8 Best Automatic Cat Feeders (Updated 2020)

As our schedules become more crammed with activities, getting an opportunity to automate certain tasks like feeding pets can be a real time saver. An automatic cat feeder alleviates part of the stress by offering an incredibly convenient way to meet your pet’s basic needs. 

To help you figure out device is right for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best cat feeders on the market. 

Best Pick

One of the best automatic cat feeders is PetSafe Healthy Pet Feeder. This is a versatile feeding device with handy programming options. This makes it perfect for owners who want to control their pet’s weight or the rate at which they feed. 

It’s reasonably-sized, so it won’t take too much space in your home. Plus, it has a detachable stainless steel bowl, which fits snugly into the plastic container that holds it in place. 

Top-Rated Cat Feeders

1. PetSafe Pet Feeder

90

Our Score

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  • Simple to assemble
  • Can dispense up to 12 meals within a day
  • 14-cup capacity
  • Most of its parts can be cleaned in a dishwasher
  • Cannot be set up to feed multiple cats
  • Power adapter and batteries are not included in the package

Have you been looking for a pet feeder that has all the bells and whistles? If you have, the PetSafe Healthy Automatic Feeder is a fantastic choice. Although it’s pricier than most pet feeders, it has an array of advanced features making it worth the investment.

For starters, it has a compact design. Measuring 18.5 x 8.7 inches, this cat feeder is about the same size as a coffee maker. The fact that it doesn’t take up much space means you can position it anywhere. You can place it on a countertop or hide it away in a small corner. 

Being an automatic feeder, this unit allows you to program your feeding schedules. This is pretty convenient for cat owners, who are not always around to feed their pets. To be specific, this feeder can be configured to dispense from ⅛  to 4 cups of pet food, up to 12 times per day. Better yet, it has a large capacity as it can hold 24 cups of either dry or semi-moist pet food.

PetSafe Cat Feeder is one of the easiest to set up. You can choose to power it using batteries or plug it into an outlet. If you opt for batteries, you’ll need to purchase 4 D-cell alkaline batteries.  The alternative is to purchase a power adapter for connecting the machine to an outlet.

2. AmazonBasics Pet Feeder

85

Our Score

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  • It’s a 2-in-1 unit comprising of a feeder and a waterer
  • Non-skid rubber feet provide a secure placement
  • Can hold 6 pounds of pet food
  • Water tends to pour out of the drinking bowl

If you have a limited budget, the AmazonBasics Pet Feeder is one of the most pocket-friendly options on the market. The best thing about this unit is that it contains both a gravity feeder and a waterer, at half the price that you’d spend on similar cat feeders. 

The capacity of this feeder is large enough that you can use it to feed your pet an entire day. The waterer has a capacity of 1 gallon while the feeder can hold 6 pounds of cat food. It’s equipped with a self-dispensing gravity feeder that provides a consistent supply of food and water. 

The only drawback is that this feeder does not have a programmable feature. This means that instead of dispensing food at specific times during the day, your feline will have round-the-clock access to the unit. This makes it better suited for cats that are not prone to overfeeding.

On the plus side, the feeder has an intuitive design. This consists of side cut-outs positioned all along the base. These make it easy to lift the unit off the ground whenever the need to do so arises. Also, the feeder has rubber feet to prevent slippage.

3. SureFeed Microchip Feeder

Our Score

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  • Compatible with a variety of microchips
  • Ideal for pets on prescription diets
  • Backed by a 3-year warranty
  • Employs revolutionary RFID technology
  • Once the lid is open, any pet in the vicinity is free to feed

The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder offers the perfect solution for owners with multiple cats. As its name suggests, this unit works solely based on RFID technology. 

In fact, this technology is its key highlight. So how does it work? Whenever a cat wearing the matching microchip approaches the feeder, its lid automatically opens allowing food to be dispensed. However, you have to train your pet to place its head underneath the hood for the lid to open.

One thing we love about its RFID technology is the fact it’s compatible with different brands of microchips. It’s designed to work with 15 FDXB, 9 Avid Secure and 10 FDXA digit microchip numbers. 

4. WoPet Feeder

80

Our Score

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  • Equipped with a timer for easy programming
  • Can be powered using batteries or via a power adapter
  • Large food storage compartment
  • Some parts are not dishwasher safe as advertised

If you’re looking for a cat feeder with a large capacity, WOPET Automatic Pet Feeder is a pretty good option. The main food storage compartment has a capacity of 20 cups, which is enough to feed your pet for a couple of days. 

Apart from having a big capacity, the feeder’s food unit is easily removable- an aspect that makes for easy cleaning. 

Another feature that sets the feeder apart is the programmable timer. This really comes in handy, especially if you’re not around to feed your pet. All you need to do is program it to dispense food at specific times. Better yet, you can set it to dispense a particular food portion, ranging from 2 teaspoons to 4 ½ cups per feeding.

Important to note though is that the feeder works only with dry food. The food pellet size should be 0.2 to 0.6 inches in diameter. The feeding tray is dishwasher safe; hence, easy to clean.

