Keeping up with your rabbit’s nutrition may be the most important thing you can do to make sure they stay happy and healthy. But what’s a responsible rabbit owner to do if they’re not at home for feeding time, or need to go on a trip for a few days?
An automatic rabbit feeder can simplify the process of keeping your bunny on a regular feeding schedule. Shopping for one is awfully confusing, though. Lots of questions come up. Can you use a dog or cat feeder for your rabbit? How much does a reliable auto feeder cost? Just what is a gravity feeder, anyway?
We’ve covered everything you need to know about choosing the best automatic rabbit feeder for your bunny’s every need. After looking at our top five choices, you’ll be able to decide on the perfect rabbit feeder for your home.
A Quick Look at the Winners of 2023:
|Best Overall||Arf Pets Automatic Feeder||
|Best Value||SereneLife Automatic Pet Feeder||
|Premium Choice||PetSafe Simply Feed||
|HoneyGuaridan Automatic Feeder||
|Roffie Automatic Feeder||
The 5 Best Automatic Rabbit Feeders:
1. Arf Pets Automatic Rabbit Feeder – Best Overall
For an automatic rabbit feeder to secure our top spot as the best overall choice, it must display a fine combination of reliability and utility — not an easy task. But with its large food capacity, adjustable portion sizes, and optional battery power, the Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder certainly fits the bill. Add in the fact that it’s available at a reasonable price, and it’s clear why this is the rabbit feeder of choice for almost any home.
Featuring a storage capacity just over 1 gallon, you won’t need to worry about the Arf Pets feeder running out of kibble for your rabbits. In fact, it’s large enough to feed multiple rabbits — just so long as they can share nicely out of one food dish.
Four daily meal options can be customized to serve portions in increments of 24 mL, up to a full cup (240 mL). The LCD clock and display make it easy to adjust the timing of your rabbit’s meals, and dual options for battery or outlet power ensure that the feedings will be dispensed every time.
In short, the Arf Pets automatic feeder performs reliably on every front — which is exactly what you want out of anything that will take care of your pet while you’re away.
2. SereneLife Automatic Pet Feeder – Best Value
The SereneLife Automatic Pet Feeder is an automatic feeder suitable for dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals. It has a six-liter capacity with a programmable timer so that you can set it to provide food when you’re at work, away for the night, or simply so you don’t forget. It even has a voice recorder, so that you can record your voice and have it playback to let your furry friend know it’s time to eat.
The feeder has an infrared sensor, which prevents spillage by stopping food from being dispensed if the bowl is already full. In most cases, the sensor is advantageous, but if your rabbit tends to pick at his food, the dispenser may not be able to provide the next portion. The device comes with two kibble dispenser wheels, which can be chosen according to the size of kibble that you want to feed. The dispenser has a non-slip base and is tip-resistant, so you won’t come home to a messy pile of food on the floor.
With a great range of useful and some advanced features at a competitive price, the SereneLife Automatic Pet Feeder is the best automatic rabbit feeder for the money.
3. PetSafe Simply Feed Automatic Rabbit Feeder – Premium Choice
Offering the most customizable features and nearly the largest food storage capacity of any automatic feeder we tested, the PetSafe Simply Feed Automatic Rabbit Feeder is the highest quality automatic rabbit feeder on the market today. While its higher price certainly reflects its abundance of features, we believe it offers the greatest degree of precision for rabbits with stricter dietary requirements.
A 1.5-gallon food capacity allows for more meals before each refill, with options available for servings between 1/8 cup and 4 cups. For rabbits that tend to eat their food too quickly, there is also a “slow feed” setting that will dispense meals of any size over a longer time. For rabbits of any size and shape, this machine is likely the best option for making sure they’ve been fed the right amount at the perfect time of day, every time.
Perhaps the only downside of this machine is the learning curve for its programming and controls. Learning to set the time of day is easy enough, but navigating the maze of buttons that come with its bevy of feeding options can be a real hassle at first. We recommend being ready to take an hour or so to familiarize yourself with this feeder before rushing out the door on vacation.
4. HoneyGuaridan Automatic Pet Feeder
A fine alternative to our top choice, the HoneyGuaridan Automatic Pet Feeder offers significant customization options and excellent dispensing detection. Like many models though, it is hampered by a lack of intuitive controls — in this case, touchpad buttons that can have a hard time registering commands.
The largest benefit that the HoneyGuaridan offers is its ability to fine-tune feeding sizes and dispense them up to six times per day. Producing meals in multiples of 0.28 ounces (about 1/16 of a cup), this automatic feeder offers 2-3 times the precision of many other models in our review — making it perhaps the best choice for people with dwarf rabbits, or rabbits that are on a stricter diet.
