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Choosing the right food and water bowls for your cat can make all the difference to feeding time. There is a lot to consider, including the right size, weight, shape, and any additional features, as well as how stylish it looks in your home.
If your cat has overly sensitive whiskers – in other words, suffers from whisker fatigue – feeding and drinking can be extremely stressful as they have an overwhelming load of sensory information at once if their whiskers touch the bowl. This adds extra pressure on you to find the perfect cat bowl so that your cat has the least discomfort when eating.
Not sure if your cat suffers from whisker fatigue or not? If you notice your cat pacing in front of their bowls, pawing their food or tipping it onto the floor, or seeming hungry yet refusing to eat, these could be signs of overly sensitive whiskers.
Luckily, there is an easy solution for whisker fatigue. You can switch your regular cat bowls for wide shallow bowls that are large enough to accommodate your cat’s whiskers. This way, they can eat in stress-free comfort! To help you find the perfect cat bowl for whisker fatigue, take a read of all my top recommended products below.
My Top Pick
The best whisker relief cat bowl is the Cat Bowls Cat Food Stress Relief Feeder. Made from food-grade melamine, this cat dish is wide and flat, making it perfect for cats with whisker fatigue. The bowl also features a slip-proof base, is extremely easy to clean, and has a cute cat ear design. You also get two bowls per pack, so you can have one for food, and another as a whisker fatigue water bowl.
In case this is not the product for you, you will also find extensive reviews of other incredible whisker friendly cat bowls to make your cat’s feeding time less stressful.
Best Cat Bowls for Whisker Fatigue
With so many cat bowls for whisker fatigue on the market, some are obviously much better than others. But, what makes a great whisker friendly cat bowl? Here are all the different essential features I looked for when reviewing products.
- Shape & Size: To make a cat bowl whisker-friendly, it needs to be both wide and shallow. This shape of bowl allows room for your cat’s whiskers so that they don’t touch the edge of the bowl when they are eating or drinking. Therefore, this is key in the bowl being a success.
- Material: There are various types of cat bowls available, such as plastic, metal, or ceramics. Plastic bowls may be cheaper and easier to clean, but I prefer metal or ceramic bowls as they are more scratch-resistant. Whatever the material, it must be safe for cats.
- Easy to Clean: I also looked for a bowl that was easy to clean. This is great for me as it makes washing my cat’s dishes easy – and if it can go in the dishwasher then even better – but also for my cat as this keeps the bowl hygienic.
- Anti-Skid Design: To help keep food and water in the bowls, having an anti-skid design is important as this stops the bowl from being nudged around the floor, which could lead to spills. Heavy bowls or rubber bases are great for this.
On top of these factors, you may also wish to consider the aesthetics of the bowl and whether it will look the part in your home. Cost is again a key consideration and depends entirely on your budget. For this reason, I have reviewed a range of cat bowls for whisker fatigue to suit all budgets and preferences.
1. Cat Bowls Cat Food Stress Relief Feeder (Best All-Rounder)
I love this bowl as it has a wide open-shaped design which allows plenty of room for your cat’s whiskers while they are eating to make feeding stress-free. Also, the bowl is not flat but rather positioned at a shallow angle to further increase comfort for your cat.
Despite the wide and flat design, the back of the bowl is still raised which helps to keep food and water in the bowl, a common issue with these types of cat dishes. On the base, you will also find anti-skid rubber feet. These help to anchor the bowl in one place as your cat eats to further prevent spills while also protecting your floor.
This bowl is also made from food-grade melamine, which is BPA-free and non-toxic. For those of you who don’t know, melamine is comparable to ceramic in that it doesn’t scratch easily, but it is more durable and less prone to chipping.
This material also does not absorb nasty cat food odors like plastic ones can, and does not make as much noise as stainless steel dishes. In my opinion, this makes melamine the best material for cat dishes out there. It is also easy to clean with soap and water, however, it cannot be put in the dishwasher.
- Two bowls per pack for both food and water
- Wide and open-shaped design for stress-free feeding
- Angled for added comfort
- High back wall to reduce food and water spills
- Rubber feet to prevent skidding and protect your floors
- BPA-free and safe for cats
- Made from durable high-quality melamine
- Easily cleaned with soap and water
- Not suitable for the dishwasher or microwave
2. Necoichi Extra Wide Raised Cat Food Bowl (Best for Senior Cats)
This bowl is elevated to just over 4 inches high, which helps to reduce strain on the body. While great for any cat, senior cats, who likely have weaker and less mobile joints, will really benefit from this added comfort and get some enjoyment back into feeding time again. Plus, it helps to prevent vomiting thanks to the better alignment of their neck with their stomach.
