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Is an Elevated Cat Bowl a Good Idea? Vet-Approved Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Cute cat eating his food on wooden elevated feeder bowl
Image Credit: Ripio, Shutterstock

Getting a new cat is an exciting time for both you and your pet. If you’re in the process of buying items for your cat and have noticed raised or elevated cat food bowls being advertised, you may be wondering if these raised bowls are a good idea or not.

To date, there is no scientifically proven benefit to using an elevated cat food bowl. Naturally, cats have always eaten their prey from the ground, so it’s up to you whether you want to offer your cat a regular food bowl or an elevated one and see what they prefer. That being said, there are certain situations in which your vet may recommend an elevated feeding station. If this is not the case, we’ll help you decide which one to choose based on a few factors.

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What Is an Elevated Cat Bowl?

While a regular cat food bowl sits flat on the floor, an elevated bowl is designed to be up and off the ground in an elevated manner. This type of food bowl is designed so that cats do not have to bend over too low to reach the food.

elevated cat bowl
Image Credit: MTS_Photo, Shutterstock

Let Your Cat Decide!

The companies that are manufacturing elevated cat bowls claim that raised bowls are more comfortable for cats to use and that they help with digestion. However, as of this writing, there are no scientific studies out there stating that elevated bowls are more comfortable for cats, nor that they can help cats digest food better.

The only way to determine if your cat would prefer using an elevated bowl is to offer them one alongside their regular bowl. You can make an elevated bowl for this test by simply placing a food bowl on top of an elevated and sturdy surface. Once you’ve made the makeshift elevated bowl, put your cat’s favorite cat food in both bowls and watch to see which bowl your cat prefers using. That may give you some useful information. If your cat enjoys eating their meals from the elevated bowl, get them a raised bowl. You could shop for one either online or at your local pet store.

cat eating on elevated feeding
Image Credit: Elayne Massaini, Shutterstock

Tips for Picking a Good Cat Bowl

Once you’ve discovered whether your cat prefers an elevated or non-elevated bowl, it’s time to shop for one. As you probably know, there are lots of food dishes out there and they come in many sizes, shapes, colors, and designs.

When choosing a cat bowl, steer clear of plastic bowls. Chemicals in plastic can seep out and get into the food and beverages we consume, and the same goes for cats! Also, plastic bowls harvest bacteria very easily. So, skip the plastic bowls when you are shopping and stick to bowls made of stainless steel, ideally.

A quality cat food bowl won’t slide all over the floor as your cat is trying to eat every last morsel of food. That is why you should get a food bowl with a non-slip bottom.

It’s equally important to get a cat food bowl that doesn’t scrunch your kitty’s whiskers, so your cat is comfortable while eating. Your cat’s whiskers are ultra-sensitive and designed to help them judge distance and space. If you were to use a bowl that is too small, your cat may refuse to finish all his food due to his whiskers rubbing against the sides of the bowl.

Our cats deserve the best when it comes to their food and water dishes. These essential items must be well designed with the specific needs of our felines as top priority. Our Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is a modern, whisker-friendly option that serves as an all-in-one pet dish. The removable stainless steel bowls are shallow for optimum comfort and slide securely into a PP plastic tray with a wide lip tailored to catch any overflow. This bowl is entirely dishwasher-friendly, too, which helps with tidying up (and will keep your cat happy)! 

Hepper 360 Cat Feeder, Stainless Steel, Anti-Chew...
169 Reviews
Hepper 360 Cat Feeder, Stainless Steel, Anti-Chew...
  • NO MESS - The 360° tray on this cat food and water bowl set has a raised design to catch and...
  • WHISKER FRIENDLY - Shallow and wide metal containers with flat bottoms ensure your kitty can enjoy...

When an Elevated Cat Bowl May Be a Good Idea

Sometimes, an elevated cat bowl is best. For example, if your cat is aging and has mobility issues or joint problems like arthritis that makes it uncomfortable for them to bend down, an elevated bowl could be ideal. If your cat suffers from megaesophagus (dilated esophagus with decreased motility), your vet may recommend feeding them in an upright position. 

You could also try an elevated bowl if you have a cat with long legs, like an Oriental Shorthair or an Abyssinian. There is no evidence for this, but if your cat doesn’t need to crouch over to eat, it may make mealtimes more comfortable.

Elevated cat bowls come in various sizes from small to extra large. If you decide to get one, be sure the bowl is the right height for your cat based on his size.

cat eating on floor at home
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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Choosing the perfect cat food bowl may seem like a complicated task, but don’t get caught up in misleading advertising. To date, there is no proven benefit for your healthy cat to eat from an elevated cat bowl. If your cat has a health problem that requires using an elevated bowl, such as mobility issues or megaesophagus, talk to your veterinarian to find the ideal feeder for your cat’s needs. 

Otherwise, it’s up to you to decide what kind of cat bowl to use. One of the most important things is that the feeder you use is made of good-quality materials. Just steer clear of plastic bowls that can leak harmful chemicals, and choose a bowl made of ceramic or, even better, stainless steel.

Featured Image Credit: Ripio, Shutterstock

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