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Best slow feeder cat bowl: Stop your cat from inhaling their food

black tuxedo cat eating out of a slow feeder cat bowl
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Although it’s wonderful to see your furkid enjoying their food, if gobbled down in seconds, you may need one of the best slow feeder cat bowls. This is ideal for fast-eating cats and may help prevent common stomach issues that can occur when food is ingested too quickly.

One of the most common issues caused by quick eating is frequent vomiting, which is a sure sign of consuming too much food in too short a period of time and can lead to a nutritional deficiency. And if you’re providing the best cat food, then your kitty will be missing out on all the healthy vitamins and minerals it needs to thrive. What’s more, you don’t want an unpleasant mess to always clean up!

The best slow feeder cat bowl will not only improve your furkid’s digestion but make their mealtimes exciting. It will stimulate your cat’s senses to help relieve boredom and even anxiety. Best of all, they can happily enjoy the best dry cat food or the best wet cat food, with ease and without any discomfort.  

We’ve rounded up the best slow feeders to change your cat’s eating habits and add much fun to dinner time!

PetsRadar's pick of the best slow feeder cat bowls

  • Best overall slow feeder cat bowl: Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
  • Best budget slow feeder cat bowl: Lickimat Casper & Felix - Fish-Shaped Cat Slow Feeders
  • Best puzzle slow feeder cat bowl: Petstages Interactive Cat Puzzles Slow Feeders
  • Best ceramic slow feeder cat bowl: Lorde Slow Feeder Cat Bowls
  • Best anti-vomit slow feeder cat bowl: Raised Cat Bowl Elevated Slow Feeder
  • Best long slow feeder cat bowl: Upgraded Slow Feeder Cat Bowls

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl, the best slow feeder cat bowl

(Image credit: Amazon)

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl

Best overall slow feeder cat bowl

Color: Blue, Orange, Purple, Turquoise | Material: PVC | Weight: 0.55 Pounds | Size: Mini, Medium

Multiple sizes
Multiple bowl designs
Non-slip base
Some designs aren't easy to clean

Outward Hound has built a range of slow feeder bowls that come in different sizes, designs, and colors meaning there will be something that is an ideal fit for your cat. Before we dive in it's worth noting that all are made from pet-friendly plastic, have a non-slip base to stop spillages and each bowl is designed to stop your kitty gulping down their dinner.   

So, let’s kick off with kittens. If you have a new furry addition to the household or a small cat you can try the Small/Tiny range. The Mint Wave is very similar to the Petstages Wave Fun Feeder in this guide. It’s slightly larger, measuring 6.5 x 5.75 inches with just over one-inch high wave ridges. Like the Wave Fun feeder, it isn’t ideal for larger cats, but as you might expect it's a good starting point for smaller cats and kittens. 

The Medium/Mini range brings with it a bit more choice and diversity. You can choose from four different designs. The Blue Notch has multiple ridges and valleys and is one of the simpler designs with a capacity for two cups of wet or dry food. The Orange Swirl has a continuous swirl ridge which presents a challenge as your cat chases food around the bowl. The Purple Flower creates petal-shaped challenges and it's easy to eat from. The Turquoise Drop is a set of circles that are quite tight and more of a challenge, good for slower eating. For large cats try out the Large/Regular range which measures 12.5 x 11 x 2.3 inches and offers a similar set of patterns.

Lickimat Casper & Felix - Fish-Shaped Cat Slow Feeders, one of the best slow feeder cat bowls

(Image credit: Amazon)

Lickimat Casper & Felix - Fish-Shaped Cat Slow Feeders

Best budget slow feeder cat bowl

Color: Green, Orange, Turquoise | Material: Silicone | Weight: 2.8 ounces | Size: 8.7 x 6.3 inches

Good for wet food
Choice of designs and colors
Not dishwasher-safe

This is a slow feeder with a difference. You won't find a bowl with ridges to slow down feeding times. What you will find is a bright, fish-shaped mat with ribs and ridges everywhere to help enrich - and slow down - the feeding experience and relieve boredom and anxiety at the same time. 

Neatly named Casper and Felix you have the choice of two mat designs and the option of three colors - green, orange, and turquoise. Both mat designs have a low profile and provide an intricate selection of small and larger sections where you can add your fur friend’s favorite food. Casper is the more complicated of the two and provides more of a challenge, which makes it ideal for adult cats. 

