All pet parents love their cats, but sometimes we have to leave them behind for a few days. An automatic cat feeder can help when you have a pet sitter coming to check in on your cat each day. Automatic cat feeders are not a substitute for a cat sitter or human interaction. These feeders are suitable for one or two days.
An automatic feeder also helps keep cats on a good feeding schedule when you’re home. After researching dozens of automatic cat feeders brands, the best option is the PetSafe 5 Meal Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder as it easily delivers five meals a day and doesn’t jam.
This article covers the benefits of using this product and what criteria you should refer to when researching automatic cat feeder brands online.
Our top 14 picks for automatic cat feeders:
- PetSafe 5 Meal Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder
- PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder
- Roffie Dog and Cat Food Dispenser
- Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder
- Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder
- WOPET Automatic Pet Feeder
- SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
- PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder
- Super Feeder Automatic Cat Feeder
- PETKIT Automatic Cat Feeder
- HoneyGuaridan Automatic Pet Feeder
- AmazonBasics Gravity Pet Feeder and Water Dispensers
- TSYMO Automatic Cat Feeder
- PetSafe Automatic 2 Meal Cat Feeder
Are automatic feeders good for cats?
An automatic cat feeder is designed to make feeding cats more convenient for pet parents. These feeders dispense a specific amount of food at a designated time, so you don’t have to worry about being late around dinnertime.
- Those who can benefit are those who like sleeping in on weekends. Cats have this internal clock telling them it’s breakfast time at 3 a.m. This isn’t ideal if you have to wake up at 7 am for work every day.
- These feeders are perfect if you’re gone most of the day. Then you don’t have to worry about your cat starving at home, causing chaos due to their hangry needs.
- If you’re going out of town for a few days and have a pet sitter lined up, an automatic feeder will help keep mealtime on schedule. The automatic cat feeder provides them with fresh kibble on their regular schedule.
- Is your cat overweight? An automatic cat feeder may help him stay on a weight loss regimen. The machine will only dispense a set amount and at specific hours. Excessive weight can lead to other diseases, so it’s important to treat.
- Automatic outdoor cat feeders work great in situations where there is a population of community cats that need feeding.
How do you use automatic cat feeders?
There are various types of automatic cat feeders, and each requires you to fill the container with kibble. Then, you set the time and portion sizes.
General how-to steps:
- Set your preference for the number of meals you want the feeder to dispense (these can be set with a timer) throughout the day. Some feeders will allow up to five meals a day.
- Then determine the meal size for your cats, and some feeders may drop a few extra kibbles, so estimate what a typical meal looks like and then remove a teaspoon.
- If you have multiple cats, you’ll want a few different feeders, and if you own a baby monitor, you should watch to see which cat eats out of which feeder.
- They run on batteries, and you can also plug them into an outlet.
However, please refer to the manual of your specific type and brand.
What about homes with multiple cats?
The best feeder for multi-cat households is the Super Feeder Automatic Cat Feeder.
The Super Feeder can hold up to 5 cups of food, and you can purchase separate extensions to expand the storage space.
This feeder is our choice for multi-cat households, but feeding time is always interesting if you have more than one cat. Some may like to graze, and others may enjoy their entire meal in one sitting. Start with more than one feeder in different rooms that you typically feed your cats to eliminate competition between your feline friends.
Also, the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder can be set to activate when sensing your cat’s microchip. Once your cat comes close to the feeder, its microchip opens the flap, granting him access. This will allow one cat to eat from a specific feeder if you find that’s easier.
How to find the best automatic cat feeder for you
To help you find the best choice for your cats, we’ve put together some criteria to refer to while searching online.
Always check the capacity of the container before purchasing it. An automatic cat feeder that you have to refill every day isn’t convenient for pet parents.
As you’ll see below in our review, the size of these feeders will vary, and some products will not be appropriate for your cat. If you have multiple cats, you may want to consider two automatic feeders.
Cats are crafty, and a container full of kibble is the perfect target. The lid must sit securely, so your cat doesn’t enjoy a full day’s worth of meals in one sitting.
You should also consider an automatic feeder that stands steadily on the floor or attaches to the wall so your cat can’t knock it over!
Easy to clean
Pet dishes are breeding grounds for bacteria. Choosing one that’s easy to clean should be a priority to avoid mold.
Look for an automatic cat feeder that allows you to remove the food container, hopper, and bowl easily. Most are also dishwasher safe.
