If you have a kitten, he won’t be able to access his food if the feeding bowl is too large. Bowl size and shape can also come into play for cats with short noses, like Persians. They need a wide shallow dish to be able to access their food. If you have a long haired cat, a long shallow bowl will prevent food from getting stuck in his fur.
Glass, ceramic or stainless steel are the best materials for feeding bowls. These materials are less likely to harbor bacteria and are heavier than plastic so they don’t slide around on the floor quite as much. Whatever material you decide on for your cat’s bowls, be sure to wash them frequently, preferably daily. If you wash bowls by hand, be sure to rinse all soapy residue off thoroughly, soap can irritate a cat’s tongue and mouth.
Once you’ve decided on what type of bowls, it’s time to determine where to set up your cat’s food and water station. Often cat owners will place food and water next to the cat’s litter box. Ugh, would you want your food next to your toilet? As Pam Johnson-Bennett points out in Think Like A Cat, cats in the wild eliminate a distance from their den to prevent predators from finding them. If the cat’s food and water are stationed next to his litter box, this goes against his natural instincts and he may be apt to eliminate in inappropriate locations as a result.
A good location for a cat’s feeding station is a quiet location without a lot of traffic so he can eat and feel safe. If you have a dog that likes to raid the cat’s food, be sure your cat’s food is out of dog reach. In my case, I had to put up a gate to prevent Jessie from raiding Marty’s food.
Pam Johnson Bennett’s book Think Like A Cat is a great resource for any cat owner. Her book is available through our online store http://fullyfeline.wpengine.com/cat-products/