Have you given any thought to the type of material used in your cat’s food bowl and food storage container? Well, I recently learned a little about this topic when faced with Mackenzie’s breakout of kitty acne (see photo below – it’s not pretty.) This is really a two-part issue:
1) Plastic pet food dishes and containers can trap bacteria that causes kitty acne. What is kitty acne? It looks like little black flakes usually found on the chin and around the mouth. Not all cats are prone to acne, but when they do get a bad case, like Mackenzie did, it can lead to open sores and infection. I treated Mackenzie with antibiotics and “kitty facials” with a cleanser followed by Neutrogena On-the-Spot acne treatment, as prescribed by my vet. He’s all better now, but I also switched all the food and water dishes to porcelain*. Stainless steel, ceramic*, glass, and stoneware* are all excellent options, too, because they are not porous like plastic, which can trap oily food particles and harbor bacteria. It’s also very important to thoroughly clean and dry all food and water dishes daily and food storage containers weekly.
* With any glazed material, make sure that the glaze is food grade, it should not be marked “for decoration only.”
And as if that wasn’t bad enough…
2) Some plastics can contain chemicals that may leach into your cat’s food and water, possibly causing other health issues. This is a controversial issue which has been in the media quite a bit over the past year, specifically regarding Bisphenol-A (BpA) in water bottles and children’s products, as well as phthalates in other plastic products. Apparently not all plastics are bad, but since we really don’t know much about the long-term effects of eating and drinking out of plastic, I’m choosing to avoid it whenever possible, for both me and my cats (which is proving to be MUCH easier to do for the cats than it is for me!) Research done by Environmental Working Group has shown that pets have much higher levels of chemical contamination than humans, some up to 23 times the levels. The study points out that “with their compressed lifespans, developing and aging seven or more times faster than children, pets also develop health problems from exposures much more rapidly.” This is a complicated study that looks into chemical contaminants from multiple sources, but if eliminating plastic food containers might help just a little, it’s an easy change to make.
There are lots of beautiful and functional non-plastic pet food bowls available. If you haven’t already, please consider making this change.
And to help you make a change with your cat food storage, the folks at Stor-in-Style are offering one lucky winner a designer metal food storage container. The metal canister has a durable, non-toxic powder-coated finish and comes with six graphic decals and a metal scoop. To enter, please leave a comment on this post telling us what you currently use to store your cat food. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing on April 24.