Last Updated: May 27, 2021
Choosing a water bowl for your cat might seem like it should be a straightforward decision. But our cats can be surprisingly picky when it comes to their water. Cats don’t have a particularly high thirst drive, so they don’t always drink as much water as they should. This can lead to them getting dehydrated, which isn’t good for their health.
That means choosing a cat bowl that your cat finds acceptable is an important part of being a responsible cat owner. But with so many different options, it can be hard to know which water bowl to choose. That’s where our reviews come in! We rounded up our 10 favorite cat water bowls for you.
From premium bowls to budget bowls and even bowls with filters, there’s something for every cat!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 10 Best Cat Water Bowl — Reviews 2021
1. Hepper Nomnom Cat Water Bowl — Best Overall
Stainless-steel bowls, like the Hepper Nomnom Cat Water Bowl, are great because steel doesn’t tend to hold onto odors like plastic bowls can. This bowl has a shallow, whisker-friendly design that won’t touch or irritate your cat’s delicate whiskers as they take a drink. The two stainless-steel bowls are surrounded by a wide plastic tray to catch any drips.
These bowls can be easily removed from the plastic tray and run through the dishwasher to keep them nice and clean. You could choose to fill one bowl with water and another with food, if your cat doesn’t mind having their water and food so close to each other. We prefer to fill both sides with water, so we don’t have to worry about our cat running out of fresh drinking water.
Disclaimer: PetKeen.com has a controlling interest in the Hepper brand. Therefore, we will benefit from any Hepper purchase you make as a result of this review.
2. PetRageous Ceramic Cat Water Bowl — Best Value
If you’re looking for the best cat water bowl for the money, then the PetRageous Ceramic Cat Water Bowl is our recommendation. Ceramic is a great material for cat water bowls because it doesn’t absorb odors, so your cat’s water will always be fresh-smelling and appealing. The ceramic of this bowl is made to meet FDA regulations and standards, so you know that you’re getting a great quality product for a reasonable price.
The vintage design will add a cute touch to your décor, and the black and white colors suit any home. If you love to coordinate your cat’s food and water bowls, then the good news is that there’s a matching food bowl available too. This bowl is dishwasher safe and designed to resist chipping or fading. As with any ceramic product, this will break if you drop it from a height!
3. Torus Filtered Cat Water Bowl — Premium Choice
If you’re ready to treat your cat to a premium water bowl, the Torus Filtered Cat Water Bowl is our choice. This innovative bowl has a reservoir ring around the edge that holds up to half a gallon of water. As your cat drinks, this reservoir tops up the central ring. The water is passed through a carbon filter, which removes the smells and chemicals that can be off-putting to cats.
Unlike many other water bowls that include filters, this gravity-fed design doesn’t require any power source. It’s a great choice if you’re worried about your cat running out of water during the day. The large plug on the top of the outer wall makes it easy to refill this bowl, and you can leave it for quite a while before having to top it up again. The Torus bowl comes in four color options, including neutrals and brights.
4. OurPets Comfort Elevated Cat Water Bowls
The OurPets Comfort Elevated Cat Water Bowls are great if you want to offer your cat a raised drinking surface. For some cats, this is far more comfortable and can prevent neck strains. Large breeds like Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats, as well as senior cats, will benefit from not having to crouch down to floor level to drink.
This set comes with two stainless-steel bowls. If your cat doesn’t mind having their food and drink close together, you can use one bowl for water and the other for kibble or wet food. The bowls have spill ridges to prevent drips. You can also use this product as a gravity-fed automatic water bowl by removing one of the bowls and attaching a filled 2-liter water bottle. That’s a great option if you’re away at work all day and want to make sure your cat gets enough water.
5. Necoichi Ceramic Elevated Cat Water Bowl
The Necoichi Ceramic Elevated Cat Water bowl has a capacity of 12.2 ounces and comes in two sizes, raised or extra-tall. An elevated bowl can help reduce neck strain and improve digestion. The raised bowl is 2.9 inches tall and the extra-tall bowl is 4.1 inches tall. The raised size is perfect for most cat breeds, while the extra-tall will suit larger breeds, like Norwegian Forest Cats and Maine Coons.
