There will be days when you are out of the house, and you don’t know what time you’ll be able to get home. As a cat lover, that also means your cat is starving. With the best automatic cat feeder, you can ensure that your feline friends will have access to food at any time of the day.
Benefits Of Using The Best Automatic Cat Feeder
An automatic cat feeder is a simple device that dispenses food to your cat. You can control the portion of the food, and at pre-set times of the day. It may seem like a luxury and not a necessity for some pet owners. But an automatic cat food dispenser can give you a lot of help in raising your cats such as:
1. You won’t miss a feeding anymore. Perhaps the most significant benefit of an auto cat feeder is that it will assure you that your cat will get his food each day. There won’t be missed meals anymore.
As a pet owner, having an auto cat feeder will also benefit you. You can stay late on Friday nights with your friends. You can even go away during the weekend without worrying about your furry friend’s meals.
2. It can prevent obesity in cats. An automatic cat feeder not only ensures that your cat will be able to get his food each day like clockwork. It also helps in controlling his portion size, which is very helpful for overweight cats. And even if your cat is of the ideal weight, having an automatic cat feeder means that your beloved pet won’t gain too much weight.
You may have gotten used to leaving dry food for your buddy. When you see the bowl empty, you only fit it up with more food. This method leaves you with very little control over what your cat is eating on a daily basis.
But an auto cat feeder can better manage the food intake of your cat throughout the day. You can select the measurement of food to be dispensed and the food distribution time. For instance, you can opt to release one-half cup of food every four hours. If your cat needs to gain more weight, you can set the feeder to dispense two cups of food for say, every three hours.
3. It’s convenient. Automatic cat feeder reviews will tell you how convenient it is to have this device. Aside from not have to worry about feeding your pets every day, you are also being spared from cleaning the unit.
Most auto feeders for cats are dishwasher safe. You only put this in the dishwasher when it needs cleaning. It’s not surprising many cat owners who are busy with their work have an auto feeder in their homes.
Factors To Consider In Buying An Auto Feeder
You’ll be able to choose the right auto feeder for your cat if you take into consideration the following factors:
Perhaps the most important factor to consider would be the capacity of the feeder. If you have more than one cat, or you are often out of the house for an extended period, then you should buy a unit that can hold a lot of servings. Capacity is being measured in liters or gallons. The higher the capacity is, the more food that the unit can hold and feed to your cat.
There are several types of automatic feeders for cats. The simplest is one consisting of canister and food dish. It’s relatively inexpensive, and an excellent choice for kittens. But this isn’t something you would want for a cat with weight problems.
An automatic cat food feeder, meanwhile, is the best for cats who need to have their food intake controlled. It also consists of a canister and bowl, but it is connected to a timer controlling the release of food. This type of cat feeder is a bit more expensive than the single canister and food dish.
The third category is the microchip pet feeder which is more advanced than the electronic model. It usually makes use of a chip hanging from the cat’s collar. The feeder will open only when it detects the microchip. This is a good way to ensure that other pets in your home won’t be able to eat the food for your cat.
3. Ease of Use
Pet feeders are intended to make life a lot easier for cat owners. Thus you need to find one that you can easily use. Settings should be easy to adjust or change. An instruction manual will also help you in setting up or programming the device.
4. Food type
You’d want to get off a device that can hold both dry and wet food. There are also cat feeders that are only compatible with dry foods. Some feeders also have a water station, which can be a deal-breaker in your purchasing decision.
Since you will be likely away when your pet is eating, you should buy an auto cat feeder that is safe. Most cat feeders are battery powered, although there’s always a chance that the batteries are knocked out. If you’re looking for a unit that is plugged into a wall outlet, then the cord should not be too much time as your pet may trip on it.
6. Power source
As mentioned earlier, cat feeders may be battery powered or plugged into a wall outlet. Battery powered units may appear to be safer, but also has its downsides. For one, when the batteries run out of power and you’re out, your poor cat won’t be able to eat at all. The same can be said of plugged units, as a power outage would render a cat feeder useless.
Thus you might want to get a unit that uses both batteries and AC adapters, for peace of mind.
