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10 Best Automatic Cat Feeders in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat eating food from automatic dispenser

Caring for cats can be a challenge, especially when it comes to feeding time. Cats are notorious for becoming alarm clocks that wake you up way too early, usually because they can see the bottom of the food bowl. One of the simplest remedies to this problem is to invest in an automatic cat feeder. These machines are a great solution because they feed your cat for you at any time of the day or night. Some of them even have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options that allow you to provide extra feedings if needed. Using these reviews, you’ll be able to find an automatic feeder that offers the features you need to keep yourself sane and your cat happy.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Feeder PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Feeder
  • Stainless steel bowl
  • Pet proof to keep paws out
  • Feeds up to 12 meals per day
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Cat Mate C3000 Automatic Cat Feeder Cat Mate C3000 Automatic Cat Feeder
  • Sturdy plastic bowl
  • Offers a “frequent feed” mode
  • Lid is secure enough to keep cats out
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    SureFeed Microchip Small Dog & Cat Feeder SureFeed Microchip Small Dog & Cat Feeder
  • Training mode
  • Uses your cat’s microchip
  • Ideal for multi-pet homes
  • Best for Kittens
    PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Feeder PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Feeder
  • Easy to set up
  • Trays are dishwasher safe
  • Allows open access to a food container until the next meal
  • Feeder-Robot Smoke Hopper Dog & Cat Feeder Feeder-Robot Smoke Hopper Dog & Cat Feeder
  • Uses anti-jam technology
  • Wi-Fi enabled and uses a smartphone app
  • Chew-resistant power cord and tamper-resistant lid
  • The 10 Best Automatic Cat Feeders – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Feeder – Best Cat Food Dispenser

    PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Feeder

    Number of Cups: 24
    Number of Meals: 12
    Power Source: Battery, outlet
    Color: Black
    Food Type: Dry, semi-moist

    The best cat food dispenser we found is the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Feeder. This feeder is easy to program, holds 24 cups of dry or semi-moist food, and can feed up to 12 meals per day. Each meal can be programmed from 1/8 – 4 cups. It is “pet proof” to prevent pets from accessing the food in the dispenser with their paws and it offers a slow feed option to prevent food gulping by overly zealous kitties. The bowl is stainless steel and easy to remove for cleaning. The hopper is translucent black to allow you to easily see when the food levels are getting low. Most parts are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

    This food dispenser is powered by four D-cell batteries which are not included in the purchase. It can be connected to an electrical outlet, but this requires a separate purchase of an electrical adapter, which is also sold by PetSafe.

    Pros
    • Holds 24 cups of dry or semi-moist food
    • Feeds up to 12 meals per day
    • Can feed 1/8 – 4 cups per meal
    • Pet proof to keep paws out
    • Slow feeding setting
    • Stainless steel bowl
    • Translucent hopper allows you to see food levels
    • Most parts are dishwasher safe
    Cons
    • Uses D-cell batteries
    • Electrical adapter must be purchased separately

    2. Cat Mate C3000 Automatic Cat Feeder – Best Value

    Cat Mate C3000 Automatic Cat Feeder

    Number of Cups: 26
    Number of Meals: 3, frequent feed
    Power Source: Battery
    Color: Off white
    Food Type: Dry

    The best automatic cat feeder for the money is the Cat Mate C3000 Automatic Cat Feeder. This feeder can hold 26 cups of food and feeds up to 3 meals of dry food per day. It features a “frequent feed” mode for cats with dietary needs that may require small meals frequently, like cats with diabetes. It has an LCD display, and the lid is secure enough to keep pets out of the hopper. It comes with a 3-year guarantee, so you know your investment is protected. It can feed as little as 2 teaspoons per meal, making it a good option for small cats and kittens. It uses a sturdy plastic bowl and most of the parts are dishwasher safe.

    It requires four C-cell batteries which are not included with the purchase. Programming this feeder may be difficult and the included instructions are unclear for some people.

