Should Cat Food Bowls Be Elevated?

Should My Cat's Bowl be Raised?
(Last Updated On: March 24, 2023)

You’ve probably noticed that elevated cat feeders are becoming more common items in pet stores. But you might be unaware the purpose behind it. Elevated cat bowls can actually benefit some cats and there are many health related benefits as well. 

You will have to take a few things into consideration though. Things such as your cat’s diet, its size, age, and many other things could be important factors.

In this article, you will learn how having elevated food bowls can make a huge difference in how they eat.

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Should You Elevate Your Cat’s Food Bowl?

Before you simply elevate your cat’s food bowl, there are some factors to take into consideration.

Your cat may have a certain disability that makes bending down further to eat more difficult. Others may have a flatter face that makes it difficult to eat from lower positions. 

For many cats, however, it is an issue of posture and digestion that would make elevating their food bowls beneficial. Making a simple change such as elevating your cat’s food bowl can make a significant difference in their eating experience.

If your home has multiple cats, think about how many of them will actually use an elevated feeder. You may also want to get more than one if most of your cats seem to be enjoying the elevated feeding. Also consider whether or not you should elevate your cat’s water bowl as well. 

You can either go to the pet store and pick up an elevated feeder or provide a simple form of elevation yourself. If you do decide elevating your cat’s food bowl is the right move, observe how your pet reacts and benefits from it.

Benefits of elevated food bowls

Better Posture

The benefits of elevated food bowls may be different depending on your cats and their needs. 

One of the most common benefits is that your cat’s posture will be much better when they eat out of an elevated food bowl. Leaning down further to eat their food from the ground can affect their spine and overall digestion. Raising it up higher can work wonders for them, and your cat will notice how much easier for them as well.

When cats have to eat from a lower elevation, they have to crouch down further while flexing their spine and claws in a somewhat uncomfortable manner. Their heads are facing down when they eat like this, and their spines are not in an ideal position. Believe it or not, this has a big impact on how your cat digests their food.

Positioning themselves like that puts a lot of negative pressure on their digestive tract, causing them to become more compressed as they eat. This can cause your feline to experience nausea, vomiting, and many other serious health related issues.

In addition to digestive issues, your cat’s spine and joints will suffer from prolonged exposure to their uncomfortable eating positions. This can cause joint issues to arise, or cause pre-existing joint issues to become worse.

Your cat’s joints are strained particularly bad whenever they are in such a position while they are eating because they are holding so much pressure on them. You may even notice that your feline will end up suffering from permanent joint damage over time. This will be especially bad for older cats or cats who suffer from arthritis.

These issues can be solved by simply elevating your cat’s food bowl for them. Place the bowl at a decent height (about elbow height for them) and they should have a much easier time with maintaining a preferable posture.

The pressure will be released from their joints and their digestive tract will no longer be compressed as it was before. You will no longer have to worry about how your cat’s spine will be affected by their eating positions.

Improves cat's posture when eating

Breed of cat

You may need to take the breed into consideration. Some breeds of cat have flat faces or shorter snouts that make it difficult to eat from a lower position. Elevating the food bowl will make eating much easier for them. They would not have to struggle as much to eat properly, among other things.

They may also require a specific shape and depth for their bowls to avoid causing them further discomfort or other possible issues. Elevated food bowls can prevent different breeds from suffering from prolonged health concerns due to their existing physical features.

Preventing Food Contamination

When your cat’s bowl is placed on the floor, it can be pretty easy for the bowl to be exposed to different contaminants. Bowls on the ground can easily come into contact with dust, dirt, bacteria, that can contaminate your cat’s food and water. 

Elevating your cat’s bowl can prevent these contaminants from getting into direct contact with your cat’s food. This will help your feline stay healthy by preventing them from digesting dust and dirt. Keeping your cat’s bowl clean, as well as the environment around them, can improve your cat’s hygiene tremendously.

