Nutrition is an important aspect of pet ownership. While cats are generally regarded to be more resourceful, more independent in looking for food, there is a much greater possibility for them to pick up disease-causing microorganisms from the scraps of food that they scavenge. Additionally, there’s no telling what they might eat. Of course, you can always give them highly nutritious cat food but if you’re too busy, then you’ll definitely need one of our top ten automatic cat feeders to make your life a lot easier.
How We Chose the Best Automatic Cat Feeder
Choosing an automated cat food dispenser should have been as easy as picking a water dispenser or even a lunch box for our kids. Unfortunately, we never realized that these feeders are so technologically advanced that we had to mentally deconstruct every single shortlisted feeding system in our list.
Before this, however, we had to identify which to include in our list of top 20 so we’ll have a better chance of getting the ten best. We looked at the products’ overall rating including the feedback and customer reviews that have been written about these products. While it’s inadvertent that not everyone will be satisfied with all of these products, the main contention is that, if a great number of pet owners have a strongly positive experience with these devices, then we can be sure that you’d find them very useful for your pets, too. Part of the evaluation process is an understanding of the device’s manufacturer. It is imperative that it complies with all regulatory protocols and guidelines. Additionally, a brand’s credibility can certainly go a long way as companies with an excellent reputation will do everything they can to ensure they remain trustworthy.
Once we have completed the top 20, we then subjected each one to very careful scrutiny. Since we’re talking about pet nutrition, the technology inherent in the device should be able to ensure the freshness of the food. It should have a mechanism that will not allow food to spoil or go stale especially if you’re going to put wet instead of dry pet nutritional products. Because pet nutrition is best achieved in a scheduled routine, a timed cat feeder system must be present that will help provide adequate nutrition for our pets at exactly the correct time and frequency. The timer must, therefore, be flawless and can be easily set according to your pet’s needs. Other features were also scrutinized as to their exact purpose and how these can benefit your pet.
The construction of the device was also examined. If it’s made of plastic, then it should not have harmful chemicals like BPA. It must also be certified to be pet-safe. And speaking of safety, since most automated nutrition delivery systems have mechanical parts that run on some form of electricity, whether it’s DC or AC, it is crucial to look at how the power assembly has been integrated into the design. It should not get in the way of our cleaning. In this regard, the auto pet feeder must also be easily to maintain as well as clean. Otherwise, what’s all the convenience in feeding our furry friends when it would take us literally hours to clean their feeding devices?
The top 10 is thus, a reflection of the different parameters that we had to consider. This gives us the assurance that you’ll love what we put in our list.
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Choosing the Right Food for Your Cat
Like all living organisms, cats require food for a variety of their physiologic processes. However, there are certain distinctions between a feline diet and canine nutrition. To understand basic feline nutrition, it is imperative to take a close look at 4 important principles that need to be considered when choosing the right food for your cat.
- All cats need water to maintain healthy and normally functioning kidneys.
A healthy urinary system is vital to cleansing the blood and deliver the right amounts of oxygen and other electrolytes to the rest of the body. As such, water is an important nutritional requirement for all living things, including cats. It is therefore, crucial to augment your cat’s food with clean and refreshingly cool water to entice them to drink. If this is not possible, then their food must contain enough moisture to allow for adequate hydration.
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- Too much carbohydrates can disrupt the delicate sugar and insulin balance in cats.
Have you ever seen a cat that feasts on vegetables and other carbohydrate-rich foods? In the wild, cats have been programmed by nature to thrive on protein and fat and less on carbohydrates. Feeding them a diet can upset the delicate balance between blood sugar levels and insulin which can lead to post-prandial hyperglycemia. This can result to a variety of health problems for your kitty. It is thus, very important to choose cat food that has significantly less carbohydrate content.
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- All cats have an inherently low thirst drive.
Dry cat food only contains, at most, 10 percent water. Compare this to cat’s prey in the wild which often contains 70 to 75 percent water. Because of their predatory nature, cats have a very low thirst drive. You don’t expect them to get thirsty simply because they get their water from the food that they eat. Unfortunately, giving them dry cat food may not be able to provide this need for hydration.
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- All cats are obligate or strict carnivores.
As we have said in point number 2, cats require high quality protein. It should be clear that what we’re talking here is animal protein, not plant protein. This is because plant protein don’t have taurine which is essential in maintaining a healthy heart and eyesight in cats. And since cats are natural predators – obligate carnivores – they need a very keen eyesight to help them look for their prey. But, there’s a much lighter side to this principle: cats in the wild prey on other animals; they don’t eat grass nor leaves. As such, in choosing the most appropriate food for your cat, it is important to look for animal-based proteins and fats.
We know you are thinking that we are essentially advocating the use of wet cat food instead of dry kibbles. These are just the basic truths to feline nutrition. You can still provide your kitty with dry kibbles, just make sure you can also get them to drink. Additionally, you will also have to make sure that the dry kibble has more animal-based proteins and fats and less or no carbohydrates at all.
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The Bottom Line
Meeting the nutritional requirements of your pet cat can be tricky. Nevertheless, with our top ten automatic cat feeders in 2016, you’re now simply left with the task of deciding whether to give them kibbles or wet food or even both.