Finding the best cat food bowl sounds like it's going to be straightforward. After all, surely it's just a dish into which you put cat food. Anything will do, right?
Unfortunately, as cat owners soon discover, things aren't quite so simple. Some cats will use their paws to scoop even the best cat food out of bowls that are too deep or narrow, for instance, leaving scraps and mess strewn across the floor. The wrong bowls can also put a strain on your kitty’s neck and cause acid reflux, increasing a cat's chance of vomiting.
To make life more comfortable during feeding times, then, it's important to make the correct purchase. For starters, you need to think about the material the bowl is made out of, with ceramic, stainless steel or glass bowls being preferable to plastic since the latter can harbour germs and bacteria in any scratches that occur.
You should also consider how shallow and wide the bowls are so that your cats can easily get their heads down into them to eat. It's perhaps worth considering an elevated cat food bowl which helps cats to swallow more easily.
For feeding cats on the go, portable food bowls are a must. But if you're going away and leaving your feline friend at home, you'll want to ensure he continues to have a good supply of food, in which case, consider getting an automatic pet feeder to take care of dinner times for you.
Finally, look for dishwasher safe bowls to cut down on cleaning up (it's important to regularly clean a cat bowl and a dishwasher does the job extremely well). Just don't forget to keep kitty refreshed – water is just as important as food so head over to our round-up of the best pet water fountains.
PetsRadar's pick of the best cat food bowls
- Best overall cat food bowl: Neater Feeder for Cats
- Best budget cat food bowl: Van Ness Ecoware Cat Food Bowl
- Best collapsible cat food bowl: ZUOFENG Collapsible Travel Silicone Cat Bowl
- Best cat food bowl for outdoor cats: K&H Thermo-Kitty Cafe Bowl
- Best automatic cat food bowl: PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat Feeder
- Best elevated cat bowl: Legendog Tilted Platform Double Bowl Cat Feeder
Neater Feeder for Cats
Best overall cat food bowl
Capacity: 1 cup food | Dimensions: 12.9” x 8.8” x 4.8” | Material: Stainless steel bowls and plastic base
If all that time spent on your hands and knees wiping up spilled food and water is leaving you feeling like you’re living Cinderella’s life before she got to go to the ball, then the Neater Feeder is about to replace your old pumpkin of a cat bowl with a luxury food vessel that will have you back on your feet where you belong.
The Neater Feeder is the ultimate solution if you have a messy eater on your hands, with the protective walls containing any food or water splashes that can happen when your excitable kitty realizes it’s time to chow down again. The dual-reservoir design means any spilled food is contained in the upper reservoir, while spilled water drains into the lower reservoir, keeping your floors clean and dry.
We love that the crew at Neater Pets have designed this feeder with both you and your cat in mind. Not only can you say goodbye to cleaning your floor of spilled food and water, the plastic structure and stainless-steel bowls are dishwasher safe, and they’re available in a variety of colors to blend in with your home’s decor. The base also comes with non-skid rubber pads so if your moggie likes to move their bowl around while eating you can rest easy knowing it won’t tip over.
And there’s plenty for your cat to love too. The bowls hold a generous 1 cup of food and 1.5 cups of water, and the elevated design reduces neck strain and makes for a more comfortable dining experience. You can also purchase the feeder with leg extensions that enable you to raise the feeder if you have a larger breed of cat.
Okay, so, confession time: the Neater Feeder isn’t the cheapest cat bowl on the market, but in our opinion, it’s the best one, so if your budget can stretch to it we know you and your cat are going to love it.
Van Ness Ecoware Cat Food Bowl
Best budget cat food bowl
Capacity: 1 cup | Dimensions: 1.25” x 5.25” x 5.25” | Material: 47% bamboo and silicone base
The Van Ness Ecoware cat food bowl is getting rave reviews all over the place, and it’s not hard to see why. This budget-friendly buy isn't just kind on your wallet, it’s also kind on the planet and your kitty, having been designed to provide maximum comfort at mealtimes.
Thoughtfully crafted from 47% bamboo and with a non-skid silicone base, it is eco-friendly, chemical-free, heavy-metal free, and BPA-free, making this the perfect non-hazardous purchase. The circular-shaped bowl was designed to prevent whisker stress and fatigue, which can occur when cats eat out of bowls that touch and over-stimulate their whiskers. It also comes with a cheerful graphic design and three color choices.
