl, so that they do not ‘hurt’ their whiskers in the bowl sides.
In the same way, if your bowl is extremely deep, they will have to bend their neck into the bowl to get to the food and might easily get their whiskers hurt.
I am writing this for cat food bowls, but do note that this is also valid for water bowls.
A good way of finding out whether your food bowl is too narrow or too deep, is by looking at their behaviour. Do you see them stopping and going for their food often with many breaks? Are they using their paw to get the food or water out instead of sticking their face right in? A good chance you need to get a wider and more shallow bowl.
Cats will also feel the bowl is too deep, when they cannot look around them while eating or drinking. In that case you will see them going up and down with their head to check the environment in between nibbles.
Bowl Material Type
Naturally you might want to go for that cute bowl you saw in the shop yesterday with a cat pattern on it. It is however a good idea to know what materials are cat safe and which things you have to keep in mind when buying your cats dishes.
Your cat isn’t all that picky as to what you serve their food in, but to benefit their health, certain material types are better than others.
There are three materials that are good for cat food:
As you can see, plastic is not on the list. Even though many cat food and cat water bowls are made of plastic, this is not the right material for their needs. Plastic is a material that can easily get scratched and damaged. Bacteria will settle in these scratches and damages in the plastic and this is difficult to clean properly. On top of that are many cats allergic to plastic.
The bacteria that are left behind in the food bowl, can cause Acne on your cats face. The acne will show as black dots on their chin.
A lot of plastic bowls are not BPA free or have other toxic substances (such as lead) within them.
Therefore are glass, ceramic and metal bowls the best choices.
It can definitely be useful to have a handy design, not only for your cat, but also for you. Take as example the fact that cats will push the bowl while trying to eat or drink from it. For the sake of your floors and for the ease of use for your cat, anti-slip mats or raised racks can be a good solution to prevent food to spill and give the cat full access to their food and drinks. Some cats also prefer to have their food and water at head-level.
If you have a Persian cat, he might prefer a different type of bowl with elevation at a slight angle so that he can eat and drink with his flat face. Also other cats than Persian cats are different, so please take into account that different cats might have different needs.
Location Location Location!
Cats have preferences as to where their food is presented. They prefer to eat in a location where they do not get disturbed by other cats or by other humans. They also do not want to eat where their litter box is located. Water bowls can be placed on different locations throughout your house.
Take note where your cat(s) feel at peace. This might be the place to put a food bowl.
Different Ways Of Presenting Food
Cats like to hunt for their food and hence it can be a good idea to add the puzzle element to their food life. The puzzle element works well for dry food, while wet food is best presented in ceramic or metal bowls.
We often throw dry kibble through the room for our cats to find, or place dry food on specific locations throughout the house. Such places are their favourite places to sit and play.
Another great system to offer is the special CatIt Senses 2.0 Food Tree, which offers plenty of puzzle to your cats food hunting needs.
If you have multiple cats or a cat that wants to eat all the time, it can be a good idea to get a food bowl that is protected by a chip and timelock. That way you can give only access to a certain type of food to one cat as well as configure the timeframes he may have access to his food. The system reads the RFID chip that you can inject into cats nowadays to identify your cat with.
Good Cleaning Habits
As bacteria can easily form and dry foods are oily, it is a good idea to clean your cat(s) food and water bowls often, preferably after every use. It’s best to clean your cat bowl with warm water and soap. Make sure you flush the bowl thoroughly so that no soap rests remain on the bowl, before you serve the next load of food to your cat.
Examples Of Good Glass Cat Bowls
Glass is non-porous and non-toxic to cats and is a very good material for cat dishes. Glass doesn’t react with other chemicals or food ingredients such as acids. Glass bowls can also be dishwasher washed and sterilized.
Examples Of Good Ceramic Cat Bowls
Ceramic bowls come in different shapes and sizes. It is advised to go for a shallow and wide bowl. Square shapes will less likely spill than round shaped bowls.
Be sure that you find a ceramic dish that does not contain cadmium or lead as that is toxic to cats. Glazed bowls and bowls from Mexico with strong colours such as yellow, orange and red might contain these metals that are harmful to cats.
Another way to look for cat safe ceramic bowls is to look for a food-safe label. Ceramic bowls are not automatically food-safe.
Here are a couple of examples of cat safe ceramic cat bowls:
Examples Of Good Metal Cat Bowls
Stainless steel bowls don’t hold germs, doesn’t react with the food or water and can be sterilized. Stainless steel bowls are also very strong as they are made of iron, nickel, chromium and molybdenum.
Getting a cat safe cat bowl isn’t so much about shape, but much more about the size, depth and material type. Neither is it about how cute a bowl is. Really keep your cat as a family member in mind when finding the right type of bowl for them.
While cat food bowls can be shallow, drinking bowls can be a bit deeper so that they can store more water. Fill water bowls adequately with a reasonable amount of water so that they can easily reach their water without sticking their nose too far into the bowl.
What cat bowl do you have for your cat(s)? Please share your experiences in the comments below.