As pet owners we constantly find ourself worrying about our cats, especially when we’re not home all day to look after them. We want to make sure they have everything they need, aren’t bored, aren’t destroying the house and have enough food and water. While we can’t control everything that goes on in our cat’s lives when we’re not at home, with automatic cat feeders you can make sure that your cat has enough food to keep them happy at all times of the day and night.
With an automatic cat feeder you can make sure they are eating proper, nutritious food and not scavenging for unhealthy or disease-causing scraps when they’re hungry. Below we have complied a buying guide so you can know everything you need to about automatic cat feeders and which ones are going to be right for your kitty and your home.
Why You Should Use An Automatic Cat Feeder
There are a number of reasons that pet parents like to use an automatic cat feeder for their feline friend.
Firstly, an automatic feeder can save a lot of time. If you’re busy or out at work a lot you may not have time to constantly be refiling your cat’s food and water bowls. By using a cat feeder you can rest assured that your cat has all the food they need.
If you go away for a weekend you may not know anyone who will be willing to feed your cat for the time you’re gone, or you may have to resort to paying someone to do so. With an automatic cat feeder you don’t need to worry about trusting anyone else with your precious feline and can go away knowing that they will be fed.
Like a lot of pets, cats thrive when they have a schedule and this includes their food and meals. They will live a much happier, less-stressed life if they know when certain things are going to be happening in the day. With an automatic cat feeder your cat has this same consistency in their life and will be at the feeder at the same time every day, being fed the same amount. This is particularly useful if you are someone who is away a lot for work, too.
Because a cat feeder allows you to choose the amount of food you give your cat and when it is given to them, an automatic feeder can be a great way to help your cat lose weight or keep them top of their weight. You can make sure they’re eating a balanced diet of the same amount each day — something that feeding by hand is difficult to control.
If your cat needs to eat a special diet, an automatic cat feeder can be the perfect way to give it to them. Not only does it control portion size which many special diets rely on, but some automatic cat feeders are designed to only let certain cats access the food inside. This is especially useful if you have a house full of cats but only one that needs to eat the special diet.
Things To Consider When Choosing An Automatic Cat Feeder
There are a few things consider when purchasing an automatic cat feeder so you can be sure you get the right one for your cat.
If you want your cat to get into an eating schedule or your cat is used to eating at specific times, you will want to purchase an automatic cat feeder with a timer built-in. This way you can make sure your cat is being given food at the correct time. Most timers will offer at least three meals a day although some offer more and many also offer portion sizes. This is also great if your cat is on a diet or you are trying to get them to lose weight.
If you go on vacation or have to leave town for work, your cat may be hesitant to eat without you. Many cats worry when their owners are gone and this is a common occurrence. With an automatic pet feeder that has a built-in voice recorder, you can have your voice playing at the feeder dispenses food and hopefully entice your cat to eat. If not, at least they are comforted with the sound of your voice!
Automatic cat feeders can come both corded or cordless and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The cordless feeder is great because it can be placed anywhere in the house and you do not have to worry about tripping over wires. However, if you travel a lot with your cat then corded feeders could be a better option, especially if the cordless feeder has a weak battery that you may end up needing to replace when you are out of town.
Gravity feeders use gravity to automatically fill a bowl from a reserve container. These type of cat feeders can be especially great if you have more than one cat at home and your cats eat at different times so you need the bowl to constantly be filled, or you go away a lot and worry about there not being enough food to go around them all. However, you do need to be able to make sure you regulate what your cat, or cats, are eating to make sure they don’t over-eat with a gravity feeder just because the food is there for them.
Type Of Cat Food
If you feed your cat wet cat food then you may not have as many options in feeders as you would with dry cat food. If you feed your cat a semi-wet food then there will likely be more options, because this food doesn’t spoil quite as easily. For any type of wet cat food you will need an automatic feeder that keeps your cat’s food cold. You can purchase ones with ice packs along the bottom, but you will need to monitor these feeders more closely to ensure the food doesn’t go bad and your feline friend doesn’t get sick.