Other Considerations

Elevating your cat’s food bowl is not the only thing you will have to consider for your pet. There are many other factors relating to your pet’s bowl that will be important for the overall benefits

Food bowl shape and size

You will have to consider the size, shape, and depth of your bowl. For example, a cat with a flat face will need a flat and shallow bowl so it will be easier for them to eat. You will also generally want to avoid getting a bowl that is too deep. That could defeat the purpose of elevating the food bowl in the first place. They should also be a pretty standard size so they can be replaced or cleaned easily whenever it is necessary.

Staying clean

Keeping the bowl elevated off of the ground will prevent it from being affected by contaminants. However, you will still need to keep the food and water bowls clean to promote maximum hygiene.

Letting your feline eat out of a dirty feeder will only cause them to be exposed to highly preventable health problems. You must keep the bowls and the environment clean to prevent your cat from getting sick.

Make sure that you get a raised platform that is easy to wipe down and remove the bowls for easy cleaning. Avoid using chemicals that will cause your cat to fall ill while you are cleaning.

Most importantly, make sure you develop a constant and consistent cleaning schedule for your cat’s bowl and platform. This will help keep them healthy and ease your worries about your cat possibly becoming sick.

The position of the food bowl

You may not realize it to begin with, but the position of the bowl is also pretty important. The bowl should be elevated and positioned just right in order for your cat to be able to eat from it easily.

If you put the bowl too high, your cat might still strain its neck to try and reach its food. That would defeat the purpose of elevation entirely and create a new issue. Make sure your cat’s bowl is always accessible and requires little effort to eat out of.

Avoid using plastic

When you get a new feeder, make sure to avoid using anything with plastic materials. Plastic is not reusable and they are generally unsafe to to let your feline eat from. Your cat can end up eating and digesting plastic particles if you let them eat out of anything made of plastic.

You may want to set your sights on stainless-steel materials instead. They are reusable, easily cleanable, and more hygienic for your cat to use. The materials you have for your cat’s bowl is just as important as the raised feeder.

Number of cats

If you are in a multi-cat household, you will want to take each cat into consideration for your raised feeder. You may need to get multiple platforms to cater to all of your cats. Alternatively, you could also get a raised platform that holds multiple bowls so your cats can share a platform without any hassle.

It may be a bit of a hassle to clean multiple bowls, but your cats will be happier and healthier with raised platforms.

Messy cats

As cat parents, we know our cats enjoy being messy and mischievous sometimes. Cats knock things over or make messes either by accident or on purpose. In order to prevent messes, make sure the platform keeps the bowl in place to prevent your pet from knocking it over.

This will keep the contents safely in the bowl and give you peace of mind by eliminating the worry of extra messes to deal with. Having a non-slip mat under the raised platform and a non-slip liner under the bowl may also help the platform and bowl stay stable while your pet eats.

Cats are natural crouch eaters

Avoid getting one that is too high. Cats are natural crouch eaters. They will not want to stand or strain to get to their food.

Try to look for platforms that will reach about knee height to your cats. This will be the perfect height to allow them to eat without straining themselves.

Measure food in portions

Instead of filling the entire bowl for your cat, you should carefully measure out the amount of food you give in portions. This will allow you to give your cat just the right amount of food that they need, no more and no less. The right portion is important for your cat’s overall health.

Feeding them too much or too little can cause them to become sick and can also cause future health problems to emerge. Remember not to use your cat’s bowl as a measuring unit for their food. Find another method of measuring if you need one.

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Height of the feeder

When it comes to the height of the feeder, you will have to get one based on the height of your cat. You will want to get one that reaches the knee joints of your feline. Whether you buy one online, from a store, or make one yourself, you will need to have it accommodate your feline and its height. Making the feeder match the approximate height of your cat’s knees will make it much easier for them to eat out of their bowls.

Older cats

Older cats will definitely be able to benefit from having a raised platform to eat from. They would have a hard time getting down to a bowl that is lying on their floor. It could hinder them from breathing properly and can even make it harder to digest. Having a raised feeder will be easier for their joints and spines. They will be much more comfortable being able to eat at a better height.


Take all of the factors and possible benefits mentioned into consideration if you’re thinking about elevating your cat’s food bowl. Their health and overall sense of hygiene will improve with a proper platform for their bowls.

Their joints will experience much less pressure with the bowls elevated. Observe any changes that occur so you can see for yourself how beneficial they can be.

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