Choosing the perfect bowl for your cat is not as easy as you think!
What is better a bowl or a plate? Plastic, metal or maybe ceramics? Single or double bowl? Why does my cat take food from the bowl and eat it off the floor? Why does the cat eat food only from the center of the bowl and leaves the sides? Why does my cat prefer to drink from a glass?
In this post, you will learn the answer to all these questions and learn how to choose perfect bowls for your cat in 5 steps.
Where do most of the cat’s problems with the bowls come from?
Usually, the reason is surprisingly simple – it’s about long, stiff hair growing out of the cat’s mouth. Yes, cat’s whiskers.
To get to the food or drink, a cat must immerse the mouth in a bowl, and the whiskers touche the walls of the dish. Cat’s whiskers are extremely sensitive to touch, and touching them with the walls causes discomfort and can be stressful.
Often, to defend against this unpleasant feeling, cats try to find an alternative source of water (e.g. water in a glass), eat food only from the central part of the bowl or take food out of the dish (e.g. paws) and eat it from the floor.
How to find a perfect bowl?
Step 1: Type and shape
Many specialists recommend the use of shallow, wide dishes without a rim or sides so that the cat does not hit the whiskers on the edges.
The shape is also important. In round and oval dishes food does not accumulate in the corners. The cat does not have to “dig” and expose itself to unnecessary discomfort.
Round, flat bowls and plates are perfect.
Step 2: Material
Avoid plastic bowls! Plastic is a very soft material that is very susceptible to scratches. Besides, the plastic is very hard to clean, and scratches accumulate fat and bacteria that can cause a cat’s acne.
What is cat’ acne and what does it look like? It is a cat skin disease. It manifests itself initially in the form of small, dark spots around the mouth. If you left them untreated, it becomes inflamed. If you notice it at your cat’s chin, be sure to consult a veterinarian.
It would seem that a good alternative to plastic is metal because it doesn’t accumulate bacteria. Unfortunately, the metal bowl may corrode over time, especially if you put water in it. Water and food served in metal utensils can have a cat’s metal taste.
In that case, what material is the best? In my opinion, the best are ceramic dishes. Ceramic, unlike plastic, doesn’t accumulate bacteria and is very easy to clean (they can be washed in the dishwasher). Ceramic bowls are also much heavier, so it’s difficult to overturn or move them.
Step 3: Number of bowls
How many bowls should you buy for your cat? Each of your cats should have their own food and water bowls. There should be at least one food bowl and more than one water bowl.
A big NO to two-chamber bowls. Why? The matter is very simple, cats are very reluctant to drink water, which is right next to food. This is due to the cat’s instinct that protects them from the corrupted water. In practice, the water that is right next to the food bowl can also be contaminated with pieces of food.
Step 4: Arrangement
Arranging cat dishes should be guided by the following rules:
- The water bowl shouldn’t be placed too close to the food, as described above.
- The bowls shouldn’t be placed near the litter box. You wouldn’t eat next to the toilet, would you? Cats aren’t either.
- The bowls should be placed in places where the cat has easy access and where there is peace.
Do you have more than one cat? Their bowls should be far apart. Cats are lonely hunters by nature, so they get angry when another cat eats too close to them. The cat must feel comfortable while eating. The distance between the bowls is necessary to maintain a sense of security and avoid unnecessary tensions between your cats.
Step 5: Hygiene
It’s worth washing your cat’s dishes frequently, primarily because bacteria that accumulate in the bowls can contribute to cat diseases.
- Put the bowls in the dishwasher and wash them at a high temperature.
- Rinse them thoroughly with water to get rid of detergent residues. In the meantime, check the cups if they aren’t damaged.
- Wipe each bowl with a paper towel.
Take it to the next level in the bowl game
#1 Cat water fountain
If your cat doesn’t like to drink stagnant water, a cat fountain can be extremely helpful. Various models made of different materials are available on the market.
To learn what you should focus on when choosing a fountain for a cat, read my article How to choose the purrfect cat water fountain?
#2 A mat
An additional improvement complementing the “tableware” for a cat is the mat. It not only looks aesthetically pleasing but also prevents the dishes from moving.
#3 Interactive toys
You will certainly make your cat happy when you organize a “hunting for food” for him. Just can use some interactive toys, licking mats, or you can spread pieces of food here and there.