Best Timed Food Dispensers for Cats

If youre too busy and often forget to feed your cats on time, getting an automatic cat feeder will surely ease your mind. This will ensure your cats are well fed and receive the right amount of food as scheduled.

Advantages of an Automatic Pet Feeder

The obvious benefit of having an automatic cat feeder is that you can regularly feed your cat on time even without frequently checking up on them. This is ideal for busy office workers and people who are often out of town.

Its also great for elderly pet owners who may not be able to keep up with their pets demanding feeding schedule.

Automatic cat feeders also suit households with multiple cats. Their dispensers are usually large enough to contain food for 3 or more cats eating at the same time.

With a cat feeder, you wont have to worry about starving or dehydrating your cat when youre not around. The pet feeder will do the job for you.

Some cat feeders also feature slow feeding option which can help control your cats food intake. This is ideal for cats who are getting obese from overeating.

What to Look for in a Feeder

There are a lot of cat feeders available on the market. But how do you select the best one for your household? What are the things you need to look for in an automatic cat feeder?

Choosing a suitable product should depend on your petssizes, their number on your household, and their food preferences. How often they eat and their dietary conditions should also be taken into account.

Heres a simple guideline on what to look for in choosing an automatic cat feeder:

Capacity

The cat feeder should be able to store food that will last for the whole day. This should be given extra consideration if you have multiple cats at home.

Automatic cat feeders vary in the amount of food they can dispense. Look for one which allows you to set the speed and amount of food it releases. This way, you can keep your cats well fed but also prevent them from getting obese. By controlling the amount of food you give them, you can gradually alter the behavior of cats that eat too fast.

Bigger cats will need more food compared to smaller ones. Get a dispenser that has a capacity appropriate to your cats size. You dont want to use a cat feeder that dispenses an amount meant for kittens on a big cat that eats thrice that amount.

Size

The feeding bowl should be large enough to cater to multiple cats eating at the same time. However, some cats are more territorial than others and this may cause conflict during meal time. When this happens, simply buy another feeder for each one of them.

Kibble Size

Cat feeders differ in the food they can handle. Some are meant to dispense wet foods while some are designed for dry treats only; some can do both. There are also feeders that can handle only a certain shape of food.

Some feeders dispense food using a conveyor belt. Some push the food through tubes, funnels, or holes to put food in the receiving bowl. The method used to deliver food has an effect on the type of food the cat feeder can handle.

Putting in food thats not suitable for your cat feeder can cause jamming. Food can get stuck and cause your machine to malfunction.

Take these things into consideration when choosing the right automatic cat feeder. If your pet eats more dry food, go for a feeder designed for this.

Quality

Inexpensive cat feeders are often made of cheap, brittle plastic. Portions of these can break off and get mixed with your cats food. Some are even made of toxic materials not meant to be used to contain food.

Materials used in cat feeders should be made of high-grade components. Feeding bowls are often made of stainless steel which is more hygienic compared to plastic. Add this to the criteria you look for in a cat feeder.

Features

Automatic cat feeders usually have programmable settings that will match your cats mealtime. You should be able to set the amount, schedule, and speed treats are dispensed.

Multiple features shouldnt mean the machine has to be complicated. Above everything else, cat feeders should be easy to use.

Maintenance

Automatic cat feeders should be easy to clean. Some of them have parts that are dishwasher safe. The bowl and the containers should especially be convenient to maintain.

Remember, being automatic doesnt necessarily mean its maintenance-free.

The Best Automatic Cat Feeders

Now that you know what to look for in a cat feeder, its time you see which of them are top of the line.

Ergo Auto Pet Feeder

This can be used to control the pace your cats eat. Overeating cats can be taught to eat more slowly using this pet feeder. Read More

Sale
Ergo Auto Pet Feeder, Small
  • Helps overweight pets
  • Helps pets with Reflux Disease
  • Helps Diabetes Pets
  • All feeders feature digital timers...
  • Metal over molded self-lubricating...

Features:

  • Programmable settings for dispersing food. You can set it to let out as little as 5 kibbles per serving
  • Digital timer for scheduled food dispersal
  • Wall outlet as its power source
  • Can also be operated using batteries

Capacity: 5 lbs. Its designed for small cats and kittens.
Food type: Dry treats only

 

Cat Mate C3000 Automatic Dry Food Pet Feeder

The C3000 is ideal for small cats and kittens as it can be programmed to release small amounts of food. The whole feeder is easy to disassemble and plastic parts are dishwasher safe. Read More

Cat Mate C3000 Automatic Dry Food Pet Feeder
  • Minimum feed of 2 teaspoons (10g)...
  • Max 6.5lb capacity food hopper....
  • Easy to use programmable LCD...
  • All food parts dishwasher safe
  • Operates with 4 C cell batteries...