Type of food
Not all automatic cat feeders are exclusively for kibble. There are feeders suitable for canned foods. One example is the Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder which is an automatic wet cat food dispenser.
If you’re serving canned food, make sure it remains cool, so it doesn’t spoil. A good tip is to freeze the portions you’re going to add to the feeder, so they last throughout the day.
What are the best automatic cat feeders?
To find the best automatic cat feeders, we researched dozens of brands.
With this feeder, you can easily set up to five meals per day. The option consists of a rotating plate that includes five serving bowls. You can also use this feeder to give treats to your cats all day!
This is also a suitable automatic cat food feeder for semi-moist and soft dry cat food. But for semi-moist canned cat food, freeze it and allow it to thaw in the device.
Each compartment can hold up to one cup of dry cat food.
You can personalize and schedule mealtimes. It’s easy to set the time in one-hour increments. The feeder includes an LCD screen with a built-in clock to keep track of the schedule.
The BPA-free plastic tray can be thrown in the dishwasher.
- Delivers up to five meals per day
- Bowls hold up to one cup of dry cat food
- Features an LCD screen with a built-in clock
- Tray is dishwasher-proof
- It drains batteries quickly
- Eager pets may be able to tip it over
With this automatic feeder, you can control everything through your smartphone. From there, you can download the Smart Feed app. It’s compatible with Apple devices iOS 9.0 or later and Android smartphones 6.0 or later.
Through the app, you can set the feeding times for up to 12 meals. There’s also a “Feed Now” option, allowing you to fill their bowl outside the set times.
It’s also Alexa enabled. You can use your Amazon Echo device to give your kitty a snack while you monitor everything through the app.
This automatic cat feeding device features a low food supply sensor. It notifies you when the hopper empties, giving you time to replenish it.
When your food supply runs low, you can also set up the Amazon Dash Replenishment. This allows the feeder to reorder your pet’s food automatically.
You can customize meals and feed between 1/8 cup to 4 cups.
To ensure your cat always has food, the feeder features a battery backup. Should your WiFi at home stop working, the batteries will kick in and dispense food. The feeder calls for four D-cell batteries, but these aren’t included.
The food dispenser is easy to clean. Both the hopper, lid, bowl, and bowl holder are top-shelf dishwasher-proof. They consist of BPA-free plastic and stainless steel.
That said, at the top, there’s a button you can press to dispense food manually. Some kitties may figure this out and serve themselves.
- Smart feeder controlled through an app
- Notifies you when supplies are low
- Flexible portions
- Backup batteries (not included)
- Dishwasher safe
- Cats may figure out how to dispense food manually
- Requires a stable WiFi connection
The dispenser can hold a significant amount of food. The hopper can hold up to 29 cups. When filled, it can last up to a few days, depending on how much your cat eats.
Roffie asks pet parents to use kibble sizes between 0.2 to 0.6 inches in size. If you use larger kibble, the product may jam up.
The feeder allows you to arrange flexible meal scheduling. You can set specific times and portions. It can dispense up to four meals per day in portions ranging from 2 teaspoons up to 4.5 cups.
If there is a power outage, it can hold backup batteries. It requires three D-cell batteries, but these are not included.
It’s easy to set up. The top lid forms a seal around the opening, ensuring that the kibble stays fresh.
- You can record messages
- Holds up to 29 cups of food
- Allows for flexible meal schedules
- Comes with a power adapter
- Seals food, keeping it fresh
- May jam if the kibble is too large
- Cats may knock it over or move it, unplugging it
The Cat Mate automatic wet cat food dispenser can serve up to five meals a day. Inside, it features a rotating food tray with five large compartments. Each can hold up to 11.5 ounces of food, which can feed up to two cats.
This automatic wet cat food dispenser is easy to use. All you do is adjust the times according to your cat’s feeding schedule.
The Cat Mate Feeder is tamper-resistant, so even eager cats shouldn’t be able to open it. You can also attach it to a wall for extra security.
If you use wet food, make sure the dispenser remains cold. Change the food often and clean the compartments thoroughly to avoid contamination.
- Includes twin ice packs
- Can serve up to five meals per day
- Large food compartments
- Easy to set times
- Tamper-resistant design
- Three-year warranty
- The LCD screen is small
- Included freezer packs don’t stay cold for long
This feeder is fully programmable. You can set the time and amount of food. It allows you to schedule up to four meals with up to 39 portion size options.
