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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.
One of the risks of overfeeding our cats is that they do tend to bloat or even vomit the excessive amount of food that we give. To help address this, it is often preferable to give smaller but more frequent feedings. Another way to do it is by slowly giving food over a much longer period of time to help prevent gulping. Such is the purpose of the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder. This PetSafe feline nutrition delivery system allows you to slowly dispense your cat’s favorite meal over a period of 15 minutes so that it will not have to gulp and vomit. However, this is only accessible if you are going to put a meal that is greater than an eighth of a cup. The maximum amount that you can program it to dispense is 4 cups per meal. But, here’s the good part, the Healthy Pet can be programed to schedule the delivery of your feline friend’s meals up to 12 times a day. This means you can actually design a very specific menu delivery program for your beloved feline.
But what if your furry friend needs some more? Well, don’t fret. This PetSafe product has an Immediate Feed Mode which effectively bypasses the already-programmed schedule. So, if you programmed it to deliver meals every 6 hours and your pet is obviously hungry, then just push a button and it can already have its meal. The same is true when your animal pal is simply not in the mood to eat. You can simply activate the Pause Feed Mode and you can bet that it will not affect any prior programming. Resuming the schedule is as easy as turning off the pause mode.
The Healthy Pet Simply Feed auto pet feeder also comes with a food chamber that’s secured by an air-tight lid. This helps keep your cat’s food fresh, not stale. The feeding bowl is also made of stainless steel adding a level of hygiene not always seen in plastics.
It might look a bit like something out of an episode of Star Trek, but this sleek little device will actually feed your feline while you’re out of town. With its large, upright food bin, you can keep felix fed for days at a time, and never worry about forgetting mealtime again. The high-tech stuff doesn’t end with the feeder’s appearance, either. Thanks to an integrated LCD screen, you can easily adjust the device to fit your pet’s unique diet. Fitted with a programmable timer, you stay in complete control of when your pet’s food is released – there’s no need to depend upon pre-existing settings that might not fit your lifestyle.
The feeder is easy to install, too. Simply plug it into a mains socket and follow the intuitive programming instructions on the LCD screen. If you like, you can even record a voice message to be played when food is dispensed, letting them know that grub’s up and you’ll be home before they know it.
If you’re worried there might be a blackout while you’re out of town, this is the cat feeder for you. Although it runs on mains electricity, a set of backup batteries ensure that your pet still gets fed even if the lights go out. Underfeeding your cat won’t only make them grumpy: not eating is very dangerous for felines, and can result in conditions such as kidney disease. Clearly, if you need to feed your cat with an automatic dispenser, it’s important to choose one that’s failsafe.
Pets can be a greedy bunch, and it’s not uncommon for one kitty to steal another’s food. Luckily, Surefeed have invented the perfect solution. Their clever automatic feeder is equipped with a microchip detector that activates a dispensation of food for one specific cat. Link it with your pet’s microchip, or attach a small tag to their collar, and you’re good to go. If you need to feed more than one cat, you can also purchase additional tags.
The feeder itself can hold up to 13.5 ounces of wet or dry food, so it’s perfect for portions great and small. As well as ensuring your cat is well fed, this handy device can also help chubby kitties to reach a healthy weight. It dispenses equal portions every time, making it easy to keep track of exactly what your four-legged friend is eating. It’s great for medically prescribed diets, too.
Until the correct cat approaches, the food portion is covered by a perspex flap. When the cat leans in, this flap raises, giving them access to their grub. Although it’s perfect for greedy pets and special diets, this isn’t the feeder to pick if you’re going out of town for a couple of days. It doesn’t feature a timer or large food bin, so you can only feed your kitty one portion at a time. Nonetheless, it’s a great way to stop cats from squabbling, it’s built to last, and it comes with a three year warranty.
Feline nutrition is a rather tricky business simply because cats are naturally carnivores. However, millennia of domestication have clearly altered their way of feeding. Nevertheless, we can never really truly erase from their genes their predatory nature, preying on other animals. As such, their diet is primarily composed of protein and fats. With the PetSafe Electronic Pet Feeder, you’re now able to provide the best nutrition for your feline friend whether it is dry food you’re going to give or the more palatable wet diet. This PetSafe product is fully programmable to rotate its 5 tray feeding chamber at a given time. The good news about this automatic feeder for cats is that you can choose between a 2-meal system and one with a 5-meal program.