The small inner lip on this bowl prevents any spillages, while the measuring lines on the inside of the bowl make it easy to keep an eye on your cat’s water consumption.
This bowl is made from FDA-approved non-absorbent porcelain and can be put in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
6. Bergan Stainless Steel Cat Water Bowl
The Bergan Stainless Steel Cat Water Bowl has a 1 cup capacity and a non-slip base, which is perfect for tiled or hardwood kitchen floors. The inside of the bowl is made from smooth and easy-to-clean stainless steel, while the exterior has a subtle ridged design that adds a touch of interest without interfering with your cat’s drinking.
By removing the non-slip ring on the base, you can put this bowl in the dishwasher, making it easier than ever to keep your cat’s water bowl nice and clean. The wide base means this bowl won’t tip over. Reviewers do note that while this is advertised as a 1-cup capacity, it’s really more like ½ cup, so you’ll need to refill it fairly often.
7. PETKIT CYBERTAIL Elevated Cat Water Bowl
The PETKIT CYBERTAIL Elevated Cat Water Bowl is a great choice if you’re looking for a raised and tilted bowl for your cat. These bowls sit at an angle of 15 degrees, which is designed to help your cat eat and drink more easily and reduce muscle strain. Offering an elevated drinking surface is recommended for senior cats and larger breeds.
The wide bowl is designed to prevent whisker fatigue. The stainless-steel bowls can be removed from the stand and either hand-washed or placed in the dishwasher, but they can’t be used without the stand because they won’t sit upright. If you’re looking for something a bit more multi-purpose, this could be a dealbreaker.
8. Y YHY Cat Water Bowls
If you like the idea of offering your cat an elevated drinking platform but you’d prefer ceramic bowls over the stainless-steel bowls usually offered, then the Y YHY Cat Water Bowls are the perfect solution. This wire metal frame holds two ceramic bowls, and you get a choice of three colors. The shallow and wide bowls have a capacity of 12 ounces each, and they can easily be removed for cleaning.
The base has non-slip feet, so it won’t move around on hardwood or tiled floors. The wide rim of the bowl is also designed to reduce whisker fatigue in most cat breeds. The bowls are sturdy, so while they are still breakable, they’re tougher than many other ceramic bowls out there.
9. OurPets Durapet Cat Water Bowl
The wide and shallow design of the OurPets Durapet Cat Water Bowl is a good choice if you’re looking for a bowl that won’t cause whisker fatigue. This stainless-steel bowl has a rubber base to prevent slippages. Some reviewers have commented that this does have a strong chemical smell, which can put off cats from using it. This should fade with time but it’s definitely something to bear in mind.
This bowl is great value for money and is a good option for traveling or occasional use. However, the small 12-ounce capacity means your cat may run out of water if you’re away from home for a long time and unable to fill it up. While the wide and low design is great for cats, it does also mean that water can spill out quite easily.
10. Kitty City Raised Cat Water Bowl
Many raised cat water bowls are made from ceramic, which can break and chip. The Kitty City Raised Cat Water Bowl has the streamlined looks of a ceramic bowl, but it’s actually made from plastic. It comes in a pack of two, and you can choose from white and gray or baby pink and baby blue.
Each bowl holds 6.5 ounces, which is a fairly small amount for a water bowl. If you’re going to be away from home, we’d recommend leaving multiple bowls so your cat doesn’t run out. The oval design is whisker friendly and has a slight angle designed to make drinking easy. As with any plastic bowls, these will pick up scratches over time, which can then lead to a build-up of bacteria. They can be washed in the dishwasher, though, making it easier to keep them clean.
If you’ve decided that your cat needs a new water bowl, we’ve rounded up everything that you need to consider in our handy buying guide.
Cat bowls are available in a wide range of materials. You and your cat may prefer a particular one, as they all have advantages and disadvantages.
Choosing the correct size bowl for your cat is an important consideration. A bowl that’s too big may hold too much water, and if the water starts to go stale, your cat will probably ignore it. Choose a bowl too small, and your cat’s whiskers may brush up against the edges. This can lead to your cat developing something called “whisker fatigue.” Cats may choose to simply ignore bowls that irritate their whiskers when they eat or drink. Many cat bowl manufacturers now design bowls to reduce whisker fatigue, so make sure to choose a wider, shallower bowl if in doubt.
