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Cats have been known to complain when their food bowl is anything other than completely full.
While many cats have no trouble controlling their own food intake, others will inhale the contents of their bowl as soon as you set it down. In some cases, eating too fast or too much results in the food coming right back up before it’s been digested. This is called regurgitation.
Regurgitation differs from vomiting because the food is expelled from the esophagus before it reaches the stomach. It hasn’t yet been digested. Vomiting, on the other hand, refers to expulsion of the contents of the stomach.
Whether it’s food, hairballs, or foreign objects, vomit isn’t something any cat owner wants to deal with. Frequent vomiting should be brought to your vet’s attention but if your cat regurgitates from time to time, switching his food bowl might help.
Elevated cat bowls are also sometimes called anti-vomit cat bowls because they enable your cat to eat in a more neutral position. They shouldn’t be used as an alternative to proper veterinary care, and they don’t work for every day, but elevated cat bowls might just be worth a try.
At a Glance: Best Anti-Vomit Cat Bowls To Buy
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Why Should You Trust Us?
To create this guide, we researched the types of bowls available, read hundreds of customer reviews, and performed real-world tests on over a dozen bowls.
During our in-home tests, we paid attention to key factors like how easy they were to clean, how easy it was for our cats to eat from them, and how well they stayed in place on the floor. In addition to our own observations, we consulted a behaviorist to assess the validity of “anti-vomiting” claims by cat food bowl sellers.
Based on this extensive research and hands-on testing, we’ve selected the following anti-vomiting cat bowls as the best you can buy.
The 4 Qualities of the Best Cat Bowls To Prevent Vomiting
1. The Best Anti-Vomit Cat Bowls Are Elevated.
Originally developed for dogs to prevent a potentially life-threatening condition called gastric dilation volvulus or bloat, elevated bowls for cats have also become popular.
There is little scientific evidence to support the efficacy of elevated pet food bowls but some cats may find it more comfortable to eat without hunching over. This may be particularly true for older cats who suffer from osteoarthritis or obesity. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that eating from elevated cat bowls may reduce the risk of vomiting and indigestion in some cats.
While a traditional cat bowl rests flat on the floor, an elevated bowl sits up off the ground. This enables your cat to adopt a more natural neck position while eating which may help support smooth digestion.
2. The Best Cat Bowls To Prevent Vomiting Are Tilted.
An elevated cat bowl raises the food off the floor so your cat can access it without adopting an unnatural neck or back position. To make the food even easier to get to, consider a product with a tilted bowl design. With this design, the cat more or less walks right up to the food.
The thing to keep in mind with elevated cat bowls – especially tilted models – is that the height of the bowl matters.
Kittens and small cats may only need an inch or two of elevation while larger cats might need a taller bowl. Choosing an elevated cat bowl that is too high might, at best, be ineffective and, at worst, might contribute to new problems.
3. The Best Anti-Vomit Cat Bowls Prevent Whisker Fatigue.
It should be assumed that an elevated cat bowl will take up more vertical space than a traditional bowl, but don’t be tempted to compensate by choosing a narrow dish.
When the dish is too narrow or deep, it forces your cat to put his whole face into the bowl to reach the food. Not only might this negate the benefit of the elevated bowl by causing your cat to adopt an unnatural neck position, but it can also contribute to whisker fatigue.
The term whisker fatigue isn’t universally accepted among veterinary professionals but there is some merit to the idea.
Whisker fatigue refers to the overstimulation and discomfort a cat might experience when eating from a bowl small enough or deep enough that the cat’s whiskers continuously make contact with the sides of the bowl.
Whether whisker fatigue exists or not, your cat’s comfort is important. Some cats simply prefer to eat from wider, shallower bowls. If your cat seems to dislike small dishes, opt for an anti-vomit cat dish that has a wide bowl with low sides.
4. The Best Cat Bowls To Prevent Vomiting Are Hygienic
Your cat is going to eat all of his meals from the bowl you select, so choose something that is easy to clean and won’t harbor bacteria or other pathogens.
The most hygienic cat bowls are made from nonporous materials like stainless steel, ceramic, and glass.
Softer materials like plastic can scratch and trap bacteria that lingers even after washing. Nonporous materials are also generally easier to clean and tend to be dishwasher safe.
Our Top Picks for the Best Anti-Vomiting Cat Bowls
Now that you know what we looked for in a cat bowl to prevent vomiting, you can better understand why the following products are our top picks.
Vomiting is different from regurgitation. If your cat frequently regurgitates after eating too quickly or consuming too much at once, switching to an elevated cat food bowl might help. Frequent vomiting, on the other hand, is a potential digestive system problem best addressed by your veterinarian.