Picking the perfect food bowl for your Persian pal can be tough, but it can make a significant difference to your cat’s eating experience, habits and health. This is particularly important for special breeds such as Persians, for whom feeding can be a particular challenge due to their flat faces and long hair.
We’ve looked at the main things you should consider when picking an eating bowl for your Persian companion, and found a few amazing options that will meet your Persian’s needs.
Main Things To Consider When Picking Your Persian Cat’s Food Bowl
Avoid plastic bowls.
Bacteria and oil build up on plastic, particularly in scratches and imperfections in the material. The bacteria can easily transfer to your cat’s face, leading to infections. This is a particular concern for Persians as they are already prone to bacteria build up on their face, especially around the eyes.
Plastic bowls can also absorb odours, which can be off putting for your cat and may deter them from eating or drinking.
Select something ceramic, stainless steel or melamine (a non-toxic, non-allergenic compound) instead, and check your chosen food bowl for scratches and chips that can both harbour bacteria and hurt your cat’s mouth.
Look for a shallow bowl.
In general, all cats prefer dishes that are fairly shallow and wide so that they do not need to dip their head into the bowl in order to eat. They don’t like anything that prevents them from looking up at their environment while eating, and there is also a suggestion that deep bowls can irritate their whiskers.
Investing in a shallow, wide dish is doubly important for Persians as their flat faces make it more challenging for them to reach into a deep bowl, making it difficult for them to eat all their food, causing them distress while eating, and increasingly the likelihood that food will get caught in the hair on their face, which if not cleaned properly can lead to infection and further distress.
This can refer both to dishes that won’t move around on the floor when your cat is trying to eat from them, and dishes which help prevent food spilling from the bowl or getting stuck in corners where your cat can’t reach it. Having a proper non-stick bowl decreases mess for you and your cat, leads to less food wastage and means your cat doesn’t go hungry.
In terms of the bowl moving around the floor, the weight of the dish is an important factor, as well as grips on the bottom of the bowl that ensure good contact with the floor.
In terms of slippage within the bowl, there are many design techniques to help keep the food in the centre of the bowl including internal ripples or a slanted base.
Consider a speciality dish.
Speciality dishes that offer your cat their food at an angle can also be ideal for Persians as again it prevents them from needing to dip their head deep into the bowl. A slight elevation to the dish can also help with this, and some experts also suggest that this can be better for your cat’s back while eating.
BUT never get a double bowl.
Separate bowls are preferable to ‘double bowls’ as cats don’t like to have their water next to their food as it can become contaminated with bits of food or odour.
Which Are The Best Cat Bowls On The Market?
Now you know what the important factors are, what products are out there for your Persian cat?
#1 CatGuru Premium Food Bowl
Available in either oval or round shape and in six different colours, this bowl ticks all the key boxes. It is wide and shallow, made from melamine, and keeps food accessible for your cat by using tiny ripples in the bowl cavity that prevent food from sliding over the edge of the bowl. Designed specifically to accommodate a 4.5 ounce serving, the standard serving for normal size cats, it’s also easy to ensure you are feeding your cat the right amount without time consuming measuring. It is durable and dishwasher safe.
#2 Love “N” Creatures Slanted Cat Bowl
While not as shallow as the CatGuru, the slanted angle design allows your cat to eat without the discomfort of dipping their head into the bowl and helps food remain in the centre of the bowl to reduce waste. The model also has a grip opening, which makes it easy to take off the floor when you need to clean it or refill it. On the downside, this bowl is made of plastic, so regular cleaning and monitoring for wear and tear is a must.
#3 iBard Dual purpose Slanted Cat Food Bowl
Designed to protect your cat’s cervical spine by allowing it to adjust its food posture, the wide opening and tilt are ideal for flat faced cats. Made from high-quality resin material that is free of toxins, eco-friendly and safe for your pet, it is durable and the weight adds a non-slip feature.
Using Your Food Bowl At Home
Once you’ve selected the perfect food bowl for your Persian, there are a few other things to consider.
Cats can be very particular about the location of their food and water bowls. They generally prefer that their food bowls aren’t placed too close to their litter trays (you wouldn’t want to eat by your toilet!), and also prefer to eat in quieter areas of the home with less traffic.
If you have more than one cat, don’t place their bowls too close together – cats are instinctually solitary hunters and can get irritated when other cats eat too close to them.
Also, don’t locate your cat’s water bowl too close to their food bowl (or litter tray) as the water can become contaminated with food and odour that can put them off drinking. Also, if you’re worried that your cat isn’t drinking enough, consider a pet water fountain, as cats love drinking from running water.
Check out this Pet Fountain Cat Water Dispenser, which holds 5 litres of water, is silent and environmentally friendly with low energy consumption.
While most people remember to wash their cat’s bowl after each use if they are eating wet food, the same is not always true for dry food. Try and wash your cat’s dry food bowl every day, as dry cat food tends to be oily, so can collect bacteria and start to smell.
Also, remember to check your cat’s bowl regularly for scratches and chips that can harbour bacteria or hurt your cat’s mouth.
As Persian’s are mostly indoor cats due to their long hair, placid nature and high value, they don’t get to exercise their hunting instincts as much as some other cats. With this in mind, you might also want to consider an interactive cat feeder, like this Doc & Phoebe Interactive Indoor Hunting Cat Feeder. The feeder allows you to place five small meals inside individual ‘mice’ feeders for your cat to hunt in the home. Experts suggest that letting your cat simulate hunting reduces stress and that breaking your cat’s meal into five portions reduces instances of scarf and barf, and the need for early wake up feeding calls.
While your cat’s food bowl may seem like a simple choice that requires little thought, putting a little bit of extra thought and consideration into getting a bowl that suits their specific needs can make your cat both healthier and happier. I wrote a post on automatic cat feeders that you may find interesting.