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10 Best Automatic Cat Feeders of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks
Automatic cat feeders are a timesaving, cost-effective, and convenient way to feed your feline. Cats are creatures of habit, and these feeders allow your cats to get their meals exactly on time! Automatic feeders are also a great investment if you are going to be away for a couple of days — you can rest easy knowing your cat is getting fed.f
Aside from convenience, automatic cat feeders give your cat exact portions and allow you to be in total control of their food. In 2018, an estimated 60% of the cats in the United States were overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to a host of serious health issues, and so, it is vital to keep your cat’s weight in check. An automatic feeder can help by allowing you to give your cat carefully measured portions throughout the day.
Not all automatic cat feeders are made equal, and some have very specific features and controls that you may or may not need. We put them to the test and put together this list of the 10 best automatic cat feeders we could find to help you make the right decision for you and your feline friend.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal||
|Best Value||Petmate Pearl Pet Cafe||
|Premium Choice||PetSafe Smart Feed 2.0||
|Cat Mate C3000 Programmable||
The 10 Best Automatic Cat Feeders
1. PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Cat Feeder – Best Overall
There are a ton of complicated automatic feeders on the market, and sometimes simpler is better. The PetSafe Eatwell Automatic cat feeder seamlessly blends simplicity with functionality and is our top choice overall. The feeder has five different compartments for your choice of dry foods, wet foods, or treats that you can easily program via the built-in timer. It takes batteries that last up to a year, which negates the need for messy and potentially dangerous power cords, and allows you to conveniently place the feeder anywhere you need. Plus, the easy-to-clean food trays are made from dishwasher-safe, BPA-free plastic.
Cats are notoriously smart, and some cats will figure out how to move the compartments over with their paws and access all the food. Also, the rotational motors always have the chance of freezing or over-rotating, leaving your cat with half a portion of food or none at all.
2. Petmate Pearl Pet Cafe Feeder – Best Value
If you are looking for an affordable and simple automatic cat feeder, the Petmate Pearl Pet Café is the best automatic cat feeder for the money (according to our reviews). The feeder uses tried and tested gravity dispensing to supply your cat their kibble, the food storage hopper has an extra-wide mouth for easy filling and cleaning, and the container and base are detachable for easy cleaning. A basic yet functional feeder at a great price that can hold up to 24 cups of dry kibble.
Depending on the food you use in this feeder, the kibble may easily get wedged in the opening and you’ll need to shake it to clear the block. Alternatively, if you have small kibble it may rush out too fast and make a mess. This small design flaw keeps this feeder from the top position.
3. PetSafe Smart Feed 2.0 Automatic Cat Feeder – Premium Choice
If you are looking for a premium automatic cat feeder with all the bells and whistles, look no further than the PetSafe Smart Feed 2.0. This cat feeder takes feeding your cat to another level with Wi-Fi capability and unmatched technology. The feeder works with the Amazon Echo, so Alexa will feed your cat while you are out; plus, it will let you know when the feeder is empty and even reorder food through Amazon Dash. Simply download the free smartphone app to easily schedule, monitor, and adjust your cat’s feeding schedule!
You can program the feeder to dispense food up to 12 times a day or on-demand via the app, and the feeder comes with a quality stainless steel bowl and a dishwasher-safe upper compartment that can hold up to 24 cups of dry food.
It is difficult to fault this feeder, but some customers report the feeder doesn’t work as efficiently with smaller-sized kibble, dishing out inconsistent portions. This, and the high price, keep it from the top 2 positions.
4. Cat Mate C3000 Programmable Dry Food Feeder
The Cate Mate C3000 programmable dry food feeder is an easy-to-use feeder that is capable of programming up to 3 meals per day. The feeder can also be used manually if needed, or additionally in a “frequent mode” for cats with special dietary requirements. It has a clear LCD screen that is simple to program and has a long battery life of 6-9 months that negates the need for messy cables. The feeder can hold 26 cups or 6.5 pounds of dry kibble and can accurately dish out food amounts from 2 teaspoons and upwards. All the parts are dishwasher-safe and a breeze to clean.
There is little to fault with this feeder, but determined cats will open the storage lid container easily; and so, you may need to fasten it down by other means. Smart cats will soon figure out that they can simply stick their paws up the dispenser to sneak a few pieces of kibble, too.
5. SureFeed Microchip Cat Feeder
If you have multiple cats that need regulated feeding, the SureFeed Microchip cat feeder is an ideal choice. It uses your cat’s unique microchip to access to the food, and you can program which feline can eat and keep the others out – not to mention, any opportunistic dogs! It is compatible with all microchips or RFID collar tags and can store up to 32 different pets. The feeder can hold both wet and dry food and the closed lid keeps the food fresh and free from ants and other pests. The feeder is completely battery operated and has an estimated battery life of 6 months.
Several users report the microchip sensor is not very effective, and your cat may have to wait a few seconds before it finally opens. Also, the lid has been reported to open sporadically, or not at all, even though the cat is programmed to be allowed in.
- Related Read: 10 Best Cat Food Bowls in 2021
6. Arf Pets Automatic Cat Feeder
This automatic cat feeder from Arf Pets is capable of feeding your cat up to 4 meals per day and even allows you to easily program the portion size you desire. The LCD screen is easy to read and program and is powered by batteries or a power outlet — a nifty addition if you run out of battery power. It has a 16-cup capacity with a magnetic locking lid to keep your cat from breaking in. The most unique feature of this feeder is the ability to record a unique message to play and let your cat know that it is feeding time! The container and bowl are removable and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Several customers report that this feeder is poorly constructed and only lasted a few months before breaking. Also, if you have any dogs in the house, they can break it open by knocking it over to access the food, and some customers had issues with small-sized kibble dispensing too easily.