With advancing technology, there are a few cat feeders that give you the option to feed your cat via wifi. Even when you are away, you can use your smart phone to dictate when your cat eats and when the food should be dispensed, just at the click of a button.
Choosing the Right Food For Your Cat
The three main things you should look for in cat food is high protein, high moisture and low carbohydrates. Cats are carnivorous and require primarily animal-based proteins to survive. The cat food that you feed your cat should have at least 30% of protein so they are getting the amount they need, depending on their age. This is because animal protein has taurine, which is essential in maintaining a healthy heart and good eyesight and is very important for building tissues, especially in young kittens.
This protein can come from a range of animals, such as chicken, beef, eggs, venison, lamb, salmon, sardines, mussels and duck. Organ meat, such as chicken or beef liver, is also a bonus. Giving your cat too many carbohydrates can upset the delicate balance between your cat’s blood sugar levels and insulin.
As cats eat living prey in the wild, evolution has not taught them to eat so many vegetables. However, there are many nutrients like antioxidants, minerals and vitamins in vegetables and therefore manufacturers include them in cat food. These vegetables should be ones that you can find in your fridge such as sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, apples and berries and can also be a great source of carbohydrates for your cat.
Although cats need a lot of water, they are not wired to recognize thirst within their bodies and therefore do not drink as much as they require. Unless your cat can finish their water bowl every day, vets often recommend you should look for a wet cat food rather than dry kibbles. Kibbles are dehydrated and have all the moisture taken out of them, but wet cat food can be a great way to give your cat the moisture they are not getting otherwise. However, kibbles are favorable with an automatic cat feeder, so there are other ways to get your kitty to drink water, too.
If you’re ready to find the right automatic cat feeder for your kitty, take a look at the best feeders we recommend below, available to you on Amazon.
The Best Automatic Cat Feeders Reviewed
The RICHDOG automatic cat feeder allows you to program different time sets and serving portions for each meal for up to 4 meals per day, making sure your feline friend is always fed on time. The food reserve part of this feeder holds up to 7 liters of your cat’s kibble, so you don’t have to constantly refill it. It comes with two different sizes of food dispensers, one for large food and one for smaller kibbles so you can customize it to your pet, and the built-in infrared sensor prevents added food from jamming or overflowing when food is still left in the bowl.
Even better, the sturdy hopper prevents your cat from clawing out more food, eliminating overeating to keep a healthy diet. There are two different power supplies for this feeder — both battery and mains electricity, making it perfect for travelling or if there is a power outage. There is also the option to record a message for the feeder to play when dispensing food, to call your cat to eat.
WOPET’s automatic cat feeder comes with up to four scheduled meal timings per day, which you can easily set with the LED screen. With the portion control option you can dispense anywhere between 2 teaspoons to 4.5 cups of dry food per feeding for your cat, and you can even program a unique portion size for each automatic feeding, allowing you to establish regular eating routines throughout the day without any stress. The main food reserve holds up to twenty cups of food (7 liters) so does not need to be refilled every day, and the removable hygienic feeding tray is dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
This automatic cat feeder also comes with the option to program a voice message calling your cat to their dinner, so they can feel like you’re never too far away. It is powered by both batteries and a wall socket, so you have the choice.
The WESTLINK automatic cat feeder holds up to seven liters of food at one time and has two different food dispensing trays based on the size of your cat’s kibble, ensuring the kibble never gets stuck in the feeder and your cat always has food to eat. With this feeder you can schedule up to four meals a day for your cat and choose the amount of food you want to feed them as well. This helps to control their body weight, especially in greedy cats!
The lid of the food reserve of this feeder is clear, making it easy for you to see when it needs to be refilled and the feeder operates both by battery or by mains electricity, making it portable. You can also record a voice message on this for your cat to hear to entice them to eat dinner, and the bowl is washable for ease.