For many of the pet owners we’ve encountered, they prefer the 5-meal device as it gives them the opportunity to provide their cats 5 square meals a day. These can be quite advantageous to minimize the risk of bloating as two large meals per day can be a bit heavy on our pets. Putting too little food and they don’t get the correct nutrition for their daily needs. Too much and we risk bloating plus the chance that the food will spoil or go stale if our furry feline pal doesn’t finish all of it. This is especially true if you are going to put wet pet food. Dry kibbles don’t spoil that much although the taste and texture might change over time. Nevertheless, with the PetSafe system you can be sure that your feline pal will get the correct nutrition it deserves.
The system comes with a programmable digital timer that automatically rotates its 1-cup capacity 2-chamber or 5-chamber feeding tray with each set time. The lid securely latches onto the device covering the other feeding chambers while one is left open for your cat to feed on. Cleaning the polypropylene constructed device is also easy as it can be conveniently popped into an ordinary dishwasher. However, you’d have to have extra supply of size D batteries as it needs 4 of these to operate.
This automatic food dispenser by Arf Pets is simple but effective. Featuring a 1.14 gallon capacity, the device can dispense up to 10 0.8 ounce portions at once, and up to four meals per day. Every time food is dispensed, a small alarm sounds, letting your pet know that their meal is ready. Thanks to an LED screen, it’s easy to set up the dispenser to meet your pet’s unique requirements.
Between meals, there’s no worry about sneaky felines from breaking into the food store. A magnetic locking lid keeps their food fresh and totally contained. For added convenience, the device can run on both mains power, and D cell batteries. If there happens to be a power outage while you’re away, there’s no need to worry that your feline friend will go without food – the batteries will take care of things. To help your pet feel soothed, you can even record a personal voice message to play every time that food is dispensed. Owners say that the feeder is durable, and incredibly easy to use. The large feed bin makes it ideal for dogs as well as cats.
Belopezz have also earned themselves a spot on our list, thanks to this nifty automatic feeder. Fitted with a six litre food bin, it can hold enough dry food to keep your kitty going while you’re out and about. At every meal time, the device can dispense a small or large portion, so it’s easy to carefully control what your feline friend consumes. Portions can be dispensed up to four times a day, making it simple to customize your pet’s diet for the perfect balance. Whatever feeding schedule you choose, setting it is simple thanks to a set of intuitive controls on the front of the feeder.
You can even record a unique meal-time message for your cat to hear every time food is dispensed, letting them know that it’s dinner time. Belopezz’s clever design also makes it easy to avoid overfeeding. If there is still food in the bowl, the next portion won’t be delivered, avoiding waste. Finally, because it can be powered by either mains power or batteries, it won’t stop working in the event of a blackout.
Westlink’s automatic pet feeder takes the hassle out of mealtimes, and makes it easier to help your cat maintain a healthy weight. Its six litre bin holds enough food to keep your four-legged friend fed for days on end, while versatile control options make it simple to find the purrfect feeding schedule for them. It can dispense up to four meals a day, making it simple to follow a ‘little and often’ style diet.
You can even pick how many half ounce ‘portions’ your pet is fed at each meal, allowing you to keep track of exactly what they’re eating. The high-tech feeder also lets owners record a short voice message to be played to call their pet to eat – adding that personal touch. It’s a great option for opportunistic cats, too. The food bin is fitted with a secure, lockable lid, preventing clutching paws from accessing all their food at once. Owners who tried the feeder were impressed with its ease of use and durability – perfect for consistently feeding cats and other small pets.
For something that’s totally unique, you could go for this automatic food dispenser by WOpet. Its quirky design adds something a little different to your home. Shaped like a robotic cat, your feline friend should feel comfortable around their new feeding companion straight away. It’s great for owners, too: fitted with easy to use controls, and great portion size control. By using the LED screen on the front of the device, owners can select the ideal meal size for their feline friend. You can set up to five feeding times per day, whenever you like.
