Are you continually away from home for several hours? Then do not leave your cat unattended anymore to and get yourself the best automatic cat feeder today. With the best feeder at home, your cat(s) will have the right amount of food at the right time.
Pets, including cats, love routine and failing to feed them on time can make them grumpy. You probably would like to feed your pet on your own every time, but this will not be always possible. For instance, you may get caught in a traffic jam and fail to get home in time to feed your cat. In such a case, a good automatic cat feeder will come in handy (Source).
While this is the case, buying the right cat feeder may not be an easy thing; especially if you do not know what to look for. Regardless of your preferences, the right automatic cat feeder should have the right capacity and feature the right design.
Additionally, you need to ensure that your preferred cat feeder will be safe around your pet while you are away. Reviewed below are five top-rated automatic cat feeders.
Best Automatic Cat Feeders
1. PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder – Best Automatic Cat Feeder Overall
Are you looking for a reliable product by one of the leading pet feeder manufacturers today? The PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder is what you need. As the cat owner on-the-go that you are, you really need a convenient pet feeding solution like this one. Among the desirable attributes of this model is its digital timer.
This allows you to pre-set feeding times in increments of one hour. With this automatic cat feeder at home, your cat can feed up to five times a day while you are away. If you are worried about your cat gaining too much weight, this feeder has the solution you need. In this regard, it allows you to control the food portions given to your cat.
Again, this model comes with two power options; you may use alkaline batteries or plug it directly to a wall socket. The 5-slots tray used in this feeder is removable and easy to clean.
- Offers 5 feeding compartments
- Can hold dry or semi-moist pet food
- Allows you control over food portions
- Manufactured by a reputable company
- Easy and quick to set up
- Features a built-in digital clock
- Easy to use LCD display
- Battery-powered model
- The cat may learn how to open the lid
2. Petmate Pet Cafe Feeder – 6 lbs – The Best Affordable Automatic Cat Feeder
Looking for a pocket-friendly, yet effective feeder for your pet? In such a case, the Café Feeder by Petmate will come in handy. Though lowly priced, this product features an appealing design that works with almost any interior décor.
The simple design features a large, transparent food storage hopper. The lid to the hopper is conveniently positioned and easy to open. This makes the unit easy to refill and clean.
The appealing base used on this feeder features easy-grab handles, which make it easy to carry around. The product is also eco-friendly and comes on several size and color options.
- PET bottles that are environmentally sustainable
- It is a USA brand
- Big mouth and easy to remove lid
- Easy to clean and refill
- Replenishes the food reservoir automatically
- You may need to shake it for the food to flow from the hopper to the reservoir
3. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder – Best Automatic Cat Feeder for Prying Cats
What if you had a feeder that could dispense food to your pet up to 24 times, without having to be refilled? If you are looking for such a feeder, you should consider buying the PetSafe Healthy Pet Automatic Feeder. This is the best model if you are looking forward to giving your pet more snack servings per day.
In this regard, the feeder can comfortably dispense food portions to your pet up to 12 times a day. Additionally, the feeder allows you to program the amount of food you would like given to your pet for each meal. As such, you can choose to give the pet between 1/8 of a cup to 24 cups per serving.
The timer used on this unit allows you to choose the frequency, with which the pet will be fed — with increments of 15 minutes.
- The product is pet-proof
- Features an anti-jam conveyor dispensing system
- Uses batteries
- Equipped with a hygienic, removable stainless steel bowl
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Features several feeding modes
- Fitted with a digital timer
- The feeder is not easy to program
4. SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder – The Best Microchip Automatic Cat Feeder
This may not be an affordable automatic pet feeder, but is packed with the features you need. Featuring RFID technology, this feeder allows you to control the food portions and feeding times for your cat. As the name suggests, the SureFeed flap cover remains closed until it is time to feed the pet.
In this regard, the lid will only open when the cat with the microchip approaches the feeder. If one of your pets is easting the other’s food, this is the feeder you need to get. Its advanced chip technology ensures that only the designated cat is given access to the dispensed food. The feeder also comes in handy for pets on prescription diets.
- Ideal for homes with several pets
- Features microchip technology
- Comes with identification microchips
- Has a Sealed bowl
- Keeps food fresh for relatively long periods
- Can store information of up to 32 microchips
- Removable lid a and tray
- Comes with a 1-month money-back guarantee
- Does not have a timer
5. Vanness AF3 3-Pound Auto Feeder – The Dish Washer Safe Automatic Cat Feeder
Such aspects make it easy for you to keep the feeder clean and hygienic at all times. Additionally, the feeder features a compact design, measuring 11.4 x 6.9 x 8.9 inches and weighs 12 ounces. As such, it requires minimal space and is easy to carry around.
The AF3 has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. This means that it is safe for your pet. The product features an attractive, translucent design, which allows you to see the amount of food remaining.
- Approved by the United States food and drug administration
- Features a sleek clear design
- Compact and lightweight
- Dishwasher safe
- Easy to clean
- You may experience spills with this feeder
Things You Must Know Before Buying an Automatic Cat Feeder
In addition to feeding your cat at the programmed times, the best pet feeders will also help you control its habits as well as weight. While this is the case, choosing the best automatic cat feeder is not that easy.
