October 21, 2019

Best Automatic Cat Feeder Options

Automatic Cat Feeders

My cat, Antoinette, is a rescue. She tends to get anxious about little things, especially food. When her food bowl is empty she flips it upside down or drags it all over the place.

If I have to go out of town, my day is ruined trying to find someone I can trust enough to enter my apartment to feed her. An automatic feeder was the light at the end of my tunnel.

And here we are. I did my research, and here are my findings for the best 5 cat food dispensers.

Top 5: Auto Cat Feeder Machine Reviews

DOGNESS Automatic WiFi Dog/Cat Smart Camera Feeder - 6.5lbs Large Capacity App Control Food Dispenser with WiFi, Portion Control, Voice Recording,Timer Programmable (Grey)

This (DOGness Automatic WiFi Dog/Cat Smart Camera Feeder) is one of the very sophisticated versions of the regular cat food dispensers. It holds a little under 7 pounds of dry food. The owner needs to be sure that there is enough food in the dispenser for it to release it.

Otherwise, you can set up the dispenser by connecting it to your WiFi and downloading the app for it from the DOGNESS company. Then, you can program the machine by voice recording. In order for the unit to work, be sure that your network has a frequency of 2.4 Ghz.

It weighs just under 7 pounds and it can program a few meals per day. The lp camera allows you to see and speak to your pet. The unit comes in a choice of 5 different colors including Tiffany blue, blue/orange, pink, grey, and dark blue. The unit  comes with 24/7 customer service.


Pros

  • Easy to set up system using the DOGNess app.
  • You can see and interact with your pet using the lp camera.
  • Compact enough for a small apartment area.
  • Modern, top of the line unit.

Cons

  • Unit does not work with 5g networks
WOpet Automatic Cat Feeder, Pet Feeder Auto Dog Cat Feeder Stainless Steel Bowl,Portion Control & Voice Recording - Timer Programmable Up to 4 Meals a Day

This (WOpet Automatic Cat Feeder) is one of the top choices. After reading the features of this unit I wasn’t shocked at all that the ratings were so high. It offers the most features and yet its cost falls right in between the most and less expensive units.

It offers a ton of different things such as programmable meals (up to 4 per day) with portion control. This actually helps regulate feeding time, since you can keep the same schedule every day and get your cat used to it.

Your pet won’t feel anxious, like Antoinette, if you aren’t home on time, or if the bowl is empty.

Also, you can voice record a message for your pet when the food is dispensed, like “Here, Annie” or “Time to eat!” This unit does not need WiFi to operate, or an app to program the feeding. You can do everything right on the unit, which features a programmable LCD screen. The machine is both electric and battery operated, which is great, in case there’s a power outage. There is 24/7 customer service available for this product.


Pros

  • Can program meals to regulate your pet’s feeding time.
  • Both wall-powered and battery powered.
  • Great design and voice recording options for your pet to hear your voice.

Cons

  • No camera.
  • No remote settings.
TDYNASTY DESIGN Automatic Cat Feeder 6.5L Pet Dog Food Dispenser | Timed Programmable Auto Feeder for Kitten Puppy - Portion Control Up to 4 Meals/Day,Voice Recording,Battery and Plug-in Power

This (PetSafe Automatic Cat Feeder- 6.5L) is a very cool machine. It has everything you need, without getting on the fancy side of things. It has a huge container for dry food that holds up to 7 pounds of cat food, or a week’s worth. It has buttons for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also has a timer as well as voice recording for you to “call” your cat to eat.

It is electric powered as well as battery powered. I have always said that this is a plus because if the power goes out, I am not at home, and the food bowls are empty, my cat gets very antsy. The backup battery power is definitely a plus. Its design is quite chic, and you can choose from 4 different colors. The white option is cheaper than the other colors, and may cost you about $65 dollars.


Pros

  • Plug in and battery powered.
  • Elegant design.
  • Easy to program panel right on the unit.
  • Can program up to a week’s worth of food.
  • Can voice record up to 10 seconds for you to “call” your cat.

Cons

  • No camera, app, or Wifi (if this is something you really need).
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed - Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder - Slow Feed Setting - Portion Control

When it comes to cat feeders, this (PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat and Dog Feeder) is the “Cadillac” version of them all. This amazing feeder schedules up to 12 meals, portioned from ⅛ cup to 4 cups.

It has four different feeding intervals: slow feed option for fast eaters who like to wolf down their food, the immediate feed option that dispenses snacks, and the pause option, which holds off dispensing without messing up the original schedule.

It runs on 4 D-cell batteries, but you can purchase a power adapter from the company, separately. The unit holds about 24 cups of dry or semi moist food.

The unit has a panel with buttons that you can use to program the schedule. I like the slow feed option because Antoinette sometimes wolfs down her meals and then feels sick from eating so fast. So, she can get her food in smaller portions and then digest it little by little.


