When it comes to dinnerware, we tend to put a lot of thought into what we want. The right shape, size, color, and material all play a role in our decision. Why do we not do the same for our pets? Here are 3 things to look out for when shopping for your cat’s feeding bowls!

The Size

Did you know that most cats hate when their whiskers are being pressed close to their face? Often times, feeding bowls found at pet shops are actually too small for cats. When it comes to the size you have to measure the length of your cat’s whiskers from tip to tip, left to right. The length will vary with age, weight, and breed. Generally, you don’t want to use a bowl that is less than 5 inches wide unless it is very shallow. When a bowl is not big enough, it can actually make your cat uncomfortable while eating and cause them to eat faster. This makes it more likely that they will be leaving you a lovely surprise to step in not too long after they have finished.

The Depth

Anything above 2 inches in depth (unless it is a water bowl) is not necessary. Ideally, you want to stick around a 1-inch depth if it is a flat bottom and around 2 if it is curved in (like a cereal bowl). If you ever noticed a cat begging for more food when there is clearly some still in a deep bowl, this is why – it is too deep! If you are not sure which depth will be best, you can always opt for plates instead. This actually works better for wet food.

The Material

You have to be cautious with materials when it comes to pets. Most people tend to reach for the cheapest option which can actually be toxic! Here are the 3 most common:


Plastic is the cheapest option when it comes to cat bowls. They come in several sizes and colors but they are not the best option. Plastic is known to not only harbor bacteria but leach chemicals into food. BPA free plastic is a better option if you must choose plastic but I do not recommend it.

Stainless Steel

Stainless is the next option which tends to only be slightly more than plastic bowls. Stainless steel resists bacteria and is super easy to clean making it ideal for water bowls. The downside is that they tend to be lightweight, too deep for cats, and attract hair like a magnet.

ceramic cat bowls


Ceramic is the most expensive of the three. This material is heavier in weight, comes in all different shapes and sizes, and most are dishwasher safe. You want to make sure the glaze used to seal these bowls is lead-free. Never buy cheap ceramic bowls from China and use them with food.

Other Options

Other options include glass, stoneware, and silicon. Clear glass bowls and plates are at the top of my list alongside ceramic. They are just hard to find when it comes to the right size. I would avoid stoneware for the time being as there have been too many cases of high levels of lead found in those, especially the ones marketed for pets. As for silicon, it is considered safe but I don’t like the idea of using mixed polymers to serve food in so I personally avoid it. That and the stuff is mighty flimsy.


There are a lot of great cat bowls on Amazon, swipe through the images to see some examples and click to view more!

What type of bowls does your cat prefer? Share with us in the comments!

Leave a Reply

newest oldest most voted

Thank you for telling me this, now I know how to make sure that I don’t buy bob the wrong bowl, since he’s been using a plastic “automatic” feeder.