4 Best Automatic Cat Feeder Reviews and Recommendations
As a busy pet parent, you may often find yourself dashing home after work or waking up at odd hours to feed your cat. And forget about making last-minute vacation plans! But with the help of an automatic cat feeder, you can ensure that your little friend will always get its nutrients on time. These following gadgets may also solve some common issues such as portion control for overweight felines, prevention of food hogging from another pet, and even automatic pet food reorder.
With so many different functions, where should you begin your research? This article will discuss factors to consider before purchasing the best automatic cat feeder, as well as provide you with a list of four best automatic cat feeders on the market, their tech specs, and the needs they meet best when it comes to providing nourishment to your beloved feline!
Three Main Types of Automatic Cat Feeder to Consider
Depending on how technology savvy you are, you may quickly narrow down your choices just by deciding on the automation level:
- Gravity feeders (no battery needed)
- Feeders with digital timers (battery-powered)
- Wi-Fi connection fully automatic feeder (AC or battery powered).
1. Gravity Feeders
They usually look like mini gumball machines with a large hopper on top holding a sufficient supply of dry kibble and a feeding bowl at the bottom. Once your cat eats a certain amount of food in its bowl, the cleared space will allow more kibble to slide out from the upper container using gravity. They do not need batteries and are usually the most affordable options on the market.
2. Feeders with Digital Timers
These devices usually contain a simple digital timer that controls specific feeding times. Although some may pack with extra functions such as microchip recognition and ice pack insertion, they are easily programmable. Some often come with separate food compartments to allow portion control and felines who love a diversity between wet/dry foods throughout the day.
3. Wi-Fi Connection Fully Automatic Feeder
These options tend to be packed with a diverse list of functions ranging from smart devices remote control, precise portion control, random snacking function, voice or video recording, microchip recognition to prevent food bullying, and even slow-feed mode for the food scrapers. If you want your pets to strictly eat their own food and each other’s snacks, these feeders are the best solution for both cats and dogs.
Due to the high level of customizability functions, these devices often require a connection to the internet and some form of application installation on your smart devices.
Other Factors to Consider Before Buying an Automatic Cat Feeder
Each feline has its own needs. As a result, there are so many different feeders available to fit a unique niche of purposes. Instead of buying a device that serves little use for your furball friend, ask yourself these questions:
What Is Your Cat’s Food Preference?
Dry kibble? Wet food? Special diet? Some feeders only allow dry kibble, whereas other compensates for both wet and dry foods.
A majority of feeders on the market are catered to kibble eaters. If you are looking for one with wet food delivery, digital timer feeders with separate food chambers may be your solution.
Does Your Cat Have Special Needs?
There are devices specially created to solve common issues such as overweight kitties, quick eaters that suffer from bloating and food regurgitation, those that like to eat smaller meals throughout the day and night, and picky eaters that want to shuffle between wet and dry foods.
For example, a gravity feeder may be an excellent option for night eaters as you no longer need to wake up and feed your cat in the middle of the night. However, it may not be a viable option for furballs that tend to overeat. Instead, a precise portion feeder with slow feed function is the perfect solution for these felines.
Do You Own More Than One Pet?
Homes with more than one pet often need to deal with food bullying and stealing. And if you have a cat that requires a specific diet or medication-blended diet, this problem may be easily solved by purchasing an automatic feeder that uses microchip technology to recognize individual pets and dispense food only when a specific pet is nearby.
Do You Want a Backup Feeder or Daily Feeder?
If you want a total automated system to handle all the feeding, you may want to look into a higher-end model with a large hopper that will do the meal dispensing job and alert you when the food source is low.
Are You Technology Savvy?
Some options require that you have Wi-Fi hookup and various smart devices usage. If you want a simple backup solution, a gravity feeder or a digital timer feeder may already do the trick. For owners who are looking for a vacation feeding solution, video and audio additional live streaming functions may double duty as a pet feeder and a pet security camera.
Our List of Best Automatic Cat Feeders on Market
1. Amazon Basics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder
Price range: LowCheck price »
- Extremely affordable
- Easy to use
- Made of BPA-free plastic
- Comes in different sizes
- Hopper holds up to 6 lbs. of kibbles
- Easy to clean
- No control over portion size
- No control over mealtime
- Not suitable for cats that overeat or eat too quickly
Ideal for: Cat owners looking for an affordable automatic feeder with the simplest function.
For individuals looking for a simple automatic feeder for their cats, this is probably the best automatic cat feeder in the lower price range market. Minimal maintenance work and super affordability are the main attraction for this device. This is a perfect solution for kitties who loves to nibble around the clock.