Perfect for cats who eat too fast, this PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed automatic feeder allows you to schedule up to twelve meals a day, meaning you can dispense your cat’s food in smaller portions so they eat slower and avoid any stomach upset. You can choose to schedule anywhere between 1/8 cup to 4 cups of food depending on your cat’s needs and the dispenser not only helps to keep food fresh but also keep your cat’s prying paws from stealing any extra! Made from BPA-free plastic components and a stainless steel bowl, this feeder is top-shelf dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
It also has a clear lid so you can see when you need to refill the food reserve. This feeder is battery operated and uses 4 D-cell alkaline batteries that last up to 9 months, so you can place the feeder anywhere in the house or even take it with you when traveling. An adaptor is also available to purchase.
This automatic pet feeder from Iseebiz allows you to customize the amount of food you feed your cat and schedule up to four meals a day for your kitty. With an infrared sensor, you can be sure that the feeder will detect when the bowl is full to ensure there is no overflowing of food and your cat doesn’t eat more than they should. The food reserve on this particular feeder is not see-through, which is especially great if your cat is one who likes to try to get at food that they can see.
Even better, the reserve is air-tight, making sure your feline friend is delivered fresh food every time and it is detachable and easy to clean. This feeder allows you to record a ten second message to play when it is time for your cat’s dinner, and it is run by both batteries and a power adaptor so you have a choice.
With this PetSafe Smart Feed cat feeder you can use the Smart Feed app on your phone to monitor when your cat gets fed even when you aren’t at home. You can program up to 12 meals on this feeder and with a clever Feed Now option, the app allows you to dispense food to your pet outside of normal feeding times. Meals can be dispensed from 1/8 cup to 4 cups to fit your pet’s unique feeding needs and a slow feed option allows meals larger than 1/8 cup to dispense slowly over a 15 minute period.
The feeder also automatically notifies you when food levels are low and you’ll receive an alert to your phone if the hopper becomes empty. Operated by both power adapter and batteries, you have options making this feeder very transportable and easy to use even if there is a power outage or if the wifi drops. The lid, hopper, bowl and bowl holder are all top-shelf dishwasher-safe for convenient cleaning and are made of BPA-free plastic and stainless steel.
Perfect for owners who feed their cat’s wet food, this SureFeed pet feeder holds 13.5 fl. oz of wet or dry pet food. The lid closes to form a seal with the neoprene lip, helping to retain moisture and to keep food fresher longer. This feeder is perfect for controlling portions and for owners who are trying to keep their cat’s weight under control, as well as for prescription foods. The airtight storage is compatible with a microchip, meaning the lid will not open for your cat to eat unless they approach with their microchip, ensuring no other animals can get at their food or, if you have a houseful of cats, only certain cats can get to certain foods.
Additional collar tags can be purchased if you want to use this feeder for more than one cat. Even better, there is a training mode on this feeder to help timid pets get used to the movement of the feeder opening and closing.
This PetSafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder allows you to portion out five meals worth of food, with each bowl holding up to 1 cup of dry kibble, and then set feeding times in 1-hour increments, automatically serving up to 5 meals a day as the tray rotates. Perfect for weight management, this gives you the option to feed your cat in smaller meals using the built-in clock and LCD screen to quickly set up your pet’s feeding schedule.
The BPA-free plastic food tray is top-shelf dishwasher safe and easy to clean, and the feeder runs on 4 D-cell alkaline batteries making it transportable and easy to take with you wherever you go. Although this automatic feeder may not be great if you need to go away for a few days and leave your cat alone, it is perfect for those who are out at work all day and only have time to refill the feeder once a day.
The BELOPEZZ automatic cat feeder holds up to 6 liters of dry food and is perfect for all sizes of cats and dogs. With two interchangeable rotators for both smaller and larger food sizes to ensure there is no jamming of food, this feeder allows you to program up to four meals a day with different meal sizes. You can also set a 10 second voice recording, calling your pet to eat their dinner even when you aren’t at home.
