We take a look at the best automatic cat feeder making your life a whole lot easier.
Cats, what would we do without them, hey? Who else would we turn to for disdainful looks, pushing things off of shelves and scratching your sofa? For all their mischievousness though, cats are the bee’s knees. Want a fluffy hot water bottle that vibrates? Get a cat. Need ear muffs as you sleep? Get a cat? Want to watch someone go crackers over a tiny dot of red light? Get a cat. Cats are funny, sweet and all round amazing pets.
As with any domesticated animal, it is up to you to look after them (even if your particular puss-cat doesn’t seem to require any assistance at all!). Keeping them safe, clean and fed is all up to you. Most of the time, feeding your cat is a fairly simple routine. You give them wet or dry food in line with their nutritional needs at set times of the day and everything is tickety-boo.
Sometimes, though, life throws up the unexpected, meaning that routines go out of the window. Whether it’s a short holiday, new working hours or you’re just not around for the day, a helping hand when it comes to feeding your cat can be worth it’s weight in gold. Why pay a cat sitter to feed your cat again and again when you can make a one-off purchase of an automatic cat feeder that will solve the problem for you?
What does an automatic cat feeder do?
An automatic cat feeder does exactly what its name suggests; it automatically feeds your cat when you are unable to. They come in two types: single feeders, which open up to dispense a single meal for your cat, or multiple feeders, where you can add up to six separate meals into the compartments.
Generally battery powered, and depending on the model, you can set a timer to open up and serve a pre-determined amount of cat food from between 5 minutes to 30 days ahead. All automatic cat feeders are compatible with dispensing dry food and you are also able to purchase products that have a cooling mechanism enclosed, meaning wet food stays fresh until served.
Some automatic cat feeders have a storage bin attached, meaning that you can dispense numerous meals over a number of weeks. Whilst these can be useful in certain circumstances, we do not advocate leaving your cat alone for long periods of time. Remember that cats need to have litter boxes cleaned, clean water and some attention every now and again, as well as food. For periods of more than two days away from home, we would recommend alternative solutions, such as a cat sitter, or a neighbour to pop in and do ‘cat duty’ for your beloved pet.
What benefits do automatic cat feeders bring?
Automatic cat feeders can bring a number of benefits, not all them directly related to feeding your cat when you are not there.
- The most obvious benefit is that an automatic cat feeder takes care of feeding your cat when you are not there. It can save the money and the effort associated with organising someone to feed your cat for you and will give you peace of mind that your cat is being fed. You also know that the amount of food being dispensed is appropriate and your cat is not bingeing on food!
- People who ARE at home to feed their cat, but who have a kitty with weight issues can also find benefit from an automatic cat feeder. If your cat is overweight, then the portion control a feeder offers could be very useful. It’s easy to fall for those wide eyed pleas for more food from your feline, but not being involved with portion control when they are doing it could help you resist their charms!
- Does your cat ever wake you up at 5am meowing for breakfast? We all need our rest, regardless of if kitty has the munchies or not. An automatic cat feeder could be the answer to those middle of the night wake up calls if you programme it to dispense some grub before dawn!
- Timed eating can be useful in setting a routine for your cat. An automated feeder is able to dispense portions at the exact time you set, making running late from work or unexpected visitors less of a stressful situation when it comes to keeping your cat well fed.
- Some automatic cat feeders offer the option to only dispense food to a particular cat, usually by recognising your pet’s microchip number. This is a great tool to use if a) your cat is on a specific diet within a multi-cat household, or if other cats or dogs snaffle their food at dinner time.
Any dangers to look out for?
An automatic cat feeder can be a great help to cat owners with busy lifestyles. However, it is worth noting a few issues that could crop up.
Firstly, a lot of automatic feeders are battery powered. It’s important to check the batteries regularly as the last thing you want whilst you are away for the weekend is the feeder to stop working, leaving kitty hungry! Cats without access to food for a couple of days can quickly develop hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) which can prove fatal if not treated swiftly.
Secondly, there is ALWAYS a risk of choking on food for animals. In addition, if your cat is distressed or ill, an automatic feeder can’t tell or intervene as a sitter could. It’s preferable that you or somebody else is available to supervise your cats when eating, in case this does occur.
Best Automatic Cat Feeders
So lets have a look at the best automatic cat feeders; we have only listed the ones that have scored highly on Amazon so you can read the great reviews from other cat owner customers.
The ANMER Automatic Pet Feeder is awesome. Seriously. Not only does it have a built in voice and recorder and speaker so you can record yourself calling your cats for din-dins, but it allows for up to SIX meals a day. It’s designed predominantly for dry food and you can programme in flexible portion sizes from between 1/8 cup to 4 cups for each meal. It’s exacting system can dispense food to within 2-3 grams of the set amount, and to the exact minute you want your cat fed.
It has a built in infrared detector that can identify if there is a danger of food building up and locking the system, meaning that your cat won’t end up going hungry. With low power consumption, a set of 4 batteries will last up to six months of continuous use. Costing $59.99, this is a fabulous automatic feeder for a discerning cat owner.
The PetSafe Automatic Feeder are considered leaders within the market. They can be pricy (this model comes in at $129.99) but you get what you pay for.
The PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder is a number 1 best seller on Amazon due to the great functionality it offers. The programmable feeder can schedule up to 12 meals of between 1/8 cup to 4 cups a day. It uses a smart conveyor system to dispense both dry and semi-moist foods of a range of different shapes and sizes and has a clever gadget that only releases meals greater than 1/8 of a cup over a period of 15 minutes, to stop your cat wolfing down his lunch.
It also has an immediate feed mode, in case you need to dispense a next meal instantly for any reason and you can also pause feeding without losing the wider programmed schedule. The feeder is battery operated, but you can also purchase a mains power adaptor to reduce any worries of batteries running out. A fantastic product and we thoroughly recommend it for both peace of mind and quality.
The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder is a great solution for those of you with multiple cats. It has a microchip reader that recognises up to thirty cats and ensures that pets access their own food. So, if you have a bit of a chubby cat that steals his buddies’ food, this product can prevent him from doing that!
It is quite expensive, at $149.99, but is designed in such a way that it makes it impossible for your pudgier pets to overfeed, opening only for one cat at a time and dispensing food based on the programme associated with their microchip – worth the money, we think!
The Super Feed Automatic Cat Feeder is pretty super. It is American made and offers great access for your cat, as the design spreads food to the outer edges of the dishwasher safe bowl, also preventing the wolfing down of food! An analogue timer comes with the product, that can handle up to 48 meals per day and the feeder can be operated via your iPhone. How swizzy is that?
It holds 4 and ¾ cups of food but this can be expanded with extensions and can even be mounted to a wall – reducing the chances of your pet knocking it over and being without any grub! At $149.99 via Amazon, this is a great choice for people with mischievous feline friends who have a tendency to knock things over!
OK, so $249.99 might seem a lot to spend on an automatic cat feeder, but listen up! The Feed and Go Smart Pet Feeder is the crème de la crème of feeders. Keep reading and find out what we mean. Firstly, it has AMAZING reviews on Amazon from happy owners, and we can see why. This is the smartest automatic feeder on the planet. It has so many amazing features, it’s easier to list them all;
- It is technology at its finest – the Feed and Go has a built in webcam so you can see what your cat is up to and whether it is eating or not – you can log in from and iOS, Android or Windows smartphone, tablet or computer
- You can interact with your cat when you are not there – the voice recorder and speaker allows you to call your cat to the feeder so you can check in on him or her!
- A great customer portal – set up an online profile outlining when you want your pet fed. You can also use your profile to control multiple Feed and Go systems if you have more than one furry friend.
- Multiple uses – the divided bowl makes it easy to feed dry food, wet food, treats and even medication.
- It’s interactive and informative – the Feed and Go sends real time SMS or email alerts to let you know when your pet is about to be fed or has just been fed.
- It’s reliable – although the system is predominantly based on Wi-Fi within the home, even if your Wi-Fi goes down, the schedule is ‘backed-up’ within the feeder itself and will still work
Pretty neat, huh? This is a fabulous solution for people who are staying away for longer periods of time, or those that like to say hi to their cats when they aren’t together – a fantastic product from a very innovative start up company. We can’t recommend it enough.
The Lusmo Automatic Pet Feeder is a funky feeder that comes in a range of bright colours and has a great design. Predominantly intended for use by cats and small dogs, it has a dispensing maximum of 1 cup of food per meal. All food containers are removable and washable, making the Lusmo easy to keep clean for your precious pet and it even comes with a ‘mischief guard’ accessory, to prevent your cat from accessing more food from the container outlet.
With an easy to use meal dispensing programmer for dry food only, this is a great little product for feeding your cat when you aren’t there!
With over a 1000 5 star reviews on Amazon, it’s safe to say that the PetSafe Electronic Pet Feeder are on to a winner with this product, the PetSafe Electronic Cat Feeder. It’s cheap as chips, at only $35 and offers a great ‘entry-level’ option for those dipping their toe into the waters of automatic feeders for the first time.
The feeder is made of tough and durable polypropene, making it easy to clean whether using wet or dry food. It has 5 chambers, each accommodating up to 1 cup of food which can be dispensed at regular intervals through using the easy-to-set digital timer. A fab option for cats left at home whilst you are at work!
The very catchily named Pet Feedster USA PF-10 CAT Pet Feedster Automated Pet Feeder For Cats is a smart solution to feeding your cat whilst you aren’t there to do it. It has a one year limited warranty to give you peace of mind, in addition to being powered via mains or battery power sources. The feeder has great portion control and is able to dispense between a tablespoon and 6 cups of food for each meal. The food storage compartment is theft proof and prevents your cat from clawing more food out and is also insect proof, having a ‘moat’ around the food to stop creepy crawlies from invading! It has a minimalist, sleek design and would make a great addition to any cat owner’s house!
Automatic cat feeders can be hugely useful, not only in making sure your pet is fed whilst you aren’t available, but also in saving you cash that would otherwise be spent on pet-sitters. They are a fabulous solution for feeding your cat whilst you at work, or away for a couple of nights. An automatic feeder shouldn’t be used as a long-term solution for your cat. Cats require attention and affection in addition to food, so for periods longer than a couple of days away. It’s wise to find an alternative feeding schedule.
There is a wide range of different feeder products on the market – some with fancy technology including webcams and voice recognition, and other, simpler systems that have fewer bells and whistles. The products listed above are our recommendations for automatic cat feeders and can all be purchased via Amazon. Do let us know what you think if you go ahead and purchase one!