5 Best Automatic Cat Feeders | Complete Review with Comparison
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Living with a cat means being exposed to endless mischievous joy, but it also means being at their beck and call. And everyone who has had hungry and persistent meows wake them up too early in the morning are familiar with that feeling.
That is where a fantastic invention like an automatic cat feeder comes in. And it’s also a great solution for the always hungry kitties. You can delegate the duty of portion control to the automatic feeder and then relax. This article will review the five best automatic cat feeders and give you a helpful buying guide as well.
5 Best Automatic Cat Feeders
WESTLINK 6L Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser for Cat Dog with Voice Recorder and Timer Programmable
Best Automatic Cat Feeders Reviews
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat and Dog Feeder with Stainless Steel Bowl, Holds Dry Cat and Dog Food
If you need a fully tricked-out automatic cat feeder, this popular model from PetSafe is an excellent choice. It comes with a stainless steel bowl and will accommodate cats of all sizes.
When it comes to features, the multi-program options are the most prominent ones. For example, you can use the “Slow Feed” mode and have the feeder dispense smaller meals throughout the day. It’s a great way to implement portion control.
You can also use the “Immediate Feed,” which will deliver your kitty’s dinner instantly. And the good news is that there is an anti-jamming feature. There is also the Pause function for those times when you plan on staying home all day or when you want to treat your kitty with some soft food.
If we’re speaking of food, this automatic cat feeder is for dry cat food only. And that dry food will hit the stainless steel bowl quite loudly, so your cat will quickly become familiar with the sound.
As far as programming the feeder goes, the setup is simple. Once you have everything set, you can lock the feeder with the press of a button and make sure kids and curious pets can’t change the settings.
Cats can be crafty, and they love a challenge, so some of them might be able to reach inside and grab a few kibbles. But overall, it has excellent protection against food theft. One of the neat things here is that the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply feeder is very portable. You can take it with you when you travel, or just move it around the house if you have to.
It works on four D-cell batteries (not included), and you can also bundle it with an adapter. Having the adapter means not having to worry about getting new batteries all the time, though it does make the feeder less portable. Also, cords and kitties are not necessarily the best combination.
Storage-wise you have nothing to worry about, as the Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat Feeder has a massive storage. So, if you have to leave your cat for a while, it won’t go hungry.
- Different meal sizes
- Two power sources
- Big storage capacity
- Great design
- A little pricey
Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser for Dogs, Cats & Small Animals – Features Distribution Alarms, Portion Control & Voice Recording – Timer Programmable Up to 4 Meals a Day
Some people say that cats are low maintenance pets, and to the degree, that is true. But they run on their schedule, and it doesn’t always fit with yours. An automatic cat feeder like this one from Arf can make all of that much easier.
And here’s something extra cool about Arf Cat feeder – it can play recorded sounds. So, you can record a 10-second message for your cat. Something like “Dinner time, Fluffy!” It is not too loud, so if you live in a bigger space and your cat is in a different room, they might miss hearing it.
The unique design means that your feline friend will have a hard time breaking into the Arf feeder. Virtually every cat will try to do it at some point or another, so Arf made it almost impossible. A more energetic and very diligent kitty could reach into the feeder, but most of them will give up before they get their paws on the food.
And that’s not the only way Arf Pets feeder stands out from the crowd. The design is quite attractive and sleek. The feeder’s body is elongated and white, and the plastic has a shiny layer that prevents smudging. That’s good news for pet owners who have messy little eaters at home.
A good quality automatic feeder needs to be easily portable, and that requires using batteries. Luckily, this Arf feeder supports them. You need 3 D-cell batteries. But you also get a power adapter in the box. Having both options mean you can alternate between them depending on convenience.
As far as the setup process and performance go, Arf delivers in spades. Setting it up is quite simple; there is the “On” button, the “Set” button, and direction arrows. One portion holds 1/8 cup of dry food. It works well with smaller kibbles but might struggle a bit with the larger ones. The storage capacity is decent, and this feeder is an excellent option for a home with small and medium-sized cats.
- Voice recording ability
- Adapter included
- Battery life indicator
- Modern design
Larger food chunks might get stuck
Petmate Pet Café Feeder
Some of the best automatic cat feeders out there don’t use batteries. A gravity feeder like this one from Petmate is the perfect example of efficiency at an affordable price.
Sometimes, you and your feline friends don’t need anything fancy. You just need something that does the job. Having a simple but well-made gravity feeder means that you can take care of your outdoor cats too. A battery-operated feeder is not the best fit for that.
The Petmate Per Café Feeder is sturdy; you won’t have to worry about kitties knocking it over. The food container is high-quality BPA-free plastic, which is recyclable. And it is transparent, which means you’ll know exactly when it’s time for a refill. You can get the feeder in three sizes, 3 lbs., 6 lbs., and 12 lbs. Several different color options are available, as well.