    Pros
    • Holds 26 cups of dry food
    • Feeds up to 3 meals per day
    • Offers a “frequent feed” mode
    • Lid is secure enough to keep cats out
    • 3-year guarantee
    • Feeds 2 teaspoons or more per meal
    • Sturdy plastic bowl
    • Most parts are dishwasher safe
    Cons
    • Uses C-cell batteries
    • Programming may be difficult
    • Instructions are difficult to follow

    3. SureFeed Microchip Small Dog & Cat Feeder – Premium Choice

    SureFeed Microchip Small Dog & Cat Feeder

    Number of Cups: 6
    Number of Meals: 1+
    Power Source: Battery
    Color: White
    Food Type: Dry, semi-moist, wet, liquid

    The best automatic feeder at a premium price is the SureFeed Microchip Small Dog & Cat Feeder. This feeder uses microchip technology to ensure the correct pet is accessing the food, which allows you to keep curious dogs and cats on diets out of the other pet’s food. It includes a SureFlap RFID collar tag that can be used in lieu of a microchip. The lid seals securely enough for this feeder to keep wet and liquid food clean and safe from insects. It can store up to 32 pet profiles in its memory and offers a training mode that makes it easy to teach your pet to not be fearful of the feeder. It comes with a 3-year warranty through the manufacturer.

    This feeder requires four C-cell batteries, which are not included. It only holds 1.6 cups of dry food or up to two pouches of wet food. Although it keeps wet food safe, it doesn’t keep it refrigerated so uneaten food should be removed within a few hours.

    Pros
    • Feeds as many times per day as your cat visits the bowl
    • Ideal for multi-pet homes
    • Uses your cat’s microchip
    • RFID collar tag included for unmicrochipped pets
    • Keeps wet and liquid foods sealed tightly
    • Can feed dry, semi-moist, wet, or liquid foods
    • Stores up to 32 pet profiles
    • Training mode
    • 3-year warranty
    Cons
    • Only holds 1.6 cups of food
    • Uses C-cell batteries
    • Doesn’t keep wet food cool
    • Premium price

    4. PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Feeder – Best for Kittens

    PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Feeder

    Number of Cups: 5
    Number of Meals: 5
    Power Source: Battery
    Color: Greyish tan
    Food Type: Dry, semi-moist

    If you have kittens to keep fed, the PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Automatic Feeder is a great option. This feeder holds 5 cups of food separated into five 1-cup containers. Once programmed, the feeder will offer a single container per meal, allowing your kitty access to the container until the next meal. It can be used with dry or semi-moist foods. The food trays are dishwasher safe, making cleaning a breeze. This food dispenser is one of the more inexpensive options on the list and is a great value, especially if you’re feeding multiple kittens. It’s easy to set up and the instructions are user friendly.

    Once a food container is open, it doesn’t seal closed until the next meal. This allows open access to the food for other pets and insects. It uses four D-cell batteries that are not included with the purchase. While you could use this feeder with wet and liquid foods, it isn’t a good idea because the containers are not sealed securely enough to keep insects out.

    Pros
    • Holds up to 5 cups of food in 1-cup portions
    • Feeds up to 5 meals per day
    • Great option for kittens
    • Allows open access to a food container until the next meal
    • Trays are dishwasher safe
    • Good value
    • Easy to set up
    Cons
    • Doesn’t close the containers until the next meal
    • Uses D-cell batteries
    • Not a good option for wet and liquid foods

    5. Feeder-Robot Smoke Hopper Dog & Cat Feeder

    Feeder-Robot Smoke Hopper Dog & Cat Feeder

    Number of Cups: 32
    Number of Meals: 8
    Power Source: Outlet, battery backup
    Color: White, black
    Food Type: Dry, semi-moist

    The Feeder-Robot Smoke Hopper Dog & Cat Feeder is a nice option if you’re looking for a large capacity food dispenser with smart options. This feeder uses electrical power but offers a battery backup in case the electricity goes out. It holds up to 32 cups of dry or semi-moist food and can feed up to 8 meals per day that can be between 1/8–8 cups. It has a stainless-steel bowl that is easy to remove for cleaning. It is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to set and access the feeder from anywhere via the app. You can also set and adjust the feeder via the control panel on the dispenser. It has a chew-resistant power cord, tamper-resistant lid, and anti-jam technology.

    This product is a premium price, which may make it an unaffordable investment for most people. Although it can run on battery backup power, the backup battery is only good for up to 24 hours. This product allows for customizations of colors and bowl type, but this must be done directly through the manufacturer’s site.