You fill it with food from the top and close the lid, which is also leakproof. This seals in the kibble, preserving taste and scent.
Even if your pet accidentally knocks it over, it shouldn’t be easy to access the food.
It comes with a power adapter, but you can also use batteries.
This feeder provides a feature so you can record voice messages for your cat. It allows for up to 10-second messages where you can call your cat to eat.
- Uses infrared sensors to scan the bowl
- Allows for up to 36 portion sizes
- Records messages
- Leak Proof lid keeps food fresh
- It’s difficult to disassemble and clean
- The buttons are small
- Some cats may figure out how to manually dispense food
You can choose to dispense between 2 teaspoons and 4.5 cups. The included LCD screen makes it easy to see your settings.
Once it’s mealtime, the feeder will play your recorded message to let your feline friend know it’s time to eat. This is easy to do by pressing the mic button while you talk.
WOPET recommends using dry food with kibble ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 inches in diameter. The main storage compartment is large and can hold up to 20 cups of food.
It also uses an infrared sensor to avoid spilling food if your cat didn’t finish their last meal.
This feeder is fully removable and dishwasher-proof, making it easy to keep sanitary.
It comes with a power adapter but is compatible with batteries for backup. Keep in mind that when the power cuts, you need to reset the feeding schedule. This can make it difficult if you’re gone for more than a day.
- Large LCD screen
- Straightforward settings
- Voice recorder
- Large storage compartment
- Food holder is dishwasher-proof
- If power cuts, you need to reschedule the settings
- The feeder is noisy when food hits the bowl
- The dispensed food may fall behind the dish
The feeder is compatible with microchip numbers ranging from 9 to 15 digits. Check with your vet or shelter if you’re unsure of your cat’s number.
This is a good option if your cat is on a prescription diet. Other kitties or dogs can’t access your senior cat’s special food.
Even if your cat isn’t microchipped, they can still gain access. SureFeed includes a lightweight RFID collar tag that communicates with the feeder. You can purchase more tags separately.
Around the top, the lid seals with a neoprene lip, retaining moisture and keeping the food fresh.
- Microchip activated
- ID tag included
- Neoprene sealed lid
- Three-year warranty
- Sneaky cats may still be able to access the feeder
- It may take some time for the cat to understand the concept
For fast chewers, PetSafe recommends that you schedule smaller portions across the day.
The dispenser is quite large and can hold up to 24 cups of food. PetSafe designed it with a translucent hopper, making it easy to see when it’s time for a refill.
The lid includes a locking mechanism, preventing cats and dogs from sneaking a snack.
Setting up your feeding schedule is relatively easy. The dispenser includes a clear LCD screen with a built-in clock.
The BPA-free plastic components are stainless steel and dishwasher safe.
Keep in mind that the dispenser won’t release any food during the first three to four feedings. This is because the conveyor belt fills with kibble.
- It enables you to customize portion sizes
- Dispenser holds up to 24 cups of food
- Translucent hopper
- Large LCD screen
- Dishwasher safe components
- Cats may release food by nudging the feeder
- Not as durable as others
Best feeder for multi-cat households:
You can adjust portion sizes and set feeding times for up to 48 meals daily.
Super Feeder also offers a lot of add ons. This includes a WiFi plug that’s compatible with Alexa and a security camera.
- Translucent kibble holder
- Holds up to 5 cups
- Allows for extensions
- Adjustable portion sizes
- Assembly can be challenging
- The feeder is loud
- Cats can easily tip it over
You can also connect it to your Amazon Echo.
Through the app, you can set up your cat’s feeding schedule. You can arrange up to 10 feedings daily in portion sizes ranging from 1/20 to 1/2 cup.
There’s also a ‘Feed Now’ option, enabling you to feed your cat outside the designated times.
A ‘Low Food Sensor’ analyzes the food levels. Once they’re running low, it will notify you through the app.
The double fresh lock system holds up to 3.3 pounds of food. It then locks the kibble away, preserving flavor and scent for up to a week.
In case of a power outage, the automatic pet feeder will go over to the backup batteries.
- Control everything through the compatible app
- Low food sensor
- A feed now option
- The app can be cumbersome when adding or deleting pets
- Hopper doesn’t do well with all kibble, and rounded is best
- The app may feel intrusive for some, and it requires a lot of information
The transparent hopper helps you know when a refill is coming up. It’s large and can hold up to 24 cups of dry food.