Elevated or floor-level
Many water bowls sit on the floor, which is a fine option for many cats. Elevated water bowls sit in a holder above floor level. You can choose different heights for different breeds of cats. Elevated water bowls are great for senior cats because they reduce neck strain and your cat doesn’t have to lean down on sore joints to drink.
These are also good for larger cat breeds, like Bengals, Maine Coons, and Norwegian Forest Cats. Raised cat water bowls sometimes have tilted surfaces, which makes whisker fatigue even less likely. Around 15 degrees is the optimum angle if you do decide to go for an elevated and tilted water bowl.
Automatic refilling options
If you work away from home and your cat is left to their own devices during the day, you don’t want them running out of water while you’re gone. You can choose a water bowl with a gravity-fed refilling option, which means you can have peace of mind knowing that your cat won’t run out of water during the day.
Filtered or not
Cats can be sensitive to the chemicals used in tap water. While some of these tend to evaporate into the air, others remain in the water, and your cat will be able to smell them. Cats are quite fussy about their water, so if it smells unpleasant, they would rather go thirsty than have a drink.
One way around this is to use a water bowl with a built-in filter. This is usually a carbon filter that removes particles and chemicals from the water. Some cats will much prefer this option. Just remember to buy replacement filters and switch them over as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you do decide to choose a cat water bowl without a filter, you can offer your cat water that’s been pre-filtered. If you use a water filter for your own drinking water, then getting into the habit of refilling your cat’s water bowls from the same jug is a great idea.
Where should I put my cat’s water bowl?
In order to encourage your cat to drink as much water as possible, it’s important to think about where to place their bowl. Cats in the wild will choose places to drink where they can have a clear view of any predators that may approach them. They also don’t tend to consume their food near bodies of water.
While it’s automatic for most of us to put our cat’s water bowls facing a wall, this can discourage cats from using them. They can feel hemmed in and unable to observe their surroundings because they have to turn their back to whatever they’re trying to keep an eye out for. Instead, putting your cat’s water bowl out in the open can help them feel safer and more secure when it comes to having a drink.
It’s also tempting to place your cat’s food and water bowls next to each other. It’s easier to fill them up and clean them if you only have to go to one spot. But cats don’t generally like to keep their food close to their water source in the wild. Allowing your cat to have one location for their water bowl and another for their food can make them feel happier and more likely to drink as much water as they should. Never put your cat’s water or food bowls near their litter tray.
Experiment with a few different placements, and see which ones your cat likes best. Leaving a few different shapes, styles, and materials of water bowls around the house is also a good way to make sure you cater to whatever preferences your cat has on a certain day!
As the best water bowl for cats in 2021, the Hepper Nomnom Cat Water Bowl combines two stainless-steel bowls with a raised plastic tray to catch any drips of water. The bowls are easy to clean, and most cats like using stainless steel, so this should be a winner with your cat.
In terms of best value, we recommend taking a look at the PetRageous Ceramic Cat Water Bowl. This ceramic bowl is made using FDA-approved materials, can be cleaned in the dishwasher, and has a fun monochrome design. It’s great value for money, so you should be able to afford the matching food bowl too!
Cats can be fussy when it comes to many things, and their water bowl is no exception. If your cat doesn’t like their water bowl, they simply won’t use it and will either risk dehydration or drink that dirty puddle water instead! Using our reviews to choose your cat’s new water bowl will maximize the chances that they approve of your decision. If your cat is happy, you’ll be happy too!
Emma is a freelance writer, specializing in writing about pets, outdoor pursuits, and the environment. Originally from the UK, she has lived in Costa Rica and New Zealand before moving to a smallholding in Spain with her husband, their 4-year-old daughter, and their dogs, cats, horses, and poultry. When she’s not writing, Emma can be found taking her dogs for walks in the rolling fields around their home…and usually, at least some of the cats come along, too! Emma is passionate about rescuing animals and providing them with a new life after being abandoned or abused. As well as their own four rescue dogs, she also fosters dogs for re-homing, providing them with love and training while searching for their forever homes.