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How to Clean Your Cat's Food and Water Bowls?


Cats are adorable creatures that make excellent companions. As responsible cat owners, it is our responsibility to ensure that our feline friends lead a happy and healthy life. Providing our cat with quality food, and fresh water and keeping them on a balanced diet, are among the important tasks we need to fulfill daily.

A seemingly insignificant, but essential part of these tasks is to keep our cat’s supplies clean. This is especially valid for their food and water bowls.

This article is dedicated to all cat parents who adore their feline friends and want to provide them with the best quality of life!

Why Clean Your Cat’s Food and Water Bowls?

Most of you will agree that cleaning а cat’s food bowl is necessary due to the food leftovers that may remain there. But why clean the water bowl? It was only water there, after all? Bacteria and germs can build up in both the food and the water bowl over time, potentially causing health issues. These issues can be related to infections, digestive problems, or even a disease. This is especially valid if one water/bowl is used by more than one animal.

It is highly recommended, that you make cleaning your cat’s supplies a routine to make sure that their living environment and safe, and healthy.

Considering how important the hygiene of our pets’ living surrounding is, we will give you some pieces of advice on how to keep your cat’s food and water bowl free of bacteria and microorganisms.


How to Clean Your Cat's Food and Water Bowls?

Cleaning your cat's food and water bowls is a simple process that can be divided into the following steps:

Prepare All the Needed Supplies

Before cleaning your cat's food and water bowls, gather all the necessary supplies, including a sponge or soft-bristled brush, mild dish soap, and hot water.

Remove Any Food Leftovers or Remaining Water

Before you start using water to clean the bowls, make sure that you have removed any leftover food or water from the bowls.


The next step is to rinse the bowls with hot water.

Soak in Soapy Water

Fill a sink or basin with hot water and add a small amount of mild dish soap. Place the bowls in the soapy water and let them soak for a few minutes.

Scrub the Bowls

Using a sponge or soft-bristled brush, scrub the bowls thoroughly to remove any stains or dirt that may have not been removed by water only. Pay special attention to the corners and crevices where bacteria can accumulate.

Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse the bowls with hot water to remove any soap residue.

Dry the Bowls

Wipe the bowls dry, using a clean towel, or let them air dry. Make sure that the bowls are completely dry before you add any food or water.


Can You Use a Dishwasher?

Yes, you can! If you have a dishwasher, why clean your cat’s food and water bowl by hand? The first reason is that we would not recommend mixing your dishes with your cat’s supplies. If you prefer to use a dishwasher for your feline friend’s supplies though, make sure that you have already used it for your dishes. Also, it is advisable that you remove any food particles from the bowl and briefly wash them by hand, prior to putting it in the dishwasher.

What About Gravity-Fed Food and Water Bowls?

Cleaning this type of pet supply is not difficult at all! You just need to separate the bowl from the container and follow the steps above. Additionally, it is recommended that you clean the food container/water bottle at least once a week or not less than once every two weeks. In case the container is too tight, and it is difficult to reach all the areas and clean it by hand, you may want to consider getting a bottle brush.

How Often Should Cat Supplies Be Cleaned?

It is great if you pay a lot of attention to hygiene! However, if you clean your cat’s food and water bowls a few times a week, this is totally fine. It is important though, that you quickly wash your pet’s supplies by hand after each meal. When it comes to the water bowl, you can just rinse it and wipe it dry using paper, prior to filling it again. This will help prevent slime from accumulating.

How to Prevent Insects from Getting to Your Cat’s Supplies?

The best thing to do, is, of course, to regularly clean your cat’s food and water bowl. Besides that, you should make sure that you clean up the floor of any food particles that may have been spilled by your pet.

In case your cat mainly lives outdoors, e.g. in your garden or backyard, and you want to keep any pests away from their supplies, we have simple advice. You can pour a very small amount of cooking or coconut oil on the bowl’s rim at the bottom. It is essential that you use products safe for pets.

Another tip you may benefit from is using natural repellents, around your cat’s food and water bowls such as mint oil, cucumbers, kaffir lime leaf oil, and osage orange oil. Always use organic products or oils safe for pets.

The way you store your pet’s food and supplies also plays an important role in keeping insects away from it. That will help prevent them from being transferred to the food bowl. We would recommend that put your cat’s food in a sealed container and store it properly. By “properly” we mean to lock it in a cabinet or elsewhere not close to the ground. Do not keep any food bags, whether yours or your pet’s in the trash can for too long. Otherwise, food leftovers will attract insects.