If you're looking for a way to feed your cat automatically then you've come to the right place. An auto feeder can help ensure your cat doesn't go hungry for any reason: work, waking you up early, keeping you up late, etc.
So pop open the quick guide below and find the best automatic cat feeders of 2018. You'll find ones dedicated to helping your cat eat more slowly and ones dedicated to feeding your kitty if you're simply away at work.
Table of Contents
The Best Automatic Cat Feeders
#1 WOpet 7L Automatic Cat Feeder
WOpet brings one of the best auto feeders available to the market. Not only does it come with tons of amazing features that every cat owner will love, but it also comes with a boatload of rave reviews from owners (beyond myself).
If you purchase this automatic feeder you will not regret it one bit. If anything you'll relish in the additional sleep you get or the confidence you have that your feline friend has a full tummy while you're away!
Key features worth noting on this model are:
"I really can't recommend this highly enough. It gives me peace of mind when I get stuck at work late!"
"I got him this because I can't always be home at mealtimes due to work. This feeder allows me to give him a specific amount of food at set times of day."
A few things you may want to consider before purchasing:
#2 SureFeed Microchip Cat Feeder
This is by far one of my favorite products I've ever purchased for my cats. The primary reason I needed it was because one of my cats steals my other cat's food. The SureFeed Mircochip feeder allows my little Beast to graze all day while keeping Lexi's roving jaws away from her food.
The claim to fame on this feeder, and it does work without fail, is that you can link your cat's Microchip to the feeder and it'll open up only for that cat. Pretty darn cool and helps minimize food thieving! A few other things worth noting:
"The SureFeed feeder has eliminated our cat's food anxiety and restored our sanity! And it helps stop my other cat from stealing his food so they can both stop gaining weight."
This model is designed primarily to limit access to food, so definitely consider the following:
#3 Westlink 6L Automatic Feeder
If you're looking to keep your cat healthy and happy then you want to make sure he or she gets the right amount of food at the right time. This can be difficult to do if you're busy at work all day or if your cat likes meals at inopportune times.
Getting the Westlink Auto Feeder is a great way to keep your cat happy which will help keep you happy! Key features worth noting on this model are:
"I've had about 5 different auto feeders in the past 10 years and this one is by far the easiest to set up, tune, clean, fill, power, and travel with.
A few things you may want to consider before purchasing:
#4 Petutor 6L Cat Food Dispenser
This model is going to have a lot of similarities to the Westlink model that is listed above. The key distinction between the two of them is really in the color combination available. Beyond that there's not a ton of difference.
If you're looking for a way to keep your cat's tummy full so they get the right level of nutrition then this is a great option! Key things you'll want to consider on this model:
A few things you may want to consider:
#5 Petnet 2nd Gen Smart Feeder
If you're looking for a feeder that will help you make decisions then this is the model for you. Petnet's app is definitely a cut above the rest. It'll give you recommendations on portions for your cat based on a quick survey.
It'll also let you know when it is running low on food and needs a refill. Are we getting close to sentient cat feeders? It appears so! It is even smart enough to recharge itself and run for 2 full days without power! A few other items worth noting:
A few things you may want to consider:
#6 Arf Pets Dry Food Dispenser
If you're looking to keep reaching paws out of your automatic cat food dispenser then this is a great option for you. Not only will they not be able to reach up from the bottom, but the top has a magnetic locking lid too!
If you've got one of those crafty kitties that has found their way into other feeders then this might be the right fit for you! A couple of other things that you should know about this model:
"Every aspect of this feeder has proven to be above and beyond my expectations!"
One thing you may want to consider before making a purchase:
#7 Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder
Looking for something a bit more modern? Tired of very functional square and rectangular shaped feeders? Then check out this awesome feeder from Iseebiz!
It has a ton of the great features other models have, but it certainly looks a heck of a lot cooler! Let's dig into the key items worth noting:
"My cat can't break into this thing, it is like the Fort Knox of cat food!!!!"
You'll want to consider the following before you push that buy button:
#8 HoneyGuardian 6 Meal Cat Feeder
If you're looking for one of the most versatile feeders on the market then Honey Guardian absolutely has you covered. You can choose from a huge variety of portion sizes on this model and you get a total of 6 meals a day instead of the traditional 4 meals a day most feeders provide.
A couple of key things any buyer would want to know and a full video review are below:
"With this feeder, it's impossible for Winston to finagle more food like he used to. He sticks his little paws up there, body slams it, and meows, but not so much as a single kibble pops out. Then he leaves disappointed. The machine is boss."
