Such a seemingly elementary thing - a bowl for a cat. But there are also pitfalls here! Choosing the right bowl for your cat will help prevent many problems with nutrition and even health. Pet stores are swamped with various cat attributes right up to the ceiling: bowls with pictures, multicolored bowls, expensive bowls, cheap bowls, bowls, bowls, bowls... But animal owner usually focuses on his own preferences in the choice. A cat will not ask from which plate it would be more pleasant to eat, and what kind of serving it prefers. In order to save you the pain of choice, we wrote this article.

Metarials

Usually cat bowls are represented by the following materials:

  • plastic bowls
  • metal (stainless steel)
  • glass
  • porcelain
  • ceramics

Plastic cat bowls

Plastic is the most common and inexpensive material for cat bowls. The quality of plastic differs from product to product. Cheap material can have an unpleasant odor, as well as absorb the smell of food, bend, crack, and even emit dangerous toxic substances.

Fancy plastic cat bowl
Fancy plastic cat bowl. Photo by Crepessuzette

More expensive and high-quality plastic is devoid of these flaws, and its lifetime is much longer.

However, in most cases this material has a porous structure, in which pathogenic bacteria can multiply, even if you wash your bowl regularly. In particular, the emergence of acne in cats is associated with a plastic bowl. Plastic, especially cheap, is not our option.

Pros

  • cheap
  • variety of forms and colors

Cons

  • dangerous for cat health

Metal cat bowls

Metal bowls are much more durable than all others. Usually they have a rubberized base, which prevents the bowl from sliding on the floor. Stainless steel dishes are absolutely safe for pet health and easy to wash, but they are also much more expensive than plastic ones.

Cat are eating from metal bowl
Metal bowl. Photo by Konstantinos Feggoulis

There is, however, one aspect - dry food can rustle and ring in a metal bowl, which may not appeal to the animal.

Pros

  • long lifetime
  • absolutely safe

Cons

  • more expensive than plastic bowls

Ceramic bowls

Ceramic bowls have no porous texture, are safe for health, easy to wash both by hand and in the dishwasher. Also such dishes are available to everyone - for sure, every house has a couple of other saucers or small plates.

Ceramic cat bowl
Ceramic cat bowl. Photo by Konstantinos Feggoulis

Pros

  • safe
  • available in every house

Cons

  • can be accidentally broken (as opposed to plastic and metal)
  • they can slide on the floor (as they are usually not equipped with rubberized feet or a base)
Don't preheat food in these bowls. Your pet may accidentally get burned.

Bowls shape

The most common shape of a cat's bowl is a more or less deep plate of small diameter with high edges. Sometimes it is wider at the base and as if narrows to the top.

Often the two bowls - for food and water - are combined into one. And so the satisfied and proud owner, having bought such a bowl, puts there a delicious meal and disappointedly watches as a cat pulls out of the bowl food and eats on the floor. Why does this happen?

Many cats prefer to eat half-lying or sitting on half-bent paws, and high bowl edges prevent them from taking their favorite pose. Also, cats do not like it when the edges of the bowl touch the mustache! Whiskers - the tactile organs - are very sensitive, and excessive rough touch irritates the animal and can even provoke stress.

Flat-faced breeds of cats, such as Persians, experience all of the above difficulties at once.

To conclude: the lower the edge and the wider the "vent" in the bowl, the better. Ideally, this is the most common flat plate or saucer we all know. However, such a bowl also has a drawback - food can be overboard from time to time, so a too flat bowl is also bad.

Stands and mats for bowls

The range of cat accessories is full of different stands, from plastic to wooden. Their purpose is to give stability to the bowls, to please the owner's eye aesthetically, as well as to prevent spillage of food and crumbs on the floor. Some of them are attached to the wall, leaving the space on the floor free. But as practice shows, many cats do not like them. But why?

Metal stands prevent the cat from taking a "half-bent" position, even if they are adjustable in height, they will still have to be as low as possible to the floor - why not just do without them?

Wide stands in the form of a tray or stand with niches, in which bowls are inserted, also not everybody likes, because either they raise the bowls higher, or they have a sufficiently large but limited area, which makes it difficult for the animal to access the bowl from different sides.

The mats can have an unpleasant smell or scare the cat away from the bowl because for an animal it's an incomprehensible substance and you don't want to get your feet dirty. Although the object itself is useful - the mats can also absorb spilled water, some of them even have sensors that will prevent the vacuum cleaner from crawling into the bowls.

The stands will fit your pet if he prefers to eat sitting or standing.

Water bowl

The shape of the water bowl is very important because it is not an easy task to make the cat drink water again. But in fact, everything is simple: the water bowl should have a very wide "vent" and low sides, and the bowl itself should not be small.

It is a nice idea to buy few water bowls and place them in easily accessible places of your house (but away from electrical appliances).

You can also pay attention to automatic fountains - constantly circulating water attracts cats more than just a bowl of water. A variety of shapes and materials will allow you to buy a fountain for every taste and wallet.

Automatic cat feeder

Automatic feeders should be chosen on this principle:

  • low edges
  • wide base
  • high quality plastic (in most cases feeders are made of plastic
Example of automatic cat feeder
Example of automatic cat feeder

Feeders can be different. Some works on the principle of communicating vessels - as soon as the bowl is empty, the container throws out a portion of food. More advanced models work on batteries and periodically throws new food. Automatic feeders is good option when you expect to leave you cat for a while or if your pet have stomach diseases.

Conclusion

In my opinion, stainless steel bowls are the best choice. They are safe for the pet, easy to wash, and much more durable. They are more expensive than plastic ones, but you shouldn't save on your friend.