My goal for this definitive guide was to find the perfect combinations of technical characteristics and UX for each use case. Below you will find the results of my research and learn the insights that go beyond the manufacturer’s information.
Top automatic outdoor cat feeders in 2021
If you are looking for a programmable cat feeder – that’s your perfect choice!
It has a portion-control system, and you can schedule up to 12 meals.
Moreover, you can set a portion size for your pet. This is a very important feature if you’re trying to shift to diet cat food.
- easy manual
- you can customize portions and feed your cat up to 12 times a day
- slow feed option prevents an animal from eating too fast
- dishwasher-friendly material
- pet-proof dispenser that helps to keep food fresh
- the battery adapter is not included in the box
- uses 4D alkaline batteries which means you need to put the feeder under a roof and keep it dry)
- Shipping Weight: 6.5 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 8.7 x 12.4 inches
- Materials: BPA-free plastic components and stainless steel bowl
- Colors available: black/silver
This feeder is a quintessence of the technological process as it is.
It has a microchip verification mode and can monitor up to 32 cats! It’s a perfect choice for real cat lovers. The microchip is set on the cat’s collar tag. As soon as it is implanted, the system recognizes your cat immediately. It is veterinarian recommended, so you can use it safely.
If you need your cat to become healthier, this automatic outdoor cat feeder is the best solution. This feeder can not only help you to control the portions. The closed lid forms a kind of seal made of neoprene lip. This material helps to save food qualities much longer.You even don’t have to press the buttons, the pet’s Microchip ID or a lightweight RFID collar tag communicates with the feeder itself.
- easy-to-use manual
- works with different microchips
- perfect for cats on a diet
- great wet or dry pet volume
- AC adapter is not included in the box
- Weight: 4.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 8.3 in x 12.6 in x 5.9 in
- Material: Steel bowls, solid material
Just look at the gorgeous steel bowl this cat feeder has. It is made of steel and can contain 3 cups of food, the food storage can store up to 13 cups! Even if the dispenser is overloaded with kibbles, the Honeyguaridan A36 Automatic Cat Feeder has a built-in alarm that will notify you in case it happens.
Moreover, you can program from 1 to 6 meals a day using the control buttons.
The developers state that it is the first feeder which guarantees no food-stuck in the food channel because of its unique motor inversion.
- you can schedule feeding time
- large bowl with great capacity
- good for a dishwasher
- food alert mode
- no pet-proof buttons
- it is constructed for particular types of kibbles (not longer than 0.6 inches (15mm)
- Shipping weight: 5.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 16.9 in x 11.4 in x 7.1 in
- Material: ABS
It is the most stylish and progressive device ever. Just use your iOS or Android phone to control the feeding process. Program up to 10 feedings a day with 5/100-grams portions. You don’t even need to be connected to Wifi to make it work. The internet is required only when controlling the dispenser.
The most innovative lock system keeps the food dry and clean. The silicon sealing is the guarantee of keeping the food away from the mildew.
This model works with Amazon Alexa as well. Moreover, the smart app opens new opportunities for you, such as talking to other pet owners online, exchanging experience and finding new friends.
- Wi-Fi controls
- Amazon Alexa compatible
- needs no Wi-Fi for the feeding process
- 10-feedings-a-day system
- app has to be improved
- Weight: 6.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 6.7 in x 12.6 in x 12.6 in
This model supports feeding from 1 to 5 meals a day. It has a simple design with a transparent hopper (you can easily understand when the container has to be refilled). The hopper can contain 10.6 litres of dry food.
The PETFLY timed automatic outdoor cat feeder model has a sleep mode which is activated when no actions are made within 76 seconds. It helps to save power. However, it takes some time to get used to unlocking this mode. To do so you just have to press and hold the on/off button which is right on the control board of the gadget. The manufacturer provides the model with the manual, so there is no need to worry.
- illustrative LCD panel
- battery backup and rechargeable mode
- remote control
- the batteries are not included in the box
- Weight: 6.7 pounds
- Dimensions: 16.5 in x 9.8 in x 14.5 in
Van Ness Medium Auto Feeder is a great choice for those who don’t trust new technologies or just don’t want to mess around with all the electronic stuff.
This model is good for slim, active and healthy cats. So if you trust your fluffy friend and you are sure it can self-regulate the meal volume, then this product is what you need.
The hopper can contain 6 pounds of food, which is perfect for the cat owners who work hard and have to leave their pet for all day. In the evening you can just remove the lid and wash it. It is a perfect, simple and cheap decision which will save your budget and time.
- low price
- easy-to-use and easy-cleaning removable lid
- perfectly sized for cats
- available in 3 sizes (small/medium/large)
- not good for overweight cats
- Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.5 in x 8.6 in x 11.2 in
- Material: ABS
The CSF-3 Feeder is your choice if you are a happy owner of 2 cats. This device can launch multiple feeders with one single timer at once.