Combine this raised design with the fact that the bowl is extra wide and flat, and you are left with a near-perfect bowl for older cats with whisker fatigue. You can use these dishes as both food and water bowl to reduce feeding anxiety.
While being shallow, this bowl also helps to keep food and water contained due to the convenient lip around the edge of the bowl. This won’t get in the way of your cat when they eat but will help to prevent spills and aid your cat when feeding.
I also love that this cat bowl for whisker fatigue is made from ceramic. This makes it heavy, so it is difficult for a cat to accidentally tip it over or move it around the room, scratching the floor and causing spillages. It is also made to FDA standard making it perfectly safe for cats, and can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher.
The only downside is that ceramic can smash or chip if knocked or dropped from a height. Therefore, if you’re a more clumsy person, perhaps opt for a stainless steel or melamine bowl instead.
- Ideal for older cats due to the elevated design
- Wide and flat to stop whisker fatigue
- Reduces neck strain and prevents vomiting
- Handy lip to keep food and water contained
- Heavy so cannot be tipped or moved
- Made from FDA standard ceramic
- Dishwasher and microwave safe
- Ceramic can smash or chip easily
3. Dr. Catsby Whisker Relief Cat Water Bowl (Best Shallow Water Bowl)
A common issue with cat bowls for whisker fatigue is that their shallow shape does limit how much water they can hold. While most products can still hold water successfully, they will need to be topped up more regularly.
If you’re looking for a solution to this, try the Dr. Catsby Whisker Relief Cat Water Bowl, which holds up to 12 fluid ounces while still being shallow and wide. This prevents whisker fatigue for stress-free drinking. If you’re looking for a bowl for cat food, they also have a perfect smaller design – the Dr. Catsby Cat Food Bowl – which is identical other than its reduced capacity.
Aside from this size, this whisker relief cat bowl is also great as it is made from stainless steel. This is more hygienic than plastic and less prone to breakage than ceramic. It is also non-toxic and non-allergenic and does not absorb any bad bacteria or odors. According to the manufacturer, it could also prevent cat acne!
With the bowl, you will also receive a detachable non-slip silicone base. This is also food-grade and prevents the bowl from being pushed around the room, helping to prevent food and water spills while protecting your floor. I also love that the base can be removed for easy cleaning and the bowl popped straight into the dishwasher.
- Holds up to 12 fluid ounces
- Wide and shallow design to prevent whisker fatigue
- Made from food-grade stainless steel
- Doesn’t absorb bacteria or odors
- Potentially prevents cat acne
- Comes with a non-slip silicone base to prevent spills and floor damage
- Removable base for easy cleaning & is dishwasher safe
- Smaller sized food bowl also available
- More expensive than other products
4. Nourse Chowsing Leak-Proof Shallow Cat Bowls (Best Two-In-One Design)
This product consists of two stackable cat bowls that conveniently click together. Both have large openings to avoid contact with your cat’s whiskers to relieve stress, but the white water bowl is deeper than the black food bowl to prevent overflowing and leakages.
The design is also innovative in that both bowls have lips around the base. The water bowl’s lip is more like a trough to catch any overflowing water, and the food bowl’s lip is a shallower platform to catch any food spillages. It is clear that while both a food and water bowl for whisker fatigue need similar features, the designers of these bowls have gone the extra mile in making them fit for their purpose.
I dislike that the bowls are made from plastic, as while it is great that they are lightweight and easy to clean, they are less hygienic than bowls made from other material. That being said, they are made from a high-quality ABS material that is durable and safe for cats.
However, whereas plastic bowls are often easy to overturn, the silicone base of these bowls makes this near impossible. This is really handy for more boisterous and playful cats who often make a mess, while also protecting your floor from scratches.
- Functional food and water bowl in one
- Leak-proof and spill-proof design
- Lightweight material and easy to clean
- Wide and open-shaped bowls to successfully reduce whisker fatigue
- Silicone base to prevent spillages and protect the floor
- Made from plastic which is less hygienic than other materials
5. Van Ness Ecoware Cat Dish 2-Pack (Best Budget Buy)
For anyone looking for a shallow whisker stress bowl for cats while on a budget, try the Van Ness Ecoware Cat Dish 2-Pack. You will receive two bowls, perfect for using one for food and the other for water, or for use in a multi-cat household, for a very affordable price.
As with the other cat bowls on this list, these dishes are wide and shallow, providing your cat with plenty of room to eat or drink without causing stress. However, these dishes do only hold 8 ounces and so are best for smaller breeds or kittens only.
I also love that these bowls have taken a different and eco-friendly approach to the materials, made from 47% bamboo plant. In fact, the bowls are completely biodegradable in typical composting conditions while still being completely natural and safe for cats. By buying these bowls, you’ll be doing a little for the planet too.
