Best Cat Food Bowls: Veterinarian Advice

A close-up of a metal bowl on the ground filled with dry kibble food.

While some kitties would readily eat off the floor, others have some specific requirements from their chosen food bowl. Whether your cat is picky about their dinnerware or they have a digestive issue that requires special attention, choosing one of these best cat food bowls can have them licking their lips and plates clean before you know it.

1. Best Overall Choice: Americat Company Stainless Steel Cat Bowls

Americat Company Set of Stainless Steel Cat Bowls
Stainless steel construction: U.S. sourced 18/8 304 series stainless steel.
Dishwasher safe and easy to clean by hand.
Wide and shallow with sloped sides to protect sensitive whiskers from whisker fatigue.

Here’s a simple, no-frills cat food bowl that will get the job done in a clean and sanitary way. Stainless steel is a veterinarian’s favorite for cat food bowl materials. That’s because it’s nearly indestructible, so you won’t have to worry about bite or scratch marks harboring bacteria. 

This bowl can also be washed in the dishwasher periodically to help keep your kitty healthy. This stainless steel is food grade and heavy-duty, so your cat won’t easily push it around. However, it is light enough for you to easily pick them when it’s time for feeding or cleaning. 

This bowl from the Americat Company is also wide and shallow to help prevent whisker fatigue and keep paranoid cats feeling comfortable. It also holds 16 ounces so that this bowl will work for food or water, and it will fit in some elevated food bowl stands.

The Americat Company Stainless Steel cat bowl does have a rounded side which makes it easier to flip over, especially if your cat is the naughty type. Putting it in a stand will help prevent this. Stainless steel is also expensive, but expect it to last for a long time.


  • Sanitary and hygienic 
  • Easily cleaned
  • Wide and shallow


  • Expensive
  • Some cats can flip it over

2. Best Ceramic Option: Y YHY Ceramic Cat Bowl Feeding Set

Y YHY Raised Cat Food and Water Bowl Set
Reduce Neck Burden: 3.6-inch height so that your cat's neck is in a more natural position and allowing pets to eat more comfortably.
Ceramic cat water bowl meets all food safety standards and can be quickly rinsed or wiped clean, microwave and dishwasher safe.
Helps your cat avoid stress from whisker fatigue and can keep your cat's face clean while enjoying a meal.

These ceramic cat food bowls from Y YHY are the perfect pair to hold your cat’s food and water. The dishes are easily cleaned by hand or in the dishwasher, and they can safely be put in the microwave. Not only that, but these bowls are slightly elevated to be the perfect height to enhance your cat’s digestion or ease their arthritic discomforts.

Now to the bells and whistles. These ceramic bowls are also uniquely designed, with the food bowl being slightly tilted to provide a better angle for your cat to reach in. The water bowl features marked measurements so that you can keep track of how much they are drinking every day. This is especially important for cats with health issues like diabetes or kidney disease.

These bowls from Y YHY only hold about one cup of dry kibble, so they’re not ideal if your cat has a big appetite or if you have multiple cats. The curved sides also make it easy for food to fall out the sides and out onto the floor. As with all ceramic bowls, they don’t withstand a lot of wear and tear, especially if you drop or tip it over.


  • Easily cleaned
  • Microwavable
  • Elevated design to aid digestion


  • Can crack or chip
  • Curved sides allow easy food spillage
  • Doesn’t hold a lot of food

3. Best Elevated Option: PETKIT Cybertail Elevated Food Bowls

PETKIT CYBERTAIL Elevated Dog/Cat Stainless Steel Bowls
Reduce Neck Burden: 3.6-inch height so that your cat's neck is in a more natural position and allowing pets to eat more comfortably.
Ceramic cat water bowl meets all food safety standards and can be quickly rinsed or wiped clean, microwave and dishwasher safe.
Raised bowls can help improve cat’s digestion.

Elevated food and water bowls may do the trick if your kitty needs a little boost for their digestion. These elevated bowls from PETKIT are not only at a great height to maximize digestion, but they are also slightly tilted to allow for easy access. The rounded edges also accommodate food removal, and the wide shape will help prevent whisker fatigue.

The stand has a rubberized bottom so it won’t slip around as easily, and the removable bowls are made from stainless steel. They’re easy to clean, even in the dishwasher, and are heavy-duty to resist cracking and scratching. Stainless steel is also very hygienic to prevent your cat from getting sick.

Attaching the bowls to the base can be difficult. Since these bowls should be slightly tilted, they need to be attached to the base rather than just placed there. This can be a little cumbersome and not work as smoothly. Also, the base is made of plastic, so if your cat has a plastic allergy, they may still be affected even though the bowls are stainless steel.


  • Stainless steel bowls
  • Elevated for improved digestion
  • Tilted for easy access


  • Plastic base
  • Hard to attach bowls to base

4. Best Eco-Friendly Option: Van Ness Ecoware Cat Dish

Van Ness ECOWARE Cat Dish
Cat dishes are made from renewable plant sources—47% bamboo plant material.
Open design allows your cat to eat food more easily and stress-free.
Easy-to-clean and under normal use, cat bowls are unbreakable & will not crack or chip.

This cat food bowl from Van Ness is a little different, made from plant-based material, mainly bamboo. This makes this bowl a sustainable and environmentally friendly product that is safe and durable for your cat to use. The silicone material is covered in a high-polish finish that is chemical and heavy metal-free and won’t chip or crack under normal use.