The dispenser is also fitted with a nifty infrared detector, which detects how much food is left in the bowl. If the bowl is about to overflow, clogging the food chute, the feeder ‘knows’ to cut off the supply until food currently in the bowl is cleared. For that extra high-tech touch, the feeder also lets owners record a brief meal-time message, calling their kitties to the food bowl. The durable feeder keeps on working no matter what. Because it can be powered by both batteries and the mains, your timed feedings will continue even if there’s a blackout. With a 12 month warranty included, you can rest assured that manufacturers at WOpet have great faith in their product.
This simple but effective feeder by Amzdeal is another great option for felines everywhere. With a large food bin, simple controls, and nifty extra features, it’s easy to ensure that your cat eats properly – even when you’re out of town. The dispenser can hold up to six liters of food at a time, so there’s no need to worry about going back and forth for constant refills. Thanks to a transparent lid, it’s easy to keep an eye on how much food is left, too.
Owners can choose between small and large portions, making it easy to adjust to any pet’s dietary requirements. Meals can be delivered up to four times a day, enough to satisfy even the most fussy of felines. For that personal touch, owners can record a 12 second voice message to be played every time food is delivered, so there’s no need to worry that pets will miss mealtime if they’re busy at play or soundly asleep. Easy to assemble, and to clean, you’ll have the feeder up and running in no time. It can draw power from the mains through a USB socket, or be powered by batteries.
Turn your home into a chic café for cats and dogs with this effective and affordable feeder by Petmate. The uncomplicated design doesn’t depend upon motors and sensors to keep your cat fed – kibble is gradually dispensed through the power of gravity. Thanks to this mechanism, you can rest assured your feeder won’t short-circuit or malfunction while you’re out and about.
Choose from a six or 12 pound food bin, depending on the size of your pet, fill it up, and let the gravity feeder take care of the rest for you. The lid snaps on and off with ease, ensuring that greedy kitties can’t break into the supply and gorge themselves. When it’s empty, the handy device is also easy to clean. The food bin detaches from the bowl for fast and effective maintenance. Once that’s done, just wash in hot soapy water and leave to air dry. Owners say the handy device is easy to use, and keeps kitties well fed for days at a time. Bear in mind that offering up this 24/7 snack bar might not be the best option for pets on a strict diet. Available in five subtle colors, it’s an attractive addition to any pet parent’s home.
With no electric mechanisms, there’s very little to go wrong, and it’s incredibly easy to use and clean. Simply fill up with food, and the sturdy device is good to go. Thanks to a lockable lid, you can rest assured that pets won’t wolf down all their food at once.
Looking at it, you’d think that the C3000 Automatic Dry Food Pet Feeder is a water jug and food processor combined. Well, it has a spout that makes it more like a water jug. Its base has electronic controls that you often see in a blender or even a food processor. Regardless of how you would describe the C3000, this cat feeder with timer is one amazing feat of engineering. The tamper-proof nozzle helps keep your kibbles safe and fresh without going stale.
The kibbles are kept safe, dry, and fresh in the tinted plastic hopper that can accommodate up to 6.5 pounds of excellent quality feline kibbles. The LCD and control panel are a beauty to touch giving you superb control over the feeding schedule of your kitties. You can set it to dispense food as little as 10 grams. This is especially useful if you have kittens instead of adult ones or perhaps you have a sick kitty who’s lost its appetite due to illness. Whatever the case, you’ll find the C3000 cat food feeder a true gem to use. The C3000 operates on 4 pieces of C size batteries that has been rated to keep the C3000 running for a good 9 months tops.
If you need an automatic feeder for cats, we suggest buying the PF-10 Feedster. With an ant-proof and insect-proof design and a sturdy construction, we guarantee you will love the PF-10. You can program it to dispense kibbles as small as a tablespoon portion or even as many as 6 cups although we really are not sure if it’s advisable to give this much in a single meal.
The Feedster PF-10 comes with a backup power supply that runs on batteries so you can be assured of continuous operation even though you’ve got power outage. One really great thing about the PF-10 Feedster is its kibble protection so your kitty won’t be sticking its paws into the food compartment.
These 15 automatic cat food dispensers are the best of the bunch, and we’re confident there’s something on the list to meet the needs of every pet parent.
With so many options, though, choosing the purrfect solution for your feline friend can be a surprisingly challenging task. Luckily, we’re here to help. Below, we answer some common questions about these hand feeding devices, so you can make an informed decision.