Coated with a high-polish finish, they’re also easy to clean and won’t crack or chip. This durability is great for you so that you don’t have to keep buying replacements, and for your cat who could cut their tongue on a sharp corner.
The base of each bowl is made from kitchen-grade silicone to help prevent the bowl from being nudged around the room as your cat eats. Also the decorative cat design and bright blue color is something I love. If you don’t need two of these, you can also purchase them singularly.
- Extremely affordable price
- Shallow and wide to prevent whisker fatigue
- Biodegradable and compostable
- Made from 47% bamboo and other eco-friendly materials
- High-polish finish for easy cleaning
- Durable and will not crack or chip
- Silicone base to prevent spills
- Bright blue with a decorative cat design
- 8-ounce capacity so only suitable for kittens or small breeds
6. CatGuru Premium Whisker Stress Free Cat Food Bowl (Best Dry Food Bowl)
This is one of the best whisker fatigue food bowls as there is a clever ridged design to help your cat get their food. Often, the main issue with wide and shallow dishes is that your cat will end up chasing their food around the bowl and struggling to get it in their mouths, especially if it’s dry food. With this bowl, this problem is eliminated.
The bowl is also non-slip thanks to the silicone legs on the base, preventing spills from the bowl being nudged around the room, while simultaneously protecting your floor.
Made from melamine, a more durable alternative to ceramic, this whisker friendly cat bowl is also completely safe for cats and BPA-free. It is also resistant to scratches that could harbor germs or cut your cat’s tongue, and will not chip or crack. Combined with the reduced noise when eating and the fact that melamine does not absorb smells, and we have a fantastic bowl.
It is also easy to clean; simply put the bowl in the dishwasher or wash with warm soapy water. Even the ridges have smooth corners so that cleaning them will not be a problem!
- Ridged design to make eating easier
- Wide and shallow dish to prevent whisker fatigue
- Non-slip silicone legs
- Made from durable and BPA-free melamine
- Less noise when eating compared to stainless steel bowls
- Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
- Can be difficult to pick up off the floor
Cat Bowls for Whisker Fatigue Buying Guide
Although these bowls are my personal favorites, there are so many other products also on the market as whisker fatigue is a common issue with cats. Before you buy any food or water bowl, be sure to consider all of these factors.
There are many different materials that cat bowls are made from, including plastic, steel, ceramics, or other materials. The “other materials” category has much variation, but as long as they are safe for cats and non-toxic, they will be fine to use.
I personally prefer bowls made from ceramic or another similar material, as they are heavier and cannot be pushed around the floor as easily, more hygienic as your cat cannot scratch the surface, and durable. However, they can chip or smash if dropped. Another great option is stainless steel.
Here are the benefits and drawbacks of each different material:
- Plastic: While cheap, sturdy, easy to clean, and unlikely to break if dropped, plastic can easily get scratched. The grooves left behind from scratches can become a breeding ground for germs, and when this is where your cat is eating from, this is not desirable!
- Stainless Steel: Extremely durable, unbreakable, and easy to clean, the only drawback of stainless steel bowls is that they are lightweight and can be easily tipped if they don’t have a rubber or silicone base.
- Ceramic: Ceramic bowls are weighty and will not tip over, resistant to scratches, and easy to clean. However, they can be broken or chipped if knocked or dropped, which could leave sharp edges that can hurt your cat’s tongue.
Size & Shape
Whisker fatigue bowls work as they are typically larger and flatter than regular cat food and water bowls. This open-shaped design allows space for your cat’s whiskers so that they don’t have to touch the edges, thus preventing whisker fatigue. Therefore, for these bowls to successfully reduce stress when eating or drinking, size and shape is everything.
From a mess perspective, it is also great to look out for dishes that have a raised lip to help contain the contents of the bowl, or a trough design to catch any spills. When it comes to buying a whisker fatigue water bowl, a slightly less shallow bowl or one with a larger capacity is best so it can hold more.
If your cat is elderly, you may also wish to look for an elevated food bowl. Senior cats can often struggle to bend down to reach their food or water as their joints are less mobile and it can put added and unnecessary strain on their neck, causing discomfort. Elevated food bowls are also great at preventing vomiting as your cat’s mouth and stomach are aligned. So, if your cat is frequently regurgitating their dinner, a raised bowl might just do the trick.
Easy to Clean
A cat bowl also needs to be easy to clean. Firstly, this will benefit you as you won’t have to waste any time scrubbing away or reaching into hard-to-clean spots. Also, your cat will benefit as they won’t be ingesting any germs left behind from inadequate cleaning.
Most cat dishes, including whisker friendly bowls, are designed with simple cleaning in mind. Today, the majority of cat bowls can be put in the dishwasher, and if not washed by hand, washed with warm soapy water. Also, the shallow design of whisker fatigue bowls for cats naturally makes them easier to clean than regular bowls as there are typically no corners.