Pros

  • Multiple schedules to feed your cat.
  • Slick design and great mechanism.
  • Can hold dry and semi moist food.

Cons

  • Pricier than other units.
  • Wall plug adaptor must be purchased separately.
  • No camera, voice recording, or app.
Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder 3L Pet Food Dispenser Feeder for Medium and Large Cat Dog--4 Meal, Voice Recorder and Timer Programmable,Portion Control ...

This (Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder) unit is very good. First, it is not shaped like a big, boxy machine, but it has a friendlier design that may even attract cats to it. My cat is scared of everything and anything that looks big makes her back off.

This design has a friendlier shape. It has an infrared sensor that makes the dispenser stop when the bowl is full. It has portion control, and it operates with batteries and via USB and wall charger. You could even plug the usb from your computer!

The container is designed to keep food fresh. I like this unit because of its design, most importantly. I also like that it has a dual power source, with the power adapter and batteries. Better still, all of this comes already with the unit.

The other thing I like most is the panel, which dispenses food by breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also program portion weight, voice recordings, and time for feeding. It also has a manual button.


Pros

  • Superb design.
  • Great options for feeding schedule.
  • Dual power sources.

Cons

  • No camera.
  • No app.

Buying Guide

As you can see, you can purchase a very simple cat feeder for a low price. These dispensers operate with gravity, pushing down food from the main canister as it gets eaten. The only drawback with these units is that, the more your cat eats, the more food will be dispensed. If your pet is greedy, or eats just for the sake of eating, you run the chance of running out of food pretty quickly...and making them fat.

If you prefer to have more control over your cat’s feeding time, you may have to increase your budget and get a dispenser in the range of $60 to $150 dollars. The reason why these machines are more expensive is because they are not only automatic, but they can also control food portions, dispense food at specific times, and put you in charge of your pet’s feeding time, even when you are not around.

Most of the automatic dispensers feature a dispensing mechanism and a scheduler. The more sophisticated the machine, the more features it will have.

The top of the line units come with everything, from cameras to apps that can help you schedule your pet’s feeding time remotely. Most of the automatic units come with a voice recorder so that you can record yourself calling your cat to the dispenser. Other units have more specific options for feeding intervals.

The important thing is to get a unit that:

  • Dispenses food in controlled portions.
  • Protects the food from going stale.
  • Comes with two different power sources, both battery and electric, in the event that there is a power outage when you are not around.
  • Allows you to pre-program when the food will be dispensed.

Now that you know which are my favorite cat food dispensers, let me tell you why I feel you should consider getting one as soon as you can.

It was a real game changer for me:

  • Your cat will know that there will always be food in the bowl - I know Antoinette gets nervous when she sees an empty bowl for a long period of time. Not anymore.
  • Your cat can regulate feeding times if you make a habit of dispensing food at the same intervals every day. For example, if you program your machine for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an extra meal in between, your cat will always expect food at the same time and will not eat out of greed or boredom. My cat eats when she is anxious, just like humans do. I would rather see her doing something else to ease her anxiety, other than eating.
  • You can stay in bed longer without your cat pestering you to get up to fix her breakfast.
  • You can get home late from work, or even go out of town for the weekend, without worrying about who will feed your pet.
  • You may even save money in the long run, since dispensing food at specific portions may make it last longer.
  • Most importantly: Your pet will love the machine. Cats are naturally curious, and they know how to differentiate sounds and noises. When the machine plays your voice recording, even when you are not home, your cat will associate that sound, and the sound of the food pouring down, with safety. They will not be alone in your house feeling scared and hungry. That is a big plus for me.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Automatic Cat Feeders Work?

An automatic feeder is a food dispenser that releases portions of food at different time intervals that are usually set up by the pet’s owner.

How Much Is an Automatic Cat Feeder?

The prices of automatic cat feeders will depend on how sophisticated the machine is. You can get a “gravity-based” simple dispenser for around $14. These are the ones that will dispense food as the cat eats it. The more your cat eats, the more food it will push down.

You can also get programmable machines. These machines have timers that you can set up to dispense food at a specific time. These can cost anywhere from $45-$50 dollars at your local pet supplies store.

Now, you can also get the big daddy of all cat feeders. They come with voice recording capacity, timer, camera and WiFi capabilities where you can download an app to control the machine. Something this fancy can cost around $150-$180 dollars.

Is There an Automatic Cat Feeder for Wet Food?

Yes, there are both wet and dry cat food dispensers. They can be programmed manually or automatically. These dispensers normally come with dishwasher-safe bowls, and it is important that they get cleaned daily to avoid bacterial buildup. These dispensers cost anywhere from $30 to $45 dollars.

How Do You Set an Automatic Cat Feeder?

