My cat will not eat from a pile of his dry food if it is not a mound. Once the mound is gone and the food lies flat in his bowl, he will not bother with parting his lips more to shove his face down to grab the food. Also AND please let me know if I am not the only pet who's cat will not drink his water from a bowl by his food. He will not drink from any bowl or cup unless it is next to the bathroom sink. Then it doesn't matter what the vessel is.. Just as long as it is by the bathroom sink ...not on the floor...up on the bathroom counter by the sink.
So, recently I read somewhere that cats do not like it when they have to dig deep into the bowl, because their whiskers touch the sides and they don't particularly like it. I didn't know if there was anything to it, but I started using a ceramic pie dish just the same. It could just be confirmation bias, but I haven't noticed them sitting staring disdainfully at the food bowl since.