It seems that this behavior can occur in any age cat, and applies to both food and water dishes. You might want to play with different types of dishes for your cat and see if you can detect a preference for size, shape, height, and flatness of their dish.
One of our clients recently suggested dishes from Basis Pet, which is a Vermont company that has a great stainless steel bowl. It is shallow, made of food grade stainless steel, and is very sturdy. My cat Truman definitely eats better from this dish than the traditional, deep pet food dish.
So give it a try! Remember Presentation is everything!