Almost everyone owns a pet these days, and one of the most popular animals to keep as a pet is a cat. As a pet owner, you notice that you tend to worry about your pets, especially when you’re away from home. You want to make sure that they are provided with everything they need, aren’t bored or destroying the house, and have enough water and food. We might not be able to control everything that is happening in our cat’s lives when we’re not home, but owning an automatic cat feeder can ensure that your cat has an adequate amount of food to keep them satisfied at all times of the day and night.
When you own a cat, a decent bowl can be an essential tool, you might opt for a plate or a china bowl, but there are more hi-tech and hygienic ways to feed your cat. You might be wondering why you have to upgrade, but you should know the benefit of an automatic cat feeder lies in the name. These cat feeders are scheduled to provide your cat with food when you’re away at work or hanging out with friends. Some of these feeders allow you to schedule different meals for your cat or even drop dome treats.
Using an automatic cat feeder ensures that your cat eats proper, nutritious meals and not consuming unhealthy and diseases causing scraps when they are hungry. However, some considerations need to be taken into account.
The first fact you have to consider is if you feed your cat wet or dry food because some feeders only dispense dry food. If you intend on feeding your cats wet treats, then you’ll have to go for one that features a seal to minimize the odor. After that, you have to consider how many meals you want the feeder to dispense and if you want to control the gadget using an app or not.
Then, you also have to consider your budget. Majority of the high-tech versions cost up to 100 Euros and above, so you have to consider the extras the feeders offer. If you care about how it would look in your kitchen, you have to consider the feeder’s look.
HOW TO SELECT THE BEST AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDER
Choosing the best automatic cat feeder depends on your lifestyle and that of your cat. If your cat is on a strict diet or has special dietary needs, then there are feeders that you can purchase that make it easier to deal with those needs, and if you have more than one pet, there are also special options for you. The next thing you have to consider is how selective your cat is; if your cat only eats dry kibble or a certain type of wet food, then your options will be limited to a handful of feeders.
However, if you have a peaceful cat that lives alone or happily co-exists with others, then the factors you would have to consider are how many times in a day you would like to feed them if you would like to offer multiple meals, the type of tech you want and your budget.
If you’re a busy person, you might want to consider getting a feeder that dispenses more than two meals per day or even consider getting a smart feeder that you can manage via an app. However, these extra features incur an extra cost. Many of the smart option feeders cost more than 150 Euros. If you plan on using your automatic feeder occasionally, then it’ll be best if you go for a value one, but choosing a high-tech option might make your life easier.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING AN AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDER
There are a few factors you have to consider when choosing an automatic cat feeder in order to choose the right one for your pet.
If you would like your cat to have an eating schedule or would like your cat to get used to eating at certain times, then you’ll have to get an automatic feeder that features an in-built timer. This allows you to make sure that your cat is provided with food at the right time. Most cat feeder with timers will provide at least three meals a day, but some offer more and other offers portion sizes. Using portion sizes is great if your cat is trying to lose weight or is on a diet.
When choosing a cat feeder, ensure that you choose one that fits your space and meets your cat or cats’ requirement. If you have little space, choose a small feeder, but you should go for a larger feeder if you own multiple cats.
If you have to travel for work or go on a vacation, your cat may not be comfortable eating without you. It is a common occurrence for cats to worry when their owners are gone. But if you own an automatic cat feeder that comes with an in-built voice recorder, you can have your voice playing at the feeder while it dispenses food, and this might entice your cat to eat. They could also be comforted by the sound of your voice.
Automatic cat feeders vary in models; some simply feed your pet while others have some serious fancy features. For instance, some feeders will allow you to schedule more than one feeding ahead of time, while others can play a voice recording of your voice to your pet.
Automatic cat feeders are available in both corded and cordless forms, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. The cordless feeder allows you to place it anywhere in your home, and you don’t have to worry about tripping over wires. Still, if you travel with your cat a lot, then the corded option might be better, especially if the cordless option has a weak battery which you may have to replace while on your trip.
The gravity feeders make use of gravity to fill a bowl from a container automatically. If you own more than one cat, then this type of feeder can be quite useful; your cats will have different meal times, so you need the bowl to be continuously filled. So even if you travel a lot, you won’t have to worry about there being enough food for all of them. But you need to regulate the food your cats eat so that they do not overfeed just because the food is available to them.
EASE OF USE
Cat feeders vary in their ease of use. The high-tech feeders allow you to feed your cat using an app on your phone, while other cat feeders require you to do much more than just loading in the food. You also have to consider how easy a feeder is to clean, how comfortable you are with technology, and your lifestyle should also determine the feeder you choose.
