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Where Do I Put Cat Food & Water Bowls? 6 Vet-Reviewed Options

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

owner feeding his cat

Where Do I Put Cat Food & Water Bowls? 6 Vet-Reviewed Options


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg DVM Photo


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Though the placement of your cat’s food and water bowls may seem like a minor consideration, it is a lot more important than some may think. Cats are fastidious animals that need routine and love having a calm, quiet, safe space to enjoy their dinner, so picking the wrong spot or changing spots regularly can be pretty stressful for them.

In this post, we’ll share the best spots for your cat’s food and water bowls and give you a heads-up as to the places that would be best avoided.

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The 6 Places to Put Your Cat’s Food & Water Bowls

1.  A Quiet Spot

Where you place your cat’s food and water bowls is less about the choice of room and more about the tranquility of the spot. Cats don’t want to eat in noisy places, as this can seriously stress them out or even prevent them from eating, so your best bet is to opt for somewhere as peaceful and private as possible.

Image Credit: IMG-Stock-Studio, Shutterstock

2. An Open Space

Cats prefer quiet, open spaces for eating and drinking. Corners and blocked-off areas can cause them stress because it hampers their peripheral vision, and it’s natural for cats to want to remain alert to potential dangers or food thieves while they’re eating. Try placing their bowls somewhere they’ll be able to have a good all-around view.

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3. Away From the Litter Box

Housing your cat’s food and water bowls next to the litter box is a recipe for disaster. For one thing, it increases the risk of litter—or worse—ending up in your cat’s dinner or water supply, which is something we want to avoid at all costs for reasons of hygiene and safety.

The other issue is the smell that may put your cat off their food—cats are sensitive and dislike bad smells and unclean areas as much as we do. For this reason, it’s recommended to keep your litter box in another room or at least at a good distance from your cat’s food and water bowls.

maine coon inside litter box
Photo Credit: Nils Jacobi, shutterstock

4. Away From Each Other

It may surprise some to learn that food bowls designed to hold water in separate compartments are not the best idea. They make it easier for pieces of food to end up in your cat’s water, and what’s more, cats don’t want the smell of food wafting up at them while they’re drinking.

In fact, in nature, cats avoid eating close to water sources, so separating your cat’s food and water bowls would better appeal to their natural instincts.

5. Away From Other Pets

If you also share your home with a dog—especially a greedy one—it’s recommended to avoid feeding your cat and dog in the same place. You might also want to consider putting your cat’s bowls somewhere out of reach to reduce the risk of your dog snaffling a morsel or two for themselves.

Likewise, if you have multiple cats, don’t let them share bowls, and be sure to provide each cat with ample personal space for chowing down. Cats don’t like having other animals around while they’re eating, as it forces them to be on guard and this, in turn, prevents them from enjoying their dinner.

orange cat eating on an orange bowl
Image Credit: Okssi, Shutterstock

6. In the Same Spot

As the ultimate creatures of habit, your cats will appreciate having their bowls in the same space at every mealtime. Of course, if your cat hasn’t been with you for long, you might need to try out a few spots before you find the one they like most, but once you find that spot, it’s a good idea to stick with it.

cat paw divider


To sum up, the best rule of thumb is to keep food and water bowls apart, away from the litter box and other animals, and to keep them in a quiet, open space that your cat feels comfortable in. If you’ve been having trouble finding the right location for your cat’s food and water bowls, we hope you’ve found these tips useful. Good luck!

Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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