    Pros
    • Holds up to 32 cups of dry or semi-moist food
    • Feeds up to 8 meals per day
    • Feeds between 1/8–8 cups per meal
    • Stainless steel bowl
    • Wi-Fi enabled and uses a smartphone app
    • Chew-resistant power cord and tamper-resistant lid
    • Uses anti-jam technology
    Cons
    • Premium price
    • Battery backup is only good for up to 24 hours
    • Customizations are an additional charge through the manufacturer

    6. DOGNESS Mini Programmable Automatic Feeder

    DOGNESS Mini Programmable Automatic Feeder

    Number of Cups: 3
    Number of Meals: 4
    Power Source: USB, battery backup
    Color: White, pink, green
    Food Type: Dry, semi-moist

    The DOGNESS Mini Programmable Automatic Feeder is a fun feeder option because it’s available in three colors. You can choose between white, light pink, and a minty green. It holds approximately 8.3 cups of food and can be set to feed breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an extra meal. However, these meals can be set at any time of day. It runs on a USB connection and features a battery backup in case the electricity goes out. The meal size is determined by how many portions you choose, with each portion equaling approximately ¾ tablespoon. You can record a voice message that will go off every time it’s mealtime for your cat.

    Although you can select how many rotations of the hopper to feed your cat, measurements per rotation may vary based on the size and type of food and how the food is sitting in the hopper. Some people find the buttons on the display to be difficult to press, especially if you have large or weak fingers.

    Pros
    • Available in three colors
    • Holds 8.3 cups of food
    • Can feed up to 4 meals per day
    • Uses a USB connection with battery backup for power
    • Determine how many hopper rotations to feed your cat per meal
    • Voice recording option alerts your cat to mealtime
    Cons
    • Measurements per feeding may vary
    • Buttons may be difficult to press

    7. Arf Pets Automatic Feeder

    Arf Pets Automatic Feeder

    Number of Cups: 16
    Number of Meals: 4
    Power Source: Battery, outlet
    Color: White and black
    Food Type: Dry

     The Arf Pets Automatic Feeder holds 16 cups of food and can feed up to four meals per day. It’s set by hopper rotation, with each rotation dispensing approximately 1/10th cup of food, and you can set between 1 – 10 hopper rotations per meal. You can choose between running this feeder on electrical power or three D-cell batteries, which are not included in the purchase. Use the LCD clock and display to program the feeder, and you can even record a voice message to call your cat to meals.

    If the feeder loses power for more than a few minutes, it will perform a factory reset and delete your voice message and settings. The programming aspect of this feeder can be confusing and may be time consuming to perform. Food has been known to jam, causing missed meals and error messages on the dispenser.

    Pros
    • Holds 16 cups of food
    • Can feed up to 4 meals per day
    • Determine how many hopper rotations to feed your cat per meal
    • Voice recording option alerts your cat to mealtime
    • Outlet and battery power options
    • Can set up a battery backup
    Cons
    • Performs a factory reset if no power for a few minutes
    • Programming may be confusing and difficult
    • Food may jam in the dispenser

    8. DOGNESS Automatic Wi-Fi Smart Feeder with HD Camera

    DOGNESS Automatic Wi-Fi Smart Feeder with HD Camera

    Number of Cups: 25
    Number of Meals: 6
    Power Source: USB, battery backup
    Color: Dark blue, grey, Tiffany blue
    Food Type: Dry

    The DOGNESS Automatic Wi-Fi Smart Feeder with HD Camera is a nice feeder option if you like to check in on your cat throughout the day. This automatic feeder features a HD camera with night vision, microphone, and speaker, so you can see, hear, and talk to your cat. You can also record an automatic message for mealtimes. It holds 25 cups of dry food, and you can set up to 6 feedings per day. It’s available in three colors and has a jam free dispensing mechanism, ensuring your cat gets their meals.

    The setup of this feeder can be complicated, confusing, and time consuming. It will only connect to a Wi-Fi router that is 2.4gh, not 5gh, which is the more common type of router in many homes. You can’t adjust the view of the camera and the food bowl isn’t visible in the camera view, so you won’t be able to see if your cat eats.

    Pros
    • Holds up to 25 cups of food
    • Can be set to feed 6 meals per day
    • HD camera with night vision
    • Microphone and speaker allow you to set voice message and listen and speak from home
    • Available in three colors
    • Jam free mechanism
    Cons
    • Complicated setup
    • Wi-Fi router must be 2.4gh
    • Camera view isn’t adjustable
    • Can’t see food bowl

    9. Aspen Pets LeBistro Portion Control Programmable Feeder

    Aspen Pets LeBistro Portion Control Programmable Feeder

    Number of Cups: 18, 30
    Number of Meals: 3
    Power Source: Battery
    Color: Black
    Food Type: Dry

    The Aspen Pets LeBistro Portion Control Programmable Feeder is available in two sizes that can hold 18 cups and 30 cups. Both can be set to feed up to 3 meals of dry food per day. The plastic food bowl is dishwasher safe, and the hopper is translucent, allowing you to see food levels without opening it. You can program the feeder to provide between ¼–3 cups of food per meal.

