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5 Best Cat Food Bowls for Easy Eating

Disclaimer

We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for yourself. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. As a Chewy affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Looking to get a good cat food bowl for your feline friend?

Choosing the best cat food bowl is a challenge with the range of choices on the market.

The best type of cat food bowl is a wide shallow bowl that reduces whisker fatigue.

Ceramic and stainless steel bowls are the easiest to clean choices.

Check out our best picks below.

In this article, I’ll discuss what is the best cat food bowl options for a range of budget and cat needs.

I’ll also give you a buying guide to help you find what you want to look for and answer some frequently asked questions about cat food bowls.

My name is Derrick, and I write for Simply Cat Care. Our goal with this website is to help cat owners find the best products for their cat’s health.

I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet before continuing.

Let’s get into the article:


Product Review:  Best Cat Food Bowls

Best Cat Food Bowl Overall

Dr. Catsby’s Food Bowl for Whisker Relief

Shallow design to prevent whisker fatigue

Stainless steel to reduce bacteria

Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning

Silicone mat to keep the bowl from spilling

No height adjustment

Doesn’t hold dry cat as well in the bowl

More affordable options are available

Product Summary

Overall, this is a great food bowl choice for cats.

What’s so special about this bowl? The main benefit is the shallow and wide design which helps reduce whisker fatigue to give your cat a more enjoyable time with eating.

It’s made with stainless steel which is safe for dishwasher cleaning and reduces bacteria.

The main downside of the bowl is it doesn’t hold dry kibble as well and doesn’t allow for height adjustment (something that benefits senior cats).

Best Cat Food Bowl Elevated

NECOICHI Extra Wide Raised Cat Food Bowl

Elevated height to reduce neck strain

Ceramic bowl design to reduce bacteria

Wide shallow design to prevent whisker fatigue

Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning

Microwave safe to heat for maximum taste

Lead and cadmium free for peace of mind

Ergonomic lip sides to prevent spillage

Inconsistent product sizing delivered

Prone to chipping

Product Summary

If you are after an elevated bowl for a cat with mobility issues, this is a good choice.

The main benefit of this product is that it also uses a wide and shallow design to help with whisker fatigue. This product is made from ceramic which is safe for dishwasher cleaning and allows for microwaving.

A downside of this product is the inconsistency with sizing and height based on customer reports. Make sure you select the right size before purchasing a bowl.

Ceramic is also more prone to chipping and may not suit an active younger cat.

Best Cat Food Bowl Affordable

Our Pets Durapet Cat Bowl 

Stainless steel design to reduce bacteria

Silicone-based to prevent slippage

Shallow design to prevent whisker fatigue

Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning

Affordable

Sticker put on the bottom is hard to remove

Some customers sent the wrong size bowl

Product Summary

If you’re after a simple budget cat food bowl, this is a good choice.

It meets the basic needs of cat food bowls with a wide and shallow design for whisker fatigue.

The bowl is also made using a good material in stainless steel, which reduces bacteria and is dishwasher safe.

The main downside is the placement of the brand sticker on the bottom of the bowl. This may be difficult to remove in some cases.

Best Cat Food Bowl Automatic

PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder, Timed Cat Feeder

Timed feeding to your own customization

4L food capacity for long periods of feeding

Battery and power adapter compatible

Removable stainless steel tray for cleaning

Only suitable for dry cat food

Infrequent timer issues

Product Summary

An automatic feeder is an option for cat owners that are out of the house often.

The PETLIBRO allows for customization with timing and has a large 4L capacity to accommodate a range of situations.

An automatic feeder is a pricier option and won’t suit everyone’s budget.

This product is also only suitable for dry cat food.

Best Cat Food Bowl Slow Feeder

GooFoto Slow Feeder for Cats

Slows down eating to reduce risk of vomiting

Element of play to reduce boredom

Dishwasher safe melamine for easy cleaning

Smooth surface that won’t hurt your cat

Not microwave safe

No silicone anti-slip mat

No elevation off the ground for cats with limited mobility

Product Summary

A slow feeder is a great option to help with weight loss.

This option is simple and slows down your cat eating with a ridged design. This product uses melamine which is easier on the mouth than a ceramic slow feeder.

The main downside is this isn’t microwave safe and can’t adjust for height. It also lacks an anti-slip mat which may lead to the bowl dragging around whilst your cat tries to get at food.

Buying Guide: How to Find The Best Cat Food Bowl

Not sure what to look for when buying a cat food bowl?

In this buying guide, I’ll give you tips about the important features to look for in a cat food bowl.

