Automatic cat feeders are handy devices that help serve your pet the right amount of food at the right time. They’re especially instrumental for making sure your feline friend is fed properly when you’re not around.
There are a wide range of automatic cat feeders available, which can make the process of buying one a bit cumbersome, especially if you don’t know what to look for.
We have researched and reviewed several popular models with full reviews later in this article. If you are in a hurry, you can view the key selling points in this handy table below:
|Cat Mate C20 Automatic Pet Feeder
|Cat Mate C3000 Dry Food Feeder
|PetSafe, 2 Meal Pet Feeder, 150 g of Dry Food, 48 Hour Programming
|Van Ness Auto Feeder
|PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder, Smartphone, 24-Cups (5 678 ml) Wi-Fi Enabled App for iPhone and Android
Factors to Consider in an Automatic Cat Feeder
The first thing to consider in an automatic cat feeder is the ability to schedule the time at which the food is served. Basic cat feeders enable you to set a single time. Advanced models enable you to set different times for meals per day. There are actually modern feeders that enable you to schedule up to 12 servings of different sizes over a period of 48 hours. How cool is that?
Automatic feeders are available in two variants: battery-based and plug-based. The majority of modern feeders tend to be battery-powered, though, and require 4-6 batteries of the AA type.
It’s also worth noting that most modern cat feeders offer energy-efficient operation. This means that you should expect anywhere from 6 to 12 months of operation out of a modern feeder.
On the other end of the “modern” spectrum, you have plug-based pet feeders that are equipped with advanced features such as Wi-Fi, onboard cameras, and voice recording. If you’re going to buy one of those, make sure there’s a plug socket near the place where you intend to place the feeder.
Food capacity depends on the type of feeder you buy. You have automatic feeders that rely on just one feeding bowl to serve a predetermined amount of food at a specific time and you have models that are able to serve various amounts of food at different scheduled times because of their ability to house up to 6 different individual feeding bowls.
The feeding bowls that automatic feeders use tend to have a capacity that ranges between 175 and 500ml. There are models that are equipped with large storage bins that can accommodate up to 10 litres. With such a feeder, you can leave your feline for weeks without having to worry about it not being well-fed.
Food Type - Wet or Dry?
If you serve your cat wet food on a regular basis, make sure you invest in a device that can’t only serve wet food, but also keep it fresh for a considerable amount of time.
We have reviewed the best automatic cat feeders for wet food in a separate post.
Automatic Cat Feeder Reviews
Cat Mate C20
Starting off our list is the popular Cat Mate C20, with its two feeding bowls, 48-hour time, and its ice pack feature. Compared to other cat feeders, the Cat Mate C20 is capable of holding a lot of food considering each compartment can accommodate up to 450g.
In other words, you can leave your feline buddy for days without having to worry about it being well-fed.
Each tray inside the C20 utilizes its own timer functionality, meaning you can set them to open at different times, up to 48 hours.
The Cat Mate C20 is one of the few devices in its price range that offers the ice pack feature, which is a feature that helps keep the food cool and fresh for a long time.
Keep in mind that the Cat Mate C20 is a battery-operated feeder. However, it only requires one AA battery, which will have it last for up to 1 year. Another thing you should keep in mind is that this unit doesn’t feature a low-battery indicator, so make sure you keep tabs on its performance so you can replace the battery when required.
Cat Mate C3000 Dry Food Feeder
Impressed with the Cat Mate C20 but are looking for something more commodious? Look no further, as the C3000 is exactly what you’re looking for. This feeder is designed to hold dry food only, with a maximum capacity of 16mm. It does an excellent job of serving food in smaller sizes that are easy to consume by cats.
The device features a timer functionality that runs on batteries. It’s capable of serving up to three meals per day. What’s more, you can determine the amount of food you’d like the device to serve in units of 10g. What’s even more impressive is that you can set different amounts of food for each of the three servings.
If your cat is diabetic or has strict dietary requirements, you’ll love using this device because it enables you to serve a specific amount of food over a predetermined period of time. As an example, you can serve 12 units of food over a period of 12 hours (10 am to 10 pm).
The device features an LCD indicator that warns you when the batteries are running low. In general, you should expect a battery pack to last you 6-9 months. Capacity-wise, the device features a plastic hopper that can accommodate up to 3kg of food, which is enough to keep your feline friend well-fed for a very long time. The bowl is easy to clean and is dishwasher-safe.
We have reviewed the Cat Mate c3000 in more detail in a separate article.
Pet Safe, 2 Meal Pet Feeder
Next on our list is the PetSafe 2 Meal Pet Feeder, with its simplistic yet highly practical design. This feeder utilizes clockwork timers in order to schedule servings. The timers are super easy to use and are quick to adjust. The lids are controlled by the timers, which prevents your cat from overeating. It also helps keep the food fresh.
With the PetSafe 2 Meal, you can manage your cat’s food portions with ease. The timer feature enables you to set meals up to 48 hours ahead of time so that your pet doesn’t go hungry when you’re not around. Note that the trays have a capacity of 350ml.
Both meal trays are extremely easy to clean and can be put in the dishwasher for hands-free cleaning. Keep in mind, however, that this device can only accommodate dry food. Wet foods might render it useless.
Last but definitely not least, the PetSafe 2 Meal is backed by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, which ensures long-lasting performance and excellent value for the price.
Van Ness Auto Feeder
Stealing the fourth spot on our list the popular Van Ness Auto Feeder, with its remarkable 3,500 ml capacity. With such capacity at your disposal, you won’t have to refill the device every couple of days. You can just leave it for days knowing that its capacity is sufficient to keep your cat fed properly for probably over a week.
It’s also worth noting that the Van Ness Auto Feeder is available in many different sizes, so if you want something that’s a little larger or a little smaller, you’ll find a model that meets your requirements. What we love the most about this product is that it's a gravity-style feeder, which makes it one of the easiest feeders to use on our list, if not the easiest.
If you have multiple cats at home that you’re trying to feed, the Van Ness Auto Feeder’s superb capacity will definitely suffice. The device is USFDA-approved, meaning that it’s built from materials that are entirely safe for pet use. Further, most of its components are dishwasher-safe, so cleaning should be a breeze.
Another thing that we love about this device is that it flaunts a very space-efficient square build that can fit nicely into most corners.
PetSafe Smart Feeder - Best Wifi enabled Automatic Cat Feeder
The final product on our list, and arguably the most advanced option on the market today, is the PetSafe Smart Feeder. Granted, it’s not the most budget-friendly option available, but it offers a lot of value that justifies its steep price tag. For example, it’s capable of dispensing up to 12 servings per day and has an impressive capacity of up to 6,000 ml.
Further, you can integrate your iOS or Android device with this feeder in order to monitor your cat’s feeding habits from just about anywhere that has a Wi-Fi connection.
The feeder employs a battery as a backup in the event of power failure. In this case, the device might go offline, but it’ll continue serving food to your kitty.
Most of this feeder’s components are dishwasher-safe for ease of cleaning. To add, it features a locking lid as well as a child lock functionality so that your cat is unable to get to the food before the scheduled time.
The device also offers features such as Feed Now and Slow Feed modes for your convenience.
An excellent device, overall.
There you have it, the absolute best automatic cat feeders on the market today. We’re confident that one of the above-mentioned products will meet your needs and budget.
Feel free to let us know which of the products reviewed in this post you think is the best, and if you enjoyed this article then check out some of our other reviews such as the best cat water fountains and best cat scratching posts.