The best automatic cat feeder

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The concept of an automatic pet feeder is older than you might think. Farmers have used them for several decades, but the first patent in the U.S. specifically for pets was filed in 1939.

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Which automatic cat feeder is best?

An automatic cat feeder is an amazing gadget. If you have a cat that is constantly badgering you for some kibble or stealing the other cat’s food, then an automatic feeder is there to help.

They are also useful for when you won’t be home during the day, as they dispense the right amount at a programmed time. So, if nothing but the best will do for your furry friend, look no further than the Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder.

What to know before you buy an automatic cat feeder

Dispensing the right type of food

Cats enjoy variety in their diet, and should never be fed on dry kibble alone. Automatic cat feeders are primarily used to dispense dry cat food, and most can’t really pop out the wet kind. If that is something you require, look for one that can dispense both.

Number of cats

Felines love their mealtime, but it’s not much fun if one cat gobbles up all the dispensed food. An automatic feeder can be great for the weight management of one cat, but when you have more it becomes tricky. Consider your cats’ eating habits, as you might need more than one automatic feeder. You could also look at one that can supply two bowls with food simultaneously.

Training is an important step

There are few things that will make a cat bolt out of the room faster than a strange sound. Automatic feeders are somewhat noisy, and the dispensed kibble sliding down will be an unfamiliar sound. It is important that you train your cats so that they become accustomed to what is happening. In time, they will associate the sound with feeding time.  

What to look for in a quality automatic cat feeder

Backup power 

Automatic cat feeders are powered through a wall socket, and when the power cuts out, it will leave your cats with no food. A quality automatic pet feeder will have a backup power source, usually in the form of D-type batteries. This simply pops into the unit, then kicks over when the feeder has no socket power.

Dry-food storage capacity

One reason to get an automatic cat feeder is so you won’t have to wake up in the early morning or the middle of the night. It helps if the dryfood storage compartment can hold food for at least a few days. A good automatic cat feeder should have a storage capacity of about 15-20 cups.

Programmable times and check-ups

To make the most of your automatic cat feeder, you’ll need to set up scheduled feeding times. Most top-tier devices connect to your mobile phone and Wi-Fi so you can monitor and adjust the feeding schedule. A quality feeder will also have a built-in camera with motion detection so that you can see who is eating and how much.

How much you can expect to spend on an automatic cat feeder

The average price of an automatic cat feeder will largely depend on its manufacturer and functions. An affordable single-meal automatic feeder retails for around $30. A feeder with Wi-Fi capabilities and meal tracking can sell for between $70-$200.

Automatic cat feeder FAQ

Are automatic cat feeders easy to clean?

A. Yes, as generally all the parts that come in contact with food can be removed and washed separately. This should be done with lukewarm water at least once a week.

Can you set the portion sizes on an automatic feeder?

A. Yes. Most automatic cat feeders allow for portion sizes between a few teaspoons and half an ounce.

What’s the best automatic cat feeder to buy?

Top automatic cat feeder

Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder

Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder

What you need to know: A great choice to regulate your cat’s feeding schedule.

What you’ll love: With easy programmable features, this automatic feeder can dispense between one and four feeds a day. It has a maximum capacity of almost 17 cups, which should be enough food for several days. The dual power supply of the DC adapter and D-cell batteries makes sure that your cat will be fed even when the power goes out. 

What you should consider: It doesn’t have a built-in camera to see who is eating.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Top automatic cat feeder for the money

Pawise Automatic Pet Feeder

Pawise Automatic Pet Feeder

What you need to know: A simple solution for when you won’t be home at feeding time.

What you’ll love: Storing enough food for a single meal, this feeder works on a timer. It can be set up to 48 hours in advance and can store both dry and wet food. It comes with two ice packs that you place under the bowls to keep the food fresh. 

What you should consider: The lid doesn’t close by itself after it opens.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder

SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder

What you need to know: The perfect feeder when you have more than one cat.

What you’ll love: Most feeders dispense at set times, but what makes the SureFeed different is that it works on your cat’s microchip. The food is always available, but will only open for the registered pet. This is great when you have one cat that eats all the other cats’ food. If your cat isn’t microchipped, it comes with one collar tag to open the feeder.

What you should consider: It has to be filled with food manually.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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