Best Cat Bowls
When it comes to buying the best bowl for your cat, there are several factors you need to keep in mind to ensure your feline’s eating needs are met.
When it comes to properly feeding your feline friend, selecting the highest quality, species-appropriate food is just part of the process. You also need to choose the right cat bowls that will ensure your pet can eat her food comfortably. Plus, you want bowls that will be easy to keep clean, and that are made of materials that can help keep bacteria at bay.
From bowls that are designed specifically to prevent whisker fatigue, to those that help slow a cat down who tends to eat too much too quickly, there is something for every unique kitty out there. Check out our picks of some of the best cat bowls and dishes below to see what we mean.
1. Editorâ€™s Pick â€“ Dr. Catsby Cat Food Bowl
The Dr. Catsby Cat Food Bowl is the original wide pet food dish that features a shallow design to help prevent whisker fatigue and keep the food in the middle of the bowl.
Wait, what’s whisker fatigue? Well, because your pet’s whiskers are so sensitive, if your cat is eating from a bowl that has high sides, her whiskers could become uncomfortable or painful from constantly touching the sides. Plus, to avoid touching the sides of the bowl, she’ll be forced to keep her whiskers pulled back in an effort to eat more comfortably. By switching to a bowl that’s shallow and wide, like this product, your cat’s whiskers can remain relaxed and they won’t be forced to continually brush up against the sides of the bowl while she enjoys her meal.
The design of this bowl also helps prevent overfeeding, and because it’s made of kitchen grade stainless steel, it’s easy to clean, won’t hold onto odors, and it’s durable. In addition, it’s far more hygienic than plastic, making this better for your kitty as it might even help prevent feline acne.
In addition to all of these great features, this cat food bowl is dishwasher safe and comes with a detachable, food grade, silicone, non-slip mat that helps it stay in place on the floor. Finally, the cutout on the side of the bowl is also convenient because it makes it easy to pick up the bowl and set it down without making a mess.
2. Runner Up â€“ Y YHY Ceramic Raised Pet Cat Bowls
The Y YHY Ceramic Raised Pet Cat Bowls feature an adorable design, and they also come with a rack that places them at a comfortable height for your kitty so she won’t have to eat from a bowl that’s directly on the floor. This can help reduce neck strain while eating and drinking. Having the bowls raised might also help your kitty swallow her food more easily, thereby helping with digestion and potentially reducing vomiting.
These bowls are made using FDA approved ceramic that is free of lead and cadmium. They’re also dishwasher and microwave safe. Keeping the bowls securely in their rack, which features non-slip legs to prevent it from sliding around, makes it easy to establish an area where your cat can eat comfortably, and it helps prevent messes too.
3. Best Value â€“ Van Ness ECOWARE Cat Dish
The Van Ness ECOWARE cat dish is designed to be safe for you, your pets, and the environment. It’s made from renewable plant sources, including 47% bamboo plant material. You don’t have to worry about any heavy metals, chemicals, or BPA, and the high-polish design is easy to clean. Plus, this durable bowl isn’t likely to break under normal use, which means you don’t have to worry so much about chips and cracks either.
The nice thing about this pet food dish is that it’s wide and shallow, so it’s another great option if you’re looking for something to help reduce whisker stress and prevent whisker fatigue. The open design makes it easy for your kitty to enjoy her meal comfortably.
Also the most affordable option on our list by far, this bowl features a non-skid base made from kitchen grade silicone. It helps prevent sliding while your pet eats, and it can also help prevent scratches on your floor.
4. Best Stainless Steel â€“ Americat Company Stainless Steel Cat Bowls
These Americat Company Cat Bowls come in a set of two, which is definitely convenient. However, you also have the option of selecting to purchase a set of four or a set of six, or you can purchase a single bowl if that’s what you prefer.
These are designed to help prevent whisker fatigue, so they’re shallow and wide with sloped sides. They’re also deep enough to help prevent your pet’s food from spilling out and making a mess. These bowls are also made of non-porous, heavy stainless steel that can help keep bacteria out unlike plastic, so that’s certainly beneficial to your furry friend.
