If you’re a pet owner, you’ll know the worry and anxiety that often strikes – have you left your fur baby with enough food and water? Did you make sure you kept them flea free with a flea shampoo? Did you forget to leave the door open?
These are the concerns that are common for every pet owner and many owners do what they can to strive for their pet to be secure, even in times when you have a memory lapse. That’s why new and innovative technology is becoming so popular, take the pet trackers, for example, now you can be sure of where your companion is with a quick glance at your phone.
Automatic cat feeders and water dispensers are another new innovation that offers peace of mind for worried and forgetful owners. Automatic feeders ensure your cat is fed at specific times of the day with a specific amount of food, perfect for busy owners and dieting cats.
These feeders vary dramatically, from the straightforward gravity feeders to the high-tech smart feeders that rely on programs and timers. So which is the best feeder? In this post, we took the time to analyze some of the best automatic feeders and pinpoint the features that make everything run as smoothly as possible.
Our Top Picks
PetSafe Automatic Cat Feeder
Pet feeders, in general, can be used by both cats and dogs, but since cats typically have a diet consisting largely of wet cat food and meat, many owners find the vertical dispensers to be unsuitable. This is especially true for cats that don’t eat kibble or are not keen on it. In these cases, the PetSafe Electronic Cat Feeder would be best suited; it allows you to fit 5 wet food portions to your kitty throughout the day.
All you need to do is select your desired time and a feeding tray will be uncovered. One of the best features of this feeder is that you can select a 2-meal setting for normal days or a 5-meal setting for days when you may not get back home until late in the evening.
Since the food servings are released at certain points of the day, you can easily help cats diet and prevent overeating too. Many cats and dogs for that matter will eat any sized portion in one go, leaving them bloated and very hungry later on in the day when no ones at home! That’s another reason a system like this so useful and beneficial a cats health and wellbeing.
The unit comes equipped with an LCD display, allowing you to select the 2-meal or 5-meal setting and select the times you would like the portions to be served. The first portion will be immediately available and then depending on the time you have selected, will rotate to the next serving. It is also extremely durable and dishwasher safe, meaning cleaning and maintaining it will be a simple process. Unlike other units, it does require 4 batteries in order to operate.
Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder
This sleek looking automatic pet feeder can be used for both dogs and cats as you can customize the portion sizes and feeding times using the programmable LCD display. This means you no longer have to have a constant worry on days where you think you may have forgotten to leave their food out. You simply fill the dispenser to the top with kibbles or your preferred food choice and it will release the desired portion at set times of the day, with a maximum of 4 dispenses each day.
The lid on the dispenser is clear, so you can easily see when you need to refill the unit and it’s also magnetic, so you don’t have to worry about them being able to access the food be subversive means. The food tray is also removable and clicks into position securely, meaning you can easily clean the container and maintain a good level of hygiene.
This cat feeder also comes with an alarm system, which you can set to sound off at feeding time. There is also the option to record a personalized message if you prefer, so your act can hearing you calling them for dinner even when you are not there!
You have the option of plugging this unit straight into the power outlet, or you can use three AAA batteries, making it suitable for a range of locations and those with a limited number of power outlets.
Qpets Automatic Pet Feeder
This circular design cat feeder is another great option for cat’s that prefers wet food, yet, it’s still a good option for kibble and dry food. The unit contains 6 compartments that you can program to release food at specified intervals, ensuring your cat has a healthy, well-balanced diet. A lot of owners worry that wet food, meat, and dry food will spoil if left out, but this unit is airtight and the food is only exposed to the air during meal time. This helps to prevent any nasties getting access or causing contamination issues.
Whether you are at work or out adventuring, your cat will never go hungry again. However, the programmable portion times is not the best feature about this unit, the custom voice recordings are. This smart feature allows you to record a message for your actions that will play at mealtime, alerting them that their food is ready to eat. This is a particularly useful feature for cats with sight problems.
The LCD display is extremely user-friendly and tracks their food intake, allowing you to instantly know how much they have eaten throughout the day without having to open the top. Again, similar to other feeders, this one also requires 4 batteries in order to run.
Petamo Automatic Cat Feeder
If you are looking for a high tech electronic cat feeder equipped with the latest features then look no further than the Petamo. This smart cat feeder allows you to set times for meals to be dispensed throughout the day, record messages and even watch and speak to your cat via the HD camera and microphone fitted to the front of the unit.
Your choice of dry food is placed in the storage compartment and you simply set the desired feeding times using the LCD display automatically, or you also have the choice of releasing more food from your mobile device. All you have to make sure is that the feeder is connected to the wifi and your phone to the internet.
By far the best feature of this cat feeder is the smart abilities that allow you to actively communicate with your cat from afar. Wherever you might be, you can use your phone to see your cat and talk to them, there’s even the option to record them and take photos! This is perfect for times when you are missing your act or don’t want them to feel neglected because they haven’t seen you all day.