If you have a kitten - or you want an easier challenge for your adult cat - the Felix design is the better choice. It has wider areas to place food which is easier to pick up.  Designed for wet and dry food it has varying degrees of success. The combination of ridges, sections, soft rubber, and low profile make these mats a great choice for spreading out wet food. The low profile helps leave whiskers untouched and slows down the eating process. 

Dry food is not so great. It doesn’t provide such a challenge and doesn’t do so much to slow down your kitty’s eating speed. It’s easier to clean if only used with dry food, but if using wet food it's a lot more work to get into the crevices to get the food residue. And it's not dishwasher-safe, so you’ll need to wash it by hand. 

Petstages Interactive Cat Puzzles Slow Feeders, one of the best slow feeder cat bowls

(Image credit: Amazon)

Petstages Interactive Cat Puzzles Slow Feeders

Best puzzle slow feeder cat bowl

Color: Green | Material: Plastic | Weight: 0.14 pounds | Size: 5.5 x 5.5 inches

Pet-friendly plastic
Holds three-quarters of a cup of food
Challenging and fun
Difficult for large cats to reach food 

Do you want a slow feeder that brings fun as well as functionality to feeding time? Then this cat fun feeder might just be the answer. The Wave Fun Feeder is a small 5.5 x 5.5-inch plastic pet-friendly bowl that is BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free, so it’s safe to eat from. 

It gets its name from the one-inch high ridges that imitate waves and create a simple maze to place up to three-quarters of a cup of your fur friend's favorite wet or dry food in. The waves are quite close together and it's not easy for a cat to get their mouth right into the grooves, especially larger cats. But they serve their purpose, which is to slow down your kitty’s speedy eating habits. The non-slip base means if your cat chooses to scoop out their food with their paws it won’t keep slipping away from them. The wave pattern doesn’t make it easy to clean by hand, but the feeder is dishwasher-safe, perfect for keeping it clean and germ-free.

The Wave Fun Feeder isn’t the only choice in the Petstages slow feeder range. If you fancy something different you can get your hands on the Fishie Fun Feed Mat or the Hunt N Snack Mat. Made from the same materials, the Fishie Fun is a simple smaller fish-shaped mat that holds up to half a cup of food. It’s the ideal size for a kitten or small cat. If you - and your cat - wants something a little more challenging and stimulating try the Hunt N Snack Mat. This looks to bring out a cat's natural hunting instincts and give them a new challenge with a trio of grooves, pegs, and mini bowl. 

Lorde Slow Feeder Cat Bowls, one of the best slow feeder cat bowls

(Image credit: Amazon)

Lorde Slow Feeder Cat Bowls

Best ceramic slow feeder cat bowl

Color: White | Material: Ceramic | Weight: 1.72 Pounds | Size: 8.7 inches

Heavy duty
Large bowl
Smooth ridges
Not ideal for small cats

Not a fan of plastic? Want a longer-lasting heavy-duty ceramic finish just like the bowls you have in your cupboard? Then this simple slow feeder could just be the design for you. 

Made from high-quality, non-toxic, lead, and cadmium-free ceramic material the bowl is pet-friendly and odor-free, meaning the only smell you will get from the bowl is whatever cat food you put in it. And when you do have to wash it you can stick it in the dishwasher without worrying about ruining the bowl. 

This is not a small or lightweight bowl - it's nearly 9 inches wide and is a hefty 1.72 pounds- so it’s ideal for larger cats and even small dogs. The weight ensures that the feeder doesn’t get pushed around too much. But there are no anti-slip pads on the bottom of the bowl, so it can scratch your floor. Put it on a rubber feeding mat and you will see very little movement - or none at all - and you’ll protect your floor. 

There is a load of smooth fish-shaped ridges - so they won’t scratch your cat's tongue and mouth - that vary in height. The outer ridges are smaller than those in the middle with the tallest hitting 1.6 inches. This adds variety when feeding and gives a challenge to your fur friends, which will ultimately slow down their eating. Though the larger ridges may be too much of a challenge if you have a small or flat face cat. 