#9 Petsafe Slow Mode Feeder
If you need the ability to drop numerous meals or slow meals then you've come to the right place. Maybe you have numerous cats or you you've got a cat that is prone to getting sick if they eat too fast.
Whatever reason you might have, this model gives you the ability to do 12 programmed meals a day. A few other major items wroth noting:
One thing you'll want to keep in mind before purchase is:
#10 Pet Safe Smart WiFi Feeder
If you're tech savvy and you're looking for a kick butt smart feeder for your cats then this is a great option to consider! Fully accessible on either iOS or on Android by mobile app and you can program it right from your phone!
It also has a lot of the options available from the Pet Safe premier slow feeder in this article. Key features worth noting on this model are:
One key item worth noting before you make your purchase:
#11 PetSafe 6 Meal Carousel Feeder
If you're looking for an option that is very unlikely to jam or run into food locking issues then this is a great option. This model doesn't use an augur to dispense food out of the reservoir, instead you preset the portions yourself and it simply drops them down the open chute.
Each time a new meal is programmed to drop the carousel inside turns and then immediately opens. This ensures that prying paws can't access the next meal. A few other things worth noting:
"This automatic feeder has virtually eliminated our cat's food anxiety and restored our sanity!"
One key item worth noting on this model before you move forward:
#12 Cat Mate Wet/Dry Auto Feeder
If you're looking for an auto feeder that can support wet food then you've come to the right place. The Cat mate C500 is specifically designed to accommodate both wet and dry food. Most feeders are only good for dry food so this is a huge win!
This model works by prepping the meals in advance and then sealing the top over the tray. The tray rotates inside and makes each new meal available at the programmed time. A few other items worth noting:
"My food obsessed fur ball has yet to break into it, quite a feat!!"
A few things you may want to consider:
#13 Crown Feeder & Water Dispenser
Looking for a combination feeder and water dispenser that match and look great together? You've found the right fit right here. Crown's Platinum feeder and side by side water dispenser kill two birds with one stone.
They provide a great automatic feeder with 4 programmable meals a day and they keep a constant supply of water available too.
"Perfect for a con artist like my kitty that tries to beg her way into extra meals multiple times a day!"
It is worth considering the following if you're thinking of this one specifically for the water reservoir:
#14 Sailnovo Food & H20 Combo
Designed to put both water and food in the same station, this option gives you both a gravity driven water dispenser and a set of 4 rotating food trays. This option is on the low profile side compared to some of the other larger feeders out there.
A few other things worth noting to prospective buyers:
"It is a trustworthy auto feeder and it does the job as well as any robot could be expected to!!"
One thing you may want to consider before purchasing this option:
#15 5 Meal Disc Feeder (Dry and Wet)
A great option among low to the ground disc shaped feeders, this model by Tydynasty Design gives you the option to go with a total of 5 meals of wet or dry food. This is a great option if you have a cat that only goes for wet food.
A couple of other key items worth noting on this model:
One key item worth considering for this disc feeder is:
#16 Petsafe 5 Meal Disc Feeder
Petsafe has been in the industry for over 28 years now and they still continue to develop high quality products that help pet owners take better care of their animals. The Petsafe 5 Meal auto feeder is no exception.
This is a great rotating disc style feeder that will ensure your cat gets the food she needs when you're not home. A few key features worth noting:
"Best product I bought in decades and my cat loves it!"
Keep this in mind before pushing the purchase button:
#17 Antblocker Auto Cat Feeder
***Update as of 12/29/18*** - This product is no longer available.
If you're looking for a high tech version of an automatic cat feeder then this is definitely one you should consider. Not only does it have an app that let's you control feedings, but it also has a built in camera.
You can login whenever and feed your kitty and keep an eye on them while they eat too! Added bonus for you tech savvy folks that can't live without seeing your cat for a day. There are a couple things worth noting noting on this model:
A few things you may want to consider:
Why Would I Want An Auto Feeder?
There are lots of reasons people consider an automatic cat food dispenser in their home, but the most common reasons can be broken into a couple of key categories.
Lots of cats are prone to wake their human companions up at all hours of the evening or morning meowing for food. Auto feeders can help handle this issue quite easily by automatically releasing food for your kitty at any programmed time.
Note many cats make noise at night and people assume they want food. This activity is often because the cats don't get enough exercise during the day and they aren't tired so they don't go to sleep. Be sure your kitty is getting enough exercise!