What’s also nice about these bowls is that they’re made in the USA, using U.S. materials in a facility that also makes culinary and healthcare products. On top of that, they’re tested by an independent lab to ensure that they’re free of radioactive metals and lead. These bowls are human grade, non-toxic, and BPA free, as well as easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
5. Best Double Dish â€“ Catit Food Double Cat Dish
Catit knows cats, and this double cat food bowl of stainless steel comes with their own holders that lets you create a lovely feeding area for your kitty cat. The shallow design of the bowls will help them avoid whisker fatigue. Kitty will be able to reach food easily without getting whiskers involved and stressed in the process. The holder keeps them in place, and you’re able to have a food and water grouping together to make things even easier for your cat during her meals.
They’re easy to remove from their holder, though, and because they’re dishwasher safe, you can keep them clean with ease. The holder has non-skid feet to keep it in place (no cat likes her food bowl moving all over the place when trying to eat or drink) and because of the low-profile, your cat will keep her neck and spine/shoulder elongation supported with the ergonomic design.
It’s a simply perfect way for your cat to enjoy every meal.
6. Best Raised â€“ Necoichi Raised Cat Food Bowl
Another option by Necoichi is their Raised Cat Food Bowl. When food is elevated, it might reduce strain on your kitty’s neck, and it may make it easier for your pet to swallow her food. Plus, this might even help with digestion too.
This bowl, which is made from non-absorbent porcelain, is designed in a way that helps food remain in the center so your pet can find it easier to eat every last bit of her meal. In addition to that, the inner lip also helps prevent messes and spills. The bowl is also microwave and dishwasher safe.
You can choose from several sizes including mini, regular, and large. It comes in various designs to choose from including polka dot, white paw print, black paw print, and cupcake.
Note: If you want matching food and water bowls, check out the Necoichi Raised Cat Food & Water Bowl Set.
7. Best Ceramic â€“ ViviPet Raised Ceramic Cat Food Q Bowl Dish
The ViviPet Raised Ceramic Cat Food Q Bowl is both elevated and tilted 15° to help your kitty feel comfortable while eating and drinking, and to help promote better digestion.
This is a handmade ceramic cat food bowl that can hold more than 1.5 cups of food. It boasts a cute design to make it look like a little cat, and the shape of the bowl is shallow and wide. This helps reduce whisker stress, and it also helps ensure your pet’s food stays in the center, making it easier for your feline friend to eat her entire meal, while also helping to prevent messes.
This bowl measures 5.5” x 6” x 4.5”, and it is made of eco-friendly, natural materials. Free of cadmium and lead, the premium glaze helps ensure the product won’t chip and the color won’t fade. Plus, it’s easy to clean because it’s dishwasher and microwave safe as well. Color options include blue, pink, teal and yellow.
8. Best Extra Wide â€“ Necoichi Extra Wide Raised Cat Food Bowl
Your cat might feel more comfortable eating from a raised food bowl like this cute one from Necoichi. This one’s slightly different from our other Necoichi product above as it features a wide, shallow dish at the top instead.
This white bowl features a cute paw print design, and because it’s elevated without the need for a rack, you can help your cat eat more comfortably without straining their neck. Plus, it’s higher than other similar bowls that are on the market, measuring 6” x 6” x 4.1”, so this might be beneficial to kitties who have health problems, such as arthritis, and those who are older.
Also, this bowl is extra wide, so it’s yet another ideal option for those who want to help their kitties avoid whisker fatigue. It features an inner lip and curved shape that help keep the food in the bowl and off the floor. This product is made from non-absorbent porcelain, is both dishwasher and microwave safe.
9. Best No-Spill â€“ UPSKY Double Cat Bowls
Made of high-quality stainless steel with a unique resin bottom, this dual set from UPSKY is another great value buy. It has a no-spill construction with an elevated surface so your kitty doesn’t have to strain their neck when it’s meal time. These bowls are listed as a highly-rated “Amazon’s Choice” product for a reason, and the customer reviews speak for themselves. Many have said that this set is perfect for messy pets, as the raised lips at the bottom catch any excess kibble, minimizing the chance of food being sprawled out on the floor.