TYPE OF CAT FOOD
If your cat eats only wet cat food, then your options will be limited. If your cat prefers semi-wet food, there will be more options for you to choose from because it doesn’t get spoilt easily. If you feed your cat wet food, you need to get a cat feeder that keeps your cat’s food cold. You can choose one that has ice packs along its bottom, but you have to keep a close eye on the feeders so that the food doesn’t get spoilt and your cat doesn’t get sick.
As technology is advancing, there are cat feeders that provide you with the option to feed your cat through WiFi. Even if you’re away from home, you can simply use your smartphone to schedule when your cat eats and when the feeder should dispense the food, all at a click of a button.
REASONS TO USE AN AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDER
Below are some of the reasons pet owners like to use an automatic cat feeder for their cats.
Using an automatic cat feeder can save you a lot of time. If you work a lot, you may not have time to continually fill your cat’s water and food bowls. Using a cat feeder allows you to provide your cat with food even if you aren’t around, so there is no need to worry.
Like majority of pets, cats tend to thrive when they have a feeding schedule. They tend to live a happier, stress-free life if they know their daily routine. If you use an automatic cat feeder, then your cat has that consistency in their life when it comes to their meal; they will feed at the same time every day and have the same portion. If you’re away for work a lot, this could be very useful.
If you travel for the weekend, you may not have anyone to care for your cat within that period, or you may have to pay someone to do it. But with an automatic cat feeder, you don’t have to worry about finding someone else to feed your cat. You can travel and know your cat will be fed regularly.
A cat feeder allows you to choose the amount of food your cat receives and when they eat. This is a great way to help your cat lose weight or maintain their weight. You can ensure that they receive a balanced diet of the same amount of food daily, which can be hard to do if you’re feeding by hand.
If your cat is on a special diet, an automatic cat feeder can be a great way to give it to them. The feeder controls the portion size, which is a criterion for a lot of diets, but it is also designed to let only a particular cat access the food. This can be useful if you have multiple cats, but only one eats the special diet.
SELECTING THE RIGHT FOOD FOR YOUR CAT
The three factors you should consider when choosing your cat’s food are if it’s high in protein, has a high moisture content, and low carbohydrates. Cats are carnivorous animals and need primarily animal-based protein to live. The cat food you buy for your cat should have at least 30 percent protein so that they receive the right amount they need depending on their age. Animal protein contains taurine, which is important in having a healthy heart and proper eyesight; it is also important to build tissues, especially in growing kittens.
The protein they need can come from different animals such as beef, chicken, venison, eggs, sardines, duck, lamb, mussels, and salmon. As a bonus, you could also get organ meat such as beef or chicken liver. If you feed your cats with too much carbohydrates, it may upset the balance in your cat’s insulin and sugar levels.
PROBLEMS DOMESTIC CATS MIGHT HAVE
Cat is known to eat live prey in the wild but domestication has taught them to consume vegetables. Because vegetables contain a lot of nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, manufacturers tend to include them in cat food. The vegetables they include in your cat food are vegetables you can easily find in your fridge, such as carrots, apples, berries, sweet potatoes, and zucchini; they also a great source of carbohydrates for your cat.
Cat requires a lot of water, but they are not wired to recognize when they need to drink water, so they tend not to drink as much water as they need. Unless your cat is one of the few cats that can finish its water bowl every day, vets would often recommend that you go for wet cat food instead of dry kibble. The kibbles are dehydrated, so all the moisture is taken out of them, but feeding your cat with a wet cat food can make up for the moisture they aren’t getting from drinking enough water. But most times, automatic feeders favor dry kibble, so there different other ways to make your cat drink water.
TYPES OF AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDERS
There are different types of automatic cat feeders available on the market. The different feeders cater to various needs and work best for different types of people. Let us learn more about them.
GRAVITY BASED AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDER
This type of automatic cat feeder is the simplest and easiest one to use; this unit dispenses cat food using gravity for power.
These units are not timed or adjustable, and you cant watch your cat using this unit, but for some people, they tend to be a convenient solution to their cat feeding problems. This unit is suitable for people who feed their cat’s dry kibble and want to manage the amount of food their cat consumes while they are away.
This type of feeder is the most low-tech choice, but they are also the most affordable of all automatic cat feeders.
This type of feeder works excellent if you’re on a budget, but they might not be suitable for food-motivated cats. If your cat is desperate enough, these types of feeders are the easiest for cats to knock over or hack.
PROGRAMMABLE UPRIGHT AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDER
This cat feeder has a similar hopper and dispensing design as the gravity-based feeder. Still, this one is programmable, which means that you can choose when it dispenses kibble and the portion it dispenses for each feeding.