This bowl may be a cheap buy, but that’s where the economy ends. We’re impressed by the durable design for a cat bowl in this price range, which is unbreakable under normal use, and won’t chip or crack. It’s even degradable when exposed to typical composting conditions. A cute cat bowl that’s also tough and environmentally friendly? Now that’s what we call a win-win-win!
You’ll love that the highly polished surface of this Van Ness bowl makes it super easy to clean, and the kitchen-grade silicone non-skid base helps prevent sliding, spilling, and scratching of floors. It’s also versatile, and can be used for both wet and dry food.
Because of the eco-friendly construction, this bowl isn’t dishwasher safe, as it can cause cracking and flaking, so be sure to wash it by hand. But we reckon for a bowl of this quality and price, that's a tiny drawback.
ZUOFENG Collapsible Travel Silicone Cat Bowl
Best collapsible cat food bowl
Capacity: 1.5 cups /350ml | Dimensions: 7” x 7” x 3” | Material: Silicone
If you and your favorite feline are hitting the road together or you simply don’t like having unsightly food bowls cluttering up your home, then this brilliant collapsible silicone cat food bowl is purrrfect for you.
Great for keeping your kitty cat hydrated on long road trips, the portable design is a real space saver too, which makes it a great choice if you and your fur baby often vacation together, and you don’t want to be carting a bulky bowl with you. Expand it when you want to use it and then collapse it into a slim disk when you’re done.
You’ll love this bowl that can hold up to 350ml of water and up to 1.5 cups of food. And while we know the number of pet parents who go walking with their cat is small, if you’re one of them then this bowl also comes with a handy carabiner clip that you can attach to your backpack.
We like that this cat bowl is super safe for your kitty, made from food-grade silicone with a BPA-free plastic rim. It’s dishwasher safe too, so just pop it on the top rack, and it’ll come out sparkling clean every time.
This collapsible bowl also comes with a handy clip so you can attach it to a backpack or bag when on the road, or sending your kitty of to the cat-sitter for the weekend.
K&H Thermo-Kitty Cafe Bowl
Best cat food bowl for outdoor cats
Capacity: 1.5 & 3 cups | Dimensions: 14” x 8.5” x 3” | Material: Stainless steel
If you have a cat who loves to roam and spends little time indoors then the K&H Thermo-Kitty Cafe is a winner for those chilly autumn and winter months. Thermostatically controlled, these two stainless steel bowls sitting on a heated base do a great job of keeping fresh food and water from freezing over, even in sub-zero temperatures. After being out and about, there’s nothing your kitty will love more in the colder months than coming home to a warm meal.
This energy-efficient cat bowl uses just 30 watts, keeping your electricity costs low, and being thermostatically controlled means you can set it to turn on and off automatically. While the heating element can’t be removed, simply keep it unplugged during the warmer months.
There’s also a 5.5-foot steel-wrapped cord, perfect to reach most sockets, and all of the electronics are safely sealed inside the bowl. It’s been MET laboratory tested to ensure it meets the highest safety standards, and there’s a 1-year warranty to provide extra peace of mind.
We love that the base is easy to wipe clean, and the two stainless steel bowls can be removed and placed in the dishwasher. The two bowls come in different sizes, one can hold 1.5 cups and the other 3 cups, and can be used for both food and water.
The only thing some reviewers don’t seem to like about this product is the plastic smell it can give off when first heated. But that issue aside, this is another quality product from reputable brand K&H that is bound to get the big paws up from your cat.
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat Feeder
Best automatic cat food bowl
Capacity: 24 cups | Dimensions: 8” x 2.25” x 12.5” | Material: Stainless steel
If you’ve ever been woken early in the morning to the sound of a purring noise in your ear, or paws kneading you, then you'll know what it’s like to have to drag yourself out of bed blurry eyed and stumble to the kitchen to feed your famished feline. The good news is you can kiss those unwanted early starts goodbye thanks to this automatic cat food bowl from PetSafe.
You’re going to love the convenience this feeder offers you. It comes with a large hopper that holds up to 24 cups of dry or semi-moist kibble, which is caught in an attached stainless-steel bowl when it’s released. The easy-to-navigate LCD screen lets you program up to 12 feeds a day in ⅛ cup to 4 cup portions so it’s a great way of managing portion control, especially for overweight moggies. There’s also a slow feed option that gradually dispenses the set portion over 15 minutes, great for cats who are prone to gobbling down their food too fast.