The Petamo is also a great way to get to grips with your acts diet and improve their health. Overeating is very common since cats and dogs tend to eat whatever is there and later in the day eat another large portion that is offered to them. This method of feeding can lead to bloating and overfeeding, it is far better to feed regular smaller portions throughout the day.
Similar to other feeders in our list, this unit features a removable feeding bowl making it convenient to clean, as well as a magnetic lid to ensure no easy access for sneaky pets.
WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder with Ice Pack
You might think that you have seen everything, but we assure you this automatic act feeder is unique and we don’t just mean in the way it looks! The square shape is large enough to fit a large meal inside, even multiple meals, which makes sense when you understand how the timer operates.
Unlike other digital feeders, the WOpet operates on an analog timer, much like an old-fashioned egg timer. To operate, you position the dial to the time you want the lid to open, for instance, set it to three and it will open in three hours time. This doesn’t give you as many options as the previous feeders, yet it certainly functions well if you head out and know you won’t be back in time for lunch.
Yet there’s no doubt that the best feature of this cat feeder is the built-in ice pack. Before use, you simply remove from your freezer and place under the built-in bowl. This is a great way to keep wet food as well as fresh meats such as chicken and fish fresh all day and will help to prevent contamination and spoilage. It’s also a great solution for people and pets that live in hot climates.
Considering the Best Automatic Cat Feeder
If you are thinking about acquiring the best automatic cat feeder, there are few different considerations you need to take into account. Do you like the idea of the best automatic cat feeder due to having an overweight feline? Or do you simply want a way to ensure your kitty always has a healthy supply a food if you happen to be late home? Here are some factors worth reflecting on:
How many pets do you have?
As Smart Cat Lovers states, If you have more than one pet cat, you are well advised to use individual feeders for each animal as opposed to just one. This will ensure they don’t fight or eat one another’s food that could result in one or more going hungry. This is particularly true if you have a greedy kitty or one that dominates the others.
Size of your Pet
The size of your pet is going to be an important factor when selecting a unit since larger animals will need a feeder with a larger holding capacity. You will also likely want to use an automatic feeder with a timer that will serve healthy portions periodically, this is especially true for overweight cats. This will ensure they aren’t over-eating and eating all of their food in one go.
Equally, a larger pet is more likely to have more strength and power making them more prone to be able to open the lid to access the food inside. Therefore, if you have a larger pet, you’re probably best off acquiring a feeder with a storage compartment with a physical clasp or lock. These are much more difficult to open than the standard flip lidded designs and you can be sure your greedy cat isn’t having a feast!
Type of Food
The specific type of food you feed to your cat or dog is also going to contribute to your choice out of the best automatic cat feeder options. If your cat prefers dry-food and kibbles, then a standard vertical gravity feeder is perfectly fine. When ready to dispense a serving a hatch is quickly opened and closed to release the required amount of dry food.
However, if like the majority of cats they have a diet consisting of wet-food and fresh meat such as chicken and fish, a flat bowl design is what you will need. This is both practical and will ensure the wet-food is kept as fresh as possible and doesn’t spoil throughout the day.
How much food can the feeder hold at any one time? Can it serve multiple portions and if so, how many? These are the questions you need to answer before choosing a feeder. If you are planning on providing your pet with multiple small portions you will need to check how many portions it can serve with 24 hours.
In addition, larger cats and dogs will need a feeder with a larger carrying capacity. Ice packs and airtight lids are going to be required for fresh foods and foods that are going to be stored for long periods of time.
It’s also important to consider the size and shape of dry food such as kibbles. Many feeders have tubes with very small openings. Therefore you may need to change to a smaller kibble or at least be prepared to do so if you buy a feeder without doing the necessary checks. Some feeders allow you to adjust the opening, so keep an eye out for these units.
What makes the Best Automatic Cat Feeder?
The best automatic cat feeder depends on your cat’s needs and your personal requirements. The bottom line is it should be able to provide your pet with the amount of food for their appetite and size. It should also keep their food, whether that be wet or dry fresh and protected from contamination.
What should you get if your cat is overweight?
If you have a cat who could do with losing a bit of weight, then you are best off getting the best automatic cat feeder with an automatic dispenser and a timer. This will ensure that your cat eats appropriate sized portions of food at certain times of the day. With these units, you are able to set specific feeding times and portions to help manage their diets in a positive way.
Cats are cunning and sneaky individuals, so you will be best served to get a feeder with a secure lid and opening. A lid that is secured well will also prevent them from sneaking food out between the official feeding times.
Remember though, that overweight cats don’t just need a restricted and healthy diet, they need plenty of exercise. Therefore, ensure you encourage them to play outside and with their toys. By ensuring they exercise and eat well, you are ensuring they live a happy and healthy life.