If you want to manage how much dry food your cat is getting according to a controlled schedule, then this feeder will be ideal for your needs. However, the quality of these type of feeders vary, you might end up purchasing a feeder that dispenses imprecisely or jams frequently. If you need to control your cat’s intake, you might prefer a different automatic feeder type.
PROGRAMMABLE DISH-STYLE AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDER
The way this type of feeder works is a bit different from the way typical automatic feeders usually work. They come with more than one food compartment, and in accordance with a set schedule, they expose the hidden food inside the covered saucers.
This type of automatic feeder might not be the best choice if you travel for long periods because they have a limited number of compartments. Most of these feeders will expose up to six meals before they need to be refilled again.
However, this feeder type is the only feeder that is compatible with both wet and dry cat food. These feeders can store wet or canned food for up to 24 hours. These feeders have a limited capacity, but they are still suitable for people who want to control their cat’s food intake.
MICROCHIP AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDER
Instead of merely dispensing food, this feeder helps keep meals separate among your cats, and it also keeps your cat’s food safe from dogs.
They might not be for every cat owner, but if you need to feed your cat a specific food or amount due to gluttony or special dietary needs, then this feeder will serve you well as it is the most stress-free option. They are easy to operate and work without any stress or glitches.
SMART AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDERS
These types of feeders connect to your smartphone, which in turn allows you to control your cat’s feeder remotely. Some also come with webcams that allow you to watch your cat through the feeder.
These types of feeders can be exciting in theory, but they sometimes disappoint. You will be paying a high price for a webcam and the ability to change your programs while away from home.
If you find these features interesting, getting this automatic feeder could be a fun addition to your collection. But if your more worried about feeding your cat while you’re away, you could get a basic programmable feeder.
Finding the best automatic cat feeder might be a hassle because of the numerous styles and options available on the market. That is why we have compiled a list of the best automatic cat feeder to make it easy for you to choose the one that best suits your needs. Let us take a look at the list.
The Best Automatic Cat Feeder in 2021 Are Reviewed Below
We have conducted our research and provided you with the list of the best automatic cat feeders in 2021, along with their specifications, key features, pros, and cons.
SureFeed - Microchip Pet Feeder
If you have different cats in your house, an automatic feeder designed for multi-pet homes can make feeding time much easier. The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder is made for people who own more than one cat and need to ensure that each cat has its own meal.
This feeder works by reading the microchip or RFID collar tag on your cat as it approaches the feeder; the feeder opens only after recognizing the tag of an authorized pet. This prevents that cheeky neighborhood cat from sneaking into your house and getting a free meal or preventing your dominant cat from piling hogging all the food.
Once the authorized cat moves away, the feeder closes; this stops other pets and children from accessing the food. This feeder is ideal for pets on weight management programs or on prescription diets while preventing other pets from stealing the food or overeating or waste if you have a cat that eats little.
This feeder is compatible with every microchip, and multiple cats can use it if your feeder has the share feature, which allows up to 32 pets to gain access to the feeder. This feeder can handle both wet and dry food. But the bowls and lids are hand wash only.
Four C batteries power this feeder; it has a long life of up to 12 months. It also has a low battery indicator light that alerts you when the battery is low to get more batteries.
- Microchip compatible
- Three-year warranty
- One grey bowl
- SureFlap RFID Collar Tag
- Grey mat
- Brand: SureFlap
- Model: SureFeed – Microchip Pet Feeder
- Weight: 2.2 Pounds
- Dimensions: 8.27 * 12.6 * 5.91 inches
- Material: Plastic
- It is compatible with every type of microchip
- It features sealed bowls
- It is quite expensive
- It is hand wash only
Richdog Automatic Pet Feeder
This automatic feeder allows you to program various feeding times and serving portions for each meal for up to four meals a day; this ensures that your cat is always fed on time. The food reserve of this cat feeder holds up to 7 liters of kibble, so it doesn’t need constant refilling. The food dispenser comes in two sizes, a large one for large food and a smaller one for kibbles, so it is easy to customize t to match your cat’s needs. It also comes with an in-built infrared sensor that prevents jamming and overflow when there is still food in the bowl.
The sturdy hoppe that this feeder feature prevents your cat from pulling out more food, taking care of any overeating problem. This feeder has two different power supplies; it uses both battery and electricity, making it convenient to travel with or use even in a power outage. It also comes with the option to record a message to lay for your cat while dispensing food.