For optimal performance, the kibble size should be between 0.19 to 0.78 inches. Bigger pieces may cause the hopper to jam, so be careful when choosing the brand of food.
The automatic pet feeder also allows you to record messages for your cat. It comes with a built-in voice recorder and speaker. You can log 10-second messages for your cat.
The infrared sensor alters when food gets stuck in the dispenser.
The user-friendly control panel features anti-touch buttons that prevent your cat from dispensing food.
The pet feeder runs on a power adapter, but the manufacturer recommends you use batteries.
- Dispenses up to six meals per day
- Transparent hopper
- Large food container
- Infrared detection design
- User-friendly control panel
- Sealing lid
- It can be difficult figuring out the portion sizes
- Tricky to manually dispense food
This AmazonBasics automatic cat feeder uses gravity to dispense food and water. As the kibble empties, the dispenser releases more, continually keeping the bowl full.
It can hold up to 6 pounds of kibble, and the water container can hold up to 1 gallon of water.
- Simple design
- Can hold up to 6 pounds of kibble
- Durable materials
- One-year limited warranty
- The water dispenser can grow mold
- The food holder comes apart easily from the bowl, causing kibble to go everywhere
It comes with an anti-clog design and works to completely solve any food jams. The kibble should be between 0.15 and 0.45-inches in diameter.
It has an infrared sensor that prevents the feeder from releasing food when the bowl is full. It also alerts pet parents once the food is low, so your cat has something to munch on throughout the day.
You can customize mealtime according to portion size and time. It allows for up to six meals daily in one to 50 portion options.
The feeder is also easy to keep clean. The kibble bowl, lid, and storage container are removable and can be rinsed off.
You can also record messages for your cat lasting up to 12 seconds.
The automatic feeder supports a dual power supply. In case of a power outage, it shifts to batteries.
- Anti-clog design
- Customizable meals
- Easy to clean
- Voice recorder and speaker
- 24-month warranty
- Some cats may figure out how to open the lid
- Instructions are difficult to figure out
Unlike the other brands, this serves only two meals within a 48-hour window. It consists of two bowls with battery-powered lids. You fill each with kibble, set the timer once it’s mealtime, and the top opens.
Each container can hold up to 1.5 cups of dry kibble.
The trays consist of BPA-free plastic and can go in the dishwasher.
The lids aren’t airtight, so hungry cats may be able to open them.
- Straightforward design
- Easy-to-use timer
- Containers hold up to 1.5 cups of kibble
- Dishwasher-proof materials
- Pets may be able to open the lid
- Doesn’t keep the kibble fresh
- No on/off switch
The top takeaway
Investing in the best automatic cat feeder is an excellent idea if you’re planning a trip and will be gone for a few days and have a pet sitter coming over each day. They make scheduling feedings at specific times when you’re out very convenient.
All the automatic cat feeders on our list are models acceptable for your feline friends. Our favorite feeder is the PetSafe 5 Meal Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder. It’s simple and effective, providing your cat with up to five meals per day. It allows you to choose different portion sizes at various times, and you can use it for wet cat food.
1. Are automatic feeders good for cats?
Automatic feeders are meant to dispense food at certain times throughout the day. If you have a pet sitter coming by to take care of your cat, then these feeders can help your cat keep to the schedule they’re used to while you’re away.
2. How do you use an automatic cat feeder?
They’re typically very easy to use. Pet parents can set the time on an internal timer, and the food that is stored is released. You control the amount of food that is dispensed.
3. Is there an automatic cat feeder for canned food?
The PetSafe 5 Meal Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder quickly delivers five meals a day and doesn’t jam. It’s also designed for semi-moist and soft dry cat food. Some pet parents use it as an automatic wet cat food dispenser.
4. What if I feed a raw diet to my cat? Can I use an automatic feeder?
We do not recommend using automatic cat feeder wet food for cats that are on a raw diet. There is a risk that the food will mold or bacteria will form if the food is left in the feeder and not cleaned immediately after it has been dispensed. Leftovers are also a concern that may sit in the container.
5. Is there a risk that these automatic feeders will jam?
Some brands may jam if the size of the kibble is too large. You will need to read the user guide and only store the appropriately sized kibble in your feeder.
Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API