There is an automatic detection system in place in this feeder, meaning it will detect if your cat hasn’t eaten their previous bowl of food and will not dispense anymore, ensuring their is no overflow of food. The feeder has a dual power supply too, with both batteries and power socket an option. Even better, this automatic feeder comes with a toy for your cat — a Shaking Q Pet!
The Fairy Tale set contains two devices, both a feeder and a waterer to ensure your cat never goes hungry or thirsty while you are away. Both gravity controlled, both the feeder and the waterer do not require any electricity and work by detecting when the bowl needs to filled again. Both reserves have a large capacity of of 3.8 liters, lasting about seven days for smaller pets and three days for larger pets, so you don’t have to worry if you are away for days at a time. With side-cut out handles for easy cleaning and lifting, the feeder and waterer can be transported easily and has an anti-skid design.
They are also made from BPA-free, environmentally friendly, non-toxic plastic that will not harm your pet’s health and are very easy to clean with water. This set also comes in a range of colors, so you can choose the set that matches your decor.
Casfuy’s 5 Meal automatic cat feeder has five isolated sections for either wet or dry food, with a built-in timer that allows you to dispense the food up to five times a day. With five individual compartments that rotate, this feeder allows you to create a diverse routine for your cat with different foods in each compartment, and the easy-touch LCD display lets you simply program the meals over a 24 hour period.
Needing to be refilled every day and not ideal if you are a cat owner who goes away for days at a time, this feeder does however help control portion sizes with each section holding up to 240 ml of food or treats, allowing you to keep your cat’s weight under check with smaller meals. With a built-in voice recorder you can play a message to your cat as they eat and this feeder uses both C batteries and a power adapter to keep your feeder working even if the power goes out. It is made of BPA-free ABS materials that help to care for your pet’s health and it is also dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
Another feeder by BELOPEZZ, this cat feeder holds up to three liters of dry food, potentially supporting an adult cat for up to 15-30 days at a time and perfect if you are someone who has to be away from home a lot. With smart infrared detection, this feeder will not dispense more food if there is already food in the bowl, ensuring your cat does not overeat and there is no risk of any overflowing. You can program four meals a day, each with a different portion size if needed, helping to get them into a routine and helping to control their weight and the amount they eat.
There is also a built-in voice recorder so you can call you cat to eat even when you are not at home. This feeder is made from BPA-free plastic and is very safe for your pet, and is easy to clean too. The feeder can be powered by a power adapter or 3 type D batteries.
The HoneyGuaridan A36 automatic cat feeder has a food storage capacity of thirteen cups for dry food and it can be programmed for up to six meals a day, each with a different portion size if necessary. The stainless steel bowl holds three cups of food at a time, so you know your pet won’t ever go hungry, even if they have a large appetite. This pet feeder was created with Unique Motor Inversion design to prevent the food from getting blocked, meaning that if it detects a blockage in the feeder the motor will rotate the opposite way to release the blockage. There is also a built-in infrared sensor that detects when the bowl is full so it never overflows.
It also has a built-in voice recorder and a speaker to call your pets to their meal with a 10-second-long message, and is supported by 4 D-size batteries and a DC power adapter. There is also a built-in low-food-alarm so, when the food level is too low, the LED light will flash blue to remind you to fill with more food. The container is removable and the bowl is made from stainless steel, making it durable and washable.
This cat feeder from WOPET allows you to provide your pet with a flexible amount of food up to 4 times a day. With an easy to use LCD control panel, you can decide how much food is given to your pet at every meal to help them keep a healthy diet. This automatic cat feeder also has infrared detection to prevent food from spilling and getting stuck in the hole, although your cat’s kibble has to be a certain size for this to work — no larger than 1 cm3.
You can also record a voice message to play for your cat when it is time for dinner so they feel comforted even when you are not there, and there are two different power supplies — both batteries and mains electricity. This way, even if the power goes out when you are not home, your cat will still be fed.
The Cat Mate C20 is perfect for cat’s who eat wet food. With two bowls and an ice pack, this pet feeder helps to keep all food fresh and means you do not have to worry about food going off when you are not at home. The supplied ice pack will keep wet food fresh for up to 48 hours depending on the ambient temperature.The two large food bowls each hold 1 pound of food and all you need to do is turn the dial to show the number of hours until the next feed, up to 48 hours later.