A programmable automatic cat feeder can be programmed by using the buttons that are right on the unit. However, those super powerful WiFi units can be programmed using the dispenser company’s app. The time intervals for programming are different on each machine, so do your research before you get your dispenser.

Cat Care Tips For Beginners


People say that dogs are a man’s best friend. However, as a cat owner, I know differently. And the fact that people love cats can be seen when you look at the number of cat videos there are on the Internet.
 
Sure. There are some dog videos. However, there are a lot more cat videos.
 
Owning a cat is a load of fun. It is also an enormous responsibility. The following are a few basic health and care tips to keep your cat healthy.
 

The Proper Way to Groom Your Cat

If you have spent any time watching cats, you have observed their fastidious nature. They are constantly cleaning themselves. Although our feline friends can take care of themselves, at times, they will need a little help from you and me.
 
Grooming sessions should be enjoyable. Schedule them when your cat is relaxed. Maybe after a yummy snack or after they have had some fun exercising.
 
Grooming sessions should be short, preferably under 10 minutes. You can prepare your cat for her grooming sessions by petting her on her entire body, including her ears, tail, and belly.
 

Brushing Your Cat

If you have a short-haired cat, you will probably only need to brush her hair once a week. Start with a metal comb and work her fur from her head to her tail. You may need to use a rubber brush to get rid of any dead hair that comes loose.
 
Long-haired cats should be brushed daily. Focus on removing the knots on her belly and legs. A rubber brush can be used to brush the hair upward.
 

Bathing

Cats are curious by nature, and frequently that curiosity leads them into something oily or greasy. A mild shampoo that is safe for pets can be used to clean her up.
 
•             Start by brushing your cat to get rid of any dead hair or mats.
 
•             Put a rubber mat in the tub or sink so that your cat does not lose its footing.
 
•             Fill the basin with three or four inches of warm water.
 
•             Use a spray hose to get your cat wet, but avoid spraying water into her nose, ears, and eyes.
 
•             Massage the shampoo into her fur, starting with her head and working your way to her tail.
 
•             Thoroughly rinse her off and then dry her using a large towel.
 

Clipping Her Nails

If you are like most pet owners, you do not touch your pet’s feet unless you are clipping their nails. I know because the first time I went to grab my cat’s feet, she became very anxious. Lesson learned.
 
Get your cat accustomed to you touching her feet. When the time comes to trim her nails, put light pressure on the top of her feet and the cushion pad underneath her feet. She will react by extending her claws.
 
With a sharp, top-quality pair of cat nail scissors, cut off the white tip on each nail. You only want to remove the point just after the claw begins to curl. Avoid the vein that runs through the nail.
 
If you accidentally cut too far back into the pink, your cat's nail may bleed. Don’t freak out. All you need to do is apply some styptic powder, and it will stop bleeding.
 

Give Your Cat Fresh Water and the Proper Food

Water

Cats are like humans in that approximately two-thirds of their bodies are made up of water. To survive and maintain their health, cats need a healthy amount of water. In nature, they could get water from their prey, but domestic cats need to have water delivered in a bowl or via wet food.
 
Cats have the unique ability to concentrate their urine, so they can go longer on smaller quantities of water. Cats have a comparatively low thirst drive. This means that since they don’t feel a powerful urge to drink water, they can become dehydrated and you may not know it until they have a kidney problem or a problem with their urinary tract.
 
Therefore, it’s important for you to encourage your cat to drink water. Depending on her size, she needs between five and 10 fluid ounces of water daily. Like humans, different cats prefer different water temperatures, drinking vessels, and locations for drinking water.
 
If your cat is constantly knocking over her water bowl, it is not out of spite. In nature, cats typically drink moving water as it prevents them from getting sick. You can help your feline friend drink more water by either leaving the tap running or purchasing a motion censored cat water fountain that constantly circulates the water.
 

Proper Food

Although you may have seen your cat nibbling on the occasional piece of grass, cats are carnivores. They need a lot of protein to have optimal health. Talk to your veterinarian prior to selecting a quality commercial cat food based on your cat's age.
 
You can supplement your cat’s diet by including raw or cooked meat. Cats love fish. However, because fish have high levels of fatty acid, a diet that contains too much fish can cause your cat to become vitamin E deficient.
 
The amount of food your cat will need will vary based on its weight and size. Cats can be greedy, so you need to make sure that you are feeding your pet the right amount of for its size and breed.
 

Properly Caring for Your Cat’s Litter Box

I have often heard people compare a litter box to an expensive retail store. You either keep it tidy or your cat might take her “business” somewhere else.
 
You know that with cleanliness, your cat is picky. This extends to the litter box. If you think your cat's litter box stinks, just imagine what your cat, who has a sense of smell way superior to your own, thinks about her litter box. Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your cat from using her litter box instead of turning your home or apartment into her personal toilet.

