The Best Cat Bowls of 2024: Reviews and Ratings · The Wildest

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The Best Cat Bowls of 2024

It’s chow time.

by Rebecca Caplan | expert review by Mikel Delgado, CAAB, CCBC
March 27, 2024
Cat drinking out of MiaCara cat bowl.
Photo Courtesy of MiaCara
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As cat parents, we know that our cats contain multitudes. For instance, my cat will gladly go through hell and high water in order to lick the three drops of liquid hanging off a freshly washed steak knife. However, he would also rather die of dehydration than drink the safe water out of a regular bowl that contains zero knives.

At first, I thought my cat was just being a normal, perfect creature from the inferno — until I started doing my research about cat bowls. Turns out, there’s a lot of reasons a cat might avoid eating or drinking from their bowl, and they surprisingly have nothing to do with being a perfect creature from the pits of hell. In fact, they are essential factors to keeping your cat healthy and happy while eating and drinking, especially if they live with whisker fatigue.

For more, we spoke with cat behaviorist Mikel Delgado and compiled our top picks for your cat’s dining pleasure. 

What makes a good cat bowl?

When it comes to a good cat bowl, it really depends on what your cat prefers. However, the one non-negotiable is the cleanliness factor — which is why Dr. Delgado recommends stocking up.

“I recommend having several cat bowls because your food dishes should be washed daily whether your cat eats wet or dry food! If you have several you can rotate through, it is much easier to give your cat a clean dish every day,” Delgado says.

If you’re noticing your cat is avoiding their bowl, there could be a few factors at play. For starters, they could be experiencing whisker fatigue which occurs when your cat’s whiskers feel overstimulated from touching the sides of the bowl. 

“Some cats may prefer a wider, shallow dish; your cat’s bowl does not have to be a bowl, especially if you feed wet food,” Delgado says.  

If a wider dish isn’t cutting it, your cat could also be experiencing spinal pain if their bowl is too low to the floor. Especially for older cats, an elevated bowl can make all the difference. Whatever the case, Delgado recommends experimenting to try to please your cat’s fickle nature:

“If you’re not sure, try a few different sizes or styles of bowls and see if your cat seems OK with them!” To help you get started on your selection process, we’ve compiled our top choices for bowls, each of which address different issues your cat might be facing during mealtime. 

Best cat bowls

Petlibro feeder

The Disney Channel Original Movie Smart House promised me a world in which I could feed my cat with a robot — and thanks to this automatic feeder by PetLibro, my cat and I are finally living in that utopian paradise.

Paired with an easy-to-use app that allows you to change feeding times and portions and even record a 10-second message for your cat, this feeder is definitely a techie’s dream. But the best part is that the bowl is still practical, featuring a wide saucer-type design and an eight-degree tilt to avoid whisker fatigue. Add in the cat-proof container that keeps the food impeccably fresh, and it’s no surprise why this cat bowl and feeder is at the top of this list.

Kitty City Raised Cat Food Bowl

Or maybe you’ve seen the Disney Channel Original Movie Smart House and are worried about your cat’s automatic feeder developing a personality that drives them to madness. If that’s the case, these no-tech Kitty City bowls are right for you.

They’re also good if you’re not worried about that and just want an affordable, easy-to-clean option that is designed to eliminate neck strain and whisker fatigue. Basically they’re good for a lot of reasons, as evidenced by their 35,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. 

Elevated cat bowls

MS!MAKE SURE Cat Bowls, Ceramic Cat Food Bowl

Crafted with high-quality, beautifully colored ceramic, this dish set by Makesure is elevated in more ways than one. Dishwasher and microwave safe, these dishes sit in a 4.5 inch base and feature a 15-degree tilt to prevent whisker fatigue. Also, the company writes that the bowl’s high-quality ceramic can help prevent feline acne, elevating this bowl to even greater heights. 

Delgado does warn that just because side-by-side bowls are an option, it doesn’t mean you should feed your cats next to each other. If you have two cats, you should feed them in their own spaces.

Slow-feeder cat bowls

Water fountain cat bowls

Petlibro Dockstream Water Fountain

We’ve gushed (Get it — ’cause water) about the PetLibro Dockstream before, and we’re happy to report that we’re still very much in love. It’s not hard to keep the spark alive with features like water filtration, a low-water detection system, and an easy-to-clean design. Aside from those flashier bits, the PetLibro Dockstream is also incredibly thoughtfully designed with safety cords, foreign-object-detection sensors, and an emergency function that ensures 130 milliliters of water stays in the bowl at all times, even in the event of a power outage.

Could she be any dreamier?

Stainless-steel cat bowls

PetKit Raised Dog Cat Food Bowl

If you or your cat are picky when it comes to cleanliness, consider opting for a set of stainless-steel bowls. Completely non-porous and easy to clean, stainless steel is a great choice for pet bowls. For cats, we like this tilted and slightly elevated bowl set by PetKit. Simple and streamlined, this set still has some sophisticated features, like adjustable angled bowls and a sturdy, no slip base.

One more cautionary tale from Delgado for side-by-side bowls: If you feed your cat dry food in one bowl and water in the other, watch that water doesn’t spill over into the food. This could cause mold in the food bowl.

Spill-proof cat bowls

Stylish cat bowls

What should I avoid when choosing a bowl for my cat?

Delgado recommends opting for materials like ceramic or stainless steel over plastic, if possible. “Plastic can trap bacteria and some cats can get chin acne from eating out of plastic dishes,” she adds

Some plastic dishes might still be the best option for you and your cat. Instead, you can opt for a high-grade, BPA-free plastic dish like those featured on this list.

FAQs (People also ask):

Do feeding bowls cause whisker fatigue in cats? 

Vets have varying opinions on whisker fatigue. That said, if you notice your cat is avoiding a bowl that presses against their whiskers, opt for a wide, saucer-style bowl just to be safe. 

What is the best material for a cat bowl? 

I recommend looking for a stainless steel, glass or ceramic dish to feed your cat from,” Dr. Delgado tells us.

How big should my cat’s bowls be? 

There’s not a set size for a cat bowl; however, some cats might find elevated bowls or wide, saucer-type bowls more comfortable. 

How often should I clean my cat’s bowls?

Like human bowls, cat bowls should be cleaned daily after use.

rebecca caplan

Rebecca Caplan

Rebecca Caplan is a writer based in Brooklyn whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, Reductress, and Vulture. She lives in Brooklyn with her perfect, toothless dog Moose.

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