At some point in their pets’ lives, most cat owners run into problems controlling their food. Whether it’s the hassle of waking up early to feed them breakfast or the seemingly impossible task of putting one cat on a diet in a multi-cat household, it can be a tricky process. To simplify feeding routines, many cat owners are turning to automatic cat feeders.
Feeders come in a range of sizes with features that allow for one or multiple cat households, varying portion sizes and number of daily meals, and even microchip recognition to prevent cats from eating prescription food from another cat’s food bowl. Below you’ll find our reviews of some of the best automatic cat feeders on the market today. Our buyer’s guide covers everything you need to know when choosing the right automatic feeder for your furry companions. Thanks to the variety of automatic food dispensers available, you can find the features you want ranging from a basic dispenser to one that integrates with your smartphone for on-the-go control over your pet’s feeding schedule.
|Name||Programming Method||Total Capacity||Meals per Day||Power Source|
|Westlink 6L Automatic Pet Feeder||Electronic display with buttons||6 liters||Up to 4||USB power cable or 3 D batteries|
|SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder||Non-programmable||1 meal||Unlimited||4 C batteries|
|PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder||Smartphone (iPhone or Android)||24 cups||Up to 12||Power adapter or 4 D batteries|
|PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder|
|Electronic display with buttons||24 cups||Up to 12||Power adapter or 4 D batteries|
|PetCul Automatic Pet Feeder||Electronic display and buttons||3 pounds||Up to 4||Power adapter or 3 D batteries|
|Super Feeder Automatic Cat Feeder CSF-3||Analog timer||5 cups, expandable extensions available||Up to 48||Power cord|
|Feed and Go Smart Pet Feeder||Smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android)||Up to 6 eight-ounce portions||Up to 6||Power cord|
Westlink 6L Automatic Pet Feeder – Best Rich Budget Feeder
The Westlink automatic pet feeder is a programmable dispenser with built-in voice recorder so you can record a ten second clip to play when it’s time for your pet to eat. It is one of the more budget-friendly options on our list.
Up to four meals can be programmed for the day using the easy to set buttons for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a fourth meal. Meal sizes can then be set to between one and thirty-nine portions, with each portion measuring 10 to 12 grams. A manual feeding option is also available for dispensing food in between regularly scheduled mealtimes.
Infrared sensors will prevent blockages and sense when the bowl is still full to keep from overfilling. If your cat doesn’t finish his food, the dispenser won’t dispense all of the next meal to prevent spilling. The unit itself comes apart to easily clean the bowl. The safe lock design on top prevents cats from pawing the container open to get at the food inside, and the weight of the unit prevents tipping.
The Westlink unit runs on a USB power cord or 3 D batteries. Ultra-low power consumption will prolong battery life and prevent increasing electric bills even when left plugged in 24 hours a day.
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder – Best Pet-Specific Feeder
The microchip pet feeder can be used for cats on a diet, cats with different feeding requirements than the others, or even cats on a special prescription food. When not in use, the lid seals the bowl to ensure food stays fresh. The sleek, space-saving design keeps it out of the way wherever you use it in your home.
“ The feeder also features an “intruder” mode to detect when more than one allowed pet is trying to eat from the bowl. This will cause the bowl to close so a second cat cannot eat the intended cat’s food while they are trying to eat. ”
Unlike programmable pet feeders, the SureFeed microchip feeder is not designed to open at specific times. It is best used for pets who are allowed to free feed throughout the day while other cats in the household are not. It also works when one cat must have a special diet that the other cat does not share. The microchip reader ensures only the cat who is allowed to eat from the bowl can access it. If the cat should only access the food at a certain time during the day, a programmable feeder may be a better alternative.
Multiple bowls can be purchased if each cat needs a different variety of food for their diet. Placed in different areas, cats will soon learn which bowl responds and opens for them. Multiple bowls can be on the more expensive side, however.
PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder – Best Wi-Fi Connected Cat Feeder
The dispenser can be programmed for up to 12 mealtimes automatically. Each mealtime can be adjusted in the phone app. There is also a Feed Now option to manually feed your pet without losing the already scheduled mealtimes. Available meal portions range from 1/8 to 4 cups. A Slow Feed feature is also available to dispense the meal over 15 minutes instead of all at once. This helps prevent vomiting and upset stomach in cats who eat too fast.
“ Thanks to the smartphone app, you can monitor your pet’s feeding from anywhere and receive alerts. If the feeder loses Wi-Fi connection, it will continue to feed on its currently programmed schedule. ”
The unit features a stainless steel feeding bowl which is easy to clean. Stainless steel is often recommended for cats who suffer from feline acne, as a plastic bowl may worsen the condition.
The design of the feeder is tip proof and seals to prevent pets from opening the lid to eat out of it. PetSafe Smart Feed feeders use a power adapter, or can take 4 D batteries for placement in areas out of range of a power cord.
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder – Best Basic Automatic Feeder
Don’t let its small size fool you; the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed feeder has all the options you need in an automatic cat feeder without the high price tag. Designed to hold 24 cups total and up to five in the bowl at one time, it can be programmed for up to 12 meals a day ranging from 1/8 to four cups of food.
The Simply Feed feeder features a stainless steel bowl. This bowl is easy to clean, long-lasting, and is better for cats who suffer from feline acne.
Functions include a pause mode when you want to stop feeding without losing your pre-programmed schedule as well as a slow feed mode that feeds your cat over 15 minutes to prevent eating too fast. This helps with digestion and reduces the chances of vomiting after eating.