    This feeder is only compatible with food that is 0.5 inches in diameter or less, so large foods will not work. It requires D-cell batteries to work and has a habit of dispensing small quantities of food if bumped. The dispenser opening does allow for sneaky kitties to put a paw in and knock some kibbles out as well. The amount of food dispensed per rotation of the hopper is variable, making portioning difficult.

    Pros
    • Set for 3 meals per day
    • Dishwasher-safe
    • See-through
    Cons
    • Food must be 0.5 inches or smaller
    • Uses D-cell batteries
    • Will dispense small amounts of food if bumped
    • Cats can knock food out of opening
    • Amount of food per rotation is variable

    10. Trixie TX2 Automatic Dispenser

    Trixie TX2 Automatic Dispenser

    Number of Cups: 3
    Number of Meals: 2
    Power Source: Battery
    Color: White and black
    Food Type: Dry, semi-moist, wet, liquid

    The Trixie TX2 Automatic Dispenser offers 3 cups of food split into two feedings. This feeder includes two icepacks that allow you to keep wet and liquid foods cool. It’s easy to program with turn knobs instead of an LCD display or app. The food compartments are separate, which allows you to feed two pets at once or one pet twice. The food dishes are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

    This feeder runs on AA batteries, which aren’t included in the purchase. Although it is made to keep wet foods cool with icepacks, icepacks are often an unreliable way to keep things cool long-term since they can melt quickly in warm environments. This feeder offers minimal adjustability and can only feed two small meals before needing to be refilled.

    Pros
    • Holds up to 3 cups of dry, semi-moist, wet, or liquid food
    • Includes icepacks to keep food cool
    • Easy to set up
    • Two separate food compartments
    • Food bowls are dishwasher safe
    Cons
    • Uses AA batteries
    • Icepacks may not stay cold very long
    • Doesn’t offer smart features
    • Minimal adjustability
    • Can only feed two meals

    hepper cat paw divider

    Buyer’s Guide

    What are the Benefits of Automatic Feeders?

    Automatic feeders can be an excellent addition to busy homes. They offer the freedom to leave early or come home late without your cat missing meals. They also provide you the ability to offer your cat food in the middle of the night or early morning when they routinely wake you up to beg for food. Some cats can be trusted to graze on food, but for cats that will gorge on anything offered to them, automatic feeders can help with portion control. They can aid in weight loss and medical management related to feeding issues. Automatic feeders also give you an option to leave town for a couple of days without the necessity of a pet sitter.

    cat eating food from automatic dispenser on top of table
    Image Credit: Chewy

    Choosing the Best Automatic Feeder for Your Home

    Pets in the Home

    If you have multiple pets, especially dogs and cats, then an automatic feeder can help reduce the risk of the food being eaten by the wrong pet. This is especially true of smart feeders with Wi-Fi and microchip technology. If you have dogs that love to steal cat food, then you may need a higher-end feeder than if you are just looking for a way to get extra meals to your cat while you’re away.

    Number of Cats

    The number of cats in the home you are trying to feed should be considered when choosing an automatic feeder. If you are feeding multiple cats with one feeder, then a feeder with a large hopper is ideal. If you are only feeding a kitten or single cat, then a smaller hopper might be a better way to keep the food fresh longer.

    Special Dietary Needs

    If you have a cat that is on a diet or has medical needs, then an automatic feeder can help you manage these issues. Cats that are known for food stealing and gorging often do well with automatic feeders since it automatically manages their food intake. If you have a cat with diabetes or another medical issue that requires regular feeding, then an automatic feeder can provide you an easy option for feeding them at any time. The number and type of feedings your cat needs will be a determining factor in which feeder you choose.

    Power Source

    Electrical and USB power sources are the most reliable sources of power in most places, but sometimes an outlet isn’t available and batteries are a better option for you. If you live in an area where blackouts are common, then battery backups can be a lifesaver.

    orange cat eating from automatic dispenser
    Image Credit: Chewy

    hepper cat paw divider

    Conclusion

    These reviews covered the best of the best when it comes to automatic cat feeders, with the PetSafe Healthy Pet SimplyFeed Programmable Feeder taking the top spot because of its ease of use, reliability, and high functionality. If you’re on a tight budget, then the Cat Mate C3000 Automatic Cat Feeder might be a better option for your budget while still acquiring a reliable product. If you’re looking for something more high tech, then the premium SureFeed Microchip Small Dog & Cat Feeder may be right up your alley. You have plenty of excellent options when it comes to automatic feeders, though!


    Featured Image Credit: Chewy

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