Overall, the HoneyGuaridan offers reliable performance at a similar price as our top model with a wider variation in feeding options for small rabbits. However, it is harder to learn to program. If you’re up to the challenge of learning to understand this machine’s interface, it offers unparalleled portion control.
5. Roffie Automatic Bunny Feeder
The Roffie Automatic Pet Feeder holds the distinction of dispensing the largest number of meals on a single filling, with its 1.75-gallon maximum food capacity being designed to accommodate animals of all sizes. Originally intended for use with dogs and cats, Roffie’s wide variety of portion sizes also make it suitable for use as an automatic rabbit feeder.
At first glance, this automatic feeder has everything you might want out of a rabbit feeder at a price that’s comparable to our top pick. The programming is refreshingly easy and straightforward, especially when compared to many other automatic feeders. So why is it at the bottom of our list?
Unfortunately, this Roffie product seems to have reliability issues with its computer interface. From not dispensing appropriate portion sizes to not keeping accurate time, it’s a bit worrying to rely on as a feeder while you’re away for a weekend trip. While this was not the experience of every unit we tested, it’s still a large negative to consider.
Who Needs an Automatic Rabbit Feeder?
While it’s nice to think that you might be able to rely on the help of your friends and neighbors to feed your rabbit any time you’re away, this may not always be the best idea. As any rabbit owner knows, rabbits can be quite sensitive to having new people in their safe spaces — meaning that a well-intended friend could still scare your rabbit into choosing not to eat.
For this reason alone, we prefer having an automatic pet feeder for our rabbits any time we go on a short trip. However, they are also a helpful feeding option for anyone who works long hours or an irregular schedule. In that case, investing in an automatic rabbit feeder will help keep your bunny in a structured feeding routine even if you’re not around.
What to Look for in an Automatic Rabbit Feeder
To get a better idea of the relative merits of a rabbit feeder, consider these four qualities as you compare different products:
- Number of portions. How many individual servings can your automatic feeder dispense while you’re away? This can vary widely, from simple 4-portion feeders to huge towers capable of dishing out 20 or more portions.
- Variable portion sizing. Different sized rabbits need different meal sizes, and your automatic feeder should be able to adjust its portion size to suit your rabbit’s needs.
- Maximum food capacity. The total amount of food that your auto feeder can fit will also determine how long you can be away before having to arrange for a refill.
- Power source. As any rabbit owner knows, bunnies absolutely love to chew on power cords. Even the most rabbit-proofed cord can sometimes fall prey to their attacks. That’s why we recommend seeking out an automatic feeder with a backup battery source, which is a safe option in case of power outages while you’re away, too.
Types of Automatic Pet Feeders
Automatic pet feeders can be broken down into two categories: gravity feeders and mechanical feeders.
Gravity feeders are powered by — you guessed it — gravity. They work by allowing the weight of a vertical food load to slowly refill a waiting dish below. While this can be appropriate for some cats and dogs, gravity feeders aren’t suitable for feeding rabbits. Because they’re genetically disposed to eat as much food as is available, any rabbit will make themselves sick eating out of a gravity feeder.
Mechanical feeders come in a variety of shapes and sizes but share the common feature of using a timer to dispense measured portions of food. Especially useful for helping your pet maintain a healthy weight, mechanical feeders are the way to go when searching for an automatic rabbit feeder.
What Else You’ll Need While You’re Away
While an automatic rabbit feeder can go a long way towards taking care of your pet’s needs, you shouldn’t forget that rabbits also need an abundant supply of fresh hay and water along with their kibble. Failing to plan for this can leave your bunny in a bad position to take care of their basic needs.
An automatic feeder will let you leave for about a day, if you leave your rabbit well-stocked on hay and water. But for any trips past 24 hours, you’ll need to enlist the help of a friend or family member to make sure that your rabbit’s hay and water supplies are refreshed regularly.
The Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder is without a doubt the best automatic rabbit feeder for most rabbit owners. Of all the auto feeders we considered in our reviews, only the Arf Pets feeder delivered the perfect combination of size, portion control, and reliability that we hoped for.
For anyone on a tighter budget, though, we can heartily recommend the SereneLife Automatic Pet Feeder as an excellent alternative. It offers a fine blending of a large food capacity and consistent functioning at a great price, perhaps making it the best automatic rabbit feeder for the money. Just be prepared to take some time figuring out the controls.
While rabbit owners know they can’t control their pet’s every move, with an automatic feeder, you can control the time and amount of your bunny’s meals. We hope this article has helped you narrow in on the perfect feeder for your furry friend.
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Featured Image Credit: BRAVO 2626, Shutterstock