5. Trixie Activity

70

Our Score

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  • Offers your cat a fun way to earn treats
  • It’s dishwasher safe
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty
  • Best-suited for small to medium-sized cats

If you’re looking for a device that offers a lot more than just a feeder, the Trixie Activity is your best bet. 

This is a 5-in-1 unit that doubles up as a puzzle and treat toy dispenser. As an activity board, it’s meant to help you stimulate your cat mentally as it engages all their senses. It forces your cat to think and solve challenges they’re presented with. In return, they’re rewarded with treats.

The five modes in this pet activity center are: Globes, Pegs, Alley, Tongue and Tunnel. Some are more difficult to solve than others. The globe model is shaped like a fishbowl and it requires your cat to fish their treat using their paws.

With pegs, your cat has to identify where the treat is and map out a strategy to retrieve it. The alley is a more fun option and it allows your pet to earn a treat while they’re lying down. The tongue compartment is tailored for liquid treats while the tunnel consists of a mouse hole, where you can hide treats and toys. 

6. PetSafe 5 Meal Feeder

70

Our Score

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  • Easy to configure using the digital timer
  • Removable and dishwasher-safe feeding tray
  • Portable as it’s powered using batteries
  • Fairly-priced
  • Does not offer an option to use power cable

Are you looking for a pet feeder that’s reasonably-prized? If you are, the PetSafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder is a great option. It’s not as affordable as the AmazonBasics model but it’s also relatively cheap. 

Despite its affordability, this feeder doesn’t compromise on performance. It can hold 5 cups of food, and allows you to divide this into five 1-cup portion sizes. This frequency of dispensing is made possible by the feeder’s built-in clock. It also has an LCD screen, where you can configure your pet’s meal times. 

Another feature that makes this feeder easy to use is the feeding tray. This is designed to be removed with ease and can be washed in the dishwasher. The only thing missing from the package are the 4 D-cell alkaline batteries, which the feeder runs on.

7. PetKit Smart Feeder

68

Our Score

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  • Can be operated using an intuitive smartphone app
  • Has a spacious food storage compartment
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Slightly expensive
  • App only connects on 2.4 GHz frequency

Have you been looking for an advanced cat feeder that has cutting-edge technology? Well, the PETKIT Smart Cat Feeder is just what you need. 

The functions of this gadget can actually be programmed and controlled using the Petkit app that you can download on your iPhone or Android device. Thanks to its programmable feature, this feeder allows you to schedule up to 10 meals in a day. 

What’s more, you can customize the meals individually from 1 to 20 portions each. The minimum portion you can configure it to dispense 5 grams while the maximum it can dispense is 100 grams. If you want to treat your cat by offering them an additional meal, just choose the “feed now” setting on the app. 

The dispensing system is another aspect that sets this smart feeder from the crowd. It gives you the freedom to feed your cat any type of kibble they like- aid-dried meat, square-shaped, flat just to mention a few. 

8. Arf Pets Feeder

65

Our Score

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  • Has a stylish design
  • Clear lid makes it easy to see food level
  • Has voice recording capability
  • Includes battery life indicator
  • Can only work with dry food

Investing in a pet feeder doesn’t have to mean compromising on your home decor. Luckily, Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder has an attractive-looking design, making it the perfect addition to your home.

The unit comes in a satin, white plastic body, which doesn’t show dust or smudges. It also has a clear lid fitted with a magnetic lock to help keep your cat out of the food storage compartment. Speaking of storage, Arf Pets feeder has one of the largest capacities of 18 cups. Surprisingly, it has a very small footprint.Measuring 11.8 x 9.7 inches, this feeder takes up a very small space.

This cat feeder offers flexibility when it comes to power source. You can choose to plug the DC power cable. Or you can use the battery backup, which uses three D-cell batteries. Unlike other cat feeders that don’t include the power cord, this one comes with one so you can use it straight out of the box. 

This feeder also allows you to record a personalized meal call up that lasts for up to 10 seconds. This notifies your cat whenever it’s feeding time. All you need to do is press and hold the Record button. A red light will illuminate to show you that it’s recording. When you finish, release the button and press play to listen to it. 

Types of Automatic Feeders

Automatic feeders can be classified into two main types based on their sources of power. The two kinds are electronic and battery-operated feeders. 

Electronic Automatic Feeders

This type of feeder relies solely on electricity to control the dispensation of fixed food size portions. Most of these feeders will have LCD screens that allow you to configure the various settings, that is, the time to dispense and the portion of food to be dispensed each time. 

Some advanced models also include microphones, allowing you to record a message for your pet. 

The message serves to notify your cat when it’s feeding time. The most recent electronic feeders sport smart technologies. You can even manage the dispensation of food remotely using a mobile app. Another cutting-edge technology you’re likely to find in an automatic feeder is a webcam, giving you a live view of your pet’s progress when you’re away.

