Monday 7 September 2020

**NEW SERIES** Top Tips For Cat Pawrents ~ Let's Talk About Food Bowls

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Welcome to 

Top Tips For Cat Pawrents

 A Brand New Series at BBHQ 

Today we thought we'd share the furst part of our new series, which we've been planning it for quite some time, so we do hope mew enjoy it.

If mew're new to being cat staff, then maybe there are a few things mew haven't thought about and we're here to point mew in the right direction so mew get the lowdown on top tips for cat pawrents which we've gathered from over 25 years experience. And whether mew're a single cat pawrent or multi-cat pawrent there could be something in our new series to help mew navigate cat pawrenting more easily.

At BBHQ there has pretty much always been 6 cats living here, so we're quite the experts on living in a multi-cat household, and prior to that when the P.A. lived in the city she only had one kitty, so we have insight on that too.

And for those seasoned and veteran cat staff; our pawesome blogging buddies and regular readers, do feel free to add more tips and suggestions on today's subject in Fudge's Top Tip Box aka the comments below, as we know mew guys have a veritable wealth of experience. 

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We're cats helping cats!

This week's
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 is all about 

Food Bowls
Catfood Bowl Image Canva ©BionicBasil®
Some of mew may think that this is a completely irrelevant subject and that any old thing will do but we can assure mew that's not the case, or on the other paw, some cat pawrents spend humungous amounts of cash on designer or gimmicky items.

Let's start off with the humble, normal feeding bowl before we start talking designer stuff.

There are 1000's to choose from, literally 1,000's, so where do mew begin?

Furstly let's talk size, as size does matter. From our experience mew want something that's at least 5" or 13 cm in diameter; go get your ruler and check the size, anything smaller and it makes it hard to eat from as mew need to think about whiskers.  

And talking about whiskers, don't ever buy deep bowls as this squishes whiskers and makes for an unpleasant eating experience. Ideally, the bowl should be no more than 2" or 5 cm high, this is the Goldilocks height [aka just right] as it also stops the food being pushed out onto the floor. We used ceramic saucers for years, and they were great, no whisker impediment there but the food was readily pushed off them, so great for whiskers but really bad for food containment especially with messy eaters. 

Next, let's talk about what the bowl should be made from. Ideally, stainless steel is the way to go or ceramic. If possible, don't ever use plastic bowls as these can cause chin acne, yes cat acne is really a thing! How do we know? Way back in 2003 when Amber furst arrived at BBHQ, we used to use a couple of plastic dishes from Ikea as Amber seemed to like eating from them rather than the ceramic saucers. 

Soon after, the P.A. noticed that Amber had a few little red bumps under her chin, anyhoo the P.A. began to investigate what could be the cause. Aftur much elimination of trying different wet and dry food, she finally addressed the bowl, and aftur removing it and using something else non-plastic, the chin acne went away aftur a few weeks, so learn from our mistake; 


Your cat may not be susceptible to chin acne from plastic bowls but our advice would be don't go there, go stainless or ceramic.

Top Tips For Cat Pawrents ©BionicBasil® Stainless Steel Cat Bowl

These are what we use, we have 12 in total. They are stainless steel, so easy to clean and hygienic, plus they flare out at the top so are purrfect for whiskers. The dimensions are just under 6" or 15 cm in diameter and 0.75" or 2 cm high approx.

Designer and Gimmicky Food Bowls

Ok, let's talk about designer and gimmicky bowls. In our 25+ years we have seen so many different types of bowls, all the way from supurr cheap to mega expensive. Just because it's expensive and has a fancy name doesn't mean it's better, some of the designer brands are no better than something from let's say B and M or Target, mew're just paying for the name, and really your cat doesn't care who it's made by as long it is doesn't squish their whiskers and has their favourite food in.  

Honestly don't get sucked into parting with your hard-earned cash because mew want to be hip and fashionable and have expensive everything matchy-matchy, mew can get great stuff at a great price if mew shop around and create your own vibe, and as we said earlier your cat doesn't care what brand it is, it just needs to be functional and practical plus easy to clean. Don't buy it because mew think it'll look cool on Instagram for five minutes and get a few likes, keep your cash for something better.

And now let's talk about gimmicky bowls. The P.A. just bought Amber a new ceramic bowl, see pic below, only a few days ago. 

Top Tips For Cat Pawrents ©BionicBasil® Elevated Cat Bowl

It looks great right? Sadly that's the only thing going for it.

Amber will be 18 in October and has a bit of arthritis so the P.A. thought getting her an elevated bowl would be just the trick to help her out at this stage in her life. It cost about £14 or $18 US dollars, and what a total waste of money it was. The wet food slides onto the floor and if mew put dry food in it, it ends up everywhere. 