We like that this feeder has a pet-proof design with a hopper lid, auto-locking keypad, and plastic barriers on the conveyor belt, perfect for extra-motivated cats who like to try and get at their food before mealtime. It’s also battery operated, and should run for a year before you have to change them. The conveyor system needs hand washing, but the stainless-steel bowl and plastic feeder parts can be popped into the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Given that this feeder comes at quite a price, we’d have liked to have seen the batteries included, but that one small gripe aside, this is a great way to take the stress and hassle out of your days and keep your kitty happy.
Legendog Tilted Platform Double Bowl Cat Feeder
Best elevated cat bowl
Capacity: 6.7 ounces | Dimensions: 28 x 14 x 14 | Material: Plastic
These two elevated cat bowls are perfect for keeping your kitty’s neck comfortable at mealtimes. They have been scientifically designed with a 15-degree tilt that protects the spine and promotes good digestive health. If your pet has arthritis or other joint problems, then this cat food bowl will make mealtimes easier for them.
We love the cute kitty shaped bowls, which are large and deep and can hold around 6 ounces of food and water. You can use both bowls for food for multiple cats or use one for food and one for water. The cat food bowl also comes with a handy scoop which is great for dry cat food, and it doubles as a clip to seal the bag too.
The bowls are non -slip so that they won’t get knocked over during feeding time and the deep dishes on the raised platform mean they’re great for messy eaters who tend to get their food all over the floor.
The bowls can go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning, and you won’t have to worry about sweeping up excess food again. Many users have said their fussy kitties love this bowl and will feed comfortably from it compared to many others.
VIVAGLORY Stainless Steel Cat Feeding Bowls
Best non-slip cat bowl
Capacity: 200ml | Dimensions: 23.88 x 20.83 x 7.11 cm | Material: Stainless steel, silicone
This set of two bowls is convenient and mess free for giving your kitty their meals. You can choose from a variety of sizes, however for cats, the smallest sizes (200ml and 400ml) seems to be the perfect fit. The bowls come with a raised silicone mat that will stop your cat from making a mess on your floor, and instead catch any spillages around the edges of the mat.
The stainless-steel bowls are sturdy and safe for your pet, plus they’re easy to clean and dishwasher safe, making these bowls a hygienic choice. The mat is also flexible and foldable meaning you can take this with you anywhere and feed your cat fuss-free.
The mats come in a variety of colours and the bowls fit snugly inside the silicone holders so that the bowls don’t slip or slide about during feeding time.
How to choose the best cat food bowl
Did you know that whisker stress is a thing? How about cat acne? If you answered no then don’t worry because you’re not alone, we didn’t either! But it’s true, your cat’s whiskers can be super sensitive and just like a hormonal teenager, they can get acne. The good news is, choosing the right cat food bowl can eradicate both these things.
A great first place to start is by examining what a bowl is made of. While those plastic bowls with playful designs might look cute, many cats have an allergy to plastic that gives them those nasty bumps and blackheads on their chin. To minimize the possibility of a reaction, opt for stainless steel, ceramic or eco-friendly materials like bamboo.
When it comes to whisker stress, think size and shape. If your kitty is prone to lifting food out of their bowl and dropping it on the floor, it could be because their current bowl is too small and their whiskers are touching the sides. Wide bowls are a great choice for preventing this.
Deep bowls that are elevated and tilted forward are also worth considering if mess is an issue or your cat suffers from digestive issues. They allow your cat to maintain a more natural posture which reduces neck strain and makes digesting food easier.
Choosing one of the best automatic pet feeders is fantastic if you’re out a lot or when you go away overnight as you can program the feeder to dispense wet or dry cat food at certain times throughout the day. Just like the best smart pet bowls, they’re also a good option for monitoring portion control and managing your cat’s weight.
If you hate having food bowls cluttering up your home or if you and your feline travel together a lot, why not consider a collapsible food bowl? They’re perfect for long road trips and the silicone ones are easy to clean. Plus, when you’re done, they fold down into a disk and can be easily stored.
Finally, no matter what bowl you choose, make sure to place it in a quiet spot to ensure your moggie’s mealtime is calm and peaceful.
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