Updated: 2020. How to choose the best cat bowl. There are endless choices of cat food dishes and bowls these days. From cute kitty ceramics costing under $10.00 to designer raised-platform deluxe models costing upwards of $200.00. The best cat bowls will depend on your cat and not your taste.
Cats don’t care about cute kitty designs but all cats know what they like. Over many years of experience, I’ve discovered the best way to find out (without breaking your budget) is go to your local thrift shop. Buy a selection of sizes and materials and let your cat decide. They usually cost well under a dollar. The selection of bowls (pictured above) are our favorites, all from a local thrift shop. Plus, recycling leaves a low carbon footprint.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it: Just because you feeling like buying a new bowl doesn’t mean Fluffy wants one. Cats have their favorites and if do buy a new one or three, place a little food in all of them until she decides the winner.
Size matters: Bigger often is better. Bowls should be big enough that cat whiskers don’t get squished. Take a cat like Domino who has a humongous head. His big square Pyrex water bowl fits his head purrfectly. Your cat may like a smaller bowl for food and a larger one for water. Make sure the bowl is deep enough so messy eaters don’t drag food over the bowl’s lip. Our favorite water bowl (besides the fountains) is the copper CuBowl which is anti-microbial.
Material is key: Choose unbreakable and dishwasher safe. Stainless steel is a popular choice but our guys don’t like them. Two of their favorite water bowls are large Pyrex glass bowls. They’re sturdy and as safe or safer than ceramic. If a ceramic bowl gets chipped throw it out or re-purpose it (i.e. saucer under a plant).I do keep a decorative glass water bowl on the dining room table for Gris Gris (it’s his favorite) but only you can decide whether to take that kind of risk. The only material I don’t recommend is plastic. It’s okay for travel but for every day use, they will eventually abrade, get scratched allowing bacteria to grow. Some plastic tends to smell funky which turns off some cats.
Disposable? Don’t have a dishwasher and don’t like doing dishes? Disposal paper plates are a less eco-friendly option.
Location Location Location: If you have multiple cats, everyone needs their own food and water bowl. Place bowls a comfortable distance apart. We have three feeding stations on two floors and additional water bowls. Yeah, we’re fussy and spoiled. We also recommend elevated bowls. Our trick is to place bowls on a non-stick mat over an upside down tray or wooden box. Be creative but be sure it’s stable and non-slip.
Cleanliness is next to… Cats have an acute sense of smell and bacteria spreads easily so keep all bowls squeaky clean. Wash them daily in a dishwasher. If you are hand washing, make sure you scrub any dried bits off and rinse well. It’s handy having multiples of the same bowls for rotation.