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Providing your cat with a high-quality, nutritious diet is one of your most important responsibilities as a cat owner.
Not only do you need to choose the right food for your cat, but you need to offer the right amount and keep to a consistent schedule.
If you work a full-time job, that particular piece of the puzzle might be a challenge. Automatic cat feeders can make any cat owner’s life easier.
Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of automatic cat feeders and to learn what to look for when you’re ready to start shopping.
You’ll also see our top picks for the best automatic cat feeders.
Quick Links: The 5 Best Automatic Cat Feeders
- Best Overall: PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Pet Feeder
- Best for Multiple Cats: WOpet 7L Automatic Pet Feeder
- Best Dog Proof Cat Feeder: SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
- Best Electronic Cat Feeder: PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder
- Best Affordable Gravity Cat Feeder: PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station
- What to Look for in Automatic Cat Feeders
- Here are some important things to look for in an automatic cat feeder:
- The Top 5 Best Automatic Cat Feeders
- Here are our top 5 picks for the best automatic cat feeder:
- The Pros and Cons of Automatic Cat Feeders
- Here are some of the pros of automatic cat feeders:
- Here are some of the cons of automatic cat feeders:
- Final Remarks
What to Look for in Automatic Cat Feeders
Automatic cat feeders come in all shapes and sizes. Some are very simple, consisting of little more than a plastic canister that refills the bowl as your cat eats.
Other feeders are very complex, offering electronic features such as microchip pairing, multiple daily feedings, and more.
Before you start shopping for a feeder, you need to think about your needs, and you should also have some idea what kind of options are available.
Here are some important things to look for in an automatic cat feeder:
- Design – Automatic cat feeders come in many designs. Gravity feeders refill the bowl as it empties while electronic feeders allow you to control the portion, number of meals, and timing of the meals. Some electronic feeders even offer microchip access for multi-pet households.
- Wet Dry – Most automatic cat feeders are designed to accommodate dry food, and it would be a very bad idea to use wet food in a dry feeder. Make sure you buy the right feeder for the type of food you intend to use.
- Programmable – Some electronic feeders are very simple, allowing you to simply fill a number of cups with your cat’s meal and set the timer. Others are much more complex, allowing you to adjust the meal size and giving you the option to feed up to 4 meals a day, or more.
- Multi-Cat Friendly – Using an automatic cat feeder can be tricky in multi-cat households because you want to make sure every cat gets a meal. If you have one cat with special dietary needs, a microchip feeder might be a good way to ensure that only that cat gets special food.
- Size and Capacity – The storage capacity of the feeder is also very important. Some feeders allow you to fill individual cups while others have a large storage container.
Now that you have a better idea what to look for in an automatic cat feeder, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best automatic cat feeders.
The Top 5 Best Automatic Cat Feeders
Automatic cat feeders come in every shape and size, and the one that is best for you might not be the right choice for someone else.
The best thing you can do is explore the options to see what’s out there so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. We’ve assembled a list of our top 5 picks for automatic cat feeders of different types to give you a wide selection to choose from.
Here are our top 5 picks for the best automatic cat feeder:
For an automatic cat feeder that takes the stress out of feeding your cat, try the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Pet Feeder.
This electronic feeder offers a generous 24-cup capacity and can be programmed to dispense up to 12 meals per day, ranging from 1/8 cup to 4 cups in portion size.
This feeder makes sure that your cat cats its meals when it needs them and can run for days without intervention. It features an LCD screen with simple 5-button navigation and can be used with battery power for backup.
This feeder also includes a Slow Feed option that dispenses meals over a 15-minute period or a Pause Feed mode that temporarily stops feeding.
If you’re looking for an automatic cat feeder that holds enough food for a multi-cat household and can run for days at a time, consider the WOpet 7L Automatic Pet Feeder.
With a generous 20-cup capacity, this automatic feeder allows you to schedule up to 4 meals per day with feeding sizes ranging from 2 teaspoons to 4.5 cups.
You also have the option to record a voice message to alert your cat to mealtime before dispensing.
The feeder is designed for dry food only, and kibbles should be between 0.2 and 0.6 inches in diameter to prevent clogging. You’ll also be glad to know that, while the unit is wall-powered, it can run on 3 D-size backup batteries.
Sometimes an automatic cat feeder is less about making sure your cat eats at the right time and more about making sure that your cat eats the right food.
If your cat has special dietary needs, you need to make sure that other pets in the house don’t eat that cat’s food and a microchip feeder is a great way to do that.
The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder is our top pick for the best microchip feeder because it is activated by a unique microchip or RFID collar tag.
It is incredibly easy to program, and the bowl holds either wet or dry food, making it a versatile feeder. Plus, the bowl is sealed which means that the food stays fresher longer.
Some automatic cat feeders are more complicated than they need to be.
If all you want is a simple electronic cat feeder that feeds your cat at scheduled times, try the PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Feeder.
This feeder is an electronic feeder, but it features a unique design. It consists of a round tray with 5 cups that rotate, exposing one cup to an opening in the lid at a time.
You can schedule the mealtimes as you like, offering up to 5 1-cup portions per day. This may not be the best feeder for long trips away from home, but it works well if you just want to keep your cat on a schedule.
Some automatic cat feeders are very complex, requiring you to program the unit before using it.
If you’re looking for a simpler solution and just want to make sure your cat has food available when it’s hungry, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station may be the perfect automatic cat feeder for you.
This gravity feeder features a 4-pound storage capacity with a canister that empties into a stainless-steel bowl. As your cat eats to empty the bowl, gravity does its work and pulls more food down to refill it.
The different components are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and the unit as a whole is sturdy. It comes in two sizes as well, small and medium, so you can choose the right one for your cat.
The Pros and Cons of Automatic Cat Feeders
As you can see, automatic cat feeders come in many shapes and sizes with a wide range of features. If you simply want to avoid the hassle of having to plan out your cat’s meals, you can go with a simple gravity feeder.
If you’re trying to control your cat’s portions or you’re going to be away for a few days, an electronic feeder might be the better option.
Now that you know what kind of feeders are out there, what are the pros and cons?
Here are some of the pros of automatic cat feeders:
- Helps with weight management by controlling the cat’s portions and number of meals
- Gives you peace of mind knowing your cat will be fed even if you’re not home
- Creates a predictable feeding schedule for your cat to reduce stress
- Gives you more freedom with your life by not being restrained by feeding times
- Depending on the type, you can control which pet eats which food
- Automatically dispensing single portions keeps the food fresh and avoids bugs
Here are some of the cons of automatic cat feeders:
- Some automatic feeders can be expensive to purchase
- Electronic models can sometimes be noisy – some cats spook easily around electronics
- Using the wrong size or type of food could cause the feeder to jam and break
- Some cats learn how to access the food storage, may tip over the unit
- Certain models are not ideal for multi-pet households
Depending on your situation, the pros of an automatic cat feeder may outweigh the cons, in which case you should start shopping around.
Think about what kind of features you want as well as your price range, then use what you’ve learned here to start your search.
Whether you want to control your cat’s portions for weight loss or ensure that your growing kitten gets all the food it needs, an automatic cat feeder might be just what you need.
Automatic feeders give cat owners like you peace of mind knowing that their cat will be fed, even when you’re not home. Some feeders are better than others, of course, but if you know what you’re looking for, you can find it.
If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for an automatic cat feeder, why not try one of the top 5 best cat feeders we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!