Updated: January 5, 2021 by Kristen Chapple
Someone once said, “Cats don’t have owners, they have staff.”
This probably makes plenty of sense to any cat lover, which is why we don’t take their take-you-or-leave-you attitude personally when it comes to parting ways for the day.
You know that when you get home, she’ll come out eventually and greet you with a head-butt, then happily take up your lap space (or keyboard space if it looks like you’re busy).
Despite their independence, cats can get quite anxious if their routine is changed. An important part of keeping that schedule is to make sure she eats at the same time every day, and a good automatic cat feeder can help. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best automatic cat feeders in this article.
Table of Contents
- Here are the Best Automatic Cat Feeders:
- 1. PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder
- 2. SureFeed Microchip Small Dog & Cat Feeder
- 3. Arf Pets Automatic Dog & Cat Feeder
- 4. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Pet Feeder
- 5. Petmate Pearl Pet Cafe Feeder
- 6. PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station
- 7. Cat Mate C500 Digital 5 Meal Dog & Cat Feeder
- 8. PetSafe Six Meal Automatic Pet Feeder
- 9. SereneLife Automatic Pet Feeder & Voice Recorder
- Why Should I Get An Automatic Feeder?
- A Word On Obesity And Portion Control
- How To Choose The Best Automatic Cat Feeder
- A Final Word
Here are the Best Automatic Cat Feeders:
|1. PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder||Check Current Price|
|2. SureFeed Microchip Small Dog & Cat Feeder||Check Current Price|
|3. Arf Pets Automatic Dog & Cat Feeder||Check Current Price|
|4. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Pet Feeder||Check Current Price|
|5. Petmate Pearl Pet Cafe Feeder||Check Current Price|
|6. PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station||Check Current Price|
|7. Cat Mate C500 Digital 5 Meal Dog & Cat Feeder||Check Current Price|
|8. PetSafe Six Meal Automatic Pet Feeder||Check Current Price|
|9. SereneLife Automatic Pet Feeder & Voice Recorder||Check Current Price|
For our first automatic cat feeder review, we have to talk about our top pick. Whether you’re gone for the day or want to preload the feeder for a few feedings in advance to make the cat-sitter’s life easier, the PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Feeder will have you covered.
Just fill the feeder according to the appropriate proportion she needs (up to five meals delivered automatically), set the timer, and walk away.
If you have a particularly bossy kitty when it comes to mealtimes, she won’t have to nag you whenever it’s time to eat. Good help is so hard to find these days.
- Material: Plastic
- Intended For Smaller Pets
- Requires D-Cell Batteries
- 1-cup capacity
- Each portioned section holds up to one cup of kibble
- Five sections provide five pre-scheduled meals
- Trays are BPA-free and dishwasher safe
- 4 D-cell batteries power the feeder for up to 12 months
- Pre-set her feeding times and the feeder will deliver her food at the same time every day
- Some owners reported the motor wasn’t strong enough to keep their kitties from turning the tray on their own
- Some owners said the battery life wasn’t long enough
This state-of-the-art feeder works by reading your pets’ identification microchip or RFID collar tag. Once you set your pet’s ID information into the feeder’s controls, when he comes for dinner, the lid will open for him, delivering only his meal.
This feeder is a good option for multi-pet households who have different dietary needs or need different portion sizes. The bowl can store both wet and dry food sealed and fresh until it’s time for dinner. Batteries not included, but includes one collar tag.
- Weight: 2.0 pounds
- Capacity: 13 ½ oz
- Materials: Plastic
- Batteries Required
- Can be programmed for up to 32 different RFID collar tags or ID chips
- Ideal for multi-pet households
- Delivers each pet’s food to them exclusively, so pets on prescription diets get their food and not their roommates’
- The feeding bowl is sealed to keep wet or dry food fresh longer
- Compatible with all ID microchips
- Some cats figured out how to get to the food that doesn’t belong to them.
- Some owners reported that the feeder didn’t work as advertised.
- Some owners said the feeder didn’t recognize the ID tags easily.
Your furry partner won’t have to miss meals while you’re out with the Arf Pets Automatic dog and cat feeder! The feeder holds a full gallon of dry kibble food, so it’s great for multi-pet households, and you can set the bowl to deliver her meals at the same time every day, just how she likes.