The feeder uses a power adapter or 4 D batteries for placement in areas without easy access to a power outlet. The base is designed to be tamper proof and spill proof. Owners say they like this feeder for its compact size and ease of setting up the feeding schedule. It is particularly useful for controlling food amounts for overweight cats.
PetCul Automatic Pet Feeder – Best Overall Budget Feeder
The PetCul Automatic Pet Feeder is a stylish, space saving feeder with an affordable price tag. The lowest priced feeder on our list, the PetCul feeder still includes all the features that make an auto feeder so useful to cat owners. For those on a tight budget, this is an excellent choice to save money while still having an automatic feeder for your cat.
“ The physical buttons and display on the front of the feeder are used to program it to dispense up to four meals per day. Each meal can range in portion size from one to 39 portions, and the entire unit can hold up to three pounds of dry food. ”
A non-slip base prevents the unit from sliding or toppling over during meal times. Thanks to infrared detection, blockages and spills are prevented. When the sensor detects food left in the bowl, it will not dispense more than the bowl can hold to prevent overflowing.
The feeder works with a power adapter or 3 D batteries for more portability. Batteries typically last up to a year thanks to the low power consumption of the unit.
Super Feeder Automatic Cat Feeder CSF-3 – Best Adjustable Feeder
An analog timer allows you to set multiple feeding times throughout the day, from a small portion up to several cups. The top locks in place to prevent cats from pawing it open and accessing the food inside. While it doesn’t have the various settings of digital automatic cat feeders, it works well for those who need a simple feeder.
This inexpensive option is good for pet owners who want a no-frills feeder that can be set to automatically dispense food. Whether you’re at work, on vacation, or simply don’t want to get up early to feed your cat, you can turn feeding on for various hours throughout the day. The expandable storage allows you to hold more food as necessary for a multi-cat household. Wall mounting the unit will create extra floor space for your cats while eating and keeps the unit from tipping over.
The Super Feeder CSF-3 runs off a power cord and does not take batteries.
Feed and Go Smart Pet Feeder – Best Space-Saving Cat Feeder
One of the more technologically advanced automatic feeders on our list, the Feed and Go Smart Pet Feeder has a unique design that allows it to sit flat on the floor like a regular food bowl. Portions are measured out into the six compartments inside and rotate open when it’s meal time.
The feeder integrates with iPhone and Android smartphones or tablets. Multiple feeders can be linked to the same account and programmed separately. You can set up meal times using the app and make changes even when you’re away from home. A regular schedule can be set or a one-time feeding can be activated. A built in webcam and speaker allows you to monitor your pets as well. You can talk to your cats through the speaker to call them over or just check in.
Each of the six compartments holds up to eight ounces of food. The dish is removable and dishwasher safe for easy cleanup between uses. Multiple feeders can be used side by side in multiple cat households thanks to their space saving design. A locking mechanism keeps pets from being able to manually push the feeder to another feed slot. The low profile of the feeder also prevents it from being knocked over even by rowdy pets.
The right cat feeder for your household depends on your budget, the number of cats you own, and their dietary needs. Some owners simply want an automatic cat feeder to save time in the morning or while at work. Others need different feeders for each cat because one is on a diet or eats a particular type of wet or dry food.
Most automatic feeders are on a timer and open at certain times. This prevents cats from free-feeding throughout the day and overeating. However, if only one cat should access a particular food then this method will not work because the cat may eat from the wrong feeder.
To prevent this, some feeders are not timer activated, but instead are activated either by the cat’s microchip or by a collar tag. This means only the designated cat can eat from that particular bowl. The cat will be able to access the bowl whenever they want, so if overeating is a problem this type of feeder may not be the best choice.
Larger feeders hold more food and need refilling less often, though they will take up more space in your home. They also are typically more expensive, so if you need one feeder each for multiple cats you may want a smaller option. In addition to overall food storage size, feeders have different portion sizes they can dispense. This usually ranges from a small amount to several cups. Be sure to find a feeder that can dispense as much or as little as needed for your cat’s diet. Keep in mind that kittens burn more energy and usually eat more food than adult cats.
Number of Meals
In addition to portion sizes, feeders will also vary in how many times you can set them to feed your cat automatically throughout the day. Wi-Fi feeders that integrate with your smartphone provide the most control because you can reprogram them on the go or manually activate a one-time meal if you need to feed more often.
Less expensive feeders usually offer four meal times, which is enough for most cats. This includes three meals a day plus an additional meal if you want to give your cat a treat, or want to give them several smaller meals instead of a few large meals.
Some feeders allow for many mealtimes to be programmed. This is good if you have several cats who will be eating from the feeder throughout the day, kittens with a lot of energy, or want to feed often but only dispense small portions of food.
Size and Materials
Your feeder should be easy to clean and not get in your way around the house. It should also be “theft” proof so your cat can’t sneak food out of it between mealtimes and topple proof to avoid tipping over. All of the feeders on our list of best automatic pet feeders feature a locking or sealing mechanism on the lid to keep cats out. They also are weighted or low-profile in design to prevent toppling. For your convenience, designs range from low to the floor options to wall mounted varieties. A small home with multiple cats will want as compact a feeder as possible for each pet to avoid taking up lots of space. Bowls can be hand washed, and many are dishwasher safe. Stainless steel bowls are a good choice for cats with health issues such as feline acne. They will also last longer than their plastic counterparts.
Whatever your needs, there is an automatic cat feeder available that will suit you. You can purchase a simple feeder with an analog timer or go all out on a feature-rich feeder you can control from your smartphone. Whether you simply don’t want to get out of bed in the morning to feed your cat breakfast or will be working late and can’t give your cat dinner, an automatic pet feeder can take care of the task for you.