Food and Diet

The Best Automatic Feeders for Cats

If you have cats as pets, you understand that they can be finicky eaters. This can create a problem, especially if you have more than one cat. There’s always one slow eater, one fast eater, a food bully, or sometimes even a dog raiding the cat food bowls. On top of that, cats are creatures of habit and look forward to being fed at the same time each day. Or you might have a cat with a medical issue that requires a special diet.

But, fear not, in this amazing age of technology, there are solutions to these problems! Automatic cat feeders are a purr-fect solution for anyone who has to commute or has long work hours that make it difficult to feed their cats on a regular schedule each day. They’re also great for those who have cats with medical issues that require several feedings a day on a consistent schedule.

Remember, automated feeders are designed to help you maximize your cat’s diet throughout the day, not to replace a pet-sitter while you take a week abroad! It’s important that someone is available to care for your cat every day. 

That said, here are our picks for the best automatic feeders for cats that will help you feed your cat when you can’t.

Factors we considered in choosing the Best Water Fountains for Cats:

Size: One consideration when choosing an automatic feeder for a cat is the size. You don’t want it to be so large that it takes up too much space or holds food for so long that it goes stale. On the other hand, a feeder that needs to be refilled every day is probably too small.

Ease of Use: There’s a huge variety of feeders available for pet owners, but some of them can be tricky to use. Those that are difficult to program or impossible to clean didn’t make the list.

Programmability: For those who have cats with medical issues or those who have unusual schedules and aren’t always available to feed their cats, it’s important to use a feeder that can be programmed to dispense a certain amount of food at a certain time.

Appearance: While this isn’t the most important factor, the feeder’s appearance does play a role in the purchase decision. We considered whether our top picks would be an attractive addition to your home.

And the top picks are…

Best Overall Automatic Feeder for Cats:

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

Pros: The perfect automatic feeder will keep your cat’s food supply fresh and dispense the proper amount of food on a schedule. It should also be affordable, durably constructed, nice to look at, and easy to clean. The PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder checks all the boxes. 

Perfect for multiple cat homes, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed lets you schedule up to 12 meals for your furry friends. With portion-controlled meals, you can easily manage your pet’s weight. If your pet tends to eat too quickly, set your feeder to the Slow Feed mode to slowly dispense meals and help prevent upset tummies or “scarf and barf.” The pet-proof design keeps clever kitty’s prying paws from stealing food. After it gets messy, you can wash the BPA-free plastic components and stainless steel bowl in the top-rack of the dishwasher. 

Cons: Some users have complained that it can be tricky to figure out how to make a feeding schedule.

“Overall this feeder was worth the cost; it’s portioning is correct, its operation is reliable, and our cats have been yet unable to crack into this vault of a machine. So far, it’s earned my trust completely.” -M.T.

Click here to shop for your PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

Best On-A-Budget Automatic Feeder for Cats

PetSafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder

Pros: This automatic feeder lets you give your cat up to 1 cup of food, 5 times per day. Great for cats and small to medium-sized dogs, each bowl in the feeder can hold up to 1 cup of dry food. If you’ve got a cat that likes to indulge and are concerned about their weight gain, schedule smaller meal portions over the day to help them get back to a healthy weight. When the feeder gets messy, place the removable insert in the top-rack of the dishwasher for convenient cleaning. While it’s intended for use with dry food, many users have successfully fed their cats a wet food diet using this feeder.

Cons: The feeder will need to be refilled often, as it only holds enough food for 5 feedings. Some people report problems with the rotating tray not lining up properly.

“There’s a bit of a learning curve on programming the machine but it gets easier after you do it a couple of times. I was surprised that it uses 4 D batteries; I haven’t had to buy those for anything in years. The clock on ours keeps accurate time with the meals appearing exactly as programmed.
We love it. So does our Kitty.” – L.L.

Click here to shop for your PetSafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder

Best Premium Automatic Feeder for Cats

PetSafe Smart Feed Wi-Fi Enabled Pet Feeder

Pros: For those who want only the very best for their cats, we present the impressive PetSafe Smart Feed. Is your cat out of food? Does your cat need to eat small portions multiple times a day? Do you want to make sure your cat is being fed on schedule? There’s an app for that! That’s right, the Smart Feed comes with its own smartphone app! Alerts remind you when the food level is low and when your cat has been fed. What’s more, this feeder is Alexa-enabled—you can ask Alexa to feed your cat a snack. It can also be set up with Dash to automatically order new food from Amazon when it detects your supply is low!

The feeder holds 24 cups of dry food in its BPA-free plastic hopper. Meals can be scheduled for up to 12 times daily in sizes from 1/8 cup to 4 cups per meal. The optional Slow Feed setting dispenses meals in small amounts over 15 minutes for pets who tend to eat too quickly. The Feed Now option lets you serve a meal on demand any time from the app or with the push of a pet-proof button on the feeder. It includes a stainless steel bowl that is easy to clean and stays put under the feeder.

Cons: While we haven’t personally had any problems at all, some users have reported trouble with the wifi connectivity. There’s a “feed now” button on top of the unit and one of our cats quickly learned that he could step on to feed himself any time he wanted. Fortunately, that button can be disabled within the Smart Feed app!

“If you have a cat, especially a pushy, food-obsessed one, this is the perfect product to buy. Get yourself some sleep and get connected to the app, because you’re going to be able to sleep in again (at least until your alarms go off)!”  – Sandra K.

Click here to shop for your PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Feeder

Notable Mentions:

Because there are as many varieties and styles of cat feeders as there are of cats, no single automatic feeder will be perfect for every situation. With that in mind, we couldn’t ignore these others!

Best Gravity Feeder:

Bergan Petite Gourmet Feeder

Your pet will always have plenty of fresh food thanks to Bergan’s Petite Gourmet Feeder. This gravity-fed pet feeder comes with a wide, convenient opening for simple cleaning and filling. The lid helps prevent spilling and it is designed specifically to help distribute food slowly into the basin. The Gourmet Line of feeders and waterers releases food and water at a slow, steady pace. The wide, stable base helps prevent feeders from tipping over. Made in the USA, this BPA-free feeder holds up to 6 pounds of dry food for your pet. This may not be the best option for those cats who tend to overeat, as it will provide a constant supply of food.

Microchip Feeder for Homes With More Than One Pet:

SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder

The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder is ideal for multi-pet homes that deal with food guarding, food stealing, and other aggressive behaviors at pet meal-time; as well as, being great for any homes dealing with feeding a special diet or expensive prescription foods. Through the pet’s microchip or RFID collar tag, the Feeder senses when that pet is within range and either opens or closes the lid over the food bowl to control access. The Microchip Pet Feeder is extremely easy to clean – simply hand wash the bowl and run a damp cloth over the Feeder unit.

*As part of our review process, The Catington Post received sample product to test. Our opinions and recommendations are unbiased and remain our own.

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