It’ll feed her up to four, perfectly portioned meals every day automatically, and with the magnetic lid, she won’t be able to get into it for in-between meal snacks. Need to change her portion size or schedule?
This feeder is easy to program, you can even program a dinner bell to let her know when it’s chow time! This model can plug into a wall outlet or run on three D-sized batteries.
- Dimensions: 15 x 11.8 x 9.65 in
- Weight: 4.63 lbs
- Capacity: 1-gallon
- Materials: Plastic
- Holds 1.14 gallons of dry kibble.
- Automatic portion adjustments allow you to feed her exactly how much she needs
- Pre-set up to four meals a day
- The dinner-bell function allows you to record a message so they’ll know when it’s time to eat.
- Powered by three D-cell batteries, or wall outlet
- The magnetic lock lid keeps her out when it’s not time to eat.
- Some owners reported problems with the time settings
- Some cats were happy to say it gave them too much food. Their people weren’t.
- Some owners reported the portioning mechanism stopped working soon after purchase
No more asking each other if they remembered to feed the cat this morning in the mad dash to get out the door! With the PetSafe Programmable Pet Feeder, you won’t have to worry. Portion out how much she needs, from ⅛ to 4 cups of food, up to 12 meals per day!
The delivery system for this feeder is a little different from that of other feeders, a conveyor belt brings exactly the right amount at the right time, and can carry dry kibble or semi-moist foods like shredded bits.
This feeder not only dispenses well-timed, perfectly portioned foods, but it dispenses them slowly to prevent your ravenous little tiger from gulping down her dinner and getting a tummy ache.
The stainless steel bowl is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup, and the feeder can either be plugged into a wall outlet (sold separately), or powered by 4 D-cell batteries.
- Measurements: 13.4 x 10.3 x 15.9 in
- Weight: 6.35 pounds
- Intended for cats and small breed dogs
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Plug-In Power, Battery Powered
- Moderating feeding mechanisms dispense each meal at a 15-minute pace, ensuring your kitty doesn’t get too much at once.
- Delivers a range of proportions from ⅛ cup to 4 cup servings
- PBA-free plastic is safe, while the stainless steel bowl is bacteria-resistant and easy to clean.
- Pause-feed programming stops feeding without changing the programmed feeding schedule
- The translucent lid allows you to view her food levels
- Holds 24 cups of dry food, portioned into 5 cups max per bowl
- Some owners said it wasn’t clear that the power cord didn’t come with the bowl.
- Some owners said the feeder was noisy when it dispensed food.
- Some owners reported the unit was confusing to set up.
Gravity does the work in the Petmate Pearl feeder! The hopper holds up to three gallons of food, keeping it fresh until it’s time to automatically replenish the reservoir as it empties, and it’s removable lid makes refilling the hopper easy.
Made with eco-friendly, PET plastic, you’ll feel good about making mealtimes easier. The attractive base is available in grey and khaki, and is ergonomically designed for picking up when it’s time to throw it in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Since this feeder requires no power source, you can put in anywhere in the house without having to worry about outlets or batteries.
- Dimensions: 16.215 x 10.7 x 15.08 in
- Capacity: 3 Gallon
- Materials: Plastic
- Easy to clean, dishwasher safe
- Uses eco-friendly, PET bottles
- Gravity feeder automatically refills reservoir as needed
- Top lid makes the hopper easy to refill
- No power needed, put it wherever you need or take it on the go
- Some owners said the gravity feed system didn’t automatically drop the food effectively.
- Some owners said the gravity feed system released too much food into the reservoir
- Some owners said the feeder was too heavy and bulky
Another great gravity feeder, the PetSafe Pet Food Station keeps mealtimes happening easily and on time every time. The steady supply of kibble released into the stainless steel reservoir stays put with a twist-lock system to refill slowly as needed.
The BPA-free hopper holds up to four pounds of food, and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
Fill the BPA-free hopper with food and twist-lock it into place to ensure no spills happen during chow time, and when it’s time to clean just toss it in the dishwasher.
The PetSafe Pet Food Station comes in multiple sizes, so whether you have one fluffy friend to feed or a few, there will be plenty of dinner to go around.
