We spent 30 hours researching and testing 15 different cat bowls and found that durability, style, and cost were the most important factors for consumers shopping for cat bowls. Necoichi Raised Cat Food Bowl scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. This raised cat bowl raises your cat’s food to a comfortable height that is easier for them to eat and not have backflow problems. The food stays centered in the bowl so the cat doesn’t have to chase the food around the bowl. This stylish and functional cat bowl is microwave and dishwasher safe.
Cat Food Bowl Buying Guide
Choosing your cat’s food can be daunting enough but have you put much thought into how you serve your cat’s food? There are large numbers of cat bowls on the market in all styles and sizes. They type of cat bowls you choose for your cats to eat and drink out of can make a big different in the health and eating habits of your cat.
There are many different materials used to make cat bowls and many different styles as well. Cat owners are often drawn to the attractive cat bowls but function is important too. Below we have listed the different types of materials you will find when looking for cat bowls and the benefits of each type. There are four main types of cat bowl materials.
Ceramic – if you love decorative bowls, you will really like ceramic bowls which can have all kinds of decorative designs on them from paw prints to personalized names. Ceramic bowls are very sturdy and aren’t easily pushed around by your cat especially if they have anti-slip feet on the bottom. Make sure that the designs on the bowls are not toxic. Ceramic cat bowls are easy to keep clean and most are dishwasher safe. If the ceramic cat bowls you are considering are made for pets you can be relatively assured that no toxic paint was used in the design. The drawback to ceramic cat bowls is that they can break if they are dropped so keep this in mind. This is a good choice for your cat bowls just be sure to regularly check them for cracks or chips.
Plastic – Plastic cat bowls are the cheapest of all the different bowls and are easiest to find as well. They are durable and lightweight but the drawback to plastic bowls is the bacteria that can build up. Plastic dishes are easy to scratch which can leave the bowls open to developing bacteria in the scratches. Another problem is that any by-products or chemicals used in the making of these plastic bowls can leak into the food or water you are feeding your cat. Bisphenol is a chemical that is often found in plastic bottles and containers and can be very dangerous for your pet. Look for plastic that is BPA-free and safe but this will not take care of the scratches and bacteria problem that is prevalent with this type of cat bowl.
Stainless Steel – One of the most durable cat bowls you can purchase is stainless steel. It is dishwasher safe, super easy to clean and virtually unbreakable. Stainless steel will not crack or break and can last decades if taken care of properly. They are not decorative in design but they are usually available in a variety of sizes. One common problem that can occur when using stainless steel is the metallic taste that can be present. If you notice your cat no wanting to eat or drink from stainless steel cat bowls it could be because of this metal taste. Keeping the stainless steel cleaned on a regular basis you will not have to worry about bacteria building up. One way you can minimize or eliminate that metal taste common to stainless steel bowls is to run them through the dishwasher a few times before using them.
Glass bowls – Most glass cat food bowls that are specifically designed for pet use are made of glass that is shatterproof. They are very easy to clean and can be washed in the dishwasher but they are breakable and one drop could eliminate your glass cat bowl completely. You should never use a glass bowl that has a crack in it or a chip. This could cut your cat or leave undetectable traces of glass in the cat’s food or water.
Factors to think about when choosing a cat bowl
There are several things you want to think about before purchasing a cat bowl. We have listed these factors below so you can incorporate these points into your shopping.
Keep the dishes clean – Cats will eat out of dirty dishes but that is not their preference and they should not have to. Eating from dirty dishes can cause illnesses in your cats from bacteria that build up on the unclean surfaces. Rinse out the cat bowls daily and run them through a dishwasher every 2-3 days if possible. Bowls that are used for canned food need to be washed in the dishwasher every day.
Shape and Size – You want to choose cat bowls that offer plenty of room for the food and water and your cat’s head to fit comfortable while he eats or drinks out of it. Shape isn’t too important but straight sides bowls are easier to trap food where the cat can’t get to it. Round bowls can be a little tippy unless they are being used in one of the popular bowl stands that are so nice to have.
