Serving your cat their food in a bowl. Sounds simple, right? And for sure, it can be - just grab any cereal bowl and feed them their kibble in that. However, there are certain food bowls on the market that hold some definite perks for both you and your kitty.
Cats normally are pretty much good with whatever vessel their food comes in - as long as it is there. One thing that is worth considering though is not to use a deep bowl. In fact, cats prefer wide, shallow bowls for their food. The reason for this is their whiskers. Whiskers are a unique feature. They are incredibly sensitive and rightly so - they help a cat scan their immediate surroundings. For instance, they help a cat gauge if they'll fit through a crevice as they are about as wide as their body.
Now, imagine trying to eat when your whiskers, sensitive as they are, constantly get squished between your face and the bowl. Not exactly pleasant, is it? So, when selecting a bowl, try to find one wide enough to fit their face into, and preferably shallow so that access to the food is easy and the whiskers can comfortable strut their stuff.
Other than that, your cat is good. That said, there are some food bowls that can make things really convenient for the owner of say, multiple cats or the owner of an indoor kitty that struggles with obesity. So let's have a look at what's out there.
Your standard bowl
Your standard bowl is preferably shallow and wide, as stated before. On top of that, plastic bowls tend to be the lesser choice. Go for stainless steel or ceramic one. This way, they are dishwasher friendly and easy to clean, keeping your kitty from getting sick as the bacteria get stuck in the nooks and crannies of the plastic.
This particular example also sports an anti-slip ring - otherwise, you might just find your kitty chasing that food bowl all over the kitchen floor or even toppling it for the sport of it, with the kibble going everywhere. Not to mention that it dampens the noise the bowl would make as it makes its way across the floor.
The elevated pair
Popular with both cat and dog owners, this particular system has its perks when used properly.
Usually, this system holds both the food and water bowl - or that is its intent. This is unfortunately not the best idea. Most cats prefer their water and food bowls quite a distance apart, as in the wild these two are usually quite a bit apart as well. On top of that, cross contamination is a real issue. Nothing is less appetising than rehydrated cat food swimming in the water bowl.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for the bowls being elevated - it makes it easier to clean up if there is an accident, there is no risk for cat shenanigans concerning the toppling game and the cat doesn't have to bend all the way down to eat. If you use both bowls for food, it also makes it easier to clean one in the dishwasher as the other one is in use. And clearly, for feeding multiple cats at once - as long as they like each other - it becomes a handy tool.
Just get a separate water bowl or fountain and you're good to go.
Amazon Price: $24.99 $14.40 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)
The designer touch
If you do shop around, you can find some of the most adorable additions for your kitchen. This particular food bowl is perfect as a food bowl - shallow, wide, clearly meant for your kitty and easy to lift up and refill, it even deals with cross contamination between the bowls in a cute way. That said, due to the shallow and small bowl, it still won't be effective as a water bowl.
Meanwhile, it is made with stainless steel, easy to clean and adds flair to your home in a way you wouldn't expect from a food bowl, let's be honest here. It's proof that there are some ingenious and original spins on something as simple, basic and boring as food bowls.
This is the latest in working interactively with cats. Doesn't it look stylish? At the same time, it mimics the way cats would have to work for their food in the wild and keeps bored or stressed kitties from gorging and overeating.
This bowl is especially ingenious for indoor kitties as it provides what is known as environmental enrichment. You have to remember that indoor cats are stuck between four walls all day long. And even though cats sleep a loooot of the time, they still need some form of stimulation in order not to go completely crazy - and potentially destructive or stressed which can lead to spraying and incontinence. Or for that matter, causes them to overeat and put them at risk for several medical conditions.
This is one way of introducing some mental exercises into their lives. It might take them a day or so to catch on, so you may have to show them how it is done, but most cats will catch on really quickly - especially if they are motivated by food.
Meanwhile, it is made in ceramic, looks sleek and stylish in your kitchen and dishwasher safe. What more could you ask for?
And it isn't the only option out there - they have the most amazing fake-grass looking cat feeders as well if you're looking for a very colourful option. Check out the other interactive feeders they have available - some of them are pure genius.
Amazon Price: $29.99 $17.59 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)
This is an amazing tool for the owner that is often out of town for a day or so or for the owner of multiple cats so you don't find yourself non-stop filling the food bowl. It's easy, convenient and easy to monitor. Granted, it is in plastic and it can be a pain to clean out, so those are some definite things to consider.
This is the basic version. There are several other options, some of them high-tech which allow you to distribute an allotted amount of food at a specific time of day if you want. Of course, high-tech means also more moving parts that can break and won't be as easily replaced. For some people this isn't an issue, though. Again, it is worth window-shopping for a while to see which kinds exist so you can optimise your and your kitty's comfort.
Amazon Price: $29.99 $17.02 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)
As you can tell, there is an entire world of food bowls out there. Believe it or not, the future of food bowls seems to be in the automatic, interactive feeder department. Interactive toys are becoming more and more important, especially considering the growing preference of keeping cats indoors for their own safety. And technology just appeals to our lazy, human natures.
Ultimately, it is your choice - high tech gismo, intellectual stimulation tool or simple ceramic bowl.