Raised Cat Bowl Elevated Slow Feeder, one of the best slow feeder cat bowls

(Image credit: Amazon)

Raised Cat Bowl Elevated Slow Feeder

Best ant-vomit slow feeder cat bowl

Color: White | Material: Melamine | Weight: 1.26 pounds | Size: 13.5oz

Elevated for a more natural eating position
Doubles up as an anti-vomit bowl
Sturdy base
Only three obstructions

Is it a slow feeder? Is it an anti-vomit bowl? Is it a water bowl? It’s all three. This multi-talented elevated slow feeder cat bowl is specially built to slow down your cat’s eating and help with any vomiting issues they might have. And as an added bonus it has its very own water bowl integrated into the single-piece feeder. 

How does it manage to do all that? The two-in-one design is effectively two bowls joined together. The top bowl is where the eating happens while the bottom half acts as a wide base to ensure it won’t tip over and make a mess. Flip it over and you have a perfectly good water bowl - again with a wide base so there’s less spillage. However, it does mean you will need to get two bowls if you want food and water at the same time, but its multi-purpose nature still gives you choices. 

The elevated food bowl follows the same design as anti-vomit bowls and sits a couple of inches off the ground and is angled at 15 degrees. Why is this good? It means your cat eats - or drinks - in a more natural position, so less stress on their neck. Swallowing will be easier and it lets gravity help your cat digest more naturally and helps stop acid reflux and vomiting. 

To make the bowl slow feeder friendly a trio of obstructions sit in the bottom. This - as you would expect - means that your cat can’t quickly gulp down their food. But in reality, a couple more obstructions could have been added to slow down eating. 

Upgraded Slow Feeder Cat Bowls, one of the best slow feeder cat bowls

(Image credit: Amazon)

Upgraded Slow Feeder Cat Bowls

Best long slow feeder cat bowl

Color: White | Material: ABS | Weight: 5.9 ounces | Size: 11.8 x 5.9 x 1.8 inches

Longer length for two cats
Anti-skid pads
No sharp edges
Shallow edges

Cat bowls are round, aren’t they? Well, this one isn’t. This slow feeder cat bowl takes a slight detour from the standard circular bowl design and offers a rectangular style design. This gives more surface to spread your fur friends’ favorite food and ultimately stop them gulping down their dinner far too quickly. 

Measuring 11.8 inches in length, 5.9 inches in width, and 1.7 inches in height it is perfectly sized to allow two cats to feed at the bowl at the same time. There are four anti-skid pads on the bottom of the bowl to prevent it from slipping away while your cat is trying to get their paws and jaws on its tasty treats.

The bowl boasts a host of attractive fish-shaped obstructions which are typical of any good cat slow feeder. These slow down the consumption of any food which improves digestion and can help stop your kitty cat from choking. They are specifically designed with a smooth rounded surface, so no sharp edges to scratch your cat’s mouth and tongue. At just over an inch they are ideal for assisting with slow eating and add a little interactivity for your fur friend who can flip out any dry food to eat it. Once again slowing down eating speed, and adding a little fun.  

The eco-friendly slow feeder is made from food-safe, non-toxic, pet-friendly, strong, and durable ABS plastic. And to keep the bowl as germ-free as possible it is dishwasher-safe. So, no need to get your rubber gloves on. 

How to choose the best slow feeder cat bowl

What makes a great slow feeder cat bowl depends very much on your cat, but the size is definitely important. If you have a small cat or a kitten, you don’t need a bowl that is five times the size of its head and easy to eat from. This will do little to help with slowing down how fast your feline friend eats. A 5-inch bowl is good for kittens and small cats. Try something bigger for larger cats.

Then you need to think about the shape. Most bowls are circular and have edges which can mean your cat’s whiskers will get in the way when eating. If this bothers your cat then you want to think about getting a flatter style bowl. But this then brings the issue of spillage. So you will need to choose what works best for you and your cat. 

The pattern inside the bowl is important. If you need a simple slow feeder then choose something with a few ridges on the bowl. Also, consider the height of the ridges. Too high and it will be difficult for your cat to eat and they may lose interest in their food. 

If you want more of a challenge choose a puzzle feeder to add interactivity and interest to mealtimes. Finally, choose something that is easy to clean, and if you have a dishwasher consider one that is dishwasher safe.