Overall, the feeder works flawlessly, and the only concern is that bigger and flatter kibbles could get stuck. But those are mostly reserved for dogs anyways, so cat owners needn’t worry. Also, the food bowl is slightly smaller and hard to reach from some angles.
This gravity food feeder also has a lock, which means that it’s great for travel. In that respect, it’ might be a better option than powered automatic cat feeders. However, if you’re looking for an automatic feeder that will get your chunky kitty to shed some weight, this Petmate won’t help.
That said, this is a fantastic feeder for a house full of active cats. The bowl gradually refills, and the kitties never have to meow for food. Maintenance-wise, the feeder base and the lid are dishwasher safe. However, the container is best hand-washed with some warm soap and water.
- Great for indoor and outdoor cats
- Easy to transport
- Very affordable
Not suitable for portion control
PetSafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder for Dogs and Cats – Food Dispenser – Portion Control
Portion control is vital for maintaining a healthy weight and being mindful of what you eat, but it’s not only for humans. Sure, chubby kitties are the cutest, but that’s not good for them. Perhaps the last trip to the vet made you think about getting an automatic feeder.
That’s a great idea, and the PetSafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder is an excellent option to consider. It’s one of the best automatic cat feeders to help your cat stop overeating, as well as prevent you from giving it too much food.
The shape and the design of this automatic feeder are simple yet very effective. It has five food compartments that hold one cup of food each. Your job is to fill those compartments and set the timer.
The digital timer lets you set the meal frequency that best fits your cat’s needs. If you have multiple cats, it’s an excellent way to keep an eye on how much each of them is eating. Once one finishes with its meal, it’s time for the next kitty’s lunch.
The design might make you wonder how you are supposed to clean it. Don’t worry because PetSafe made it super simple. You can remove the food tray by lifting the top lid. When it comes to washing, some warm water and soap should do the trick. However, you should make sure only to use either dry or semi-wet cat food.
The super practical automatic cat food feeder works on batteries only. You will need 4 D-Cell alkaline batteries to get the kibbles in motion. The power adapter is not available, but the feeder doesn’t eat up the batteries too fast.
It’s a lightweight and very easy to use cat feeder. You can use it when you want to change your cat’s diet. You can fill the cups with different foods to see which they like and which they don’t. That said, this feeder is also suitable for smaller dog breeds.
- Excellent for portion control
- Easy maintenance
- Simple to program
- Difficult to tip over
- A bit loud
WESTLINK 6L Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser for Cat Dog with Voice Recorder and Timer Programmable
If reliability and advanced features are your priorities, you can consider the Westlink 6L. It comes with every feature a demanding cat owner and kitty might need. It doesn’t matter if your focus is portion control, or you just need a suitable feeder when you’re away.
Portion size is entirely adjustable, and this feeder can dispense tiny portions several times a day. Or it can fill up the bowl for one big meal.
However, the bowl can never overfill. The manufacturer has installed an infra-red sensor into this feeder to avoid spills and messing up the kitchen floor.
If you’re wondering if your cat could tip over the Westlink, it’s possible but highly unlikely. The food storage capacity is 6L, and if you keep it full, it will stay firmly on the ground.
This feeder has other sophisticated features that make it pretty much pet-proof. You can lock the control panel by pressing two designated keys at the same time. Otherwise, the little snout might push a button or two and de-program the feeder.
Just like most well-designed automatic feeders, the Westlink works with AC/USB power plug and batteries. But here’s the best part – they can work in conjunction. If you live in an area with frequent power outages, that means the feeder will continue to run on batteries when the power goes out.
The seamless transition in power sources means that this Westlink feeder has low power consumption overall. And that makes it a worthy long-term investment.
And yes, you can record your voice and call your kitty to come and eat. You can make 10-second audio messages, so do your best to be creative.
This automatic pet feeder is easy to clean and fill. The bowl is easy to remove and wash, and the dispensing mechanism works smoothly. However, it’s still best to avoid big and flat kibbles.
- Voice recorder
- AC and batteries work in conjunction
- Low power consumption
- Multiple feeding programs
LCD panel hard to read
Automatic Cat Feeder Buyer’s Guide
All the best automatic cat feeders usually have several things in common, though it all starts with your budget. There are some high-end, Wi-Fi ready, and sophisticated feeders out there. They are also very expensive.
For the most part, cat owners take the simple route and get the gravity feeder, especially if they have a cat or cats that go outside. Others will splurge a bit for feeders with timers and portion controls. Here is a list of the most important features to pay attention to when purchasing an automatic cat feeder.