To make the right choice, there are several things that you need to consider, some of which are discussed below:
The right design for a cat feeder will mainly depend on your personal preference. However, each of the available automatic cat feeder styles has its own set of benefits and downsides. While shopping for this accessory, here are some of the style options you should consider:
Hinged Lid Automatic Cat Feeders
The hinged lid cat feeders are some of the simplest automatic pet feeders today, hence are relatively affordable. Their design features a timing mechanism, a lid, and a food tray. With these feeders, you only need to place the wet or dry pet food on the tray, close the lid and then set the timer. Most of the leading brands allow you a maximum delay of 48 hours.
Once done, the lid on these accessories will only pop open at the time you programmed in the timer. Once open, the pet can get access to the food you placed in the tray. Many pet owners love this type of feeders because they are relatively easy to use. However, these feeders cannot control food portions automatically.
Gravity/Drop Automatic Pet Feeders
The good thing about this type of feeders is that they can hold days-worth of food for your pet. Basically, these feeders feature a comparatively larger food hopper and a feeding tray beneath it. These feeders are designed to dispense pet food in pre-determined portions from the hopper. For instance, you may program the feeder to dispense 20 grams of pet food at 5 pm and 15 grams at 11 am.
This comes in handy when you are trying to watch your pet’s weight, don’t you think? With such a feeder, you can control when the pet feeds and the amount of food it takes. Some of the best models can hold up to a week’s worth of food.
2. Food Capacity
If you normally are gone for several days or own several cats, you need to buy a feeder that can hold a considerable amount of food. Additionally, you may need to get a unit that regulates how often and how much the pet feeds. Basically, you need to know how many servings your preferred automatic cat feeder can hold.
Since this will depend on how much you should feed the cat, you may need to consult with your vet on the appropriate feeding amounts and frequency. Regardless of the case, there are some feeders that are designed to give the cat small snacks in between main meals. According to some of the leading vets, this would be healthier than giving the cat large servings.
3. Type of Food it Can Hold
There are certain feeder models that are specifically designed for dry pet food and others exclusively for wet pet food. While such models may be relatively cheaper, it is advisable to buy one that can hold both dry and moist cat food.
However, you are going to need ice packs to keep moist food fresh for extended periods. Alternatively, you should freeze the food cans ahead of time.
4. The Number of Cats You Have
When choosing an automated feeder, you should take into account the number of cats in your home. It’s advisable to purchase separate feeders if you have different pets. That’s because some pets are aggressive while eating. As such, they could hinder other pets from eating.
5. The Size of Your Pets
Automated pet feeders come in different styles, sizes, and shapes. It is important to choose the right feeder according to the size of your pets. While some automated feeders are made for smaller pets, others are suited for bigger pets.
Those who have overweight and big pets should go for automated food dispenser with a built-in timer. Whether you have a dog or cat, such a feeder will ensure that it eats the ‘right’ amounts of food at the right times. This will help your pet remains healthy and properly nourished.
You are looking for an automatic pet feeder that will feed the pet at the present times in your absentia, right? Therefore, you should get a model that is safe for your pet. In this regard, you need to ascertain that the feeder cannot hurt the cat in any way when you are away.
If you are buying an electric-powered feeder, you need to ensure that the cat cannot unplug it. If accidentally unplug, the unit will not work and the cat will have to go without food until you get back.
This is probably why most feeders today are powered by batteries. However, the same could happen if the batteries are accidentally knocked out. As such, you should always test the feeder before leaving to ensure that it is safe around your pet.
Automatic Cat Feeders FAQs
What Are Automatic Cat Feeders and How Do They Work?
Automatic cat feeders are feeding devices that are meant to dispense a certain amount of food at different periods during the day. Depending on your cat’s needs, you can set your automatic cat feeder to dispense several meals or a single portion daily. So make sure to program feeding times and portion sizes that work best for your pet.
How to Set My Automatic Cat Feeder?
The setup differs from one type of cat feeder to another. In general, it is necessary to fill the food reservoir before setting up an automated pet feeder. Then you should select the feeding time and portion size as well. That’s all! The machine will do the rest. You will just need to refill the feeder and clean it from time to time.
How Do Gravity Cat Feeders Work?
As its name suggests, this type of cat feeder dispenses food into the underlying dish by means of gravitation. It has a food container connected to a bowl. As a cat eats from the bowl, more food gets pulled down by the force of gravity, thereby refilling the dish.
Such a feeding option doesn’t allow you to program feeding time or portion size. For that reason, gravity feeders are only suitable for pets that have no problem with free-feeding.
How Often Should I Feed My Cat a Day?
This depends on numerous factors, including the age, size, activity level, and dietary needs of your cat. If you have an adult healthy cat, you can feed it twice a day. Once a day would also be fine. Growing kittens, on the other hand, need fresh food constantly, actually several times a day.
Don’t overdo it. Just like humans, cats can easily gain weight if they eat too much and too often. If you want to help your cat lose weight, then you need to set more frequent but smaller meals up to 5 times per day. However, it’s best to consult a veterinarian in order to determine a feeding schedule that best suits your cat.
Ready To Buy The Best Automatic Cat Feeder?
Contrary to what many pet owners think, choosing the right automatic feeder for your cat is not easy. With hundreds of models to choose from, there are several things that you have to consider to arrive at the right choice. What your cat needs is an automatic feeder that is safe, of the right capacity and can hold dry as well as moist pet food. However, you may be having several pets in your house.
In such a case, you will need a feeder that can distinguish one pet from the others. The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder. All in all, the PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder is among the best feeder today. Things you will particularly lovee about this product is affordability, large holding capacity, and ease of use.
If you are looking for the best automatic cat feeder today, this guide will help you make the right choice. Go ahead and pick a feeder that best suits your pet’s needs and your budget as well.