Bowl Vs. Plate: What Should Cats Eat From?

  • Time to read: 8 min.

When it comes to our beloved furry feline friends, we would like to offer them the best and most comfortable life we possibly can. From the quality of food to what we feed them out of. Should your cat eat out of a bowl or a dish? And why?

It is best if you use wide, shallow bowls to feed your cat. This is because of something called whisker stress. Because cat’s whiskers are sensitive, they get a tiny shock every time their whiskers touch something. It is annoying and painful if their whiskers touch the side of their bowls while eating.

Continue reading as we discuss choosing the perfect platform for your cat to eat out of and why these platforms will work the best!

What Is Best: Bowl Or Plate?

Cats have a reputation for being picky about what they eat. But when you consider what they eat in the wild, it is easy to see that how you feed your cat is just as big of a factor as what you’re feeding them. 

A cat’s whiskers help them sense the width of holes, doorways, and every other opening. Cats are always able to tell whether they can squeeze through an opening just by using their whiskers. This also means that when you feed your cat out of a deep bowl with steep or straight sides, his whiskers feel everything.

 Even if it doesn’t pain your kitty, the sensations might be distracting from the food. Therefore, it is best to switch from a deep bowl to an almost flat or very shallow dish that won’t contact the whiskers.

Tips For Choosing The Correct Bowl

When it comes to choosing the correct bowl to use to feed your cat, there are numerous things you should consider. We conducted a list that will ensure that you make the correct and educated choice!

  • Avoid Any Plastic Cat Food Bowls

We’ve all seen a wethered and used and old plastic bowls. It is full of creases and scratches. So why not use these plastic bowls to feed our cat? Absolutely not! 

It is important to use a bowl that is non-porous, which means that plastic bowls are not a good fit for cats. 

Bacteria and oil build up in the plastic material’s scratches. Plastic is subject to micro-abrasions that will allow bacteria to grow. This bacteria can withstand even the heat and conditions of a dishwasher, and repeated contact with these surfaces can cause cat acne, which appears in the form of black dots on your cat’s chin. 

Instead, choose bowls made of ceramic or stainless steel, as it is much more hygienic and not as easily withered down.

  • Consider The Depth Of Cat Bowls

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Cats prefer dishes and bowls that are shallow and wide. When a cat sticks their faces too far into bowls to eat, they can experience discomfort because of their whiskers. Some cats are extremely sensitive to the feel of the dish around their little whiskers. You will see if this is the case if your cat tries to take his food out of his bowl by using his paws.

  • Think About The Location Of Your Food Bowls

It would be beneficial to think about where you place your furry friend’s food bowl. Never place your cat’s food bowl near his litter box. Instead, locate the food bowls in private areas of the house, so you will not stress your kitty when they eat. 

If you own more than one cat, never place their bowls too close together, as cats are solitary hunters and will get irritated when another cat gets too close to them.

  • Practice Good Bowl Hygiene

Imagine having to eat out of a dirty plate; it never sounds appetizing, so chances are, your cat will not like it either!

Wash your cat’s dishes daily with soap and water. Dry cat food tends to be oily, so bacteria can collect and give off an unpleasant smell. If you feed your cat wet food, be sure to wash the bowls after each use.

  • Some Cats Require Different Food Bowls

If you own a flat-faced kitty, like a Persian, it could get a bit tricky if you do not do your research. You will have to purchase specialty dishes that have some elevation with a slight angle so that your flat-faced kitty has an easier time eating out of their bowl.

Signs Your Cat Is Struggling With Its Bowl

If your cat is struggling to eat food out of its bowl, there will be several symptoms that can range from mild to severe. The best way to notice these symptoms would be to watch your cat while they are eating quietly without disturbing them. 

Some of the common symptoms include:

  1. Pulling food out of their bowl and onto the floor.
  2. They quickly eat out the middle of their food, stop eating when the food is bunched up in the corners, and cry at you for more food.
  3. Knocking over their food bowl and then eating.
  4. Knocking their food out of their bowl.
  5. Pawing at their food.
  6. Nudging their bowl around.
  7. Not eating.
  8. Becoming aggressive towards other cats or even humans during mealtimes.

