Cat Feeders and Cat Bowls
While cats do have a reputation as finicky eaters, few cats really insist on dining from fine crystal bowls. However, that doesn't mean you should feed your cat straight from the can, either. Cats should have their own sturdy feeders or bowls that are easy to clean.
If you spend quite a few hours away from home or have several cats, you may want to take a look at cats feeders that can hold enough food to feed a cat for several days. This way, you can be sure your cats are cared for even if you are a bit busy.
The first type of cat feeder refills from a reservoir as your cat empties the bowl. It can be used to feed one cat for several days or you can feed multiple cats from the feeder. However, these feeders do have some disadvantages. Aggressive cats can easily prevent the more timid members of the family from getting enough food. Also, it is harder for you to monitor how much each cat is eating, so you may not realize that one of your cats is not eating as much as he usually does. Since this is an important sign of illness, this can be a serious problem. Finally, cats who are finicky may waste a lot of food by refusing to eat it if it has been sitting in the feeder for more than a few hours.
The second type of cat feeder available is the automatic cat feeder. This feeder has several compartments. The feeder's lid has an opening that allows the cat to eat out of one compartment at a time. A battery operated motor rotates the lid using a timer so that a different compartment is revealed at timed intervals.
If you have cats who are very territorial, your cats may do better with their own individual dishes. This way, you can easily feed your cats in separate areas of the house. When you are shopping for cat food bowls, look for bowls that are dishwasher safe and unbreakable.
If you have a single cat, you may want to take a look at a combination feeder that holds two bowls, one for food and one for water. These feeders allow you to keep the feeding area tidy, but are easy to clean, since you can take the bowls out of the feeder to wash and disinfect them.
For the fussiest cats, you can shop for heated food bowls. These bowls are also a great way to provide local strays with water during the winter months.
To keep your cats healthy, you should clean the food bowls daily. If the bowls are dishwasher safe, cleaning is as simple as throwing out old food and dropping the dishes in the dishwasher. Never leave food sitting in the bowls for long periods of time, as dry food can grow stale and soft food can spoil. In addition, be sure that you clean your cat's water bowl each day and re-fill it with fresh, clean water.
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