Feeding your cat can be surprisingly stressful. Whether they’re old or young, have a medical condition or at the peak of physical wellbeing, it’s hard to know what’s best for your pets – especially when they can’t tell you, themselves. More complicated still, there are so many individual differences between cats that sometimes even cat bowls can make a huge difference to their eating habits.
Below, we take a look at the best food bowls for cats, through the tried and tested method of seeing which bowls work for the largest number of cats. Whether it’s a cat feeder, elevated cat food bowl or an extra-wide, whisker-friendly variant, we give you the complete guide to buying the best cat food bowls and what makes a truly great cat feeder.
The Best Food Bowl For Cat
With a 2.5oz capacity (other options available) and clear, Japanese influences, this ceramic pet bowl is surprisingly well-designed, as well as being beautiful to look at. For starters, there’s the elevation, which helps to reduce the level of backflow, closely followed by angle of the bowl that allows your cat to grab every inch of food available in the bowl. On top of this, this raised cat bowl is a mess-free alternative to traditional pet bowls, as there’s an inner lip that helps to keep the food within the main structure of the bowl. Even better, it’s suitable for use in both the dishwasher and microwave, making this the best food bowls for cats on the market, today.
Ideal height for average size cats
Other sizes available
Steep edges help your cat get every bite
- Weight12.8 ounces
If you’re interested in all the benefits that a cat food tray brings over single bowls, then this is a great choice for your needs. This particular option is not only created in a way that catches all the dust, kibble and water (which can be trapped in the lower basin) that falls away from the stainless-steel bowls but is also completely dishwasher safe.
Handy sizing guide available
Tray and water basin catch any spills
- BrandNeater Feeder
- ModelExpress Elevated Dog and Cat Bowls
- Weight1.2 pounds
A fantastic alternative to traditional kitten food bowls is this eco-friendly, highly durable bamboo option. Due to the lower height of the sides, you’ll find that food is easier to access for smaller cats and kittens. Meanwhile, the wider dimensions means your cat or kitten won’t have to deal with whisker stress while eating. Finally, a non-skid base and easy to clean material makes this one of the best cat food bowls on the market.
Easy to clean
- BrandVan Ness
- Weight4.6 ounces
Another great choice in raised cat bowl options, this cat food tray uses a slight raise and unique design. This not only makes it easier for your cats to get to their food but also allows for food to quickly be caught before travelling across your floor. Each purchase comes with two stainless steel bowls, while the tray itself is made of a high-quality resin.
Easy to clean
2 bowls included
- Weight13.6 ounces
If you have a cat that likes to wolf down their food, then this is the best cat food bowl for you. Made with BPA-free plastic, the swirling design stops your cat from getting indigestion by requiring a slower, more thoughtful dinnertime. Despite this design, this pet food bowl is still surprisingly easy to clean, thanks to the dishwasher-safe material.
Designed to slow your cats’ eating
- Weight7.2 ounces
A beautiful choice in elevated cat bowls is this selection by Pawfect Pets. Made with bamboo which is both naturally hygienic thanks to it’s antimicrobial properties and looks great, thanks to the sleek and modern design utilized. This option comes with 4 different bowls, with different capacities, to better suit the needs of your pet and is completely spill-proof.
Set of 4 bowls included
- BrandPawfect Pets
- ModelSmall Elevated Pet Feeder
- Weight4.1 pounds
There’s no denying that sometimes, simpler options are simply the better options – and this choice by Ureverbasic is a great example of this. Coming as a pair of simple cat bowls with a wider edge for a more whisker-friendly eating experience, these cat bowls also have a non-skid base. Finally, they’re very easy to clean, due to the stainless-steel material, although dishwashing is not recommended.
Pack of two bowls
Easy to clean
- Weight5.6 ounces
Combining both feeding time with playtime, this interactive feeder is a unique choice that is loved by buyers – making it’s way up to become an Amazon’s Choice. With a great price and the ability to keep even indoor cats happy and busy, customers love how this option utilizes your cats’ natural instinct to hunt, during dinnertime.
Turns feeding into a game
- BrandThe Company of Animals
- Weight14.9 ounces
Another elevated cat bowl selection that allows for a lower risk of backflow and prevents the build-up of bacteria, is this option from MushroomCat. The anti-slip base keeps everything in place, meanwhile the ceramic bowls themselves are super durable and the company themselves are also offering a moneyback guarantee for added peace of mind.
100% moneyback guarantee available
- Weight1.6 pounds
A cute option that comes with some nice features, is this cat food bowl from Lorde. The extra-wide dimensions make this option whisker-friendly and the slight elevation is great for smaller cats and kittens. As well as this, the pack of two bowls are also angled for easier access to food for your pet.
Moneyback guarantee available
- Weight10.4 ounces
Best Food Bowl For Cat Buying Guide & FAQ
Important Features to Consider When Buying a Cat Food Bowl
The size of your pet feeder should always be in correlation with the amount of food that you intend to give to your cat, per serving – otherwise, you might be left with too much in the bowl, or find that you can’t fit enough in. However, this isn’t the only reason why size matters.
Getting cat food bowls that give your cat enough room for their whiskers can mean that your cat (particular young kittens) don’t become agitated while eating. By giving their whiskers room, you can ensure that your cat enjoys every meal without pulling away before they’re full and allows for a more natural feeding position.