Lots of cats have issues with eating very quickly and then getting sick even more quickly. This if often driven by food anxiety. There are lots of different ways to deal with this, but an automatic feeder with a slow feeding function or with small portion control makes helps extensively.
If your cat cannot eat too much too fast then her stomach is unlikely to react poorly. Lots of small portions ensures your cat won't get sick all over the house!
Short Term Travel & Long Working Hours
If you travel often or perhaps work long hours then an automatic feeder can help relieve some of the stress of ensuring your feline friends get fed even if you're not around. "Just set it and forget it." as the old saying goes.
Many feeders are also have tons of features that ensure you can login and see your cat and even talk to your cat through the built in speaker. It helps give you a touch of home while you're away which is always nice!
I myself travel extensively for work (usually on 24 hour trips) and it is always nice to be able to quickly login and see Beast or Lexi for a moment and watch them eat their dinner or their breakfast.
It is also nice when I get stuck at the office late because I don't need to worry about them waiting an extra few hours for me to get home and give them their dinner.
General Health & Medications
Eating huge meals has proven to be just as poor for cat health as it is for human health. Eating smaller meals in more spread out periods throughout the day helps promote better health for your cat. At the least it encourages your cat to walk back to the feeder each time which is some exercise.
On top of this some cats, like diabetic cats, need to have meals at very consistent times to properly maintain blood sugar levels. You'll also find many cats that simply require daily medication can have it deployed in one of these auto feeders.
Simply put the treat and the medicine in one of the rotating disc type feeders and set the timer and your kitty will have their medicine right on time! This of course assumes your kitty will eat their medicine!
What Types of Features Are There?
Portion Control Options
This option is available to control both the overall amount of food your cat eats as well as how much food is consumed at any one time. This is important for keeping a limit on overall calorie intake and also ensures your cat won't end up vomiting if they eat too quickly.
Meal Programming Options
Depending on the design of your feeder this usually ranges from allowing 4 meals up a day up to 12 meals a day. This helps keep your cat's diet in check by controlling the total number of calories your cat eats and how often he or she eats.
There are some other feeders that will do as few as 2 meals or even 1 automated meal, but I didn't include any of these in my list for various reasons.
This is one of the most important pieces of selection criteria because it will depend heavily on your cat's eating habits. There are a couple of main dispensing methods:
Disc Feeders: These have a tray that rotates for each feeding period. Food is prepared in advance and you can provide variability for your cat quite easily.
Pros of Disc Feeders:
Cons of Disc Feeders:
Reservoir Augur Feeders: These feeders have a large reservoir built into the top of them and they release a specific amount of food for each meal. The usually use an augur to do this. Food sits above and the augur turns to spin dry kibble out into the bowl.
Pros of Reservoir Augur Feeders:
Cons of Reservoir Augur Feeders:
Reservoir Conveyor Feeders: These are less common, but they are unique in design in purpose. They are specifically designed to minimize bloating/vomiting in cats with food anxiety. They have a reservoir, but instead of using an augur they use a conveyor belt that can move at an incredibly slow rate to drop food out over a 15 minute period of time.
Pros of Reservoir Conveyor Feeders:
Cons of Reservoir Conveyor Feeders:
This option allows you to record a message that plays each time a new meal is deposited into the bowl or rotated into the available eating slow. The purpose is to make your cat feel like you are feeding her even when you're not around.
It is also somewhat of an alert to let your cat know the food is out, but most cats know by the sound of the feeder after a few days. In fact, many of them learn the time that feeder drops food and they'll be there waiting for it before it even drops.
Cat Specific Access Control
This is not a common feature, but it is definitely an important feature if you are trying to limit which cat has access to which food. The SureFeed Microchip feeder is the only feeder I know that has this capability.
It basically ensures that only a cat with a specific microchip can get into the feeder. This is essential when you have cats that are food thieves or when you simply want to feed one cat more than another cat.
Note that the SureFeed microchip feeder is not designed to stop a determined and aggressive cat or dog. It does a solid job of resisting being opened, but an aggressive animal can pry it open (and potentially damage it in the process) so be sure to keep an eye on it the first few times you use it.
This option basically combines a gravity driven water bowl with the food dispenser. It is simply intended to combine everything in one place for simplicity both in purchase and daily use.
Note that research shows that cats are far more prone to drink running water from a fountain than they are to drink still water. This is assumed to be driven by instincts that tell cats still water is more likely to have diseases or parasites lurking in it.