The main goal of a good cat food bowl is to make it easy for your cat to eat.

Additional features may suit cats with different needs (e.g. elevated bowls for cats with mobility issues).

Check out our top choices below or read on to learn more.

What is The Best Cat Food Bowl Type for My Needs?

For the most part, any bowl will do when feeding your cat.

However, there’s one key problem with a cat’s face: whiskers.

A cat’s whiskers are sensitive to brushing against objects and cats don’t enjoy the feeling of it.

This is why a cat may reject a small bowl or try to move the food to the floor for comfort reasons.

The first key to a good cat food bowl is that it is wide and shallow to help with whisker fatigue.

Let’s go into more detail about bowl needs.

Bottom Line: The most important feature in choosing the best cat bowl is a wide and shallow design to prevent uncomfortable whisker fatigue

Simple Cat Food Bowl

As I mentioned, all a cat food bowl needs is a wide and shallow design to help reduce whisker fatigue.

Beyond that, it’s a bowl to put food in.

Bowls come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials.

I’ll go into more food bowl considerations to help you, but for the most part, a simple cat food bowl gets the job done.

Bottom Line: For most cats, a simple cat food bowl with a wide and shallow design works great for a pleasurable eating experience

Elevated Cat Food Bowl

An elevated cat food bowl raises the height of the bowl to prevent your cat from having to bend down for food.

This is a great choice for senior cats with arthritis or mobility issues.

Expect to pay a little more for an elevated cat food bowl.

Aside from that, there isn’t much of a downside to elevated bowls as long as they are wide and shallow.

Bottom Line: An elevated cat food bowl is a good choice for a cat with limited mobility

Best cat food bowl

Automatic Feeder

As you may have guessed, an automatic feeder drops food for your cat automatically.

There are a variety of designs but most operate by dropping portions of dry cat food at set time intervals. 

Fill up the feeder with dry cat food, set, and forget.

This type of feeder works well for people on short trips or cats that get hungry in the middle of the night. 

The downsides of an automatic feeder are setting it up and programming the device to your custom needs. 

For many people, this is a challenge.  Another downside is the increase in price over a standard bowl. 

Finally, if you have multiple cats it might be hard to prevent one cat from eating all the food from the other.

Bottom Line: An automatic feeder is useful for owners that are out of the house, but is pricier and involves some time setting up for best results

Puzzle Feeder

A puzzle feeder is designed to slow down your cats and add an element of play to eating.

This is great for cats that eat quickly and aren’t able to tolerate a lot of food at a time (most cats can’t tolerate lots of food due to small stomach sizes). 

Research shows many benefits to puzzle feeders including:

  • Less vomitting
  • Weight loss
  • Improved mobility
  • Less agression

There are many types of puzzle feeders. 

A puzzle feeder bowl is a stationary type of feeder that can use dry cat food, freeze-dried food, and/or wet cat food.  A variation of a puzzle feeder is a ‘slow feeder’.  This is designed to slow your cats eating down.

Expect to pay a little more than a basic cat food bowl.

Bottom Line: A puzzle feeder helps reduce vomiting and gives your cat a chance to increase their play for better mobility and reduced boredom

What Do I Look for in the Best Cat Food Bowl?

The most important feature of a cat food bowl is its wide and shallow design.

Beyond that, the other main considerations are:

  • Ease of cleaning
  • Durability
  • Safety
  • Aesthetics

Let’s take a closer look at things to look for in a cat food bowl.

Bottom Line: The main feature to look for in the best cat food bowl is a wide and shallow design. Beyond that, it is good to have an easy-to-clean bowl that is safe and durable

Material

The best cat food bowl materials are:

  • Stainless steel
  • Ceramic
  • Glass.

Plastic bowls are the least preferable as scratched plastic may harbor bacteria. However, they are good options for puzzle feeders as they aren’t rough on the mouth.

The main benefit of ceramic bowls is microwave compatibility. Check with the individual product for further information.

Stainless steel bowls are dishwasher safe but aren’t microwave friendly. They are also durable to wear and tear.

Fortunately, there are a wide variety of great cat food bowl choices so you won’t have to rely on plastic.

Bottom Line: Stainless steel and ceramic bowls are the best choices due to reducing bacteria, durability, and dishwasher safety

Depth

Look for a cat bowl that is wide and shallow.  This reduces whisker fatigue associated with eating from deep bowls.

Whisker fatigue is an unpleasant sensation a cat gets when its whiskers come into contact with objects. 

If a cat food bowl is too deep, your cat may experience more friction on the whiskers.

Whiskers are an important sensory tool for cats. 

