New! Kittens New!
Cats and Kittens
JUST FOR FUN!
The Super Bowl
Cynthia B. Whitney
Reprinted With Permission
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Don’t get too excited. This piece is not about two litters of kittens battling over a catnip football. What you will read is a discussion of some of the various types of feeding bowls available, and a recommendation of the best bowl for felines. Not too exciting, but then, not everything is War & Peace.
You want to provide dishes for your cat to eat and drink from that it will be comfortable. Find a dish that is low enough, big enough, and stable enough for your cat’s needs. Finicky felines can sometimes refuse to eat out of a perfectly sensible bowl. Don’t waste your time, or your cat’s, by trying to figure out why. Just change the bowl.
You also want to choose a bowl that will be sanitary. Plastic bowls have several negative qualities. Plastic retains odors, and odors can mean germs. Bacteria grow on surfaces that aren’t completely clean. Therefore, plastic bowls may not be the best choice, especially if feeding the raw meat diet. In addition, some cats are prone to feline acne. This is a malady that causes black, dirty-looking pimples on the chin. This is often caused by the greasy nature of the plastic bowl, not to mention the oils in the cat food. If you have a light colored cat, like white or cream, or your cat has shown a tendency towards feline acne, you should not use a plastic bowl.
Crockery bowls are especially nice for water. They are usually a nice deep size, which minimizes spillage, and they tend to keep the water cool. They can easily be washed in the dishwasher, too. Watch for cracks, however, since crockery is somewhat breakable.
Remember kittens are small, and their feeding dishes should be easily accessible. Use low dishes, or saucers for very young kittens. They can graduate to higher bowls as they grow.
Self-feeders: These are nice, but usually made of plastic. If you are out of the house for long periods, self-feeders provide clean water, and fresh dry food for your cat. Remember to clean the dish part regularly.
Tandem feeders: These are combination bowls, often with two bowls attached together. Often, yes, these are plastic, too. If you use this type of dish, remember you will usually have to empty both bowls each time. So, if you use it for water and dry food, you will probably have to throw away the dry food each time you replenish the water. Additionally, the dry food will frequently jump into the water. The water will quickly become unappealing to your cat, so it will not have fresh water to drink. Although, some cats find fishing-for-the-dry-food-in-the-water game a nice distraction. You won’t.
Stainless Steel: These are the preferred bowls, and ones you will see most breeders and veterinarians use. Steel can be thoroughly washed in very hot water, and with soap, and not leave any residue. Steel does not hold germs, does not encourage feline acne, does not crack, and is available in numerous shapes and sizes. There are small bowls for individual feeding, large pans for group feeding, deep bowls for water, etc. These bowls can even be put in the dishwasher for an extra sanitary measure.
As far as price goes, you can get cheap plastic bowls that have to be replaced frequently or more costly crocks or steel that will last a long time. You can get fancy, decorated bowls that will please you. Your cat doesn’t care what color its bowl is, or if Garfield is smiling at him from the bottom. In fact, the bowls with objects or pictures in the bottom must be some sadistic person’s idea of fun for your cat. After finding a watery mess on your floor and a wet cat only one time, you will agree this is not the case. Whichever type of feeding bowl you get, remember to keep it clean, clean, clean.