My cats have always been outdoor cats who came and went as they pleased. To feed them, we made sure that their bowls were always full of crunchies. It was pretty simple! But then I moved to the city and discovered indoor cats that overeat, don’t run around so much and get fat. This was a strange concept for me, but eventually I have come around to the benefits of an automatic cat feeder, which dispenses food on its own, usually on a timer. Mostly, it regulates how much your cat eats and helps to maintain a healthy weight, but it’s also very handy for feeding your cat if you’re going to be away through the day, for example at work, or if you’re taking a short overnight / weekend trip. Or if you just want to sleep in, but you kitty knows that 6:00am is breakfast time!
As with everything, there are several varieties of cat food dispenser. It can be overwhelming trying to work out how they’re different from each other and which one you should get. Therefore, I’ve put together a guide to choosing the right automatic feeder for your feline and reviews of the best automatic cat feeders for you to look through. Check them out below.
|CanineStar Automatic Pet Feeder Pet Dish with Intelligent Real Voice Recorder Timer Food Dispenser with LCD Display and 240ML 5 Capacity for Cats, Dogs, and House Animals||【5 meal setting and easy to clean】It can hold dry/wet foods setting 5 meal which can satisfy all kinds of pets. The feeder, made of ABS plastic materials, is environment-friendly, sunshine resistant and shock resistant. Removable food tray for easy cleaning and perfect for everyday use.||
|HoneyGuaridan S25 Smart Automatic Pet Feeder, Programmable Timer Portions Food Dispenser with Simple iOS and Android App Control – Designed for Dogs and Cats (white)||Searching HoneyGuaridan in App store or scanning QR code in user manual to download HoneyGuaridan App on iPhone or Android Smartphones; Compatible smartphone (Apple iOS 9.0+ / Android OS 4.0+) and a standard of Wi-Fi connection under 2.4 GHz.||
|7L Pet Feeder,WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder for Cats and Dogs,Auto Pet Feeder Food Dispenser–Features Distribution Alarms, Portion Control & Voice Recorder and Timer Programmable||Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser great for portion control and establishing eating routines.conveniently feeds your pet whether you are at home or away!||
|PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Pet Feeder, Dispenses Dog Food or Cat Food, Digital Clock||Digital timer programs up to 12 meals a day with flexible meal portions from 1/8 cup up to 4 cups||
|HoneyGuaridan A25 Automatic Pet Feeder with Voice Recorder and Timer Programmable, Automatic Food Dispenser 6-Meal for Dogs and Cats||Flexible meal portions from 1/32 cup to 4 cups per meal. Food container capacity is minimum 3.3 lb for dry food. If you want to get more information or detailed operation, you can search HoneyGuaridan automatic pet feeder on YouTube. Please purchase from HoneyGuaridan Direct ,otherwise you may get counterfeit items and we do not take any responsibilities for that.||
|PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder, Smartphone, 24-Cups, Wi-Fi Enabled App for iPhone and Android||SMARTPHONE PROGRAMMING: Control your dog or cat’s feeding from anywhere using your Apple iPhone or Android smartphone; Requires an iPhone or iPod device iOS 9.0 or later or a compatible Android smartphone 5.0 or later||
|Pet Feeder, Greatic 5.5L Automatic Pet Feeder Electronic Digital Display Bowl Dispenser for Dog Cat||LCD panel, easy to operate||
|Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser for Dogs & Cats – Features Distribution Alarms, Portion Control & Voice Recording – Timer Programmable Up to 4 Meals a Day||Automatic Food Dispenser Makes Feeding Hassle Free for Pets’ Dietary Health & Wellbeing||
|PetSafe Six Meal Automatic Pet Feeder, Dispenses Cat and Dog Food, Battery Powered Digital Clock, LCD Screen Display||TRAVEL, WORK AND SLEEP EASY: Automatically feeds your pet up to 6 pre-portioned meals a day whether you are home or away; no more early morning wake up calls or rushing home from work||
|Homdox Automatic Pet Feeder Cat FeedersABS MaterialDog Cat Dry Food Portion Control||See-through food drum with capacity of up to 5.5 liters of dry food. Capable of recording up to 10-sec voice message to be played three times for each feeding.||
Choosing The Right Kind Of Cat Feeder
When you’re deciding on which automatic pet feeder to purchase, there are a few things to think about. Firstly, we all know that cats can be fickle eaters. They like their food to arrive fresh, so you want to find a food dispenser that’ll store the dry food in a way that keeps it crunchy and doesn’t let it go stale. For this, take into account the amount of food that gets stored by the pet feeder and consider looking for a smaller one if your cat will take a while to get through it. Of course, you could also just fill it half way.
How Much Does Your Cat Eat In A Day?
