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Best Automatic Cat Feeders for 2022

Able to give your cat access to the correct amount of food at set times during the day, or as and when they want it, an automatic cat feeder is great for helping to monitor health issues and restrictions as well as helping you out when you aren’t in the house.

They are a perfect alternative to ordinary cat food bowls if you’re concerned about the freshness of food, mould build-up and attracting pests, too.

There are dozens of automatic pet feeders out there to choose from, so you need to think about a few key pointers before you buy. How much food does your cat eat at every meal? Do their portions need to be controlled? Do they need the food at set times over one day, or over a few days?

Some automatic feeders can also only hold dry biscuits. This clearly isn’t ideal if your cat can only have wet food. But some which hold wet food comes with ice packs which keeps everything really fresh, in case you’re concerned bout smells and mould.

The majority are battery-powered. This gives you more flexibility on the placement of your automatic cat feeder and helps limit the wires and electricity around your cat. But you may want to look at which batteries they hold, in case they’re rarer or hard to find and you wouldn’t have any to hand in an emergency.

To find the best, we went about checking the portion sizes, whether you have to use wet or dry food and just how personalised you can make their feeding time, particularly when it comes to health issues.

We have narrowed the list available down to help you find the one which suits your lifestyle and your cat.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    SureFeed Microchip Feeder
    • Cats have access at all times
    • Perfect for separating multiple cat's food
    • Easy to keep clean
    Check Price
    Cat Mate C3000 Dry Food Cat Feeder
    • Portion control in 10g intervals
    • Tamper-free
    • Robust build
    Check Price
    Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder
    • Great larger portion sizes
    • Tamper-free
    • Can change food types each serving
    Check Price

    The Top Automatic Cat Feeders Reviewed

    1.
    SureFeed Microchip Feeder

    A personal favourite of ours here at Petz, the SureFeed Microchip Feeder is possibly the simplest solution if you aren’t there to manually feed your pet.

    Their microchip opens the lid of the feeder, so they can come and eat as they please. If you have several cats and one eating the food of another is a concern, it nips that issue in the bud. Only the assigned microchip (cat) can open the dish, and it is nice and easy to connect the two.

    Don’t worry – there is a manual button on the back so you can open it to refill. It holds both wet and dry food, and there is a handle over the dish to make it easier to lift up (this is where the microchip reader is situated so your cat has to get under this for it to open, making it more sensitive which can be a good thing to stop other cats). You can even label them all so you know which is which.

    If your cats are on specific diets, it helps keep their food separated and for them only. Cats won’t eat if they aren’t hungry, so this feeder just gives them a bit more free rein. It is nice and quiet for shy cats and the bowls can be washed by hand (not in the dishwasher, unfortunately).

    Bear in mind it could take a few days to train your cat though, so don’t throw them in at the deep end and leave them alone straight away. When they’re done eating, the food is completely sealed to stay fresh, so don’t worry about the lack of an ice pack.

    Yes, it is pricy, but it is also the best for less hassle.

    Features

    • Cats have access at all times
    • Perfect for separating multiple cat's food
    • Easy to keep clean

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 21cm x 15cm
    • Colour: White
    • Power: 4 x C Cell batteries

    2.
    Cat Mate C3000 Dry Food Cat Feeder

    This automatic feeder will disperse a set amount of dry food into your cat’s dish at chosen times, so they always have food ready when they need it. Up to three individually sized meals, from 10g upwards, can be scheduled from the 3kg storage container. Perfect if they are fed in the morning and then need more restricted portions for lunch or dinner, controlling their diet and weight.

    With an anti-clog feed mechanism, it won’t grind to a halt and become trapped with food, so if you are away overnight you don’t have to worry about them going hungry. Then there is an anti-tamper nozzle and secure fastening lid on the container, so even the craftiest of cats can’t override the timings.

    Your cat may even learn at which times the food is dispensed and be ready for it, getting them into a regular meal schedule. This could be ideal for regulating dinnertimes or for ensuring your cat always returns home after a wander in the evening.

    We found the “easy to use LCD display” hit the nail on the head and the 4 ‘C’ batteries should last between 6 and 9 months depending on usage. We were apprehensive about the battery aspect, but it won’t be affected by power cuts or need a mains supply so the fact we could place it anywhere in the home (or even in an outbuilding if you look after a stray) is a huge plus!

    Features

    • Portion control in 10g intervals
    • Tamper-free
    • Robust build

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 34 x 35 x 21cm
    • Colour: White/Grey
    • Power: 4 x C Batteries

    3.
    Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder

    Need something for wet food instead? With the C500, you are able to plan ahead for five different meals and set the electronic timer to revolve the lid and allow access at certain times.