Features:

  • Minimum serving size of 2tsp
  • LCD panel where you can view the programmed instructions.
  • Can be set to release food 3x a day
  • Tamper-proof feeding nozzle
  • Runs with 4x C-size batteries. Batteries can last up to 9 months, depending on usage
  • Dishwasher safe

Capacity: 6.5 lbs
Food type: Dry foods only

 

Lentek 6-Day Automatic Pet Dish

This disc-shaped cat feeder can be programmed to release food every 6, 12, or 24 hours. It can hold up to 6 days worth of food which can feed small cats when youre away from home. Read More

Lentek 6-Day Automatic Pet Dish
  • Automatic six-day pet dish ideal...
  • Selectable feeding intervals of 6,...
  • Each compartment holds 2/3 cup dry...
  • Accurate timer; lid rotation stops...
  • Includes removable lid and two...

Features:

  • Each compartment can hold 2/3 cups of dry kibbles or 5  oz of wet food
  • Can be set to release food 3x a day
  • Lid rotates to a new compartment according to the set schedule
  • Runs using a single 9-volt battery

Capacity: 6 compartments hold up to 2lbs of dry or wet food
Food type: Dry and wet foods

 

Aspen Pet Lebistro Programmable Food Dispenser

This gravity-based cat feeder can be easily programmed to control your pets food intake. It can be set to release small amounts for cats on diet but it can also dispense large portions to feed big cats. Read More

Lentek 6-Day Automatic Pet Dish
  • Automatic six-day pet dish ideal...
  • Selectable feeding intervals of 6,...
  • Each compartment holds 2/3 cup dry...
  • Accurate timer; lid rotation stops...
  • Includes removable lid and two...

Features:

  • Serving size can be set between cups and 3 cups of dry treats
  • Program up to 3 meals of different amounts to be dispensed every 24 hours
  • Removable, BPA-free plastic bowl thats also dishwasher safe
  • Coated with microban to prevent bacteria growth
  • Runs with 3x D-size batteries which can last up to 6 months of continuous usage

Capacity: Available in 5lbs and 10lbs capacity
Food type: Dry foods only

 

What are Some Possible Disadvantages?

Since everything is automatic, you may have less interaction with your feline friends during mealtime. And since youre busy which is why you got yourself an automatic cat feeder in the first place your bonding time gets extensively reduced.

Your cats may also get nervous when trying the new feeding bowl thats attached to the cat feeder. This shouldnt be much of a problem, though. More often than not, the transition from the old food bowl to the new one wont take much time. However, there may be resilient cats who you may have to train to use this new product.

Theres also the issue of being an electronic device. You have to plug in some of them or regularly buy batteries to keep them running.

For some gravity-based feeders, you wont be able to control the food portion you give them. Cats that eat a lot will just eat more since the gravity feeders will continue to pour out feeds until theyre empty.

Tips for Using Automatic Cat Feeders

Customizable feeding schedule

Automatic cat feeders are designed to schedule your pets meal times.  You can set how much food to give them and how frequent theyll be dispensed for consumption.

If your cat is getting obese, you can time their feeding schedule and reduce the amount of food given to them throughout the day.

Food types

Many automatic cat feeders are designed to handle dry, wet, or both kinds of food. Dry ones are dispensed better and in a more accurate manner compared to wet ones.

When choosing a pet feeder, get one that can handle both food types.

Changing batteries

Many automatic pet feeders require you to plug them into a wall outlet to run. Some, though, only need batteries to operate. However, the battery-operated ones may lose the settings youve configured once you replace the batteries.

Feeding your cat from anywhere

There are automatic pet feeders that have a webcam. You can control and monitor the feeding schedule of your pet cat by connecting these cat feeders to your Wi-Fi network. From there, you can control the feeders using your phone or tablet using a mobile app.

Conclusion

Having an automatic cat feeder is a great advantage if youre too busy to feed your cats. Those who are often out of town wont have to worry about their cats starving for not being fed for a long time.

However, you shouldnt get too complacent about having a machine that feeds your cat without your intervention. The time you save by having an automatic cat feeder should be used in bonding with your cats.

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