You’ve carefully selected the best cat food, but have you thought about the best cat bowl to serve it in?

We diligently researched plastic versus ceramic versus stainless steel cat bowls. After analyzing the pros and cons of the different materials, we gave each type of cat dish a grade based on design, safety, and overall performance.

Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel Cat Bowls

Based on our testing, stainless steel is the best material for cat bowls. Frequently used in medical equipment and in cooking because of its antibacterial qualities, stainless steel is also safest for cats. Its cleanliness and durability cannot be beat. However, not all stainless steel cat bowls are created equally. Some bowls made overseas have been found to contain lead and other radioactive metals. There are also hundreds of grades of stainless steel, so quality can vary greatly.

At Americat, all of our stainless steel cat bowls are made using human grade and foodsafe materials— independently tested to be free of lead and other harmful metals. Some of our customers even purchase bowls to use themselves and for young children. We use heavy (22 gauge), 18/8 (also called 304 series) stainless steel. You can actually see and feel the difference.

+ Sanitary and germ-resistant as bacteria cannot enter hard, non-porous surface
+ Unbreakable
+ Long-lasting and won’t easily scratch, stain, or rust despite constant use
+ Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
+ Attractive, modern look
– Quality may vary depending on grade of stainless steel

Grade: A

Pros and Cons of Ceramic Cat Bowls

Ceramic cat bowls are safer than plastic. But, their fragileness, ability to harbor bacteria if not glazed properly, and potentially toxic paint make them a gamble.

+ Can feature fun, artistic designs
– Can develop chips or cracks, which harbor bacteria similar to plastic cat bowls
– Can shatter and break easily. Sharp shards can injure you or your cat
– Glaze may contain lead or other toxins that are not foodsafe

Grade: C

Pros and Cons of Plastic Cat Bowls

Although plastic cat bowls can be inexpensive, they can pose a number of risks. Cats can develop an infection or feline acne from bacteria on a plastic bowl. They may also contain BPA, phthalates, and other potentially harmful toxins. 

+ Inexpensive given light weight 
– Can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Plastic cat bowls develop scratches over time. Scratches and plastic’s porous surface trap bacteria, which thrive on leftover food and saliva
– Cannot fully clean. Washing only cleans smooth surfaces, not bacteria within tiny scratches 
– May cause cat acne. A cat’s chin can become inflamed and infected from bacteria on plastic bowls
– May contain BPA, phthalates, and other toxins that can leach into food

Grade: F

Provided by Americat Company