Check out my article on cat whisker facts for more.

Bottom Line: Always go for a cat food bowl that is wide and shallow for your cat’s comfort

Shape

A round bowl is usually the best option for a cat.

However, a square plate also works fine as long as it is shallow and wide.

There are also prey-shaped (e.g. mouse) containers. 

There’s no evidence that these entice a cat to eat more because they look like wild animals.

Again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, as long as the design is wide and shallow the bowl is good for your cat.

Bottom Line: As long as the bowl is wide and shallow, it’s fine to use a different shape

Size

Cats don’t need to eat large meals, so you do not need a monster-sized bowl.

In the wild, cats eat multiple small meals from prey such as mice and insects. 

A cat’s stomach is small and can only hold small portions of food at a time.

Instead of feeding your cat one or two big meals, serve them small meals frequently over the course of a day to replicate their evolutionary feeding behavior.

Bottom Line: You don’t need a large holding capacity for a cat food bowl as it’s best to give a cat small and frequent meals

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Clean a Cat Food Bowl?

Most cat food bowls are dishwasher safe but check with the instruction manual.

Otherwise, you can hand wash the bowl in a gentle detergent and rinse it well to clean it. 

Make sure you clean your cat’s bowl daily to reduce the build-up of bacteria and bad odors. 

You wouldn’t want to eat from a dirty bowl and neither would your cat.

Bottom Line: Use a gentle detergent and hot water to clean your cat food bowl. Check the instructions to ensure dishwasher safety

Should I Avoid Plastic Cat Food Bowls?

Plastic food bowls are easy to scratch and may harbor more bacteria.

These days there is a wide variety of stainless steel and ceramic cat food bowls on the market. 

Plastic is becoming less common.

One benefit of plastic or melamine bowls is they are softer. This is beneficial for puzzle and slow feeders.

I recommend sticking with stainless steel and ceramic cat food bowls for all other situations.

Bottom Line: Stainless steel and ceramic bowls are more durable and safer than plastic. Plastic is still a good option for puzzle feeders

Do I Need a Mat for My Cat Food Bowl?

A food mat helps keep the floor clean.

Generally, it’s best to put cat food on a tiled floor and not carpet.   

Serving smaller amounts of food may help reduce mess, as well as a wider food bowl.

Remember:

If your cat is frustrated with a small bowl, they may try to transfer the food to the ground to make life easier on their whiskers.  

Some cat food bowls come with anti-slip silicone pads.

This may reduce the need for a mat to keep things in place.

Bottom Line: Consider buying a food mat only if you continue to have problems not related to the size of your cats bowl

How Much Food Should I Put In a Cat Food Bowl?

A 3 ounce serving of food is more than enough for a cat at one time.

In the wild cats don’t consume large portions at a time. 

They hunt small prey over the course of day and night.  This results in multiple small feedings, as opposed to a big meal.

It’s tempting to ‘set and forget’ a big tray of dry cat food, but this might get your cat to overeat and vomit their food.

Bottom Line: Cat’s eat many small meals in the wild and only need as much as 3 ounces of food at a time. Don’t overload your cat’s bowl

How Can I Get My Cat To Drink More Water?

Some cats may prefer drinking water from a clean running source.

The theory behind this is a cat finds running water to be less likely to contain bacteria and have a more pleasant smell than water sitting in a bowl. 

Other approaches to encourage more water drinking include:

  • Clean the water bowl daily
  • Use filtered water
  • Keep the water bowl away from the food bowl
  • Keep the water bowl away from the litter tray
  • Giving your cat more wet canned foods in thei diet

Check out my article on the best cat water fountain for more help.

Bottom Line: Make sure your cat has access to fresh drinking water at all times and give them more wet canned foods to improve hydration

Conclusion: The Best Cat Food Bowl

In this article, I’ve talked about the best cat food bowl for your cat.

Cat food bowls come in all shapes and sizes.  They serve a basic function to provide your cat with food and drink. 

The main goal of a cat food bowl is comfort and safety.

Stainless steel or ceramic bowls with a wide and shallow design are usually best.

You may also want to try an elevated cat food bowl for senior cats with limited mobility or an automatic feeder for longer periods out of the house.

Our Top Pick: Best Cat Food Bowl Overall

Dr. Catsby’s Food Bowl for Whisker Relief

Shallow design to prevent whisker fatigue

Stainless steel to reduce bacteria

Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning

Silicone mat to keep the bowl from spilling

No height adjustment

Doesn’t hold dry cat as well in the bowl

More affordable options are available

Disclaimer

We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for yourself. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. As a Chewy affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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