Sometimes I don’t clean my cat’s wet food bowl even after several servings and sittings

I expect that you, like me, normally clean your cat’s food bowl after one serving. What I mean is you take a fresh bowl, put the wet food in, your cat eats it, you remove any waste that is uneaten and then you put the bowl in the dishwasher. I expect that that is the normal course of events. If it isn’t then please tell me in a comment as soon as possible ✔️👌👍.

It’s what I normally do but sometimes my cat will eat out of the same wet food bowl for five days on the trot and I don’t clean the bowl throughout that time. That sounds really careless and sloppy, but it isn’t. This is the bowl he uses over and over again without it being washed by me. But it is in effect washed by my cat’s tongue!

Wet cat food bowl used for 5 meals without washing it
Wet cat food bowl used for 5 meals without washing it. Image: MikeB
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

And it is because I provide just the right amount of food that my cat will eat completely. In fact, it is probably more accurate to say that I provide him with slightly less food than he wants to eat at that moment.

This results in him licking the bowl clean as he chases the last bit of food in it. The bowl is so clean that it does not need washing. And when we bear in mind that saliva contains a sort of disinfectant there are no problems with this method. In fact, saliva is rich in antimicrobial compounds such as hydrogen peroxide, lactoferrin, and lysozymes.

Also, if there are one or two small particles of food left in the bowl, they dry out completely and become inert, benign, they don’t rot down and therefore you can go on feeding your cat like this for several days without cleaning the bowl.

The advantages are legendary! You save money on running your dishwasher and in an era of the much-vaunted cost-of-living crisis this is money in the bank which should please cat owners.

Hills wet cat food sachets are too large?
Hills wet cat food sachets are too large? The one on the right and similar-sized sachet are correct for complete eating and less bowl cleaning!

And if you clean your cat’s food bowls by hand you avoid that irritating task. And of course, perhaps most importantly there is no waste food to get rid of. That’s a massive plus as in summer waste wet cat food starts to pong fairly fast and what do you do with it? Wherever you put it, it pongs and if a fly has got to it and laid eggs you might see an army of maggots invading your living space in a day or two. I wrap it up in tin foil and place it is a sealed container in the kitchen or in the waste bin outside the home to avoid smells in the home.

Millions of dollars of pet food wasted because cats are fed when not hungry

So how much food do you put in the bowl to make sure that your cat licks it clean? Well, I use two cat food products which are supplied in small sachets. I find that this amount of cat food is just slightly short of what he requires in one sitting. In fact, I might give him two sachets at one sitting, but I try and avoid that because he will then leave some of the food in the bowl at the end of the second sitting!

Cat Food Portion Size to Control Feline Obesity and to Save on Waste

The target, if that is the right phrase, is to get your cat to eat everything in the food bowl and to lick it clean because he likes to food so much and there’s not quite enough to completely satisfy him. That’s the target and it works well for me.

The photograph on this page is of one such food bowl which has been used multiple times before cleaning and one of those food sachets that I’m talking about.

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