The system can hand out portions from different kibbles to different cups up to record-breaking 48 cups per day.
The construction looks rather complex, but it is very easy-to-use. And the digital timer will make the feeding process automatic and comfortable for your cats. The set-up process is the only thing which can be difficult, so read the manual attentively.
- feeding schedule mode
- 8-feeding time program
- perfect for 2 cats
- innovative construction which prevents cats from stealing each others food
- no need to reprogram the device when the power is off
- the stand is made out of extremely durable ABS material
- complex construction
- no backup supply in the box
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Dimensions: 10 in x 11 in x 15 in
- Material: ABS / polycarbonate chute cover
Another triumph of the technological process. You can record your voice to signal a cat when it’s mealtime! How cool is that?
Even if your cat misses the sound of your voice, it won’t miss the sound of her favorite food falling down on the plate. You can program the portion size from 10 to 400 grams (up to 4 meals a day).
The developers equipped this feeder with an ultra-low power consumption mechanism which will prolongate the life of the batteries.
The WESTLINK Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser has a built-in sensor that helps to stop portioning when there is still food in the bowl. By the way, if you don’t have D batteries you can replace them with USB power.
- 1-39 portions program
- 6L storage capacity
- automatic food dispenser
- low power consumption
- D batteries are not included in the box
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Material: ABS
The Arf Pets Automatic Pet Food Dispenser has an amazing black and white design and lots of options to satisfy the most demanding cat owners.
You can set up to 4 meals a day and control the feeding process remotely. The average portion is 24 ml, but you can adjust the size according to your cat’s needs.
The model has an LCD with easily adjustable settings on it. The top lid can be locked and your cat won’t eat more than it needs to. All these features make it an optimal choice for diet dry cat food.
- possibility to lock the top lid which prevents your cat from stealing the food
- the dietary system
- automatic food dispenser
- customizable feeder for cats of various sizes
- uses 4D alkaline batteries (which means you need to put the feeder under a roof and keep it dry)
- the necessity to set the timer every 2 days
- Weight: 4.63 pounds
- Dimensions: 9.65 in x 11.8 in x 15 in
- Material: ABS
Just look at this wonderful design. This model is a timed automatic outdoor cat feeder both convenient and cool. It has an easy-to-use programming panel and precise portion control (1/16 cup). Besides you can control the size of each portion separately. The bowl can be easily detached in one action. You can always switch to manual feeding mode in case your cat needs a small extra snack. Moreover, you can always set a 24-hours repeat feeding schedule. Perfect for busy cat owners!
- you can set meal portions
- the cover can be locked
- beautiful LCD monitor with time and battery status
- not good for a dishwasher
- it is constructed for particular types of kibble (not longer than 0.6 inches (15mm)
- not for canned, moist or semi-moist food
- Shipping weight: 5 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.2 in x 8.9 in x 13.4 in
- Available colors: orange, red, yellow
Do I need an automatic outdoor cat feeder?
If your cat has a lot of outdoor activity, an automatic outdoor cat feeder is a must-buy thing for you.
We are all human, and we don’t always have time to feed our pets, so it would be handy to automate this process. It is good to be sure that your cat will have enough food and water when you leave for work in the morning or travel abroad.
All you have to do in the evening is to wash the bowl. These devices are simple in use, comfortable and energy-saving. I think they are another step in the relationships with your cat. If you choose the feeder allowing an animal to self-regulate the portion, your cat will be grateful and won’t forget your generosity.
All outdoor feeders are animal-proof. The lock system will work perfectly as soon as an animal tries to break into the feeder.
These devices are made of durable materials resistant to even the harshest weather conditions.
The program can set up portion size as precisely as possible following the schedule you choose. It’s a “purrfect” solution for cats on a diet.
Find the best way to communicate with your cat when choosing the right feeder. Choose the model with a record-voice option to make your fluffy friend happy when you are away. Set up portions to stick to your cat’s diet even if you are at work or traveling with your friends.
Does your cat require moist food? Not a problem at all! Just pick a feeder that serves refrigerated wet food!
An automatic outdoor cat feeder is not only a cool device, but it’s also a necessity for all the busy cat owners who do care for their little friends!
Types of automatic outdoor cat feeders
There are two main types of automatic outdoor cat feeders:
- gravity feeders
- electronic feeders
The first type is a classic one as it doesn’t need any power to work. It uses gravity to feed your cat and provide it with enough fresh water. They all can easily schedule the cat’s mealtime. You can also decide how large a portion should be. One of the prime examples of a gravity feeder is Van Ness Medium Auto Feeder I reviewed above. However, as mentioned earlier, gravity feeders are good for cats without obesity.
Electronic feeders have a wider range of options for more demanding cats and their owners. If your fluffy has a special diet and needs to gain or lose weight, then technologies are on your side.