This set also comes in a variety of fun colors including sky blue (pictured), rose/coral red, pink, lake blue, green tea and fruit green. If you’re money-conscious but still want to find a mess-free set of bowls for your furry friend, this would be a perfect option for you.
10. Best Design â€“ PetRageous Designs Metro Oval Pet Dish
Yet another cute option in the world of cat food dishes is this PetRageous Designs Metro Oval Pet Dish, which holds one cup of food and measures 6.25” x 1.5”. Its shallow design can help keep your cat’s whiskers comfortable and dry.
This stoneware cat bowl is made from high-quality ceramic. It’s dishwasher and microwave safe, and is also extremely durable. The ceramic is oven-fired to help resist chips and fading. Keep in mind because it’s handcrafted and hand painted, there might be some variations from one bowl to the next.
Considerations When It Comes to Cat Bowls
When it comes to cat bowls, things are a bit more complex than you’d think. After all, popular culture has erroneously taught us that any kitty will be content with a bit of milk in a saucer, so most beginner cat parents are completely overwhelmed once they learn about the countless choices they have when it comes to both food and dishes to be served in. While you won’t have to buy a gold-plated bowl for kibble to keep your pet healthy, there are some important requirements that need to be met – it won’t suffice to just grab the first bowl you come across.
First and maybe the most important thing you need to consider when it comes to cat bowls is the material they’re made of. The cheapest (and therefore one of the more popular) option is plastic bowls for cats. These type of dishes might be good for your wallet, but they’re certainly not good for your cat. Even if you get a BPA-free plastic bowl for your pet, it won’t change the fact that plastic bowls for pets are a big no-no. Bacteria buildup is common on plastic dishes, as well as the buildup of oils, making these very hard to clean. More importantly, though, plastic bowls for food and water can cause feline acne or black spots on your pet’s chin. To avoid dealing with these issues, always opt for stainless steel or ceramic cat bowls. They might cost a bit more, but they’ll definitely pay off in the long run. Additionally, you might want to consider ditching plastic food storage, too- there are other, healthier options that are worth the cost.
Types of Cat Bowls
Of course, even if you know which materials to steer clear from and which are a good choice, it still leaves you with having to choose one out of dozens of different types and models of cat dishes. Not all cats will be content eating out of a standard kibble bowl, so you need to make sure to include both your pet’s preferences and needs in the final decision. For instance, there are dishes that are designed especially for certain cat breeds, such as the flat-faced Himalayan or Persian cat. Due to their unique anatomy, these pets will benefit from bespoke dishes, usually slightly tilted to accommodate for their short muzzle.
Additionally, if your cat has some health issues, such as being overweight, you might consider options such as automatic feeders or puzzle feeders for cats. Instead of free-feeding your cat and making their health worse by allowing them to eat as much as they want, you could ensure that their meals are doled out in certain times of the day or serving sizes. Automatic feeders, or food dispensers for cats, are also a fantastic option if you work long hours but have to maintain control over your feline’s eating habits.
PetGuide.com’s resources will ensure that you find the best type of feeder for your kitty, whether it’s a simple ceramic bowl, raised feeder, fully automatic feeder with a timer, or anything else in between. In addition to choosing the right bowls or feeders for your picky pet, you might want to consider getting a feeding mat. Regardless of your cat’s food of preference, it’s highly likely that they’ll make a mess around their dish whenever they eat. Cleaning wet food stains or kibble crumbles will be infinitely easier if all you have to do is shake out the mat underneath the bowls, or run it under water for a few seconds.
Cat Water Bowls
As for the water bowls, the same rules apply as they do for the dishes you’d choose for your cat’s food. However, there’s an important thing to note when it comes to cat water dishes, or, to be more precise, their preferences when it comes to water in general. Cats don’t like still water, and relying on a bowl with stagnant water to keep your feline hydrated will usually be a fruitless effort.
Unless you have a special kitty, you’ve probably noticed that they avoid water that’s been in the bowl for hours and instead favor licking drops from the faucet. It’s not because cats are weirdos, but rather because they prefer their water to be fresh and moving. Thankfully, with a water fountain for cats, you can get your pet to drink up! PetGuide.com’s experts explain the mysteries of feline behavior, including their odd water drinking habits, so you won’t have to wonder about your cat’s quirks anymore.