The dials turn silently and imperceptibly slowly, opening the lids at the required time. The feeder requires a single alkaline AA battery and both the bowls and the lids are dishwasher safe making them very easy to clean. Even better, the Cat Mate C20 has a three year manufacturer’s guarantee.
With this set from Ancaixin you get both a cat food dispenser and water dispenser and a self-cleaning slicker brush, making life very easy for both you and your cat. The feeder and waterer use a natural gravity supply system with no electricity required, making them easy to transport and good for the environment. Both reserves hold 1 gallon of food or water, and, as soon as the feeder and waterer detect that the bowls are not full, they will release more food or water but stop before they overflow.
This means your cat has a constant food and water supply, even if you are away from home. Made from BPA free plastic, you can be sure your cat is not exposed to any toxic chemicals that may harm them and the convenient design with cut-out handles means that this set is very easy to move and transport. There is also an anti slip rubber bottom to prevent your pet from moving the feeder and waterer and they can both easily be cleaned with soap and water.
This Petnet SmartFeeder is the most high-tech feeder on our list. It allows you to control your pet’s meals from your phone, ensuring your cat is always fed even when you aren’t at home. SmartFeeder measures portions based on your pet’s age, weight and level of activity, so you can ensure your pet is eating the right amount of food every time. You can set feeding times and program it to dispense your pet’s ideal food portion, so you can put an end to overfeeding, and the SmartFeeder matches your pet with the ideal food recipe to ensure your pet is properly fed.
It also monitors how much food supply you have in your home and ships more when you’re running low. This way, you can take the guess work out of feeding your pet and know that you can rely on this feeder to do the job for you. You can use the Petnet app on your phone as well, receiving notifications for meals served, low food and delivery updates. Although this feeder might not be right for every cat owner, for owners who are away from home a lot or lead busy lives, this feeder can be very useful.
Automatic Cat Feeders FAQ’s
What is an automatic cat feeder and how does it work?
An automatic cat feeder is, as the name suggests, a device that automatically dispenses food for your cat to eat, so you don’t need to worry about topping up their bowl when you’re not at home or away on vacation. All you need to do is make sure the food bin of the feeder is full of your cat’s food, and the feeder will do the rest of the work. Many automatic cat feeders has options for you to customize the time the food is given and the amount of food, and some even let you record a voice message so your cat can hear your voice when it is mealtime.
Gravity feeders are also popular and work with gravity, continuously filling up the bowl as your cat eats to make sure there is food available to them. Gravity feeders are not always recommended if you are trying to limit your cat’s portion size, however, especially if you are away from home.
Can I use canned cat food with an automatic feeder?
Yes you can, however there will be limitations. You will need to be careful with wet cat food because, if it is not kept cool, then it will spoil and not only will your cat not want to eat it, but the food will develop nasty bacteria that could end up harming your kitty. If you feed your feline canned food and still want to use an automatic feeder then you should try to purchase a feeder that has ice packs underneath, or you can freeze your cat’s food and let the timing between each meal be a thawing period before your cat eats. You can also purchase a feeder that has space for you to put your own ice packs in on top of the food, but you will need to double check that there is room.
How much should my cat eat a day?
The amount your cat should be eating a day is based on their breed and their current size. The label on your cat food should give you a good idea of the amount you should be feeding them, but if you are really unsure you can always ask your vet.
An automatic cat feeder can be a perfect addition to your house if you are away from home a lot or cannot always be there to make sure your cat’s food bowl is filled. With an automatic cat feeder you can choose the specific time your cat gets fed, giving them a much needed routine, and you can choose the amount of food they eat, which is great for weight management. They even come with voice recoding technology so your cat knows you are never far away, and are also great for taking on vacation with you. Perfect for consistency and ease in both you and your feline friend’s life, we know you will find an automatic cat feeder in the list above that you love.