I would also suggest opting for a whisker fatigue bowl that has some sort of non-slip feature, especially if your cat already moved their bowl around the room as they eat. As whisker friendly cat bowls are shallow, the likelihood of food or water spilling out of the bowl as it is nudged around the room is highly likely.
Ceramic bowls are often heavy enough by themselves for this to not be a problem. In fact, for your cat to move a ceramic bowl around the room or tip it over entirely would be quite hard work. For bowls made from other materials though, look for a rubber or silicone base. Rubber and silicone bases are also great for protecting your floor from scratches if your cat does drag their bowl around, another reason to look out for bowls with this feature.
What is Whisker Fatigue?
Okay, so you know the best bowls for preventing whisker fatigue, but what actually is it?
Whisker fatigue is, in its simplest form, an overload of sensory information that stresses your cat out. Imagine your hearing became overly sensitive, as did your sense of smell and taste, and that you could feel every tiny little thing that brushed past you. You’d feel extremely overwhelmed and stressed out, right?
This is the same for your cat. While you may not think whiskers have that much purpose, they are actually similar to antennae and pull in lots of sensory information from the world around them. In fact, whiskers are crucial to a cat’s survival as they tell them so much about their environment and how they are orientated in the space.
Ever wondered how your cat knows that they can squeeze through that tiny gap in the fence? Their whiskers tell them. How about being able to navigate so well in the dark? Their whiskers tell them. How about being able to hunt prey thanks to changes in airflow alone? You’ve guessed it – it’s through their whiskers.
While whiskers are essential for a cat, they can’t turn them on and off the same way that we can filter out background noise. If your cat’s whiskers touch the side of their bowl every time they go to eat or drink, then it can cause a huge influx of overly intensified senses if they have more sensitive whiskers. This can cause huge amounts of stress and cause anxiety known as whisker fatigue.
Does My Cat Have Whisker Fatigue?
Your cat cannot tell you that they are feeling stressed about eating because of whisker fatigue, but there are some signs that they are suffering that you can look out for:
- Pawing at their food and dragging pieces out of the bowl to eat
- Eating food from the center of the bowl only and leaving what is around the edges
- Refusing to eat anything unless the bowl is full
- Leaving food in the bowl entirely but still acting like they are hungry
- Acting nervously around their food and water bowls
- Pacing back and forth in front of their bowls
- Making a lot of mess around their food and water bowls
- Being aggressive towards other pets or people in the household around dinner time
Q: What is whisker fatigue?
A: Whisker fatigue is where your cat’s brain is overloaded with sensory information from their whiskers which causes them stress and anxiety.
Q: What causes whisker fatigue?
A: Whisker fatigue happens when your cat’s whiskers touch the side of the bowl every time they try to eat or drink. This overstimulates them and causes stress and anxiety around feeding time, making it difficult for your cat to eat or drink enough to be healthy.
Q: Does my cat suffer from whisker fatigue?
A: Some common signs that your cat suffers from whisker fatigue include refusing to eat unless their bowl is full, acting aggressively around mealtimes, pacing in front of their bowls or acting nervous, and avoiding eating altogether despite acting hungry.
Q: Why do cats only eat from the middle of their bowls?
A: Whisker fatigue is a common reason why cats only eat from the middle of their bowls. When they go to the edges to eat, their whiskers will touch the side of the bowl which can cause stress and anxiety. However, when eating from the middle, they can likely do so without their whiskers touching.
Q: How do you stop whisker fatigue?
A: You can stop whisker fatigue simply by switching your regular cat bowls with whisker friendly bowls. These are shallow and wide, allowing space to accommodate your cat’s whiskers so that they can eat stress-free without their whiskers touching the edges.
Q: What is the best cat bowl for whisker fatigue?
A: In my opinion, the best cat bowl for whisker fatigue is the Cat Bowls Cat Food Stress Relief Feeder. Its shape is perfect for any cats that suffer from whisker fatigue, plus it is easy to clean, extremely durable, and has non-slip rubber feet to prevent spills.
Q: What is a whisker fatigue bowl?
A: A whisker fatigue bowl is a dish that is shallower and wider than regular bowls, allowing room for your cat’s whiskers to comfortably fit inside without touching the edges.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
If you’ve noticed your cat acting nervous or aggressive around food time, refusing to eat, eating only from the center of their bowls, or pawing at their food, your cat probably suffers from whisker fatigue. This issue is such an easy fix and I would recommend any owner to swap to a whisker friendly cat bowl.
Although I think these are the best products (in my opiion), if you do shop around, be sure to choose a flat and wide dish made from a safe material. Your cat will be happier, healthier, and less stressed out, so what are you waiting for!