- Records customizable message for your cat
- Can schedule up to four meals a day
- Specified portion of food
- 7-liter capacity
- Brand: Richdog Automatic Pet Feeder
- Model: Richdog Automatic Pet Feeder
- Weight: 5.5 Pounds
- Dimensions: 15.35 * 9.84 * 13.78 inches
- Color: White
- It is easy to clean
- It uses both batteries and electricity, which makes it convenient to use
- It has a large capacity, so you don’t have to keep refilling
- It is affordable
- It doesn’t display the seconds, so it can be hard to set the feeder
Sure Petcare (SureFeed) Motion Activated Sealed Pet Bowl
Majority of cat owners don’t want to spend a lot of money on their cat’s bowl, so that’s where the SureFeed Sealed food bowl happens to help. It provides all the important features of a cat feeder while still being affordable.
This automatic feeder comes with a sealed bowl that is suitable for both wet and dry food. It provided you with flexibility when it comes to the type of food you feed your pet. The seal prevents the food from drying out and also stops nasty odors from coming out, which is excellent for your home. By maintaining the freshness of your food, you can save money and reduce waste.
This automatic feeder’s lid opens when it detects movement like your cat approaching and closes when your cat moves away. The lid is see-through, so your cat can see its food, and its automatic open and close function is extremely helpful during the hot months; it prevents flies from entering the food.
This feeder uses 4 C batteries that last about six months, so you’ll have to keep some for when the old ones run out. The feeder bowl and lid are removable, but it’s not dishwasher safe, so you’ll have to wash them by hand. The rest of the device can be wiped clean.
- Compatible with both dry and wet food
- No-spill design
- Neoprene lid
- Non-skidding silicone toe pads
- Two-year warranty
- Low battery indicator light
- Brand: Sure Petcare
- Model: Sure Petcare – (SureFeed) Motion Activated Sealed Pet Bowl
- Weight: 2.1 Pounds
- Dimensions: 8.27 * 9.25 * 2.87 inches
- Color: White
- It is compact so that it can fit anywhere in your home
- It comes with a sealed bowl to keep odor and flies out while maintaining the freshness of the food
- It has excellent value for money
- It’s not dishwasher safe
WOPET Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser for Cats
This automatic cat feeder features four scheduled meals per day, which is easy to set thanks to its LED screen. It also features a portion control option that allows you to dispense from 2 teaspoons to 4.5 cups of dry food per feeding. It also allows you to program a unique portion size, allowing you to establish a regular eating time and size without any stress.
It has a food reserve capacity of 7 liters, so you don’t have to refill it constantly; it also comes with a removable hygienic feeding tray that is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
The WOPET automatic cat feeder has the option of voice recording, where you can record your voice telling your cat to come to their food. It provided your cat with a sense of security. It uses both batteries and electricity for power; the choice is up to you.
- Fout automatic feedings a day
- LCD screen
- In-built programmable timer
- Controlled portion size
- Voice recording option
- Brand: WOPET
- Model: WOPET Automatic Pet Feeder
- Weight: 6 Pounds
- Dimensions: 9.8 * 15.3 * 13.7 inches
- Color: White
- It allows you to program the time and portion of food your cat can have
- It is dishwasher safe making it easy to clean
- It allows you to customize a voice recording for your pet
- It can be hard to set the size of the food portion
Buying Guide Questions
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions.
What automatic cat feeder is the best?
Out top pick of automatic cat feeders are the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder. It has all the features you would need in an automatic cat feeder.
Do automatic cat feeders work? Are automatic feeders bad for cats?
Yes, automatic cat feeders work well for your cats but do not expect a basic model to turn the feeding lifestyle of your cat better overnight and if you go for the high-tech options, make sure that you have time to learn how to operate it properly.
Automatic cat feeders do not cause any harm to your cat, but it makes the cat owner believe that they can leave their cats alone for long periods without any supervision.
Do gravity feeders work for cats?
Yes, gravity feeders are great for cats, especially if you have a cat that regulates its own diet, but if you have a cat that tends to overeat, this feeder might not be for you.
Is it okay to leave cats alone for three days? Do cats like being talked to?
It is not advisable to leave your cat alone for days without any form of supervision.
Cats tend to respond more to people who talk to them in a soft and calm voice.
Can you put water in a gravity feeder?
Yes, you can use your gravity feeder to dispense both dry kibble and water.
How do I train my cat to use an automatic feeder?
How many times a day should you feed your cat?
Most cats tend to do well when they are fed two times a day from age six months to when they mature. When they become adults, they can be fed once a day. Old cats should maintain the same feeding schedule.
Why are my cats so hungry all the time?
If your cat is hungry all the time, it might have Hyperthyroidism. Your vet could diagnose your cat with a simple test.
Using an automatic cat feeder can make feeding time easier or help you manage your cat’s diet without stressing. Some come with amazing features such as voice recording to help your cat adjust to not having you around to him daily. It provides consistency for your cat and ease for you. With the list above, you should be able to find an automatic cat feeder that suits your requirements.