The Ecoware Cat Dish also features a skid-free bottom to keep the dish where you want it and to help keep your kitty from tipping it over. It is also wide and shallow to help prevent whisker fatigue and provide security and comfort to more anxious cats. Along with that, these cat food bowls are easily cleaned by hand or in the dishwasher and is easy on the budget.

However, since these cat food bowls from Van Ness are made primarily from bamboo, some cats may develop an allergy to them. This will typically show up as a rash on their chin or face. They also only hold eight ounces, and larger amounts of kibble will easily fall out with the shallowness of the bowl and the curved sides.


  • Environmentally friendly material
  • Chemical and heavy metal-free
  • Wide and shallow shape


  • Cats may develop an allergy to the material
  • Doesn’t hold a lot of cat food

5. Best Slow Feeder Cat Bowl: Petstages Cat Slow Feeder

Petstages Cat Slow Feeder
Promotes fun, healthy eating: naturally slows cats' eating pace by allowing cats to forage for their food through a fun maze.
BPA, PVC & Phthalate Free: Made with food safe materials that you can trust with your kitty.
Improves digestion: reducing eating pace can improve digestion and prevent bloating.

The Petstages Slow Feeder bowl may be just what they need to slow down mealtime for cats who eat too quickly. The ridges in this cat food bowl create a little maze that traps pieces of kibble or even wet food so that your cat has to pick around to get their meal. This helps to improve digestion and decrease vomiting. Not only that, this maze food bowl will keep your cat entertained throughout the day.

The Petstages Slow Feeder is dishwasher safe so that you don’t have to attempt to handwash around all of those curves and ridges. It is also BPA, PVC, and chemical-free, so you know it will be safe for your cat. A non-slip base covers the bottom, so you won’t have to worry about your cat moving this food bowl around the house while they work through the maze.

Some cats aren’t going to like a slow feeder-type bowl. Picky eaters may turn up their noses if they find it difficult or time-consuming to get to their kibble. That is why slow feeders are meant more for voracious cats who only care about food and not for fussy eaters. This bowl holds about ¾ cup of dry kibble or wet food, which might not be big enough for an entire day’s feeding for a bigger cat.


  • Helps improve digestion
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Provides mental stimulation and entertainment


  • Some cats won’t like it
  • Holds ¾ cup food 

Best Cat Food Bowls Buying Guide

A gray cat with black stripes is sitting down in front of two metal pet food bowls on a metal stand, licking its mouth.

You may think that every cat food bowl is created equal. That is until you try to buy one and find that there are more options than teeth in your cat’s mouth. While it’s great to have options, the sheer number of options is overwhelming. We’re here to help you narrow down your choices so that you can find a cat food bowl that both you and your feline friend will love.

Cat Bowl Materials:  Which is the Best?

There are many cute shapes, colors, patterns, and materials that cat food bowls come in. So, which is best for your kitty?

  • Plastic: Plastic cat food bowls are among the most common and least expensive items available. While they are easy to find, plastic isn’t the best material for cat food bowls. That’s because teeth or claws easily damage the plastic. Those puncture holes, cracks, and scratches are hard to clean and can harbor bacteria that can make your cat sick. Some cats can also develop allergies to plastic that can show up as a rash on their face and chin.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic bowls are nice and easy to clean. They can be hand-washed, with some being dishwasher-safe. They also tend to be heavier in weight, which may keep your cat from pushing them around as much. However, that heaviness can also be detrimental if it is dropped, as ceramic breaks easily.  
  • Glass: Another material that is easy to clean is glass. Handwashing or a run through the dishwasher will get them clean and sanitary. But glass also tends to be fragile and can easily crack if knocked around or dropped.
  • Stainless Steel: Most vets will recommend stainless steel cat food bowls simply because they are sanitary and nearly indestructible. Stainless steel is easily cleaned in the dishwasher or by hand. They also tend to be more expensive and don’t have any fun colors or patterns. 

Types of Cat Food Bowls

Materials aside, there are still many options left for cat food bowls. These options pertain to the size, shape, and unique features.

  • Size and Shape: Generally speaking, you’ll want a cat food bowl that can accommodate a meal’s worth of your cat’s food. Sometimes it’s not that simple. Some scaredy-cat types will prefer a shallow, wider bowl to keep an eye on their surroundings. Others prefer the wider bowl to prevent whisker fatigue. However, if you’re cramped for space and have a fairly laid-back feline, a deeper, narrower bowl may fit the surroundings better. Just be prepared for your cat to pull kibble from their bowl and eat it on the floor. Those messy kitties also need a bigger bowl to keep their kibble more confined while they eat it.
  • Elevated: Elevated cat food bowls are on the rise. That’s because feeding your cat at a higher level can improve digestion and prevent discomfort in older kitties. Elevated cat food bowls should be about chest high when your cat is standing normally. This keeps your cat from hunching over their bowl, which can cause back pain and cramp the digestive system. For cats with megaesophagus, elevated food bowls are a must.
  • Slow Feeders: If it seems like your cat has never tasted their cat food because they eat it so fast, a slow feeder-type bowl may be your answer. These cat food bowls have ridges or bumps in them that dry kibble falls around and in between. This prevents your kitty from grabbing large mouthfuls of food at a time and instead makes them pick around the obstacles for smaller nibbles. Not only can slow feeders help reduce the amount of food that your cat eats, but they can also cut down on the number of post-meal throw-ups that you have to clean.

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a cat food bowl, you’ll first want to note your cat’s personality. Are they easy-going or a little jumpy? Are they a little messy or highly fastidious? Do they have any health concerns or digestive issues? With those in mind, you can choose a bowl that will accommodate them at mealtime and not put you out when it comes time to clean it.