Is It Ok to Move Your Cat’s Food Bowl?

  • Time to read: 6 min.

Our cats tend to each display their own personalities much as we do, but more often than not you will find they are all creatures of habit. Cats like everything to be reliable in their lives, from their routines to their feeding times, to where all their stuff is put. Here’s all you need to know about moving your cat’s food bowl around, and what’s best for your fuzzy friend.

Cats generally want all of their items to stay in the same place. Moving their food bowl around will disorientate and distress them. Pick a calm and secure spot for your cat’s feeding area, away from a lot of activity. Once you have a good spot, stick with it.

Cats will find their environment much more comforting and reliable if they know where all of their items are, especially their food bowl. If they have a fixed feeding area that they can always access, they are likely to feel much more secure in their home environment.

Can You Move Your Cat’s Food Bowl?

It is not advised! Once cats have gotten used to their food bowls being in a specific area, they are likely to become confused and irritated if you move them. Cats appreciate routine and like certain aspects of their lives to be fixed, like their feeding bowls.

However, you may feel you’ve found a better spot for your cat’s feeding area after getting used to how they move around the house. If this is the case it is possible to adjust them to a new area.

What If You Want to Move Their Bowls?

You may need to move their area due to a new development in the house, or if you just feel like a different spot would suit them better. If you have a good reason to move your cat bowls, it is possible to do so without distressing your kitties too much.

When moving their feeding area, have them watch you take the bowls from the previous area to the new one. Keep an eye on them when they go to eat and direct them to the new feeding area if they get confused. It may take a few days but eventually they will fall into the new routine and accept the new feeding area.

Frequently Moving Your Cat’s Bowl

This is where real problems will come in. By disrupting your cat’s routine and not providing them with a fixed feeding area, your cat may feel that their environment is not secure. Cats may start to feel disorientated and anxious if their feeding area is constantly moving around.

This is because you are communicating to them that they cannot rely on their environment to stay consistent. If they have trouble locating their food it will distress them, and they may start to think they won’t be getting food at all. Your cats rely on you, so make sure you let them know you are reliable!

What to Consider When Picking a Spot

Pick a place that is accessible for your cats, somewhere they can get to easily and frequently. Cats are generally rather nervous and alert animals, and when they stop to eat they feel vulnerable.

To make sure your cat feels comfortable when eating, pick a calm and secluded feeding area for them. Spots where there is little activity and people aren’t constantly making noise or moving around are ideal.

If your cat has a secure feeding area it will encourage them to eat at a healthy pace, whereas if they feel nervous when feeding they may develop an irregular diet.

Keeping Your Other Pets Away from the Area

If you have dogs, pick a spot that they cannot access. Dogs are likely to eat your cat’s food and disrupt their feeding area. It will make your cats feel unsafe if your dogs are able to access their area and eat their food.

Areas like countertops, or inside rooms accessible through a cat flap are places to consider. If you have any other animals, pick a feeding spot away from their areas. Cats will feel very territorial over their food and tend to lash out if they feel other animals are infringing on their area.

Keeping Your Cat Bowl’s Separate

If you have more than one cat, you should also consider keeping their bowls separate. As was mentioned, cats are very territorial when it comes to food, and having your cat’s bowls right next to each other may encourage fights to break out.

Your cat bowls should be in the same area, but at a good enough distance that your cats don’t feel threatened by the other’s proximity when eating.

What Are Some Common Choices?

Cat owners often pick a hallway or spare room to set up their cat’s feeding area. If you feel comfortable with it, bedrooms are also a popular choice. So are kitchens or countertops. It all depends on your specific household.

If your bedroom or kitchen is generally a quiet and peaceful space and you’re happy to have your cat in there, then those are good options. If the main parts of your house are generally lively and busy, pick an area further away from the activity.

If your house is generally calm and people are considerate of the pet’s movements you can set up their feeding areas in more common areas.

Placing Your Cat Bowl with Their Other Items

Interestingly enough, cats don’t want their food and water in the same place. They dislike getting stray food in their bowls and want their food and water kept separate so as not to contaminate each other. Whilst keeping them in the same area is fine, maintain a distance between your cat’s food and water bowls.

Even more important is to maintain a distance between your cat’s food bowl and litter box. Cats are very hygienic animals, and placing their litter box near their food and water will likely turn them off using any of their items.

Keeping Your Cat’s Litter Box Away from Their Food Bowl

The distance you put between your cat’s litter and their food should be as far as you can manage. This might mean on the other side of the room, or in a different room entirely if manageable. This is especially important if you use crystal litter. If crystals find their way into your cat’s drinking bowl, they could poison themselves by drinking the dissolved particles. Make sure a good enough distance is put between your cat’s feeding area and litter box that it will not run the risk of interfering with your cat’s eating and drinking routine.

Placing Your Cat Bowl Places to Encourage Eating

Cats are social eaters, and may even call you to sit with them while they eat. If your cat feels comforted by your presence, they will sometimes want your company when feeding. This is because eating is a moment where they feel vulnerable, and so feel more secure with your presence.

To encourage your cat to eat you may want to set their feeding area up close to an area that your frequent, like your bedroom or workspace. If you feel comfortable having them in your area, this means they can eat happily while you work or sleep.

Quiet kitchens where people often sit will also have this effect, and your cat will enjoy that you are all eating together.

In Conclusion

It is not advised to move your cat’s food bowl around. Pick a quiet and accessible area that your other pets can’t get to, and let your cat get used to it as their feeding area. Establishing a reliable routine will help your cat feel more safe, secure, and happy in their home. Keep in mind that cats like their food to be separate from their water, litter, and other cats. Pick a spot both you and your kitty are happy with, and stick to it.