I have never put too much thought into choosing a cat feeding dish before. I pick up cute dishes every time I go shopping. If the dish is cute, and not too expensive, I end up bring it home. I have a dish for each cat and then a few more in case I get visitors. Unfortunately, I was not thinking about the cats. I assumed they would eat out of anything that was available. Oh silly me!
After further consideration, I conclude that it is important to consider the size and shape of a bowl as well as the composition. Some cats do not like to get their whiskers soiled while eating and therefore need a more shallow bowl. That is why sometimes when there is food in the bowl, the cat will act like it is starving to death. Persian cats, for example, have a flat face so they need a shallow plate so their face and whiskers don’t get food on them while they are eating.
Plastic bowls absorb odors therefore are not a good choice for a cat food dish. Ceramic and metal dishes are a much better choice. The size and shape of the bowl are important also. If they are too large the cat will eat too fast and too much at one time and vomit it up. A “communal” bowl or dish will have the same problem. The cat will eat fast so she gets her portion. It has been suggested that we place individual bowls in different places throughout the house so the cat has to “hunt” to find them thus stimulating their hunting instinct. The excitement of the hunt stimulates their hunger response.
According to www.peteducation.com, “A cat’s stomach is the size of a ping-pong ball. It is designed to hold no more than 1-2 tablespoons of food at one time. The amount equivalent to the edible content of their typical prey. This is why when your cat eats a big portion of food at one time, they vomit it right back up.” The size of the bowl should reflect the amount of food the cat needs to eat in one sitting.
There are various foraging toys for feeding cats. Foodpuzzlesforcats.com says, “we strongly believe that encouraging foraging behavior is one of the best things you can do for your cat and we are here to show you how to do it!” They have a variety of different ideas and some that you can create yourself. You can even choose a method for wet or dry cat foods. One way is taking a coffee cup and putting it on its side with wet food inside. Put it on a placemat and your kitty will have to pull the food out with his paw in order to eat it
You can make your cat foraging as easy or a difficult as you like. Pick a shallow dish or create a foraging toy of your own to stimulate your pet’s hunting instinct. Have fun with it! I actually moved my cat bowls around the house today and tomorrow I am thinking of trying the cup on the placemat method to see how my cats will react to it. I feel I might be cleaning up a mess, but it does give my cats a challenge.