If you’re going to be out for long stretches at a time, you may want to look into a timed cat feeder that keeps your cat on a regular eating schedule. Ginkgo knows exactly when her next meal is due and she’s ready and waiting for it when it arrives! This is also great for cats that are on a diet as they can get to eat several small meals throughout the day. The feeders also regulate the volume of food as well as the time, so there’s no chance of your kitty overeating. This is something worth noting actually. Most auto cat feeders let through a volume of food, not a certain weight of food so you need to figure that out when you set it up. You will also need to check if the amount of food dispensed is adjustable as some only come with fix volumes. There’s no point getting one that only lets out a whole cup of crunchies if your cat eats half of that.
What Time Of Food Are You Feeding Your Cat?
The type of food you’re feeding your cat will also affect which cat feeding station you get. The size of the kibbles affects how well they’ll be dispensed. It’s better to find an automatic cat food dispenser that fits your cat food than trying to change the food to suit the cat feeder. As we know, cats are picky and you might end up with both new food and an auto pet feeder that your cat won’t go near.
If you don’t feed your cat dry food, then you’ll need a different automatic cat feeder for wet food. Most of them are designed for dry crunches, so make sure you get one that’ll cope with dispensing wet food.
Does Your Cat Play With Their Food?
Some automatic pet feeders have an interactive element to them than encourages your cat to “hunt” for their food. This keeps a cat entertained while they eat. As well as stimulating some of their hunting nature, this will also delay cats that tend to eat really quickly. It’s also possible to add this later by adding a food maze to a timed cat feeder or having the food come out into a container that the cat has to explore rather than just into the bowl.
The Best Automatic Cat Feeder – Top 10
With all this to take into account, it can seem easier just to stick to a bowl on the floor. Don’t be daunted! I’ve put together the top 10 choices of cat food dispenser for you to look through instead of hundreds of user reviews. An automatic feeder will improve your cat feeding experience and this article will make it super simple to make your choice.
CanineStar Automatic Pet Feeder (4.8/5)
Now don’t be fooled by the name of this pet feeder, it can also be used for cats! It is probably, therefore, not designed for big dogs who eat a lot in one go.
How It Works
There are 5 compartments in this device that you can fill with food. One will always be open though, so really you’re only scheduling 4 meals. Once you’ve set the timer, the bowl will rotate so that the opening exposes one meal at a time based in the schedule you’ve programmed. This auto pet feeder needs to be plugged into a power source to work, but it does also have the capacity to run on batteries, so if there is a power outage, your cat will still be fed on time. For those cats who may not be quite clued up as to what this thing is doing, you can record a voice message to call to your cat when it’s time to eat. (As a side note: “eat the FOOD!” is not an appropriate message to set for 6am…)
It has the ability to schedule meals at multiple times throughout the day or across several days.
You can even store and dispense both dry food and wet food. If the pet feeder loses power for any reason there is a battery backup option and it remembers the feeding schedule so you only have to reset the current time.
So far, there are no reports of cats being able to open this automatic feeder. Although one smart poodle has managed to get into it. It’s not a tower so takes up less space and can’t be knocked over by curious kitties. Several people have said that it’s really easy to clean, which is always a bonus. It’s even from environmentally friendly ABS plastic.
Most Common Complaints
- There are only 4 meal spaces so you have to refill it quite often.
- Quite a few people have reported that their timed cat feeder has resorted to using military time and they’re not able to change this.
How It Works
Firstly, you have to install the HoneyGuaridan app on your smartphone. Then, connect the cat food dispenser to the WiFi and pair it with your phone. You can then set the amount of food and the feeding schedule through the app. Through the app, you can set the portion sizes to be dispensed by this auto cat feeder. It’s easy to set up and has an intuitive user interface. You’ll get a notification after each feed to let you know if it was successful or not. There’s also the option to do a “manual” feed to add spontaneous snacks through the day if you want to.
The HoneyGuaridan S25 has an 8L capacity for storing dry food, so you don’t have to constantly be refilling it. The design is sturdy and modern looking to fit into any home without looking ugly. So far, this automatic cat food dispenser seems to be cat proof and hasn’t yielded to any feline investigations. It’s even made from BPA free material.
Most Common Complaints
- The instructions are in rather poor English and are not always clear in what it is they are trying to say.
- It comes with a USB charging cable, but no plug.
- It also only connects to 2.4ghz, not 5ghz.
- No battery backup system.
- If you don’t clean the bowl often, it gets sticky so the food doesn’t slide out properly. But really, you should be cleaning the food bowl regularly anyway. No-one wants to eat from a dirty plate!