7. Cat Mate C20 2-Bowl Automatic Pet Feeder
The Cat Mate C20 is a simple yet functional feeder and has two separate bowls that are kept theft-free by a pair of tight-fitting lids. This is ideal if you have multiple cats or need to feed your cat two separate meals. The food is further kept fresh by the built-in ice pack keeping it fresher for longer. The food bowls can each hold around 4 cups of wet or dry food and are removable and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. The timer is a breeze to set by turning a simple dial and can be set up to 48 hours in advance. It is battery-powered, and as it doesn’t use much power the batteries will easily last a year or more.
The lids on each container are not well designed and don’t close flush with the container, which is a recipe for insect infestation. Several users report the timer doesn’t function properly and may not open at the correct interval, and the lids are fairly flimsy and easily ripped off by large cats or dogs.
8. PetSafe Healthy Pet Programmable Pet Feeder
What makes the Healthy Pet feeder from PetSafe truly unique is its accurate conveyer belt portion dispensing system. This unique system allows for a more controlled and accurate dispensing of kibble, so you don’t need to worry about over or under-feeding. You can easily program portions ranging from ⅛ to 4 cups of kibble at a time, and up to 12 meals per day. There is also a slow-feed option that will dispense meals gradually over a short period to help prevent bloat. The LCD screen is clear and easy to read, and the feeder is made from BPA-free plastic and comes with a stainless-steel feeding bowl. This feeder can be run with both batteries and a power adaptor.
This feeder is very noisy, and the sound of the kibble dropping into the metal bowl may scare some cats off. Additionally, many users report that it is confusing to program correctly, and large cats can easily knock it over and get at the food in the dispenser.
9. Frisco Gravity Refill Pet Feeder
Gravity-filled cat feeders are a tried and tested, simple way to feed your feline, and this gravity feeder from Frisco does just that. It has a large, 48-cup capacity made from 100% recyclable PET plastic with a wide opening that makes it a breeze to both clean and refill. The container is clear so you can easily see when it needs refilling, and the base has an easy-to-grip handle for easy moving around your home.
This feeder suffers from the same issue as many other gravity feeders: larger kibble can easily get wedged and stuck in the opening, requiring you to shake it to free the food. Also, the lid is easily knocked off by determined, hungry cats due to its flimsy design, and this feeder is not ideal for cats on a strict diet.
10. DOGNESS Automatic Cat Smart Feeder
The DOGNESS Automatic Cat Smart Feeder uses the latest technology to make sure your cat gets fed on time, with the correct amount. Utilizing Wi-Fi and a built-in HD camera, this feeder allows you to see and control how much your cat is eating via a free downloadable app. It also allows you to record and playback a message to further entice your cat to eat, and the camera has night vision and a 165-degree camera lens to keep an eye on your feline while you’re away. The dispenser has a decent 25-cup capacity and an easy to clean stainless steel bowl.
Several users report that the app you need to download to use this feeder is difficult to use, and the feeder cannot be controlled manually. The app and feeder have been reported to indicate “fed” when no food has come out and it is thus difficult to trust. Many users had connectivity issues with their phones and reported no customer service to help. Plus, it is a comparatively expensive feeder considering its functionality.
Automatic cat feeders range widely in terms of their features, from simple gravity-fed feeders to Wi-Fi and HD camera-equipped marvels of pet technology. With the baffling number of different features available, it’s important to consider your unique needs and requirements from the feeder before purchasing.
If you have a cat with specific dietary requirements and specialized feeding needs, a more complicated feeder is probably a great choice. However, if your cat is healthy and not highly food motivated, a gravity feeder will likely do the trick. Here are a few important factors to look out for before diving in and purchasing an automatic feeder:
The combination of simplicity and functionality of the PetSafe Eatwell Automatic cat feeder makes it our favorite choice overall. With 5 different compartments for your choice of dry foods, wet foods, or treats, a programmable built-in timer, and long-lasting battery life, this feeder is a great choice for your feline.
The best automatic cat feeder for the money according to our tests is the Petmate Pearl Pet Café. The feeder uses tried and tested gravity dispensing to supply your cat their kibble, the food storage container has an extra-wide mouth for easy filling and cleaning, and the container and base are detachable for easy cleaning. A functional automatic feeder at an outstanding price.
With the myriad of options available these days in cat feeders, it can become confusing and overwhelming to find the right one for your feline. Hopefully, our reviews have helped you sift through some of these options so you can find the right automatic cat feeder to suit your you’re your felines unique needs.
- Check out our review of the Petnet: The First Smart Pet Feeder here!
Featured Image Credit By: Cat Mate, chewy
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Automatic Cat Feeders
- 1. PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Cat Feeder – Best Overall
- 2. Petmate Pearl Pet Cafe Feeder – Best Value
- 3. PetSafe Smart Feed 2.0 Automatic Cat Feeder – Premium Choice
- 4. Cat Mate C3000 Programmable Dry Food Feeder
- 5. SureFeed Microchip Cat Feeder
- 6. Arf Pets Automatic Cat Feeder
- 7. Cat Mate C20 2-Bowl Automatic Pet Feeder
- 8. PetSafe Healthy Pet Programmable Pet Feeder
- 9. Frisco Gravity Refill Pet Feeder
- 10. DOGNESS Automatic Cat Smart Feeder
- Buyers Guide