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Best Sizes, Materials For Food & Water Bowls

August 9, 2012

When you think about a cat’s primary needs, food and water probably top the chart.

Photo courtesy keempoo

As basic as those two things may be, it’s important to remember that some CH cats may struggle with eating and drinking. But never fear — there are a number of things you can do to make eating and drinking a bit easier for your CH cat.

Today we’ll discuss the best sizes and bowls for your cat’s food and water dishes. It’s important to remember that these really do vary from cat to cat, and owners across the board have found dozens of ways to accommodate their CH cats.

That said, perhaps this will give you some new ideas. If your best method isn’t  below, please comment and I’ll add it in!

What material should the bowls be made out of?

Each popular material has its own pluses and minuses. Basically you’ll want to find a bowl that’s heavy and sturdy enough so it can’t be knocked over easily; however, some cats may chip their teeth on hard or heavy materials.

  • Ceramic dishes: Sturdy, least likely to be knocked over; Hardest material, may chip teeth
  • Metal dishes: Lightweight, may come with anti-slip bottoms; May be knocked over
  • Plastic dishes: Lightweight, least likely to chip teeth; Some cats may be allergic to plastic, may be knocked over

As you shop for the perfect bowls, you may find non-traditional bowls at your local pet stores. Some have a lower side for easy access.

When it comes to wet food, I use small ceramic plates for my cats. I look for cat plates with low edges or appetizer plates from home stores. They’re usually heavy enough so they don’t scoot around the floor (here’s a quick tip to stop that if they do!). Unfortunately, a few of the plates have chipped, so we have to be careful.

Paper plates can be purchased in bulk and are easily thrown away; however, some cats have trouble keeping paper plates in place. Unfortunately, it’s not a very green option if you’re concerned about that. Try looking for silicon plates, as they may be the best of both scenarios.

How big should the food and water bowls’ diameters be? 

I’ll admit it, I didn’t think of this until we adopted Ellie, who has moderate CH, but the diameter of a food bowl may aid or hinder your cat.

Think of the bowls as a dart board. You must be very focused and precise to hit the center of the board, and I think the same is true with CH cats. Some cat-sized bowls are just too small of targets for some, so they may resort to scooping kibble out of the bowl on to the floor so they don’t hit their faces on the bowl.

Consider purchasing a “dog” bowl. They’re usually wider and heavier, which means your cat probably won’t hit his face on it while trying to eat, and it will be more difficult to knock over.

I’ve even read how one CH cat parent uses a frisbee for a water bowl. That actually sounds like a great option for kittens, because it’s so shallow that they won’t accidentally drown in it.

One idea that shared with me was to wrap travel pillows around food and water dishes. It not only softens any head bonks that may happen, but it may also help prevent the dish from being tipped over.

What types and sizes of bowls do you use with your CH cats? Please share in the comments!

Click here to find more tips!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. nionvox permalink
    August 13, 2012 11:04 am

    We use this for Chairman’s water: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11845346&lmdn=Bowls+%26amp%3B+Feeders
    It’s damn near impossible to knock over, and at the perfect height for him – he only has to bend down slightly, as opposed to just about falling into a normal bowl.

  2. Universal Whisperer permalink
    June 19, 2014 5:19 pm

    I bought big glass bowls from the Goodwill store for my cats dry food bowls. I also bought a couple of glass punch serving bowls from Goodwill to use as water bowls. These all were inexpensive and too heavy to tip over. The glass bowls solved the problem I had with two cats who got chin acne abscesses from eating out of plastic bowls. I use paper plates for canned food. I have several cats including a one-eyed cat, a mostly blind cat, a cat missing part of a paw, and I recently adopted a cat who had been in a shelter for a year, who had coordination and mobility problems and who my vet diagnosed as having moderate to severe CH.

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