How Much Salmonella is on Your Cat’s Food Dish?


salmonella on cats dishSalmonella Concerns

Yes, there is salmonella on your cat’s food dish. In fact, there are bacteria in the food you feed your cats, bacteria left over from your cat’s mouth, and salmonella is a large component of the germs found on cat food bowls in laboratory tests. In fact, 45% of pet bowls have E. Coli, salmonella, and/or mold, according to Clean Healthy BOWLS, a company that designs sustainable germ-free cat bowls.

Wash Regularly!

The most basic way to prevent exposure to these germs for both you and your cat is to prevent the problem. First, wash your pet bowls before every feeding, or at the very least, every day. For many cat parents, this is not a common practice if cats are left to graze from their bowls all day. However, washing them every day will prevent a buildup of salmonella, E. Coli, yeast, and mold.

According to Clean Healthy BOWLs, more laboratory tests proved that 75% of pet bowls still had traces of salmonella after handwashing, and 67% of bowls ran through a dishwasher had small traces.

Handling Your Cat’s Food Dish

Aside from the dishes, you should also keep an eye on how you touch your cat’s bowls, food, and litterbox. Make sure you’re not contaminating yourself, or anyone else. Wear latex gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning up the cat area. Make sure cat food is sealed in an airtight container and placed in a dry area of your home where it can’t build too much moisture. If you live an especially humid climate this is very important, as improperly stored food can breed germs and make your cats (and you) very sick.

Prevent salmonella and other germs from growing on your cat food bowls by washing them every feeding. I keep a set of three stainless steel food dishes so I can rotate them with each feeding. When it’s feeding time I take away their old bowls and replace them with new, clean bowls with fresh food. I also wash their water dish daily. Think about it: how often would you want your food bowl or water bowl to be cleaned? Before you feed your cat or walk away from the water dish ask yourself if you would eat or drink from it..

Image: iStock

Nicky LaMarco has been a freelance writer since 2001. Nicky is an experienced ghostwriter and copywriter. She also writes for a variety of magazines. Nicky lives in Maine with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. Learn more about her at