2. CatMate C500 Automatic Cat Feeder with Digital Timer
Price range: MediumCheck price »
- Allow separate compartments for holding up to 5 meals
- Ice pack inserts keep wet food chilled to avoid spoiling and bacterial growth
- Can be fastened to a wooden board for greater stability and prevent sliding
- Made of BPA-free plastic
- 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Very quiet and perfect for nighttime eaters
- Work only with batteries and no backup AC power source
- Extra ice packs are costly
- Require daily food refill
Ideal for: Owner with cats that prefer wet food and like nibbling throughout the day.
This is an excellent choice for cats that like a variety of wet/dry food. It also solves the problem for kitties that require portion-controlled meals. And if you have a night muncher, the super quiet food dispenser mechanism will allow you to regain your beauty sleep.
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3. SureFlap Microchip Pet Feeder
Price range: HighCheck price »
- Recognize your pet’s unique microchip code or RFID tag code
- Prevents other pets from stealing food
- Sealed bowl keeps wet food fresh and free from contaminants
- 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Operates only on cell batteries
- No backup AC power source in case of low battery
- Only holds two pouches of wet food or one bowl of kibble
Ideal for: Individuals with multiple pets at home.
Cats who have a preference for wet food. The microchip and RFID code recognition system is a fantastic solution to prevent food hogging and feeding a specific special-diet pet in a home with more than one pet.
4. PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder
Price range: HighCheck price »
- Ability to program up to 12 meals
- Hopper holds up 24 cups of kibble
- Allows you to feed your cat a snack via Amazon Alexa command
- Works with both Apple and Android devices
- Provides portion control between ⅛ cup to 4 cups
- Permits stainless steel bowls
- Requires the use of Apple devices iOS 9.0 or later and Android smart device 6.0 or later.
- More expensive than other feeders
Ideal For: Cat parents who are technology-inclined and use Amazon Alexa daily.
This device is the best automatic cat feeder in the high price-range market. It is fully equipped with useful functions that include a low-food sensor, Alexa sync voice control, automatic food supply reorder, and smartphone meal programming.
If you are worried about power outages, the power supply backup ensures this gadget to work at all times. And in cases of internet outages, the automatic Wi-Fi drop sensor will trigger the next scheduled meal delivery to ensure your furball gets their meal no matter what happens.
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Best Automatic Cat Feeder: FAQs
Before we wrap up this conversation about automatic cat feeders, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding such devices!
1. Are automatic feline feeders good for your cats?
Automatic cat feeders are great for a number of reasons. They are worth the investment if you want to control the nourishment of your cat, save time with feeding it – especially during the night or when you are out of town -, or feed the cat precise amounts of food in case it has special needs or dietary requirements.
2. Can one automatic cat feeder dispense food for two cats?
You can feed two cats with the same automatic cat feeder if both your cats are good friends and usually eat together. A cat feeder can dispense food for two felines if it features a timer to satisfy the nourishment needs of both pets.
3. Is there an automatic cat feeder dispensing wet food for cats?
Yes. Probably the best automatic wet food cat feeder is the CatMate C500 Automatic Cat Feeder with Digital Timer. As you probably know, there are plenty of automatic cat feeders for wet cat food. Pick the one that best serves your needs and your furball’s dietary requirements.
4. Which is the best automatic cat feeder on the market?
Here are our top picks when it comes to the best automatic cat feeders on the market:
- Best Gravity Cat Feeder: Amazon Basics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder;
- Best Smart Cat Feeder with Timer: PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder
- Best Price/Value Ratio: CatMate C500 Automatic Cat Feeder with Digital Timer
5. What is the downside of a gravity cat feeder?
One of the disadvantages of gravity cat feeders is that they automatically refill the food bowl with a fresh batch of food when the cat finished eating. The downside is that this system can encourage the cat to eat more than necessary. Overeating – just like under-eating in dogs and cats – is detrimental to all pets’ health, leading to obesity or diabetes.
Feeding your cat does not have to be a chore. By purchasing an automatic cat feeder, you can instantly free up your time and lower your anxiety level.
At the same time, your cat will be a happier furball for being well-fed with their favorite food. Now all they need is an occasional catnip treat or chew toy and quality playtime with you.
Do you use automatic cat feeders in your home? Which is the best device in your opinion? Feel free to use the comments section below to share your experiences with cat feeders!
DENISE FLECK is an award-winning author, animal care instructor and radio show host. She was named one of Pet Age Magazine’s “Women of Influence” for 2018, a “Most Inspiring Story” in 2017 by Voyage Atlanta Magazine and has been nominated for 6 Dog Writers Awards to be announced in early 2019.Read more »