- Dimensions: 13.8 x 11.7 x 7.7 in
- Capacity: 4 lbs
- Materials: Stainless Steel
- BPA-free plastic hopper holds up to four pounds of kibble
- Twist and lock hopper holds securely to the reservoir, eliminating spills
- The removable stainless reservoir and plastic hopper are dishwasher safe
- Gravity feed system makes this feeder ideal for any space, indoors or out
- Designed with wide openings for easy refill
- Some owners said the hopper didn’t automatically refill the reservoir, it needed to be shaken to drop the food
- Some owners said the bowl was pretty small
- Some owners said it made a mess when refilling
This feeder uses a digital timer to dispense just the right amount of food at exactly the time your furry baby needs it. The LCD display shows the times you’ve programmed to disperse her meals, so no surprises or starving kitties while you’re away.
You can arrange times for five different meals, and each compartment holds the portions you choose, and the tamper-proof lid keeps her from hacking it for midnight snacks.
The lid is also tightly sealed, and along with twin ice packs, keeps her food super fresh. The bowl and lid are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. This unit is battery powered, batteries not included.
- Dimensions: 11.25 x 11 x 3 in
- Weight: 2.4 lbs
- Capacity: ¾ lbs
- Material: Plastic
- Preset your pets mealtimes and portions for low-maintenance feeding
- Tamper-proof lid keeps her from stealing snacks between meals
- LCD display shows all programmed mealtimes, eliminating confusion and missing meals
- Five compartments deliver perfectly portioned meals to your baby at dinnertime
- Sealed lid and twin ice packs keep her food fresh for every meal
- Dishwasher safe bowl and lid
- Some owners reported it was difficult to program
- Some owners reported the mealtimes would sometimes reset and their fur baby didn’t get their food when they were supposed to
- Some owners reported the lid wouldn’t open if not used regularly
Feeding your favorite kitty is easy with the PetSafe Six Meal Automatic feeder! Simply set the timer for your little tiger’s mealtimes with the LCD display and walk away. It will deliver up to six perfectly portioned meals at exactly the right time every day.
Each container holds up to one cup of dry or semi-moist food, and smoothly transfers the food to the removable dishwasher safe bowl. The carousel tray is dishwasher safe, too, so clean up is a snap.
- Dimensions: 15.7 x 9.6 x 6.4 in
- Weight: 2.85 lbs
- Capacity: 1-cup
- Material: Plastic
- Automatic feeder has an LCD display to conveniently program up to six mealtimes
- Feeder carousel holds six, pre-portioned meals
- Each portion of the feeder holds up to 1 cup of food, semi-moist or dry
- Tray carousel and bowl are dishwasher safe
- The unit is battery powered, so you can set it up wherever you like inside
- Some owners said the battery life is too short
- Some owners said the plastic seemed flimsy enough for their pets to break into the mechanism
This auto feeder holds six liters of food, and has the convenient added feature of a voice recorder so you can call your kitty to mealtimes on time every time while you’re away.
The programmable timer ensures she’ll stay on a healthy feeding schedule, and the infrared detection system prevents overflow and food all over your floor.
The SereneLife Automatic Pet Feeder is powered by electricity, so you won’t have to worry about spending money on batteries.
- Dimensions: 1.42 x 1.38 x 0.83 in
- Weight: 6.25 lbs
- Material: Polypropylene
- Voice recorder allows you to leave a personalized message for your furry baby at mealtimes
- Automatic feeder features programmable timer
- Holds 6 liters of food
- Infrared technology prevents food overflows
- Powered by electricity, no buying batteries
- Some owners reported the container didn’t hold enough food for pre-portioned large meals for a longer period of time
- Some owners said the dispenser didn’t work well with larger kibble
Why Should I Get An Automatic Feeder?
There are a few real advantages to owning a good, reliable automatic feeder that you may not have considered before. Here are a few reasons why you should consider investing in an auto feeder for your kitty:
Cats experience anxiety when their schedule is messed with, or during times of change like moving or the introduction of a new family member into the house (human or animal). Keeping their mealtimes consistent is important to your kitty’s sense of normalcy, and an auto feeder helps.
