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Stop Using a Bowl to Feed Your Cat — Here’s Why!

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This article will tell you why you need to stop using a bowl to feed your cat!

Actually, you do not need to stop using a bowl to feed your cat completely. But you need to change the way you use it, or just change your cat food bowls. So in the real sense, you need to stop using the wrong cat food bowl or a dirty food bowl to feed your cat.

It is proven that cat food bowls are the 4th germiest place and can be very harmful to you and your cat. Read the whole article to know some more situations when your cat food bowl can be harmful.

stop using a bowl to feed your cat

When Can Cat Food Bowls Be Harmful?

To begin with, you should actually not stop using a bowl to feed your cat. You just need to know about when your cat food bowl can be harmful and how you can make sure that you are using your cat’s food bowl rightly.

are cat food bowls harmful

1. Less Demanding for Cats

Cats are known to be hunters by their innate nature. Wild cats use their brain, muscles, and energy to find their prey and fill their stomach every day. This is not the case with our pet cats. They are served their lunch and dinner on an “all ready” plate for them to eat.

This process of feeding your cats is very less demanding for them and does not require any effort. This becomes worse if you are free-feeding your cat. If cats do not do enough exercise as required by their body, it can harm their health.

So to increase the health of your cat and make this process a little more demanding, you can use a puzzle feeder for your cat. Puzzle feeders make sure that your cat gets enough exercise while they eat.

You can even hide their food and water bowls so they can have their little hunt even inside your house!

If you are confused about choosing the water bowls for your feline, here I made it easier for you to check out water bowls for cats.

2. Free Feeding Is a No!

Cats have tiny stomachs and even lesser requirements for food. If you free-feed your feline with some tasty and palatable kibble, she is very much going to overeat. You should train your kitty to use the bowl, know the tricks to train kittens use a bowl.

Scroll down to know how to stop free-feeding cats!

do not free feed your cat

Researches have proved that cats are less intelligent than dogs. Cats have just 250 million cortical neurons in their brain, whereas canines have 530 million cortical neurons. These cells help humans and animals to think, reason, plan and evaluate what’s happening around them.

With fewer of these cells, cats are less likely to understand everything that happens around them.

So, when you free-feed your cat, it will likely lead to ‘Scarf and Barf’ cat behavior. It means that your cat is going to scarf down all the food you give her because she thinks this is the last meal she will ever have and later barf the food right back up!

So, basically, in this case, your cat food bowl is not harmful. It is actually free-feeding in that bowl which is more harmful to your cat.

My suggestion to you is to feed your cat at regular intervals and fixed timings. This way, you will condition your feline’s stomach to eat only at those times. One more benefit of feeding at regular intervals is that she won’t waste her food and eat it up as soon as you serve her.

The best advice would be to feed your cat in the elevated food bowl, There are many rumors such as should cat food dishes be elevated or not? No worries I made it easy for you.

If your cat has sensitive whiskers then you can choose the best cat bowl for sensitive whiskers or your feline.

3. Dirty Cat Food Bowls Are the Worst!

When I ask pet parents to tell me the dirtiest or germiest place in their home, most say it is their toilet or kitchen sink. Most of them either forget or don’t know that their cat food bowls are equally dirty!

In a study carried by NSF International to find out the germiest place in the households, it was concluded that pet food bowls are the 4th germiest thing in any house. The top 3 were the kitchen sponge, kitchen basin, and toothbrush holder.

One can easily find bacteria, yeast, and mold in their cat food bowls. So, again cat food bowls are not harmful in themselves, but if you do not keep them clean, it will be harmful to your cat as well as for you! You must clean and wash their food bowls before refilling them.

Not just that, you even need to sanitize their bowls once a week. You can use some bleach and soak the bowl in water for around 10 to 15 minutes, especially if you feed your feline wet food.

PRO TIP: It is best to use stainless steel or ceramic bowls or ceramic cat plate for your pet as they are more durable than plastic bowls.

If your cat is not drinking water then know Why cats have trouble drinking water?

Also read


What kind of food bowl is best for cats?

The best kind of cat food bowls is those that make your cat exercise and struggle a little for their food.

Either buy a puzzle feeder or make one yourself. Not only are puzzle feeders healthy for your cat, but they also make your cat happy.

Slow Feeder Cat Puzzle Feeder Ceramic Dish is by far the best slow feeder food bowl for any cat. It is made from ceramic, so it won’t even break down easily. Moreover, it is also recommended by veterinarians.

Should cats eat from elevated bowls?

Yes, Of course!

Elevated cat food bowls are very helpful as they promote digestion as well as improves their joints health. As your cat gets old, she is more prone to have weak muscles and joints. It is difficult for her to bend her body for a long time while eating. Thus, elevated bowls are widely beneficial for your cats, especially the older ones.

Are flat bowls bad for cats?

Definitely Not!

Flat bowls are not bad for your cats. Instead, they are better. It is because felines do not like it when any surface is pressed against their whiskers while they are eating. Flat bowls and shallow cat food bowls take care of this issue.

However, it is always a good idea to use a combination of a flat bowl and puzzle feeder for your cat. You can use them alternatively to make sure that your cats remain healthy.

In the End!

To sum it up, I can say that cat food bowls are not harmful all by themselves. So, you need not stop using a bowl to feed your cat. Instead, you should make sure that you deal with the cat food bowl properly.

Cleaning it regularly, using a puzzle feeder, saying “NO” to free-feeding, and using an elevated bowl are just a few ways of being sure that you are careful about your cat’s health.

Pet parents are worried when they cannot reach home on time and they have to leave their cats at home and go to work. They have to remain hungry and thirsty until we return home in the evening to feed them.

Now there are automatic feeders are available in the market, you can check the automatic cat feeders reviews and select the best feeder for your furball.

That’s it from my side; see you on the comment section side!


  1. Germiest home items — NSF International
  2. Puzzle Feeders – International Cat Care
  3. Study: One-third of cat owners use puzzle feeders. What’s really puzzling is why more don’t – AAHA

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