Mats reduce mess – Regardless of what type of bowl you choose, it is better for cleanliness and the comfort of your cat to either place the bowls in a stand or place them on a non-slip mat. Many cat bowls have matching mats that are great for catching any spills that may occur and make the cat’s feeding area much neater and attractive as well. Think about the mat you use under the cat bowls and make sure it stays clean too so there is no bacteria buildup on the mat.
Automatic feeders – Automatic feeders are a great choice for people who have to work a lot and may not have the time to fill bowls two or three times a day. Automatic feeders provide fresh food and water for your cats anytime they want it. Some of the higher end auto feeders are electronic and can even been programmed over the course of a few days for your convenience. If you choose automatic feeders you will still need to ensure that you clean them properly and often to prevent bacteria build up. There should be washing instructions included with the purchase of an automatic feeder.
Consider the depth – Cats usually prefer wider, shallower cat bowls because it is easier for them to eat. Some cats are super sensitive to sticking their faces into a more closed in bowl that could touch their whiskers while they are trying to eat or drink. If it is not comfortable for them to eat or drink out of the bowl you may see them using their paws to pull the food out of the bowl. Cats also like to look around while they eat so if the bowl is too deep they will not be able to look up and see their environment. Look for cat bowls that are shallow and provide plenty of room for the food and their faces without crowding them.
Some breeds require different styles – Depending on the breed of your cat is you may find that they have an easier time with bowels of a certain design. Persians for example have flatter faces so a dish that is elevated and tilted toward them can make eating a lot more comfortable.
Location – Where are you going to feed your cat? If you will be feeding them in a high traffic area where guests can see them, you may want to consider the more stylish, decorative cat feeders that can be made from bamboo or other attractive wood and have a lot of style as well as function. These stands are great for keeping food and water where they belong, in the dishes, and not on the floor. If you have more than one cat, don’t expect them to eat out of the same bowl. Providing them with their own dishes allows them to eat without fear of not getting enough.
Bowl hygiene – Choosing cat bowls that are easy to keep clean with ensure that the dish stays as healthy as possible for your cat. Regular, daily cleaning of your cat’s bowls will ensure that they love their food at each meal; that bacteria don’t ruin their health, and they’ll look good too.
Interactive feeders – In addition to traditional cat bowls there are feeders that are called interactive feeders. These unique feeding tools are filled with cat food or cat treats and provides your cat with some excitement during feeding time. There are many different types of interactive feeders for cats including food puzzles, and other types of activities that reward the cat with a few pieces of food or treats when they perform the right actions. It is a great way to keep your cat’s mind sharp and their boredom in check so they don’t get into things they shouldn’t. When it comes to interactive feeders use dry food only to avoid complicated cleaning jobs and use wet food in their regular dishes.
Cat bowls are one of the most popular cat supplies purchased by cat owners. With so many to choose from you may have difficulty deciding unless you use the information we have provided for you in this buying guide. This information is designed to give you the knowledge you need to access your cat’s needs and choose the right cat bowls according to what is best for the breed and size cat you have.
The three top-rated cat bowls we have reviewed above are all examples of the kind of high quality cat bowls you want to use for your cats meals and water. All three of these selections are made from premium materials and are long lasting and durable.
If you are looking for a fast solution to your cat bowl needs any one of these selections would be a perfect choice for your cat’s needs. If you didn’t see what you were looking for in the three selections we have reviewed above you can use all your knowledge to sort through the many different types of cat bowls available and narrow your choices down to a more manageable size.
If you have a budget you want to stick to, make sure you have decided that before you start shopping. It is very easy to spend more than you intend once you start seeing all the unique and different designs that are available. A budget will help you eliminate the cat bowls that fall outside your budget amount which will narrow the field even more.
Although you can use any old container as a cat bowl, most cat owners want to provide their cats with something that their cats will enjoy eating and drinking from and that will please themselves as well when they use it.