Despite their cool, collected demeanor, there are some symptoms to look for if you suspect your fur baby has anxiety. (More on this in a moment.)
Obesity in cats is an increasingly prevalent problem. In cats, obesity is defined as a body weight that’s 20 percent or more above what’s considered normal, and experts estimate that an average of 50 percent of cats seen in veterinary clinics fit that criteria.
Obesity in cats can lead to all kinds of health problems (more on this in a moment, too), some can even be fatal. Be sure to take your kitty to her regularly scheduled veterinary appointments so your vet can keep up with her weight and give advice if she needs to lose a few pounds.
It’s Convenient for You
Because sometimes it’s not all about them. Sometimes.
A Word On Obesity And Portion Control
The consequences of obesity for cats are much the same as they are for humans, and the health problems they cause often trigger a chain reaction to other health issues. Fortunately, obesity in cats is preventable (also much the same as in humans).
With exercise, the right diet, and portion control, you can help keep her weight in check and avoid some of the common problems we see connected to kitty obesity:
Diabetes mellitus is a pancreatic disease which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar efficiently. In the pancreas, beta cells produce insulin, which regulates glucose levels in the bloodstream and tissues of the body.
Symptoms of diabetes mellitus include:
- Weight loss
- Increased thirst
- Increased appetite
- Increased urination
While kidney, heart, and thyroid diseases are common underliers of hypertension, obese kitties are at high risk of suffering from hypertension and all of the above. Excessive weight can burden a cat’s vascular system and heart function, leading straight to high-blood pressure.
There are a few symptoms of hypertension in cats:
- Vision problems such as blood collecting within the chamber of the eye, detached retina, or pupils that don’t constrict or dilate appropriately
- Increased urination resulting from increased water intake
- Sudden weight loss
Osteoarthritis is when the breakdown of cartilage between joints causes the ends of the bones to rub directly against each other.
Osteoarthritis can be quite painful, and signs include:
- Deterioration of grooming habits
- Using the toilet outside the litter box
- Inability to jump or climb on objects
Counter to what we might assume, limping or signs of lameness aren’t really obvious in cats with osteoarthritis the anatomical qualities of their limbs allows for compensation by the other limbs that aren’t affected, making it appear as if the cat is walking normally.
How To Choose The Best Automatic Cat Feeder
Unlike dogs, cats don’t experience separation anxiety while you’re gone, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need you. Over time, with domesticity and increased exposure to groups of people and other animals, cats have evolved from solitary animals to social creatures.
When you’re going to be away for an extended time, it’s nice to know her mealtimes are taken care of. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a quality automatic feeder:
Reliable Digital Timer
Look for timers that allow you to customize your kitty’s mealtimes. Some timers come with pre-set times that aren’t changeable, so unless those times are what you want anyway, pick one you can set yourself.
Portion Control Options
A good feeder should give you the flexibility to program it to dispense as much food as your kitty needs over however many feeding times you determine.
Whether she’s better off eating a lot at once, two or three times a day, or smaller portions timed more often, your auto feeder should be able to accommodate that.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to validate before you buy that the feeder works well with the size and shape of your kitty’s food. Portion control settings don’t help if the food can’t get down to the feeding reservoir!
Quality materials, sturdy design, and a good manufacturer’s warranty are what you want. If it’s made cheaply, not only is it more likely to break more easily, it’s more likely that your cat can burgle her way into the hopper or carousel (depending on what style you get) and help herself between meals.
Find out what kind of power your feeder uses. If it takes batteries, you can put it wherever you like inside your house, but on the downside, you’ll have to replace the batteries sometimes more frequently than is economical.
A Final Word
Everyone knows they’re low-maintenance (as long as you bow to their will), but anyone who loves a cat fusses over them anyway.
They’re aloof, hilarious, mysterious, loving, and full of personality, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our cats deserve the best we can give, which is why —
#1. We think automatic cat feeders are a wonderful invention, and
#2. We recommend that you consider PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder when deciding what feeder is the best for your kitty. Its easy-to-program design and wide range of features make it versatile enough to use for multiple pets or a lone huntress.
Whatever your situation, if you’re stuck in traffic and can’t get home in time for dinner, or you decide to take a quick weekend trip, you can rest easy knowing they’re fed and taken care of.