In all honesty, we've now put a little non-slip box under her regular stainless bowl to elevate it, see pic below, and she's as happy as a kitty in a catnip meadow. If the P.A. had thought about it before she jumped in and bought it, she could have saved £14 to go towards something else far more useful, like 14 packets of Dreamies. The P.A. should have used our *money-saving tip below - don't wurry we've written to her and said, "Don't let it happen again!" MOL

Top Tips For Cat Pawrents ©BionicBasil® Homemade Elevated Cat Bowl

We also have a funky-looking elevated double bowl holder, see pic below, which we bought years ago and use for freshwater and dry food/kibble only, but we hardly use it preferring our water fountain in the main kitchen instead and we like to eat the dry food/kibble from the normal ceramic bowl in the catservatory better.

Top Tips For Cat Pawrents ©BionicBasil® Elevated Fish Cat Bowl

So purrlease don't get sucked into buying expensive or gimmicky things, try this easy way to save money; *before mew hit check-out if mew're shopping online wait 24 hours and see if mew still want the item/s. Chances are mew won't. Put that cash towards cat food, treats, cat litter or just save it for something epic. 


Easy Peasy Clean-ups!

We are very lucky that we have our own kitty kitchen at BBHQ, and it's a rather organised affair at mealtimes as mew can see in the picture below. Smooch usually has the middle slot aftur Fudge - the ginger ninja but this morning he was having a lie-in! MOL 

 Look top left and mew'll see the tip of Parsley's tail, he eats on the countertop, don't ask us why he prefers to dine alone.

Top Tips For Cat Pawrents ©BionicBasil® The B Team Having Breakfast

We find that using plastic placemats and putting kitchen roll under each bowl is a great idea, not only is it a supurr civilised way to eat, but it helps if there are food accidents; remove the bowl, pick the kitchen roll up and throw it in the bin, wipe the placemat and put a new piece of kitchen roll down and mew're ready for the 2nd course, instant easy peasy clean-up.

Top Tips For Cat Pawrents ©BionicBasil® The B Team Place Settings

Fudge wants to know when lunch is being served, and could he see the menu, he says he rather fancies the fish today! MOL

Well, that's us cat experts done for Monday, we do hope mew enjoyed today's post, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feel free to share on your social media.

We'll be back tomorrow with the next thrilling and  claw-biting chapter of our mega-adventure, The Clockwurk Labyrinth, and if mew've missed any of the previous chapters, click here to catch up.

Until next time...

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  1. That was wonderful, informative and spot on! We've never had stainless steel bowl but we do use ceramic and we know where they were made so we're happy with them.

  2. I used to use plastic bowls in the earlier days and they gave Flynn chin eczema. I changed to ceramic and it cleared up. I bought one of the double bowls and put water in one side and kibble in the other. All that happened was the kibble ended up a soggy mess!

  3. We use ceramic and glass bowls, which are washed by The Hubby and sanitized.
    When Celestial Angel was here, I put a shoe box under her bowl, so it was easier for her to eat from.

  4. Great tips, mew guys! We only use stainless and ceramic bowls here. And yes to the feeding station place mats for easy peasy cleanup. :)

  5. I love your new series and got to see your kitties eating. Well one was napping and only the tail of the other, but still. Most informative information too.

    Thank you for joining the Awww Mondays Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Awww Monday and week. Scritches to all the kitties. ♥

  6. Great tips ! We only use ceramic here. Purrs

  7. Great tips and lovely pictures to go with them !

  8. Hey not sure what is going on here but before I get to publish button my comment disappears.
    Trying again.
    great and informative post. We now use stainless steel bowls for food but use ceramic bowl for water/ice bowl. should we not use a ceramic cat bowl for water/ice bowl? Used ceramic water/ice bowl for years.

  9. Great post. I can never feed my cats in a row like that, they steal each other's food. XO

  10. This looks like it's going to be a pawsome series with lots of important information and tips!

  11. We agree that ceramic is the best option for cats. A new owner may not realise how important it can be. Our Harvey had to have ceramic and bit by bit everyone was moved to the pottery option.

    Harvey also had a raised bowl on a pedestal but, until Amber's it was a simple wide ceramic bowl and he loved it. Miss him.

  12. My cat Jake uses a ceramic dog bowl from Harry Barker. 😹 😮 He likes to march to the beat of his own drum.

  13. Good tips and we really think you will help a lot of pawrents out. Great idea!

  14. Pipo seems to love the mini pie plates I found a good while back at the local Wally's Mart...they are the same size as the stainless steel ones in the pet departments...which he didn't seem to enjoy eating from...go figure. We have some other ceramic bowls, too, but he pushes the wet food right off of those. We elevate his main dish by placing t in a series of other ceramic a stack with the main entree in the top! Its easy, it works and no extra $$ was needed. (I used to raise MJF's bowl by placing his in an empty coffee tin. Still have that, but no longer use it for that purpose.)

    I have seen 'slow feeder' bowls for kitties, just imagine the mess that might make!

    NI never had issues with kitty acne, but I stopped using the plastic ones I had when I read about that trouble.


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