7. Other features
Other features may compel you to buy a device over another. One is a built-in recorder that lets you save a particular message, so you can remind your pets to eat. Others have a webcam. Others come in different designs, like an interactive play ball that can also be a source of play and exercise aside from food.
- Ease of assembly
- Easy to clean
Video Of An Automatic Cat Feeder In Action
6 Best Automatic Cat Feeder
Automatic Cat Feeder
1. Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser for Dogs & Cats
This automatic food dispenser for cats has a 1.14-gallon capacity. It measures 14.5 inches tall, 9.5 inches wide, and 11 inches deep. It can be plugged into a wall outlet, or be powered by three D-size alkaline batteries.
This device can dispense up to 10 portions per meal, with each portion about 24 ml. You can set up to four distribution alarms daily with this food dispenser. It dispenses dry food.
It has a blue light up LCD clock and display, which you can use in adjusting its settings. Its magnetic lock lid also ensures your pets won’t be able to break into the food supply.
- It has a see-through top that lets you to quickly check the food bin
- You can record audio messages so that your pet will be trained in using the feeder
- It's food container is removable for easy refilling
- It is very easy to set up and use
- It has a beautiful, modern design
- With two power sources (DC adapter and battery) you need not worry about the unit losing power while you are away
- Its capacity is enough to feed up to eight cats four times a day
- Portion sizes are small, facilitating significant degree of control
- You can customize feeding times instead of following standard intervals
- Controls can be very finicky
- The DC adapter cord is 5 feet long, be sure to secure it as it may pose safety issues at home especially when you are out
2. Aspen Le Bistro Portion-Control Automatic Pet Feeder
This is a battery-operated automatic pet feeder that can serve up to 3 meals a day. It has a 5-pound dry food storage, and fully programmable to ensure that your cats will be able to eat throughout the day.
It has a portion control feature that lets you choose portions from ¼ cup to 3 cups a meal. It is easy to clean as you only have to clean it with a soft cloth and then hang to dry. It has default meal servings of 6 am for breakfast, 12 pm for lunch, and 6 pm for dinner.
- Large capacity can feed a family of cats in one day
- It can hold food for a cat for up to 14 days
- The unit has an LCD that counts the meal, so you would know if your cat has eaten
- It has a removable bowl for easy cleaning
- It is very easy to operate/program
- Since it uses battery, no need to worry about power outages
- The battery can last for many months
- There’s a LED indicator to let you know that you have to replace the batteries
- Very durable, with many users saying their units have lasted for more than three years
- The timer is very accurate
- Company is known for its excellent customer support
- Portion control is not precise
- Lid is not well-attached, so there’s a risk that the food will be spilled over when the unit is knocked over
- It makes some noise when dispensing food
3. SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
This is an excellent feeder that you would want to use in feeding your cats. It will work with your cat’s existing microchip implant. It can store up to 32 chips. Its lid forms a seal in the top of the food bowl, ensuring that the food for your cat is fresh and won’t be touched by flies.
It is lightweight at just 3 pounds and has a very stylish design. It comes with a pair of wide bowls, with each one measuring 5 x 7 inches. This is an ideal feeder for cats that need to be on a diet.
- This is perfect for cats whose weight need to be monitored
- Can accept up to 32 microchip IDs
- Very easy to set up
- It will only take a few seconds to register your cat’s microchip
- You can adjust how quickly the feeder will close once it detects that the cat has walked away from it
- Powered by four alkaline batteries that can last for months
- There’s a low battery level indicator that tells you when to replace the batteries
- The bowls are wide and can accommodate nearly 3 cups of dry food
- The lid can protect the food especially from flies
- There’s a rubber seal around the top edge of the bowl, forming a sealed cover and keeping your cat’s food fresh and clean
- The bowl, mat, and lid are all removable and are easy to clean
- Not designed to work with rechargeable batteries
- Works only indoors
4. Feed And Go Smart Feeder With Webcam
This is a smart pet feeder that comes with a built-in webcam. You can always check your pet in real time and get real-time notifications of when your pet has been fed. You can also control multiple pet feeders from any smartphone when you have this amazing device.