    It can house dry food too, in case they require alternate feeding. Inside are twin ice packs which help to keep the food as fresh as possible, particularly in hot weather, and there is also a very tight seal between the lid and servings so no air gets in.

    Once it is all set up, you can view the planned feeding schedule on the LCD screen. Each section will hold up to 300g of food, and everything is easy to clean and dishwasher safe so can be kept sanitised in between uses.

    The three batteries should give over 12 months of use, so there will be no worry of it running out of steam when you aren’t there to intervene. The fact that it can be placed anywhere was a big plus, and we tested it both inside and out where it worked just fine.

    It is the newer digital version of the Catmate C50, and much easier to use in our opinion.

    Features

    • Great larger portion sizes
    • Tamper-free
    • Can change food types each serving

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 31 x 30.2 x 9.4 cm
    • Colour: White
    • Power: 3 x AA Batteries

    4.
    Petsafe Smart Feed Automatic Feeder For Smartphone

    This really clever feeder will allow you to schedule, monitor and adjust your pet’s feeding schedule remotely with the user-friendly smartphone app.

    The app is free, and it is just a case of connecting the feeder to your home WiFi. Then, schedule the feeding from anywhere. So, if you are having to work late as an emergency, schedule the feed for 5.30 pm. It means you don’t have to think about planning ahead.

    The feeder holds 24 cups (5,678 ml) of dry or semi-moist food, so there is little chance there will be no food left to give them. You will be alerted when they are fed, when the bowl is empty and when the storage is empty. It will also feed on schedule as programmed if the Wi-Fi connection is lost or the feeder is offline.

    You can schedule up to 12 meals at a time, and the Feed Now option can allow you to give them their dinner outside of the scheduled time. There is also a Slow Feed setting so the food can be dispensed in smaller portions over a 15 minute period, for cats who eat too fast.

    Our favourite thing about this feeder was that the settings can be overridden – perfect if plans change. Ideal for shift workers, busy social butterflies or simply anyone who loves their tech.

    Features

    • Optional Slow Feed setting dispenses meals in small amounts over 15 minutes
    • Low food sensor
    • Meals can be dispensed from 29 ml to 946 ml

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 51.6 x 24 x 32 cm
    • Colour: Black
    • Power: Mains

    5.
    Cat Mate C20

    The best for planning ahead for a day of wet food, the C20 is able to hold two portions of up to 450g, and there is an ice pack at the base which will help keep it fresh too.

    The 48-hour timer is really simple to set, using just a dial so there’s no tricky setting up or digital programming. We thought that the stability of the feeder was a bit hit and miss with very over-excited eaters, but as long as it is against a surface where it couldn’t be moved it should be okay unsupervised.

    It only needs one AA battery and this should last up to a year, so it is no bother to look after. There is barely any noise emitted from the feeder, just a low tick of the timer when you listen very closely, so it will be good for nervous cats.

    Features

    • Easy to set and use
    • Quiet

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 26.5 x 8.6 x 21.6 cm
    • Colour: White
    • Power: 1 x AA Battery

    6.
    Petsafe Eatwell 5 Meal Pet Feeder

    Five sections in this dish will allow you to plan ahead for meals, or time medication and cat treat schedules.

    The slots in the bowl hold up to 200g each of dry or semi-moist food and an LCD screen lets you see what is planned. The AM and PM settings are clearly separate so you won’t accidentally feed them at the wrong time.

    When it is all done, the top dish is dishwasher safe so all traces of food and any germs can be cleaned away. It will only accept dry food so might not suit everyone, and you can only set the times for over a 24 hour period so you can’t use it over the space of a long weekend. We still think plenty of people out there will benefit though.

    Features

    • One cup servings
    • Easy to keep clean

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 45.72 x 38.1 x 12.7cm
    • Colour: Beige
    • Power: 4 x D Batteries

    7.
    PETCUTE Automatic Cat feeder

    This feeder has six separate food dishes for various feeding times so you can control the amounts your cat is eating throughout the day.

    But what makes it different to all the other automatic feeders on the market then? Well – you can record a personal message for your pet, which will help when you aren’t there and let your cat know when it’s time for food in a comforting, soothing manner. The built-in clock with an easy to read LCD screen ensures no human error in setting the timings, too.

    A low battery indicator will give you peace of mind that it won’t suddenly run out unexpectedly, and the whole thing comes apart for easier cleaning. It’s appropriate for dry food only.

    There’s also a choice of colours so you can match it to your kitchen decor!

    Features

    • Clear operation
    • Choice of colour

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 32 x 32 x 9 cm
    • Colour: Pink, Yellow, Blue, White
    • Power: 4 x C Batteries

    8.
    Trixie TX2 Automatic Food Dispenser

    An infamous brand when it comes to all things pet products, this Trixie bowl is two-sided so you can feed two cats.

