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Best cat food bowl: Interactive feeders and dapper dishes for every feline

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best cat food bowl
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Selecting the best cat food bowl may feel like a humble and insignificant purchase, but trust us when we say it can make all the difference to your kitty’s mealtimes.

While perusing the aisles for the best cat food to put in your furkid’s bowl usually feels like the most important task, don’t underestimate the role a good bowl can play in aiding digestion, banishing whisker fatigue, and reducing neck burden. 

When hunting for the perfect cat food bowl, there are a few things worth considering. Just like the best smart pet bowls can vary in quality and price, so too can regular feeding vessels, so it’s worth doing a bit of research to make sure your hard-earned cash is being spent on the right kind of bowl for your kitty.

It can be tempting to choose a nice deep bowl that’s going to hold lots of food, but you may be surprised to learn that shallower bowls are often better. When paired with a wide design, these cat food bowls stop your kitty’s whiskers from brushing against the sides and prevents them from having to lean too far in to get their food, which can cause back and neck pain and interfere with digestion.

In addition to making your cat’s life easier, to make cleaning up a stress-free experience we recommend looking for a bowl that’s dishwasher safe, and if your kitty is particularly messy, a design with protective walls around it can keep food in the bowl instead of all over your floor. 

If you’re out of the house a lot during the day, then investing in one of the best automatic pet feeders can complement one of the standard cat food bowls in this guide or be used as an alternative. These devices tend to follow the shallow and wide guidelines when it comes to the bowls attached to their hoppers, so you can kill two birds with one stone!

Ready to get the scoop on the best cat food bowls for 2021? Here's our roundup of the winners...

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
  • Best stainless steel cat bowl: PETKIT CYBERTAIL Elevated Cat Bowl
  • Best ceramic cat food bowl:  TRIXIE Ceramic Cat Bowl

best cat food bowl: A beige, Neater Feeder bowl

(Image credit: Neater)

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

Slightly elevated for better neck position
Easy to clean
Great design for minimal food and water spillage
Expensive

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.

Best cat food bowl: A blue Van Ness Ecoware Cat Food Bowl

(Image credit: Van Ness)

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

Eco-friendly materials
Shallow and wide design
Will not chip or crack
Not dishwasher safe

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

(Image credit: Amazon)

ZUOFENG Collapsible Travel Silicone Cat Bowl

Best collapsible cat food bowl

Capacity: 1.5 cups /350ml | Dimensions: 7” x 7” x 3” | Material: Silicone

BPA Free
Easy to clean
For food and water 
Can degrade over time

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. 

Best cat food bowl: A cat drinking from the K&H Thermo-Kitty Cafe Bowl

(Image credit: K&H)

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

Heated bowls
Energy efficient
Vet and expert recommended
Can give off a plastic odor when heated

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. 

best cat food bowl: A black PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat Feeder

(Image credit: PetSafe)

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

Schedule up to 12 meals a day
Removable stainless-steel bowl
Slow feed option
Batteries not included

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 cat food bowl

(Image credit: Legendog)

Legendog Tilted Platform Double Bowl Cat Feeder

Best elevated cat bowl

Capacity: 6.7 ounces | Dimensions: 28 x 14 x 14 | Material: Plastic

Dishwasher safe
Cute kitty design
Comfortable feeding angle
A little flimsy
Bowls are quite deep

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 Cat Bowl

(Image credit: VIVAGLORY )

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

Easy to clean
Non-slip
Variety of sizes
Bowls tricky to get out of holders

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.

PETKIT CYBERTAIL Elevated Cat Bowls

(Image credit: Amazon)

PETKIT CYBERTAIL Elevated Cat Bowls

Best stainless steel cat bowl

Capacity: 6 ounces per bowl | Dimensions: 13” x 6.3” x 1.9” | Material: Stainless steel bowls and plastic base

Tilted bowls to reduce neck strain
Stylish and high-quality design
Easy to clean
Capacity isn't as generous as other bowls

If you’re looking for the perfect blend of style and substance, then look no further than these elevated feeding bowls from PETKIT. Premium quality, solid, and dishwasher safe, these bowls are tilted to improve digestion and reduce neck strain.