For most cat owners, this feature could make or break the deal. Indoor cats tend to get a bit lazy, and cat owners are prone to losing track of how much they feed them. This combination can lead to feline obesity.
So, instead of having to continually think about how much you need to feed your furry friend, let the cat feeder do it. A quality automatic feeder will have several portion options.
Sometimes what you might need it to deliver several small meals per day. And other times, you want your cat to eat once a day. Gravity feeders aren’t very helpful if you need strict portion control. The kitty will eat, and more food will come out. Look for a feeder that has the portion control feature front and center.
Not many cat owners think about kibble size when purchasing an automatic feeder. But it’s essential, and here’s why. Most dry cat food is quite tiny. But some cats are used to eating slightly bigger and more oval kibbles.
Traditionally, automatic cat feeders don’t work well with those. The kibble tends to get stuck, and you don’t want that to happen while you’re away. So, looking for feeders with anti-jamming properties is one idea. And another is just to make sure you use smaller kibbles with the feeder you buy.
It’s no secret that cats love wet food, and cat owners around the world know this. So, they use it to treat their beloved kitties from time to time. Some of them give their cats wet food every day. Those are some lucky kitties, but how do you put such food into an automatic cat feeder?
The reality is that there aren’t many automatic feeders out there that allow you to use wet food. Some of the best automatic cat feeders will enable you to use semi-dry food, but they are few and far between. However, there are some things you can do about it.
For example, some cat owners freeze the wet food before placing it in the feeder. That means that you’ll also need a feeder that has some cooling abilities, so the food doesn’t go bad quickly. But the odds are that won’t be necessary because the kitty will eat it fast.
In the world of automatic pet feeders, pet-proofing means keeping the food inside the feeder safe from curious paws. When you bring the new feeder home for the first time, the cats are going to be very curious about it.
Once they associate it with food, chances are they will try to knock it over, or bust it open. That means that the feeder needs to be sturdy and have lids that are hard to open. The companies that make the best automatic cat feeders are aware of this and have taken measures to ensure that.
Food Storage Capacity
How many cats do you have at home? Just one, or there are a bunch of kitties running around? A household with one small to medium-sized cat probably won’t need a big automatic feeder. If you get something with a substantial food storage capacity, you risk the food going bad before the cat gets to eat it.
On the other hand, getting something small for a house full of cats could lead to trouble. You should also consider if you need a bowl with the feeder. Most automatic cat feeders have plastic, or stainless steel bowls included. Stainless steel looks better, but steel bowls can get pretty noisy.
Every cat owner has already conceded to the fact that their lives mean daily cleanups. Cats shed a lot, and that can be inconvenient. You also have to worry about the litter box and baths. The last thing you need is an automatic feeder that’s difficult to clean.
Sometimes a cat food dispenser looks realty cool, but then you realize that cleaning it will take a long time. If you don’t have a lot of free time on your hands, look for a dishwasher-safe feeder. There are plenty of options on the market.
They might be pricier, but they will save you time. On the other hand, if you’re not in a hurry, a cat feeder that requires more attention will work just fine. Some warm water and gentle dish soap, and it’s good as new.
Batteries vs. AC/USB
When it comes to automatic cat feeders and power sources, things are a bit complicated. That’s because some run exclusively on batteries, and some use both batteries and AC adapters. If you get a battery-operated feeder, you’ll need to buy new batteries regularly.
Even though most cat feeders consume very little energy, still, it’s a chore. But having batteries means that your feeder is more portable. You can move it around the house or take it with you on the road.
On the other hand, the AC adapter just feels easier. You plug it in, and that’s it. It’s an excellent solution when you have a cat that won’t bite the cable or play with it too much.
But it also means that it’s more complicated to take on the road. If you can’t decide, you can go for a feeder that has both options. That way, you get the best of both worlds and won’t have to worry about running out of power.
Wi-Fi Enabled Feeders
Wi-Fi is still not a widely accessible feature, and there are still some issues that need solving. That said, being able to use an app to make sure your sweet kitty gets fed when you’re at work does sound awesome.
However, the technology is still in development, and you can’t entirely rely on it when it comes to the well-being of your pet. Of course, some models already offer this feature. If it sounds attractive, feel free to get a feeder that supports Wi-Fi.
Selecting the Best Automatic Feeder for Your Furry Friend
The best automatic cat feeders are the ones that make cat owners’ lives easier. What that means, in reality, will vary from person to person, and from kitty to kitty. However, here’s our pick for the best automatic feeder on the market.
That would be the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply. It’s a compact, sturdy, and well-designed feeder with an anti-jamming feature. The price is slightly higher, but the features and performance justify it.
The runner up is the Petmate Pet Café Feeder because it’s versatile, affordable, and works very well. And it’s also suitable for outdoor use.