Merits

  • Give you complete control over feeding time and portion sizes
  • Perfect for managing health problems that pets face; for instance, diabetes
  • Come with extra features like a system to record a call to feed or camera

Demerits

  • Require a power source

Battery Automatic Feeders

The greatest disadvantage of an electronic feeder is that fact that it needs to be connected to an outlet. This means that whenever there’s a power outage, you won’t be able to use the feeder. Unlike the electronic variety, this feeder relies on batteries.

A battery-operated feeder confers several benefits. Since it doesn’t have to be plugged in to operate, it provides room for flexibility. You can set the automatic feeder outdoors.  

Gravity-based Automatic Feeders

This feeder works exactly as its name suggests. It uses gravitational force to dispense food to your pet. 

This kind of feeder has a minimalist design, with food automatically flowing from the chute to the feeding bowl. Once the bowl is full, the flowing tube is sealed so that no more food gets dispensed. These types of feeders are the most common in multi-pet households. 

Pros

  • Has a simple design; hence easy to set up
  • Does not rely on electricity
  • More affordable than other automatic feeders

Cons

  • Offers pets unrestricted access to food; creates the risk of overfeeding

What to Look for in a Cat Feeder

Capacity

Automatic feeders have different storage capacities with some able to hold up to 12 meals within a day. If you have more than one cat, be sure to get a feeder with a decent storage capacity.

Programmable features

A programmable cat feeder automatically dispenses food at the predetermined time. The programmable feature also allows you to set the amount of food that will be dispensed each time. 

Ease of cleaning

If you don’t want to spend too much time cleaning and maintaining your pet feeders, there are a couple of things you should look for. These include a detachable feeding tray and dishwasher-safe components. 

Reliability

The reliability of a cat feeder depends mainly on its source of power. If you want to be able to use the cat feeder even during power outages, a battery-operated model is the best option. Alternatively, you can look for an electronic feeder that has a battery backup. 

FAQs

Can I use a cat feeder for wet food?

Unfortunately, most cat feeders aren’t designed to work with wet pet food unless it’s refrigerated or sealed. If you want to feed your cat wet food, you’ll have to look for a feeder with this capability. 

Can cat feeders be used outdoors?

Yes, they can. However, this depends on the type of power source the feeder uses. If it relies on electricity, you’ll need a cable that’s long enough to reach your designated setup location. Otherwise, you should invest in a battery-operated feeder or that doesn’t rely on electricity.

How does a gravity feeder work?

This feeder uses gravity to dispense food from the chute to the bowl. This guarantees that your cat has a constant supply of food.

How much should I feed a cat?

The amount of food you feed your cat will depend on several factors such as their weight, age, health status and type of food. 

The rule of thumb is that if you’re feeding a healthy cat dry food, then you should give them smaller portion sizes. This is because a dense and premium-quality dry food has a higher amount of nutrients by weight than a low-quality food.

You can also your cat’s weight to determine how much food to feed them. According to PetMD, here’s how much you should feed your cat:

Cat’s weight Amount per day

5 lbs ¼ to ⅓ cup

10 lbs ⅜ to ½ cup

15 lbs ½ to ¾ cup

Are cat feeders suitable for dogs?

Yes, some feeders can be used for both cats and dogs. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications to determine if it’s versatile enough to be used for both pets.

What should you get if your cat is overweight?

If your cat has gained too much food, consider using a cat feeder with a programmable timer. This allows you to place limitations on the amount of food and number of times that your cat feeds. 

What can you do if your cat eats too fast?

An advantage of advanced automatic feeders is that they have a feature allowing you to specify the size of the food pellets. So if your cat tends to eat too fast, program the feeder to dispense just a few nibbles at a time.

Do I need a smartphone for an automatic feeder?

Not necessarily. Although there are a few feeders with smart technologies, most have simple designs. If your feeder has smartphone support, you’ll be able to monitor or get a live feed of your pet.

How do I use a cat feeder?

Purchasing your first cat feeder is an exciting affair. But does it work? How do you get your cat to eat from the feeder? Follow these steps:

  1. Assemble your feeder and position it next to your cat’s usual food bowl
  2. Next, place their favorite food or treats in the open tray of the feeder. This is to encourage them to eat from this feeding station as opposed to the traditional bowl.
  3. Now, place food in the designated tray of the feeder, put it back in and set a timer. Initially, your cat may get startled by the noise the machine makes when it’s dispensing food. But ultimately, they’ll become used to this noise and learn to eat from their new station. 

How long do cat feeders last?

The durability of cat feeders varies from one manufacturer to another. As such, there’s no straightforward answer to how long these devices can last. If you’re hesitant to make an investment, consider looking for a cat feeder with a warranty. This way, you can always return the product if you’re not pleased with its performance.

Wrap Up

Want to ensure your cat has a constant supply of food even when you’re away? An automatic cat feeder is the way to go. This device automatically dispenses the predetermined amount of food at specific times. Some feeders even use microchips to determine which pet gets fed each time. 

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