Made from uncoated food-grade and heat-resistant stainless steel sat atop a sturdy and durable plastic base, the deep and wide shape prevents whisker fatigue and the gently rounded edges make it easy for your feline furkid to get their food out. 

The slightly inclined surface helps to reduce food spillage and the rubberized grips on the bottom of the base hold the feeding tray firmly in place. The bowls release easily for cleaning and can both hold around ¾ cup of food. Overall, an elegant and affordable set of feeding bowls that will add a touch of class to the modern home.

best ceramic cat food bowl TRIXIEPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: TRIXIE)

TRIXIE Ceramic Cat Bowl

Best ceramic cat food bowl

Capacity: 10.76 Ounces | Dimensions: 5.51 x 1.77 x 5.51 inches | Material: Ceramic

Strong and sturdy
Dishwasher safe
Hard to tip over
Easy to clean
Basic design

If you're looking for a trusty cat food bowl that won't let you down, then look no further than the TRIXIE Ceramic Cat Bowl. 

This feline accessory may look a bit plain but if looks aren't important to you, you'll be impressed by its good quality and decent size. If your kitty is particularly prone to spilling their meal across the floor, the bowl's weight and sturdiness could be just what you need as it's much harder to tip over than other bowls.

You can use it to either contain food or water, while its ceramic design is so easy to clean once empty, perfect for the messiest of felines.

It lacks any special features like elevation or automatic feeding, but its raised sides are high enough to prevent food from falling out, whilst being low enough for most cats to tuck in with ease.  

If you're not fan of plastic options, this is a great choice; whether you prefer the benefits ceramic can provide or feel its more overall hygienic for your cat. 

How to choose the best cat food bowl

Tabby cat rolling their face in dried catnip

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

From considering the right material to thinking about shape and weight, here's how to decide which cat food bowl is best for your feline. 

1. Material 

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.

2. Size and shape 

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.

3. Depth

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.

4. Smart features

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.

Types of cat food bowl 

Grey cat with cat food bowls

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bamboozled by which type of cat food bowl is perfect for your feline? With literally thousands on the market, here's our breakdown to some of the types of cat bowl you'll likely to encounter, including benefits and drawbacks so you can be sure you're making the right choice for your feline.

Elevated cat food bowl

If your feline suffers from any digestive difficulties, then an elevated cat food bowl looks to help your cat swallow with the aid of gravity. It's also ideal for older felines who experience problems in their joints, including arthritis or stiff muscles.

Even for the healthiest of felines, pet owners may find merit in the idea of buying a raised bowl for hygiene and cleanliness reasons. As the bowl sits off the ground, spillage is reduced and the extra height can help reduce dust and fur particles landing in your feline's meal. 

They do tend to be more expensive than the average bowl, however. 

Automatic feeders

For when you're out of the home, an automatic feeder is a convenient and fun way to deliver your kitty their next meal. These machines can typically be programmed to feed your cat with their usual amount of food, but some feeders may end up feeding them too much due to auto-filling once a cat's dish becomes empty.

It can an expensive option too, but it's great for convenience. 

Traditional cat food bowl

This is likely to be the option you're most familiar with. A traditional cat food bowl is often made from ceramic or stainless steel; its circular design is simple and functional. 

There's typically no bells and whistles but you'll likely want to consider the material here. For instance, if your feline is prone to food spillages, heavy ceramic can be a great choice.

Kathryn Rosenberg

Kathryn is a freelance writer with a passion for creating health and wellness, travel and wildlife content. Originally from New Zealand, her nomadic lifestyle has her currently fur baby-less. She scratches her pet parent itch by stealing frequent cuddles with any neighbourhood cat kind enough to indulge her.