You can simply adjust the number of meals and the portions needed just by connecting the feeder with the app on your phone. It helps to make the feeding process more flexible and differentiated. WESTLINK Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser or SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder are great examples of pure technologies implemented into your cat’s life. So if you have Wi-Fi in your home (I am sure you do) there won’t be any problems when using an electronic feeder.
Features to consider
There are a lot of feeders on the market, and you have to be 100%-sure that you have chosen the right model. I made a list of features to consider before purchasing an automatic outdoor cat feeder.
It can be quite a challenge to live with both a cat and a dog at the same time. Dogs are usually more curious and strong, so they can easily steal some food from your cat’s feeder. This may be the reason why your cat is always hungry.
That’s why dog-proof design is a wild card for you and your pet. Such a feeder can do a face-control for each of your pets. Dogs are not in the club today.
Automatic outdoor cat feeders can also be raccoon-proof or even bird-proof. Just read the description on the box to make sure the secureness corresponds to your needs and outdoor peculiarities.
Also, Claudine prepared a useful guide on how to prevent one cat from stealing food from another.
Yep, it can be quite cold outside. So you should think beforehand about the water- and snow-proof material for your feeder. However, all the models mentioned in the article are made of durable ABS or steel materials. Just read the description attentively, stick to the list of products I described, and you won’t choose the wrong one.
Efficient and capacious
The capacity of your device is very important because you need to be sure you won’t have to refill the feeder every day. It has to hold a relevant amount of food, especially when you have 2 or more cats.
Pay attention to the size of your kibbles as well. If it is too large, it can get stuck.
If you have a mischievous pet, the elevated feeder can be a great solution to this problem.
For instance, the CSF-3 Super Automatic Cat Feeder I mentioned in the article, can be easily mounted if needed with the help of metal brackets and hardware that is also included in the primary set. Just use the bracket to hitch on the dispenser anywhere you want.
Also Claudine prepared a separate guide covering a very important feature – feeders for multiple cats. Definitely worth checking out.
Should I get an automatic outdoor cat feeder?
It is strongly recommended to buy an automatic outdoor cat feeder (especially an electronic one) if you have at least one cat in your household.
Do you have a lack of time? Do you live alone? These are quite serious reasons to buy this product. It will make your life much easier.
Which automatic outdoor cat feeder is the best?
Pet feeder selection is of the same importance as choosing the right cat food. That’s why I always advise my clients to take it seriously.
A perfect feeder must have a number of features on the list.
- large capacity of food storage (choose a big amount, and you won’t need to refill the feeder very often)
- dog-proof and durable material (keeps the food safe and dry)
- portion controller (perfect for both underweight cats to help them gain weight and overweight cats)
How do I feed my outdoor cat on vacation?
First of all, I strongly recommend you to set a menu: the number of portions, their size, and frequency of the feeding process.
Just make sure you have enough kibble to feed your cat while you are away. Make sure the program is set correctly. If you have a gravity feeder, check the water container as well to make sure there is no barrier in the passage.
Also, if your cat has access to the home, the pet cameras are essential because they will allow you to control the amount of food left, the activity, and the wellbeing of your beloved feline.
Also, it may be a good idea to control the access for your cat using a feline electric fence to make sure she does not get lost.
Are there any bonus tips on keeping other animals away from my cat’s feeder?
You can add an extra layer of protection for your cat. You can build a feeding station or an outdoor cat enclosure with RFID or magnetic automatic doors and put the feeder inside. Only your cat will have access to this station and to the feeder inside.
As you see, an automatic outdoor cat feeder is a must-buy thing for most cat owners nowadays. We often don’t have time to take care of ourselves, not to mention our little friends. And it can be a big challenge to work, travel, and be able to feed your cat in time.
To sum up, this device is pet safe, it is easy to use, and has a good food capacity.
Most of the feeders have great design, a clear manual and a lot of modes to be used depending on your cat’s needs. They are also made of durable materials which can guarantee the longevity of the product.
Choose wisely, make sure the feeder you like has not only a cool design but also a set of features that correspond to your cat’s needs and be attentive when reading the manual. You can find a lot of useful information about mounting the feeder and all the options it has in the menu.
A secure automatic cat feeder can replace you for a week or even more. So don’t be afraid to leave your cat for a long period of time.
Hope, this guide helped you to come up with the best automatic feeder for your cat! Now it’s time to choose the best cat food on the market!
- Top automatic outdoor cat feeders in 2021
- Petsafe Healthy Pet Simply 12 Meal Feeder
- SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
- Honeyguaridan A36 Automatic Cat Feeder
- PETKIT Automatic Pet Feeder Cat Feeder
- PETFLY Remote Control Rechargeable + Automatic Feeder
- Van Ness Medium Auto Feeder
- CSF-3 Super Automatic Cat Feeder
- WESTLINK Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser
- Arf Pets Automatic Pet Food Dispenser
- LUSMO Automatic Pet Feeder
- Do I need an automatic outdoor cat feeder?
- Types of automatic outdoor cat feeders
- Features to consider