All these symptoms mean that your cat is struggling with its bowl and might even be the first symptoms of whisker fatigue. What is whisker fatigue, and how can you help your poor kitty to find the perfect bowl?

Whisker Fatigue And How To Prevent It

In basic terms, whisker fatigue can be described as an over-stimulation of the sensory system of the whiskers. Whisker fatigue happens when the whiskers are touched too much, even if it’s just the basic brushing against food and water dishes. 

If a cat’s brain gets an onslaught of sensory messages transmitted to their brain, it can cause an overload of stimulation and make them feel stressed or agitated. Some are obviously better than others, with so many different cat bowls on the market for whisker fatigue. But the question is, what makes a whisker-friendly cat bowl?

The first essential feature you should look for when reviewing different products would be the shape and size of the bowl. To make a cat bowl whisker-friendly, it needs to be both shallow and wide. 

This type of bowl allows room for your cat’s whiskers not to touch the edge of the bowl when eating or drinking. This feature is ultimately the key to a bowl being whisker-friendly.

Next is the material of your bowl. There are several types of cat bowls available, such as ceramic, metal, and plastic. Although plastic bowls are much cheaper and easier to clean, metal and ceramic bowls are best as they are more resistant to scratches.

 Whatever material you end up choosing, you should always make sure it is safe for cats. It is also advised that the material is easy to clean, and if it can go in the dishwasher, it would be even better! This is because dishwashers can wash at a much higher temperature, which will maximize the killing of bacteria and germs.

Lastly, an anti-skid design would help to keep food and water in your cat’s bowl. Having an anti-skid design is crucial as this stops the bowl from being nudged around the floor, which could lead to food and water spills. Heavy bowls or rubber bases are excellent for this. 

It is also important to note that it doesn’t matter if your cat’s whiskers aren’t sensitive at all or if it already is, it is never too late to do your research and ensure that you provide your kitty with the best possible bowl. 

Do Cats Prefer Bowls Or Plates?

Although it is clear that a bowl is much better comfort-wise and health-wise for cats, you may similarly ask, is it better for cats to eat from an elevated bowl, and do they prefer bowls to plates if it is more comfortable?

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Cats in general, especially more flat-faced breeds, will also benefit if you present their food from a more elevated bowl. Raised feeders are more often used for dogs prone to bloat, but they can also be great and beneficial to your cat!

When cats are presented with food on floor level and raised level, they are always prone to go for the food on a raised level.

Secondly, there is no use in giving your cats food out of the perfect bowls if you give them food out of a shared bowl. Many pet owners have a shared bowl for food for their cats, and when their cats show behavioral problems, they tend to blame the type of bowl.

At the end of the day, you should never let your cats share food bowls, but instead, give each cat their bowl. In general, cats prefer a stainless steel bowl, and it is always the best choice you could make. Stainless steel is perfect, as it is unbreakable, durable, is dishwasher safe, and doesn’t harbor any odors. 

For these reasons, it is obvious that these types of bowls are popular choices for cat owners. It is good to note that metal bowls are usually made from stainless steel, making them high quality, safe, easy to clean, and comfortable to drink from! 

Most cat bowls on the market are produced from stainless steel, so finding the best one for your beloved kitty shouldn’t be a problem!

Conclusion

When we become the parents of pets, especially as cat lovers, all we want is the best for our furry children. We always tend to research the best quality cat food, but we rarely research the best ways to serve them! Our cats use their bowls multiple times a day, every single day, making your kitty’s bowl one of the single most important products that you will buy for your babies. 

By not choosing the correct bowl, you could negatively impact your fur baby’s health and bring discomfort to each one of its meals. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to you and your kitty that you carefully select the right type!

Tons of bowls available will eliminate whisker fatigue and sensitivity. Ensure that you know of all the tips and tricks for choosing the correct bowl for your cat. You can talk to your vet or pet shop workers to help you choose the best bowl possible for your beloved cat! 

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