The makers of this feeder say that this is the smartest pet feeder in the world. Many reviewers, meanwhile, say this is the best-timed cat feeder. It can hold both wet and dry foods. There are six compartments in this feeder, with each compartment capable of holding food up to 8 ounces.
- You can set up a profile quickly on a web-based interface or via an app. After setting up your profile, you can then set feeding schedules.
- If you have more than one pet, you can easily control feedings with a simple press of a button.
- You can receive a real-time message by SMS or email to let you know that your pets is about to eat, or has been fed.
- The unit connects to your Wi-Fi network system at home.
- Set up of the system is quick
- In case the Wi-Fi loses reception, the feeder will continue to work. This means that feeding schedules won’t be affected by bad Wi-Fi signals.
- It is backed by a 12-month warranty
- It is powered by a DC adapter
- Built quality is good
- Motor that runs the tray is loud and can scare off catsCamera isn’t of good quality
5. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder
This is a feeder that comes from a reputable brand, which has been a leading maker of pet accessories since 1991. It can schedule up to 12 meals a day, with flexible meal portions. You can put as little as 1/8 cup of food up to four cups of dry and semi-moist foods.
It has a slow feed mode that can dispense meals over 15 minutes, so your cat won’t be eating too fast. Or you can opt to have the dispenser dispense food quickly. It is powered by 4 D batteries, although you can also buy the optional power adaptor which is sold separately.
- Can dispense dry and semi-moist foods
- Locking lid can keep your pets from accessing feed
- Unique features like immediate feed, slow feed, and pause feed can let you choose the right portions and feeding patterns for your pet
- Can store up to 24 cups of food
- Its translucent hopper lets you see food when it is running out
- Well-built and sturdy
- Assembly is very easy
- Instruction is clear and concise; unit is very easy to operate
- Stainless steel bowl is easy to clean
- Can use AC adapter, a good option if you’re worried about batteries running out of power
- Batteries are not included
- Portions aren’t precise
- Not designed for outdoor use
6. Cat Mate Timed Cat Feeder
This cat feeder is powered by a single, AA battery. There’s a low battery indicator so you won’t be caught surprised that the unit suddenly runs out of power. Plus, AA batteries are easy to source.
It can serve up to five meals a day, with four programmable meals. The minimum interval between meals is four hours. It has twin ice packs to ensure freshness of food, with dishwasher-safe bowls thus maintenance should be no problem.
- Easy to assemble
- Very easy to operate
- Good build quality
- Very simple design, won’t confuse most users
- Can hold both wet and dry foods
- Large capacity can hold more than 5 ounces of food
- With ice packs, food can be kept fresh and cold for up to 16 hours
- Food plates lift out for easy cleaning
- Plate dishes are dishwasher safe
- Can serve up to five meals a day
- Have four programmable meals
- It is very energy/power efficient
- The battery can last for nearly a year
- Manufacturer is known for its excellent customer service
- The clock ticks a bit too loudly that it may distract or scare off the cats
- The timer isn’t digital
- Ideal only for pet owners with 1-2 cats
- The battery cover quickly breaks/falls off
Our Recommended Automatic Pet Feeder
Indeed, there are lots of excellent automatic feeders that you can choose from. But what is the best on our list?
It’s a tough call, but we feel that the Feed & Go Smart Feeder with Webcam is the best today. Its makers call it the smartest feeder for pets today, and it is hard to dispute that claim.
With a built-in webcam, this automatic feeder gives you that ability to check your pets in real time. You will be notified, too, once your pets have been fed, or are about to be fed. Many pet owners will agree that this feature alone is worth the price tag, although the said unit is one of the most expensive out there.
Aside from being able to monitor your pets in real time, you will love that you can control the meal portions by a simple press of a button through the device’s mobile app. It can accommodate wet and dry food, and is big.
It contains six separate compartments that can hold up to one cup of cat food. Its built quality is also good, and it has a 12-month warranty. You definitely won’t go wrong with the Feed and Go feeder with Webcam.