Do cats share food bowls? What about if you have more than one cat? Would they share the same food bowl? Or are they going to need different bowls? This is exactly the subject o this article.
Cats could share a food bowl; however, some problems may arise if they do. Some cats are perfectly fine eating together at the same time from the same bowl, some cats would eat first and not let others eat, so other cats have to wait and eat the leftover, hoping it is enough. If this is the case, the second cat may not get enough food. The situation can be more problematic with wet food rather than dry food. If cats have different diets and tastes, it can be a problem too.
Let’s see what we can do.
DO CATS SHARE FOOD BOWLS? OR THEY ARE PICKY?
When we have more than one cat in the house, some problems may arise when it comes to lunch or dinner time. We know cats have different personalities, and they may react differently when confronted with one bowl and another cat!
What they are going to do?
From my personal experience, both cats may try to eat simultaneously in the bowl, but sometimes one of them occupies the entire bowl, kicking the other cat out. This can happen because one cat can be more aggressive or dominant than the other, so the other cat is just going to watch him eat and wait.
In my case, the small kitten is too enthusiastic, and when it comes to food, she goes all over the bowl. My older cat doesn’t realize that he is stronger and can kick her out, or maybe he is a kind cat and let her eat, watching with sad eyes that she finishes. At this point, I am sad myself to have him suffer and get another bowl for him!
I know it sounds silly, but even if cats would be ok to eat in the same bowl, the bowl has to be large enough to fit their heads! Sometimes cats would be ok, but the set up is not good.
Potentially cats that are living together and are friends would not mind sharing food bowls. There are, of course, some exceptions to it. Very territorial cats would be upset if another cat would touch their food. Therefore you have to see how your cat behaves.
WHEN TO USE SEPARATE FOOD BOWLS?
When it is the case to use more food bowls? If you have a large bowl that allows both cats to eat simultaneously and both cats are fine with eating from it, then there is nothing more to do.
If the bowl is too small, one cat may have to wait, and the first cat could eat almost everything. Therefore you have to fill the bowl again after a while. Otherwise, it is better to get another bowl to eat simultaneously and do not have to fight over the food.
Personally, I’m not too fond of one cat watching the other eating. They are a pretty pathetic scene. It looks like I don’t want to feed him and prefer the other cat over him! I do not want to start a sort of cat jealousy situation.
If one cat is territorial, you have to create a separate eating space for the other cat. It is the only way not to start a fight and feed them both.
I am mainly talking about wet food. Dry food is normally less of a problem. It is left out, and cats go in turns snack from time to time, through the day. Again we can have the exception here as well, and if one cat is too picky, you have to create his own food space.
You can have instances of kittens or cats, that being too curious, want to invade the other cat bowl anyway. It happens to me all the time. Despite having her food bowl, the young cat has to go and eat where the other cat is eating anyway. She has an inquisitive and invading personality.
I am in the process of teaching her to stick to her own food bowl. I am telling you this, as it can happen anyway that despite you have placed 2 food bowls, you still have one cat invading the other cat space. In this case, you have to feed them in 2 different corners or at a distance. Some people would say to feed them at different times.
Try It! If one cat hears the smell of food and sees that you are feeding the other cat, it is impossible to hold him from meowing and cry for food. The best is to have more bowls and, at times, separate spaces.
DO CATS NEED SEPARATE WATER BOWLS?
I have never seen cats having a problem with drinking from the same water bowl. Again, there are always exceptions, but those should be rare. Cats drink at separate times, so one water bowl is enough. If you have a big water fountain, it is even better.
Short of that, I make sure to wash and change the water every day, sometimes even two times a day. I see that when leaving water out for cats, it can get dirty pretty quickly. So I tend to change it quite often.
Possibly cats prefer to have water in a separate spot than their food. In any case, there should not be a problem for cats drinking from the same water bowl.
Here some related question to: “Do cats share food bowls?” and related answers:
- Is it OK for cats to share food bowl?
There is nothing wrong with cats sharing food bowls, but it is not always possible depending on cats’ personalities and problems related to diets, the portion of food, and similar.
- Why do cats eat out of each other’s bowls?
Cats are curious. They may see another cat eating from another bowl and want to investigate what is in there. Maybe there is different food in the other bowl, and they want to taste it. Or they are territorial and want to eat from all the bowls!
Do cats share food bowls? Yes, it is better to have more food bowls if you have multiple cats. Keep in mind if cats have to fight over food, it may create behavior problems in your cats. What is your experience with food, bowls, and cats? Please leave it in the comments below.