How It Works
Like all of the best automatic cat feeders, the WOpet Feeder is very simple to set up and use. You can set up to 4 meals of your chosen amount of food to be dispensed throughout the day and leave timed cat feeder to do its thing. The way you set the food amount is by portions, so one portion is 6g and then you can decide how many portions to deliver at each feeding interval. For example, if you wanted your cat to have 24g of food, 3 times a day, then you would set 3 feeding times to give 4 portions each. You can even vary the portion sizes to that you can give a larger breakfast and then a smaller snack through the day. This auto pet feeder runs on mains power or battery, so has a backup in case of power outages and has the option to record a voice message to call your pet when it’s feeding time. To open the top and refill the dispenser, you have to press a button to release the lid, so there’s no way of your cat breaking into it by force.
Most Common Complaints
- The instructions are not always clear, for example on how to change the augur to get different food volumes, and is full of typos.
- Knocking the feeder can cause food to fall out and some clever cats have figures this out.
- The feeder bowl is pretty slippy and some cats and dogs have trouble catching their food in it.
How It Works
The portion sizes for this auto cat feeder range from ⅛ of a cup to 4 cups, so there are plenty of options to make sure your cat gets the right amount of food at each meal. The hopper holds around 24 cups of dry food, but you can also use this cat feeding station to dispense “semi-moist” food. When it gives out larger portions, this particular automatic cat food dispenser will portion out the meal overa 15 minute interval to make sure that your cat can’t gulp it down and therefore won’t result in your cat vomiting from eating too quickly.
It has a digital clock that you can set up to 12 feeding times on and comes with a stainless steel bowl, which is more hygienic and easier to clean than a plastic one. It can run on mains power or batteries so has a backup system for power failures and also doesn’t need to be placed near a power socket. Some parts of this automatic cat feeder are even dishwasher safe! (“Dishwasher safe” is one of my favourite phrases).
Most Common Complaints
- The batteries are not included, but the power cable is also optional and sold separately.
- The buttons and programming seem to be quite confusing.
- The amount of food that the automatic cat feeder dispenses varies and is not always accurate to the programmed amount. Usually it gives out more. However, a few other reviews have pointed out that you need to set it to either cat or dog and then programme the right amount, or else it does have a default setting. These people report accurate food dispensations.
- A few reviews claim that this cat feeder only lasted between 3-6 months before breaking down.
- Several cats and dogs have managed to knock over the pet feeder, resulting in it breaking.
- Some smart cats have also figured out that they can get extra kibbles by shaking the unit.
How It Works
This timed cat feeder can dispense a wide range of portion sizes of food for your cat. It claims it can give out as little as 1/32 of a cup, which is significantly less than the ⅛ of a cup minimum that almost all the others provide. This gives you much more control over the amount of food your cat gets at each meal. It has a twist-lock lid to make sure that even the smartest of cats can’t get into the airtight food compartment, which is transparent so that you can see when it needs to be refilled. The food hopper can hold 12 cups of food, so you only need to refill it around once a week. A unique feature of this cat food dispenser is that it contains an infrared sensor to measure the amount of food in the bowl. This ensures that it does not ever over-dispense food above what the bowl can hold comfortably. It works on battery power so can be stored anywhere you like and has a curvy, modern design. You can even record a 12 second voice call to let your cat know that it’s feeding time when you’re not around.
Most Common Complaints
- The bowl is integrated into the automatic feeder so it can’t be removed and cleaned easily.
- The battery connection is not very good. Sometimes new batteries don’t work immediately and it can take a couple of tries to get it to come on.
- Setting up the auto cat feeder can be a bit challenging, especially with the poorly translated instructions.
- Some smart cats have figured out how to get their paws inside the shoot and pull individual kibbles out.
- The amount of food dispensed by this automatic cat food dispenser is not always accurate or consistent.
- This cat feeder seems to be pretty easy to set up.
- There is a battery backup in case of a power outage.
- If the cat feeding station jams, it will send a notification to your phone to let you know a meal has been missed.
- Everything except the conveyor can be put in the dishwasher.
- The lid has latches to hold it down to make sure cats can’t get into it.
- The instant feed has a lock option so that it can’t be pressed by accident or by a clever cat that figured out that button gives out food.
- There are splitter adapters available to feed two cats from one cat food dispenser.
- You can pause the timed cat feeder and feed manually while you’re home then resume it later and it remembers the previous feeding schedule.
- The amount of food dispense seems to be pretty accurate and stay so over time.
- Because it’s synced to your phone, it automatically updates the time when daylight savings starts and ends.
- This syncing also means that the automatic cat feeder doesn’t lose time over time, so will always dispense food at accurate intervals.
- This auto pet feeder won’t dispense less than ⅛ of a cup.
- The food bowl is steel, so as it’s easier to clean, but the food falling into it makes a lot of noise. The motor is also quite loud.
- Food is not dispensed if the pet feeder loses WiFi connection.
- There is no warning about the level of food running low and since the hopper is dark blue, it can be hard to see into it to tell.
- Some people have reported that the lid on their auto cat feeder is not airtight and lets out the smell of the pet food.