    There are two ice packs for keeping food fresh, and it works on a 48-hour timer. You can use wet or dry food, and the timer ensures that both sides open at the same time. Or, you can programme them to open separately if you are just feeding one cat but want to control their portions a bit more.

    The non-slip rubber feet will keep it sturdy on slippery flooring, and the whole thing is easy to clean thanks to the plastic construction and large trays.

    It would be ideal for anyone who has long, unpredictable days at work and can’t rely on somebody to feed their cat.

    Features

    • Two generously sized dishes
    • Easy to keep clean

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 7.5 x 24.5 x 27.5 cm
    • Colour: Black/Granite
    • Power: 2 x AA Batteries

    9.
    Roffie Automatic Cat Feeder

    With a built-in programmable timer and two food dispensers, this feeder can schedule up to four meals per day, for cats who are on a ‘little but often’ diet.

    Each serving can be controlled between 5g and 195g, so you can limit them or let them eat as much as they want, but they won’t receive a bite more than required if they shouldn’t.

    It will hold 7 litres of dry food altogether, which is around 27 cups, so there is a few days of food there – good if you are working long hours but your cat is one for pottering in and out while you are gone.

    A custom message can be recorded for your cat too, encouraging it over or rewarding it for having eaten. It is all secure, so your cat won’t be able to break into the container to eat its weight in Whiskas.

    Features

    • Huge storage container
    • Up to four meals per day

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 40.8 x 26.1 x 22.2 cm
    • Colour: White
    • Power: 3 x D Batteries

    10.
    Trixie Automatic Feeder TX6

    Able to open three times per day, and allowing you to portion meal sizes for individual feeds, this feeder is good if you’re going to be away for the night.

    Each portion can be up to 240g, and six can be prepared. The solid lid will prevent cats from breaking in, and you can use wet and dry food.

    There is also a button cover so your pet can’t adjust the controls unwittingly while pawing at it. The TX6 will warn you when the battery is running low, and it is all easy to clean.

    Features

    • Can adjust food amounts per meal
    • Keeps food secure

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 32 x 10 cm
    • Colour: White
    • Power: 4 x C Batteries

    Buying Guide

    How we chose the best automatic cat feeder

    There are two forms of automatic cat feeder – microchip and timer.

    The former can be unreliable, so we looked for big brands and great reviews. After all, it is an important piece of equipment. The Surefeed range really stands out here, and we personally rate it.

    Timer feeders come in 24 hour or daily forms. The former is for use during the day, say if you’re at work, while the latter is best for one or two feeds over the space of a few days and usually holds/disperses more food so they can come and go as they please.

    Digital feeders can be the best as they are more accurate, however, we know some people like the reliability and peace of mind of an analogue timer so have picked out the best in this category too. A few brands really rule the rest when it comes to automatic feeders, and can give definite reliability and ease.

    We analysed capacity, food freshness and the type of food it can hold too. Capacity varies wildly, but unless you’re away for a few days it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. All on our list pass the freshness test, with ice packs and tight seals a must for wet food. There’s a few which can hold either wet or dry food too, which gave them extra bonus points.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    What is an automatic feeder?

    An automatic feeder is a feeder which you can set to dispense portions of food into the dish at certain times of the day, or where you can pre-fill portion sections and they can only be accessed at set times.

    This is great not only if you’re away, but also for portion control or weight control as everything is pre-weighed and accessible only at certain times so they can’t over-eat.

    What is a microchip feeder?

    A microchip feeder is a dish or bowl which is closed tight and only opens when it can read your cat’s microchip. They are mostly used for owners with multiple cats as it prevents food stealing.

    So whether you suspect one cat is eating everyone else’s food, or you have a cat on a special diet and don’t want to risk the other cats eating all of their expensive food, it can give you a lot of control without you having to personally intervene.

    The cons are that it doesn’t really help portion control over a long period of time, but if your cat only eats when it is hungry they are ideal.

    Do I need an automatic feeder?

    They can be great in several instances:

    • If you are away for the weekend and your cat will be staying at home with someone checking on them, but you want to ensure the food is there at certain times
    • When you are working for the day but your cat needs to be fed at midday as part of a controlled diet or to ensure they come home
    • If they usually wake you up in the middle of the night or early morning for food and you’d rather have an extra hour in bed
    • They need to take medication at certain times of the day and you want to ensure that both you and they remember

    DO NOT purchase an automatic cat feeder because you want to go away for a few days unless somebody will still be regularly checking on your cat. They should not be left unattended for long periods like this – a feeder will just make it easier for the carer to have one less thing to do and can help with meal timings.

    How long do automatic feeders last?

    They can dispense food anywhere between a 24-hour slot to over the course of a few days, depending on the model.

    Most are battery-operated, but the batteries should last a good few months so there is no need to panic.

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