Where To Put Cat Food and Water Bowls: Location, Location, Location!
It’s a question that many cat owners ask us on a regular basis - Where is the best place for my cats’ stuff?
To some, keeping all the cat stuff together seems like the logical answer (this used to be me). To others, placing bowls in the kitchen is the answer. In reality, the most common cat bowl locations may be wrong for your cats!
A poor location can lead to cats eating and drinking less than they should, unsanitary conditions, and stress.
Learn the best locations for cat bowls from the cat experts at Americat Company
Choose a Calm, Quiet Location
Loud and busy locations may cause stress, keeping cats from eating or forcing them to eat too quickly.
So, pick a place where there is not a lot of foot traffic or noise. A calm, quiet space, such as a spare bathroom, spare bedroom, or a hallway, will help keep cats relaxed, so they can eat in peace.
Because of its proximity to the pantry, sink, and trash, the kitchen is a common location for cat bowls. If your home is quiet, the kitchen works. But, if your kitchen is bustling with activity, it is not the best location. The commotion could make cats nervous about eating, or someone could accidentally step on your cat's tail, ending mealtime with an "ouch"!
Keep Cat Bowls Away from the Litter Box
You don't like to eat in the bathroom and neither do cats! Food and litter boxes should be kept a considerable distance apart. The main reason is to avoid cross contamination that may occur when cats cover up after themselves. If litter particles end up in the food or water bowl, they may get eaten and cause your cats to become sick.
Also, in the wild, cats go to the bathroom away from their nest, so that predators do not notice their scent. At home, having food and litter close to each other may confuse cats, as they are not sure if they should eat or use the potty. This may throw off their usual patterns and result in eating too little or inappropriate urination.
Choose the Right Bowl
Now that you've chosen the location, be sure to choose the best bowl. Cats use their bowls multiple times a day every single day, which makes cat bowls one of the most important products that you will select for your little babies. So, make sure your cats' bowls are safe for them.
Now that you've chosen the location that is best for YOUR cats, be sure to also choose the best bowl. Cats use their bowls multiple times a day, every single day, making this one of the most important products to buy. Make sure your cats' bowls are safe.
We recently wrote about how to choose the safest bowl for your cat. Read our 5 tips here.
Separate Food and Water Bowls
Even though dual food and water bowl stands are popular at many pet stores, food and water bowls are best kept in two different locations. Cats do not like their food and water right next to each other. Cat behaviorists believe this may be due to cats hunting away from their water source in the wild.
Cats also do not enjoy the scent of food while drinking water. In addition, they are turned off by food particles in their water.
Therefore, keep cat food and water bowls in two separate locations. And if you're using a bowl stand, use a single bowl stand like this rather than a dual bowl stand, so that you can separate food and water.
Separate Food Bowls for Each Cat
Veterinarians and cat behaviorists agree that giving cats their own food bowls is best. In the wild, cats eat and hunt alone. They are wired to be protective of their food. Forcing cats to share bowls at home may result in cats eating too quickly, guarding bowls, or fights.
Feeding cats from separate bowls also allows you to give different portion sizes and diets. Even if your cats eat the same food now, that may change as they age.
Read more about whether cats should share food bowls here.
Consider Your Dog
If you have a dog at home, place cat bowls at a higher elevation, such as on a counter. Or place them in a location where only your cat can fit, like a cat condo. Not only does this help keep your dog from eating the wrong food, but it will also help cats relax. If your cats eat near your dog, they may become too scared to eat or, alternatively, eat too fast.
Pick a Permanent Place
Cats are creatures of habit (just like their parents!) so once you pick a location, keep their bowls there. Moving bowls frequently will confuse your cats, causing them to disrupt their regular eating and drinking schedules.
Set Up a 2nd Location to Transition
If you've learned that your cats' bowls should be in different places, experiment by placing bowls in the areas we've recommended. But don't remove your cats' current bowls just yet! This may confuse your cats. Instead, keep bowls in the current locations plus setup bowls in the new locations.
Show your cats the new locations. After your cats have adjusted and are now using bowls in the new locations, you can remove the bowls from the original spots.
Experiences of a Cat Parent
A few years ago, I kept all our cat stuff in one place - a spare bathroom. The litter box was in one corner and the food and water bowls were in another corner. Penny and Bella shared 1 food bowl and 1 water bowl.
After learning more about cat behavior, each cat now has her own bowl, and their bowls are in better locations. I keep Bella's food bowl in the breakfast room and Penny's food bowl in the hallway by my office. I keep water bowls on each floor of the house. There are water bowls in the kitchen (which is quiet in my case), in the family room, and in the bedroom upstairs.
Both Penny and Bella enjoy the peace of having their own territories. I now understand this is more sanitary and keeps them from competing for food.
These are my cats' favorite food and water bowls. I've noticed they eat more comfortably and drink more water since we've switched.
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