The height of your pet feeder has become more prevalent over the past few years, with many realizing the benefits of having an elevated cat food bowl for their pets. The main reason for this is that cats require the help of gravity in order to swallow their food. Thus, having a raised food bowl can help your cat to stay at the right angle for a quick and easy lunch, reducing the risk of “backflow”, where the food comes back up the gullet.
The material of your cat food bowls can make a difference in the overall cleanliness and weight behind the pet bowl. For example, a ceramic pet bowl will be heavier than plastic counterparts, and is less likely to hold the smell of some of the more odorous wet foods on the market. They’re also heavier, which means your cat is less likely to push their bowl around the room while trying to eat.
Meanwhile, stainless steel cat bowls are lighter and the most resistant to bacteria and, more often than not, are suitable for use in a dishwasher. However, their lighter nature means that they will likely require a non-skid base, in order to remain in place while your cat eats (unless in a cat food tray or pet feeder). In the end, what you choose comes down to personal preferences, here.
Some cat food bowls have additional features which work alongside your cats’ natural eating habits or similar. Others have a more practical use. For example, a cat food dispenser works well to provide regular feeding times. This is especially helpful for indoor cats and those whose owners have long days at work, as they can be fed regularly without needing to pop back home at dinner.
Recently, the ant proof cat bowl has become another big feature, with many manufacturers claiming that their bowls are “ant proof”. However, it’s important to note that ants are determined little creatures and can often make their way through most obstacles, making these bowls more ant “resistant” than “proof”.
Types of Food Bowls for Cats
- Interactive Cat Feeder
These are great for using your cats’ natural hunting instincts and for keeping your cat stimulated and interested in their food. They require a little more tenacity from your cat, so aren’t ideal for those with lazy cats! Simply spread food among the interactive cat feeder and watch your cat hunt for their food.
- Slow Feeder Cat Bowl
A slow feeder cat bowl can ensure your cat takes a longer time when eating, reducing the risk of indigestion or backflow. They do this by using raised areas within the concave area, which causes your cat to take longer to find, grab and munch away on their dinner.
- Standard Pet Food Bowl
Usually fairly short and with a wide rim, these pet food bowls are a great, affordable option that can be found pretty much anywhere. They are a jack-of-all-trades that can help you discover the way your cat eats, as they all have individual differences while being cheap enough to use as testers for different sizes. They are, however, usually much messier than those with more features.
- Elevated Cat Food Bowl
An increasingly common option for many pet owners, these can come with or without an additional tray, which are helpful for containing the mess. These raise your cat food bowl so there’s less risk of backflow and causes less stress on the joints of your pet.
How to Clean Cat Feeders
Most cat feeders should be cleaned using a simple hot water and dish soap solution, although there are many that are now suitable for use in the dishwasher. It’s likely that your cat food will dry onto the dish at some point, or simply become dirty over time, so it’s generally recommended that your cat food bowl is soaked first in warm water, before being cleaned regularly. This will make it much easier to remove stubborn food from the edges.
Best Food Bowl For Cat FAQ:
Q: Where should I place my cat’s food bowl?
A: Cats are notoriously clean creatures and they will refuse to eat their food if the bowl is placed too closely to sources of dirt. For example, being near a bin or a litter box is always a big no-no when placing cat food, as your cat will simply ignore their dinner and let the kibble go stale.
Instead, try to choose a calm location, away from the heavy foot traffic in the house, which will allow your cat to feel relaxed when it comes to dinnertime. Once you’ve found a spot, stick to this area and your cat will always know where they need to become lunchtime.
Q: Are ceramic bowls better than plastic bowls?
A: Both plastic and ceramic bowls have their own benefits and what you choose will come down to your own, personal preference. While ceramic is heavier and generally considered to be more hygienic, they are also more expensive than plastic food bowls and can shatter when dropped, unlike plastic which is highly durable.
That said, ceramic bowls are less likely to go walkabout while your cat is eating. They also don’t retain flavors and smells in the same way that plastic does, which can sometimes be off-putting to your cat.
Q: Should cat bowls be elevated?
A: While there’s no rule that says cat bowls should always be elevated, there are benefits to this. Kittens and smaller cats are more likely to need cat bowls which are lower, however, older and fully grown cats will usually be able to swallow more smoothly with an elevated cat bowl.
Q: Why does my cat make a mess when eating?
A: The main reason why cats make a mess while eating is simply down to the way their mouth works. Cats, like dogs, need to open and close their mouth fully while eating as they do not have molars and cannot masticate (chew) their food. Thus, the way they break down their kibble is by clamping down with their carnivorous teeth, which are sharper and thinner.
However, there can also be other reasons why your cat is making a mess while eating. For example, if they now eat messily, whereas they were previously very neat, it can be a sign of a medical condition and a call to your vet should be considered. Your cat may also decide to “relocate” their food, and drop some pieces along the way, if they aren’t happy with the food location but are still hungry. To resolve this, simply try moving the food elsewhere in the home, according to the rules given above.
Our Top Pick
Without a doubt, the Necoichi Raised Cat Food Bowl is easily the best cat food bowl on the market, today. Thanks to the fantastic design that allows for a mess-free, healthier eating experience for both you and your cat, this pet food bowl is an ideal choice for almost any cat and any household. Loved by customers and designers alike, this is a great option for cat lovers who only want the best for their pets.