Daily Tasks

·         Scoop out all the cat droppings and clumps.
·         Throw the waste into a sealed garbage bag and put it outside.
·         Clean the utensil you used to scoop the litter box. Store it in a sealed bag.
·         Clean the cover and the edge of the litter box with a soap and water solution.

Weekly Tasks

·         Empty the litter box and clean it with a soap and water solution. Stay away from chemicals that have strong smells, like bleach or ammonia. Cats have sensitive noses, so aromatic smells may make them avoid the litter box.
·         Add new litter to the litter box.
 

Choosing the Right Litter

There are several varieties and brands of cat litter available. Your cat may not respond well to certain types. You may need to try a few until you get one that your cat will like.
 
Clay clumping litter is easy to clean and is generally accepted by most cats. The downsides are that it is heavy and creates a dust. Clay clumping litter may not be the best option for kittens.
 
Clay non-clumping litter is not made from bentonite, so it’s difficult to clean. You need to be diligent with it because the litter will not form easy to scoop clumps.
 
Crystals typically made from silica control odor and last longer than clay litter. The downside is that they are expensive. Also, if your cat ingests a sizeable amount of them, it can be bad for her.
 
Organic litters are made from wheat, pine, or corn. The outstanding thing about them is that they are biodegradable. The downside is that if your cat is allergic to one of these ingredients, she may develop a reaction when using the litter and eventually may avoid using the litter box.

Just a final note on scented cat litter. Humans like scented cat litter because it can mask the smell of feces and urine. However, your cat has very sensitive nose, so smells that are pleasant to you can be very strong to them. If your cat has long fur, the scent of the litter may stick to it.
 

Handling Behavioral Issues with Your Cat

Cats have a reputation, albeit well deserved, for being strong-willed. However, if your cat is displaying some behavioral issues, don’t automatically think it is an act of defiance that needs punishment. Most times, a cat’s behavioral issues may be in response to something in their environment or something about their health that is not right.

Your Cat Is Urinating Outside of the Litter Box

Have you changed your cat’s litter recently? Have you been less than diligent in keeping the litter box clean? These may be some reasons your cat is avoiding the litter box.
 
Another reason could be that your cat has developed a urinary tract infection. These infections are common in cats. They start in the bladder and can eventually affect the kidneys.
 
The symptoms of urinary tract infections in cats include difficulty urinating, blood in the urine, frequent urination, and urinating outside of the litter box. You may notice that your cat is drinking more water than she usually does and that she is lethargic, anorexic, exhibiting abdominal pain, or vomiting.
 
If you suspect that your cat has a urinary tract infection, take her to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian may recommend an antibiotic that your cat can take for between 10 and 14 days. If your cat has frequently recurring urinary tract infections, a different course of treatment may be recommended.
 

Your Cat Is Scratching Your Furniture

Few things frustrate cat owners like realizing their cat is scratching up their expensive furniture. Cats scratch objects because they want to remove the outer layers of their claws, they are looking to mark their territory both visually and with a scent, and it is a way for them to relax and stretch their bodies.
 
Since this is a normal behavior that nature motivates cats to display, it is not realistic to think that you can prevent them from scratching. The goal should be to direct their instinctual drive to scratch acceptable objects.
 
To entice your cat to use a scratching post, you must first identify the locations where your cat scratches items and the types of items they enjoy scratching. Here are some things to identify.

·         Location. Is she scratching close to a sleeping area or close to the entrance of a room?
·         Texture. Are the items rough or soft?
·         Shape. Are they vertical or horizontal?
·         Height. How tall are they? What height does your cat prefer to scratch at?
 
After identifying your cat's scratching preferences, you will want to substitute for a similar object. Put the appropriate object near the piece of furniture your cat is scratching. Make sure that the item is secure enough so that it will not move around or fall over when your cat is using it.
 
Once you have your cat accustom to scratching the appropriate object, you can slowly move it from its current location to a location that works better for you. Move the scratching post only a few inches each day.
 
Cover the inappropriate objects your cat is scratching with materials they don’t like, such as sandpaper or aluminum foil. Or you can attach cotton balls doused with something that has a powerful odor, such as perfume or muscle rub, to get them to stop scratching the inappropriate item. Once your cat has spent a few weeks using the new scratching post, you can remove the unpleasant odors or material from the inappropriate scratching location.
 
Owning a cat is a lot of fun. Cats have unique and quirky personalities that make you laugh. Their inquisitive nature means that they will always be up to mischief. Even though cats have the reputation for being snobbish, we cat owners know that cats show love in their own way.
 
I hope these beginner tips for cat care were of value to you. Care for your cat well, and she will care for you.

Final Verdict

So, what are you waiting for? Select your favorite cat feeder and have fun with it. You will realize how much you have been missing out on each time you have to stop what you are doing just to run home to feed your pet. There has never been an easier time to be a pet parent!


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