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4 DIY Automatic Cat Feeder Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

Lindsey Lawson

By Lindsey Lawson

cat eating on automatic food dispenser

Have you considered getting an automatic feeder for your cat, but you aren’t quite sure whether it would be worth it? We have some good news for you. Some very simple and easy DIY automatic cat feeder options will allow you to put this question to the test.

Below, we will not only go over some of the benefits of automatic feeders but also cover the simplest, yet most effective DIY automatic cat feeders you can make today.

The Top 4 DIY Automatic Cat Feeder Plans

1. DIY Drink Bottle Automatic Cat Feeder

Materials: Recycled drink bottle, chopsticks, rubber band, plastic sphere
Tools: Box cutter, scissors, saran wrap
Difficulty Level: Easy

The materials needed for this cat feeder are those that are easily found around the house. This includes an old coke bottle (or any type of drink bottle with a similar shape,) chopsticks or popsicle sticks, a box cutter, rubber band, and a small toy or sphere container.

This simple, quick DIY project can be done within minutes and easily redone if this one gets too much wear and tear after a while. The instructions are easy and in video form!

2. DIY Automatic Cat Feeder with Bucket

Materials: Bucket, water jug, two empty detergent bottles(for a bowl)
Tools: Stapler, scissors, knife, tape measure, pencil, marker
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Another sturdy DIY cat feeder that holds a large amount of food is this DIY bucket feeder. This feeder is quite simple to put together overall, but we rated it as moderate on the difficulty scale just because it involves a bit more work than your other DIYs that can be thrown together in a couple of minutes.

All you need for this project is a sizable bucket, a water jug, two empty detergent bottles (for the bowl). The tools you will need are a stapler, scissors, a knife, tape measure, and a pencil and/or marker. Thankfully, all these materials are very easy to find in just about every home. You will be impressed by how much food this feeder will hold!

3. DIY Automatic Cardboard Cat Feeder

Materials: Cardboard, plastic bottle, glue, bowl
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This simple DIY automatic cardboard cat feeder is made from cardboard, glue, a plastic bottle, and a bowl. The construction of this little project is cake, you can even add a water dispenser on the other side of this automatic feeder, just like the instructions will show you.

No reason to throw out the cardboard. I’m pretty sure your cat wouldn’t have wanted you to anyway. The only downside to this DIY is the kitty claws. If your cat cannot resist cardboard, even when it’s feeding him, you may want to opt for another project.

The good news? This DIY automatic feeder is very easy to rebuild with another cardboard box. You just might want to keep the broom or vacuum nearby for the potential cardboard shreds.

4. DIY Automatic Cardboard Cat Feeder

Materials: Wood, motor, timer, cardboard, glue, electrical tape, hinges, plastic jug, plexiglass, or PVC (for clear window)
Tools: Scissors, hot glue gun, drill, saw
Difficulty Level: Difficult

The materials needed for this DIY automatic cat feeder are limited considering how complex it looks. Don’t let the motor and timer scare you away, this does take some extra DIY work and won’t be a quick one to put together like some of the others, but the instructions are very easy to follow.

Once you watch the instructional video, you will gain some confidence. The good news about this one? Unlike all the other DIY projects, this allows you to control the feeding more easily thanks to that timer and motor. It’s high tech without being too high tech. Not bad for a DIY!

Benefits of Using Automatic Cat Feeders

Automatic cat feeders really work well for a lot of cat owners. If you are considering creating your own with a DIY project or purchasing one, it’s beneficial to know the potential benefits these feeders can offer you.

No More Early Morning Meows

We all know how notorious cats are for waking up their owners for that early morning feeding. In fact, they can be downright intrusive. No one wants to wake up earlier than they must, but a lot of cat owners are not given much choice by their insatiable kitties. When they want food, they want it now. Having an automatic feeder handy will prevent this pesky wake-up call and free you up to sleep in as long as you please. Your cat will be self-sufficient to feed themselves with these wonderful contraptions.

Great for Travel

Do you have an upcoming vacation or plan on traveling soon for business? You no longer have to worry about having someone come over to feed your cat (though you may want a litter box attendant.) Having an automatic self-feeder for your cat will give you peace of mind while you are out of town, knowing your cat is not missing a meal.

cat eating from green automatic cat feeder

Portion Control

With automatic feeders, you get to control your cats’ portions. While you will have to delegate amounts in the DIY versions of automatic feeders, commercial automatic feeders will have their own setting where you can set up specific amounts to be dispensed at certain times. Regardless, these feeders can be a great help for quantity and portion control purposes.

Maintain Feeding Schedule

Automatic feeders can help you maintain a regular feeding schedule for your cat by scheduling feedings. This is another instance where the DIY versions will be reliant on the owner since they do not have the technological capabilities of the commercial feeders.

Great for Grazers

Some cats are grazers, while others will eat all their food in one sitting. This can be difficult in multiple cat households, as the dominant cat can bully others and hoard all the food. If you have a cat that is a bit lazier with its eating habits, automatic feeders are a great option. These setups allow your cats to eat when please, so no one goes hungry. You must keep an eye on allowing large portions, as some kitties will take advantage of this and overindulge. You want to avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity and the associated health issues.


You could put together your own DIY automatic cat feeder in just a few minutes with materials that are likely already somewhere in your house or garage. DIY is a great way to occupy your time, hone in on your creative skills, and try out something new.

Making your own DIY automatic cat feeder, regardless of the level of difficulty, could give you an idea as to whether it’s worth purchasing a high-tech one from the pet store. IT may even get the job done itself and end up saving you money overall. Regardless, you can’t go wrong with these.

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Featured Image Credit: gofra, Shutterstock

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