Backup Battery Operation
Most feeders function by being plugged into a standard wall outlet, but there are some that are completely battery driven too. Those that are plugged in often have a battery backup system in case the power goes out while you're away.
You can also use the batteries by default and put the feeder in a place that doesn't have a plug. Most feeders are low power consumption so the batteries will last for months.
Ice Packs / Cooling Tech
Some of the disc based feeders listed here will allow you to insert ice packs inside them to keep wet food cold. This is a huge benefit in keeping wet food fresh and will ensure it doesn't spoil throughout the day.
It is important to note though that the air seal is probably the most important piece of keeping wet food fresh throughout the day. Usually air flow causes it to dry out and become stale and hard. Ice helps, but it won't solve the problem completely.
Which is Right For My Cat(s) and I?
Choosing the right feeder can be a bit of a complicated process because of the sheer number of options available on the market. I recommend reviewing the features above in detail and determining which are important to you and your cats.
This should give you a good idea of the general type of feeder you'll need. But here's a quick example that might help. Let's suppose I'm in this situation:
- I'm single and I have 2 adult cats and I work long hours
- Once in a while I make overnight trips for work
- My cats are both grazers and only eat when they are hungry
- My cats like both wet and dry food
In this situation I'd likely go for a disc type feeder that allows for the insertion of ice packs. Then I would rotate both dry and wet food into the slots depending on my daily schedule.
Go through a similar process with your own cat(s) and you'll quickly identify the right type of feeder for you and your family. The rest of the features are mostly just additional benefits!
How Dependable Are They?
Auto feeders are growing more and more dependable by the day. Many of the feeders are now starting to feature tons of alerts and notifications if they encounter any sort of problem. These can be sent directly to your phone to let you know there's an issue you need to resolve.
If you plan to depend on your feeder for any extended period of time I'd highly recommend buying it far in advance of any vacation or trip and testing it for several days first. Not only will this ensure you programmed it properly, but it'll ensure you didn't get a defective one shipped to you.
My personal opinion is that you should still have someone look in on your cats if you plan to leave for any long period of time. This ensures your kitty won't end up with a jammed feeder or a power surge blowing the feeder's circuits.
Can They Substitute for a Cat Sitter?
The resounding answer is absolutely not. You should not expect an automatic feeder to do the job of a cat sitter. This is true no matter how many electronic gadgets you have around for your cat.
We have lots of fun stuff in our house that is WiFi enabled and app enabled, but an automatic feeder doesn't do much beyond drop food in a bowl on a consistent basis and perhaps play a little recording of your voice.
Even if you go a step further and buy a webcam enabled version your cat likely doesn't really understand what is happening and where you are. Mostly they start to associate sound from the feeder with food coming from the feeder.
Automatic feeders are awesome for peace of mind when you're not available or when you're gone for a short period of time.
But! And it is a big but! Your cat will still want interaction and attention if you leave the house for any extended period of time. On top of this you'll typically want the safety and security of knowing someone is going to check on your cat in case of a power outage or an emergency of some sort.
My personal opinion is that if you're leaving for more than 36 hours you should have someone stop in and check on your cat(s) whether they have an automated feeder or not.
Check out my article full of tips from pro cat sitters to ensure you have a positive experience with yours.
What About the PawBot?
If you've heard of the PawBot and you're wondering why I don't have it listed then read on. If you're not familiar read on anyway for some news and a cool robot!
What is PawBot? It is basically a really cool robot that you can load full cans of wet food into for automatic feeding. PawBot will open the cans of food and deposit them in a bowl. It is pretty darn cool. You can check out the video below.
Why Isn't It Listed? The short answer is because it is currently unavailable. It is undergoing redesign to ensure that the costs come down to a price point that is more accessible by your typical cat owner!
When Will It Be Available? Unfortunately I don't know, but you can checkout the PawBot website and join their wait list to be updated immediately.
Wrap Up on the Best Automatic Cat Feeders
There are a boatload of automatic cat feeders out there and finding what you're looking for can be quite the endeavor. Even more so if you have unique requirements like locking specific pets out of the feeder.
The counter to this is that there are also a boatload of great feeders out there that will meet almost any need! This means you're almost certain to find one that fits you and your cat(s) perfectly.
If you've got a feeder or food dispenser that you use for your cat and I don't have it on the list then please let me know. I want to ensure when people find this page they find the best automatic cat feeders available.
Please leave a comment below if you have any experience to share or questions about these feeders.
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