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Your cat can dine in elegance (plus stop making a mess with their dinner) when they have the right dish. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable options around: cute cat food bowls with amusing sayings, bowls that keep everything neat, options that avoid crushing kitty’s sensitive whiskers, and some that make it easier for the human who has to clean up after meals. There’s even a cat bowl that’s dog-proof (read on to find out how that works).
We’ve tried out dozens of bowls (including, we confess, our own dishes) to see what works best.
Expert Advice on Cat Food Bowls
While a lot of the decisions about cat food bowls rely on your preferences and your cat’s eating habits, there are also some health issues. Many vets discourage the use of plastic bowls because tiny scratches in plastic can harbor bacteria. Chipped areas on ceramic bowls can also encourage bacteria—so recycle that chipped bowl and get kitty a new one.
Veterinarians like Dr. Jennifer Coates advise that the safest materials for cat bowls are food-grade ceramic and glass. Stainless steel is a good choice as well. Each type of bowl has advantages and disadvantages, depending on your cat and your house.
- Stainless steel bowls are sturdy and unbreakable. But if you’ve ever heard a cat banging a stainless steel bowl around on a tile floor, you might quickly prefer another type of bowl.
- Ceramic bowls are attractive and easy to clean—but keep quality in mind when you are purchasing. Cheap ceramics chip easily, and you want to make sure the bowl is labeled as “food safe,” which means the glaze used is not toxic. Look for a bowl that is free of lead and cadmium.
- Glass bowls are also easy to pop in the dishwasher for thorough cleaning—but you’ll want to purchase sturdy bowls to minimize breakage.
Whatever type of bowl you choose for your cat, be sure to wash the bowl with hot water and soap frequently.
Whether you select ceramic, glass, or stainless steel, the shape of the bowl is important. Look for a shallow bowl that won’t crush your cat’s sensitive whiskers while they’re eating. But while shallow is good, you also want enough of a raised rim that kitty won’t lick food right out of the bowl and onto the floor.
The 10 Best Cat Food Bowls
Here’s our list of great cat food bowls (most designed for pets, but one intended to be regular household dishware). We’ve included a few bowls for every type of eater, including raised cat food bowls for older cats.
This high-grade ceramic raised bowl is especially great for an elderly cat to eat more comfortably. It checks all the boxes for a great cat bowl: It’s shallow, so your cat can reach their food without hurting their whiskers, and has a tiny inner rim that helps prevent food from spilling out. The only drawback? It takes up a fair amount of dishwasher space, where you need to position it carefully so both the bowl and the hollow base get sprayed clean. It comes in three sizes: .5 cup, 1 cup, and 1.5 cups. Most cats like the small one for wet food and the larger ones for kibble.Shop on Chewy
These stainless steel cat bowls, made in the U.S., have a shallow design that prevents “whisker fatigue.” They’re dishwasher safe and have a one-cup capacity, so they’ll work well for either wet food or kibble.Shop on Amazon
This handcrafted ceramic dish with a 1-cup capacity is FDA-approved for human foods. You can put it in the microwave or dishwasher. We like the oval shape and the handsome fish design.Shop on Chewy
This elevated bamboo bowl set is perfect for cats with digestive issues or arthritis. It comes with four stainless steel bowls (two deep ones and two shallow ones) that you can swap in and out and use for wet food, dry food, or water. While your cat is using one set, you can have the other set in the dishwasher. This comes in three sizes; the small, 4 inches high, is designed for cats.Shop on Chewy
This glass bowl with a non-skid silicone sleeve holds up to 1.5 cups of cat food—making it a great size for your kitty’s kibble. Both the bowl and cute sleeve are designed to be cleaned on the top rack of your dishwasher.Shop on Chewy
You won’t find ceramic bowls more durable or more attractive than this single-serving fruit bowl that’s part of the contemporary Fiestaware line. The 6-1/4-ounce human-food-grade bowl is ideal for serving wet cat food. It comes in 14 colors, from turquoise to flame-red. It’s both dishwasher and microwave safe.Find on Amazon
This popular glazed stoneware dish (1 cup capacity) is wide and shallow, making it easy for your cat to dine without straining to keep their whiskers away from the edge of the bowl. It’s dishwasher safe and heavy enough (1 pound) to stay put where you set it.Shop on Chewy
This little bowl (half-cup capacity) with non-skid feet is a tidy and attractive way to serve cat food. It’s adorable empty (though your cat may disagree). It cleans up well, too—just wash on the top rack of your dishwasher.Shop on Chewy
The tapered shape of this bowl makes it easy for your cat to get at all their food. The rubber non-slip base will keep the bowl firmly in place even if your kitty likes to paw at the kibble. Made of stainless steel, the bowl is easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher.Shop on Chewy
The kitchen’s closed, Fido! This 1.5-cup stainless steel cat bowl mounts on window glass so your kitty can dine on a window sill, window perch, or cat tree—high above the canine competition. We thought a window-mount cat bowl was a bit far-fetched, but then we read the rave reviews. Definitely worth trying if your pooch keeps poaching the cat’s kibble.Shop on Chewy