When it comes to feline nutrition, you’ll find all the information you need right here at PetGuide.com. From detailed educational content that will help you pick out the best food for your cat, to comprehensive buying guides that ensure the bowls you get for your pet won’t be causing any health issues, PetGuide.com is the place to be if you’re a proud cat parent and want only the best for your pampered kitty.
Here Are Some Tips on How to Find the Right Cat Bowls for Your Pet
If you aren’t sure about what direction to take when it comes to buying pet bowls and dishes for your feline friend, consider the following tips:
- Shallow and wide are two features worth looking for in a cat bowl. Kitties tend to prefer these types of bowls over deep ones, so if you think your cat isn’t comfortable eating out of a bowl that’s deep with high sides, or a bowl that is quite narrow, consider switching to one that has a different shape. It might be just what she needs to avoid whisker fatigue. But how can you tell if your cat isn’t enjoying eating out of her current bowls? Well, if you notice that she’s doing things like using her paw to take food out of the dish to then eat it off the floor, that might be her way of telling you that she isn’t fond of her current bowl.
- Plastic can be convenient, but it isn’t always the ideal choice. That’s because oil and bacteria can accumulate within the plastic if it gets scratched over time from use. When this contamination is present, your kitty might become more susceptible to acne on the chin. For this reason, experts often recommend stainless steel and ceramic pet bowls rather than plastic ones.
- If your kitty has a flat face, consider switching to a bowl that is made with her needs in mind. A bowl that is elevated and set at a slight angle might make it easier for her to eat her whole meal.
It might take a bit of trial and error to figure out what your unique furry companion prefers, so you may want to buy several bowls in different styles to see how your cat reacts to each one. Add some food to each of the bowls and then let her decide which one she wants to eat out of, as that might give you a better idea of what bowl makes her feel most comfortable. And don’t forget that elevation may also help, too, whether you buy a raised bowl or you buy a rack that can hold your cat’s bowl a few inches off the floor. It really boils down to what your pet likes best, but rest assured that there are a lot of options out there no matter what.
How Often Should You Clean Cat Bowls?
It’s important to keep your cat’s bowl clean on a daily basis, just like people wash their dishes after every meal. As we’ve mentioned above, cats love fresh water, so it’s ideal to change your cat’s water every day. If this isn’t possible for you, every two days is also okay. It’s best to clean your cat’s bowl with their own sponge, and if you’re washing by hand you can clean this like any other dish, with warm soapy water. You should also try to avoid scouring sponges that may scratch and damage the bowl.
Should A Cat’s Water Be Away From Their Food?
It’s usually best to have your cat’s bowl away from their food, as strangely enough they’ll often drink more water if their food is out of sight. If you’re concerned about the amount of water your cat drinks in a day, it can’t hurt to separate the two and see how your cat responds.
Why Does Your Cat Take Food Out Of The Bowl?
Tying into our points above about separating your cat’s food and water bowls, your cat may take their kibble out of the bowl if it’s too close to their water supply. If your cat is doing this, it’s a good sign that you should move them further away from each other.
With the Right Bowl, Your Cat Can Enjoy Every Meal Comfortably
Who knew that so much went into buying cat bowls, right? Rather than just picking up the first bowl or dish you find at a pet store, consider the tips and suggestions above. Your kitty will thank you because she’ll be able to eat comfortably. And you’ll also be able to rest assured that the bowl will be durable, long-lasting, and easy to clean. So it’s definitely worth taking the time to do your research to make the best choice for your fur baby.
June 11, 2021: The Signature Housewares Fish Pet Set Cat Bowl and Jackson Galaxy Nova Stainless Steel Bowl have been removed due to product unavailability, replaced with the popular UPSKY Double Cat Bowls. Product awards have been assigned to our top 3 picks, including Editor’s Choice, Best Design and Best Value products. Additional content has been included, answering the questions ‘How Often Should You Clean Cat Bowls?’, ‘Should A Cat’s Water Be Away From Their Food?’ and ‘Why Does Your Cat Take Food Out Of The Bowl?’
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Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.
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