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Your cat is a natural born hunter and his feeding experience should reflect that.
While what you feed your cat is more important than what you feed him in, the way your cat’s meals are presented makes a difference. It’s worth considering your cat’s evolutionary instincts and natural behaviors when deciding how to feed him.
It matters how often you feed your cat, where you feed him, and the bowl you use to dish out his food.
The best cat bowl is one that makes your cat’s feeding experience more pleasant, and it might make life just a little bit easier for you as well. In this article, you’ll learn what to look for in a great cat bowl.
Let’s take a quick peek at our top picks for the best cat bowls then explore why we chose them.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Cat Bowls
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Reasonably priced in three different sizes
- Made from hygienic stainless steel
- Shallow design is comfortable for cats
Top Picks Explained
The 4 Qualities of the Best Cat Bowls
1. The Best Cat Bowls Are Made From Hygienic Materials
Your cat is going to be eating all of his meals out of this bowl, so it’s important to consider the materials carefully. The right material keeps your cat safe and is easy to clean while the wrong material could harbor bacteria and other pathogens that might make your cat sick.
The best materials for cat bowls are stainless steel, ceramic, and glass. These materials are nonporous, so they don’t trap bacteria, and they are generally dishwasher-safe.
Avoid plastic cat bowls. They scratch easily, creating an environment in which bacteria can grow. The biofilm that accumulates on the surface can also contribute to chin acne in cats.
2. The Best Cat Bowls Are Shallow and Wide To Prevent Whisker Fatigue
When shopping for cat bowls, many cat owners look for dishes that don’t take up a lot of floor space. This generally means something small, narrow, and deep. The problem is this design forces your cat to put his face deep into the bowl to reach the food. As you might imagine, it isn’t very comfortable for your cat, but it can also contribute to another issue: whisker fatigue.
Whisker fatigue is the idea that eating from a small, narrow dish causes your cat’s whiskers to make contact with the sides of the dish when he eats. Your cat’s whiskers are incredibly sensitive, so some experts suggest it causes overstimulation.
Repeated issues with overstimulation may cause your cat to stop eating from that type of bowl – this is one theory behind why some cats become fussy eaters.
While there’s no scientific evidence supporting the existence of whisker fatigue, there’s some substance to the theory. Dr. Pete Wedderburn, DVM, suggests it’s worth considering your cat’s comfort when choosing a cat bowl. He recommends observing your cat’s eating habits and, if he seems to be averse to narrow, high-sided bowls you might want to choose something else.
3. The Best Cat Bowls Have a Non-Slip Bottom
Not only should you consider your cat’s comfort when choosing a cat bowl but think about the eating experience. Wouldn’t you find it maddening if your plate kept sliding across the table as you tried to eat? That’s the benefit of choosing a cat bowl with a non-slip bottom.
Something as simple as a rubber base or even a few stick-on rubber feet can keep a cat bowl in place. This saves your cat from having to chase it across the room and it may make mealtime a little less messy.
4. The Best Cat Bowls Are Designed To Fit Your Cat’s Specific Needs
After considering essential factors like materials, shape, and size, you may want to take additional factors into consideration. If your cat is getting up in years and suffers from arthritis, a slightly raised cat bowl may be more comfortable for him.
Cats who have a tendency to wolf down their food (and then vomit it up) may benefit from a slow feed cat bowl. These bowls are designed to slow down the process of eating by dividing the food into small sections or by making your cat work a little harder to access it. Slow feed bowls are also great for providing your cat with a little extra mental stimulation.
Also Read: The 6 Best Anti-Vomit Cat Bowls
Finally, think about an automatic feeder if you want to control your cat’s portion sizes and keep him on a regular feeding schedule. They’re also great for short absences from home.
Our Top Picks for the Best Cat Bowls
Now that you have a better understanding of how we came to our top picks, you’re probably eager to see them!
Here are our top 8 picks for best cat bowls:
The right cat bowl can make your cat’s mealtimes more comfortable while making clean-up a little bit easier on you. If you have a favorite cat bowl, let us know in the comments below or tell us what you think after trying one of the cat bowls we’ve recommended!
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you clean your cat bowl?
It’s best to wash your cat’s bowl after every meal to prevent the growth of bacteria. Wash the bowl wish hot water and mild dish soap.
Can you wash cat bowls in the dishwasher?
It depends. Many cat bowls are designed to be dishwasher-friendly, including stainless steel, ceramic, and glass cat bowls. Refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to be sure.
Are elevated cat bowls safe for cats?
Feeding your cat from an elevated cat bowl may promote a more natural neck position during feeding. This could help your cat digest more easily which may be beneficial for cats who often regurgitate after eating. For most cats, however, an elevated cat bowl is not necessary.