Why should I clean my cat’s food and water bowls daily?

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Cats rely on humans to set up an environment which is safe and healthy, and that includes cleaning their water and food dish daily. They can be vulnerable to dehydration, food poisoning, bacteria, and molds that can emit toxins. At the very least, serving from an unwashed food dish is just plain nasty and can cause your cat to stop eating.
Water dish: Cats aren’t especially thirst-driven, yet, dehydration, a serious medical emergency, can happen very quickly. Fill the water dish every day with fresh and clean water. Refresh and change the cat’s water several times a day to encourage your cat to drink water.
When water isn’t changed daily, it just doesn’t taste very good. It becomes warm and “stale.” If the dish isn’t cleaned daily, there’s also a concern about bacteria and dirt floating in the water.
Owners really need to be watchful of dehydration. Cats’ bodies are comprised of about 75 percent water and just a loss of five percent can result in an imbalance of water, electrolytes and minerals. That can happen very quickly.
Food dish: You wouldn’t eat from a dirty plate, would you? Therefore, wash the cat’s food bowl every day to get rid of spoiled and unappealing leftover food. Remember, some foods will turn moldy—and some molds can produce elements toxic to pets.
At the very least, cats—which are picky to begin with—just may stop eating from their food dish because they find it such a turn-off. However, yours may still be hungry and curious and can get into something poisonous to her.
Cats are very vulnerable to poisoning from some human foods, such as onions, tomatoes and coffee grounds. We know that milk, cheese and chocolate are bad for cats. Your cat can become seriously ill (or die) if it nibbles a piece of onion that fell to the floor. Other human foods which are dangerous include grapes, raisins, alcoholic beverages, baby food, canned foods, eggs, nuts, human vitamins, root plants, such as potatoes, mushrooms, canned tuna (for human consumption), sugary foods, table scraps, yeast dough, moldy or spoiled foods, marijuana and tobacco.

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