Why You Should Use an Automatic Cat Feeder
Pet parents might choose to use an automatic cat feeder for a number of reasons, such as:
First and foremost, using an automatic pet feeder to keep your kitty full is a real time-saver for busy pet parents. Once you’ve set up the device, there’s no need to worry about your cat being properly fed. You can rest assured the feeder will take care of everything. For working cat owners, there are a few more benefits, too. With the feeder taking care of things, you can finally have that much-needed lie in on a Sunday, and don’t have to rush home from Friday night drinks.
Not every pet owner has an army of neighbors eagerly awaiting cat-feeding duty when they’re out of town for a couple of days. With an automatic cat feeder, though, this isn’t a problem. Simply set the feeding schedule, fill the food bin, and go. Your cat will continue to receive their regular meals in your absence – although they may still sulk when you return.
Like most pets, cats thrive on a consistent schedule. When your feline friend knows exactly what to expect, and when, they’re much less likely to be stressed, leading to a happy life. One simple way to provide a structured schedule for your cat is to feed them at regular intervals. With an automatic feeder, their meals can become like clock-work. Not only will your pet be fed at the same time every single day, they’ll also be fed the exact same amount. They’ll always know what’s around the corner.
An automatic pet feeder can be a real boon when it comes to weight maintenance. Whether your cat is a little overweight, or underweight, automatic cat feeders help them eat a balanced diet. Because many feeders allow you to control your pet’s portion size, it’s easy to ensure that they aren’t eating too much or too little. This is much more difficult when feeding a cat by hand!
Automatic feeders can also be incredibly useful when your cat needs to eat a special diet. Certain versions, such as entry number three on our list, are designed so that only certain cats can access the food inside. Because special diets are often dependent on carefully sized portions to work, automatic feeders can also help you feed the right amount.
How We Chose the Best Automatic Cat Feeders
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.
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.
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 in a variety of health problems for your kitty. It is thus, very important to choose cat food that has significantly less carbohydrate content.
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.
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.
Q: What are automatic cat feeders and how do they work?
A: As the name suggests, an automatic cat feeder is a device specially designed to feed your pet, with very little input from you. Although there are a number of different designs to choose from, most consist of a food bin, bowl, feeding mechanism, power supply, and interface.
To use the feeder, simply fill up the food bin, and use the controls to set up a feeding schedule. Most high quality automatic feeders will allow you to control both timing and portion size – they may even let you record a custom audio message for your cat when it’s dinner time.
Most automatic cat feeders are powered by electricity, whether from the mains, a battery, or both. If you need to use the feeder while you’re out of town, it’s a good idea to look out for one with a dual power supply. This means in the event of a blackout you can rest assured your feline friend continues to be fed. You could also choose a gravity-powered feeder, such as entry number 11 on our list. With feeders like this, though, bear in mind that you won’t have much control over portion size.
Q: Is there an automatic cat feeder for wet food?
A: Yes. Although they aren’t as common as dry food feeders, you can feed your cat wet food using an automatic feeder. Entry number three on our list, for instance, allows owners to feed a dry, wet, or even raw diet with ease.
However, this particular feeder doesn’t facilitate mealtime scheduling or portion control. To feed your cat a wet diet while you’re out of town, you’ll need to pick a device with some sort of built-in refrigeration technology or use ice packs to keep the food fresh. Bear in mind that wet food feeders don’t feature the large food bins of their dry food counterparts. They usually house five or so segments, each of which can hold enough food for one meal.
These sections are rotated under a cover with a single gap, so only one portion can be consumed at a time. Owners can program mealtimes by deciding how much time should pass between each new rotation.
Q: How much should my cat eat a day?
A: This apparently simple question can be surprisingly difficult to answer. There is no hard and fast rule for how much a cat should eat each day. Your pet’s ideal feeding plan will depend on factors such as their breed, age, activity level, and what type of food you’re using.
As a rule of thumb, a healthy adult cat needs about 30 calories per pound of body weight per day to maintain their weight and active lifestyle. Since the average house cat weighs around eight pounds, you can expect them to require about 240 calories each day.
This amounts to 4/5 of a cup of dry food, or just under one six ounce can of wet food per day. Particularly active cats – such as outdoor cats – may need a little more, while less active cats may require less. Keep an eye on your cat for any weight changes, and if in doubt about how much to feed them, seek advice from a trusted veterinary professional.
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.