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The 7 Best Automatic Cat Feeders

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Whether you seek greater control over your cat’s food intake or simply want to keep them well fed while you’re away from home, an automatic cat feeder could be the ideal solution.

With its versatility and consistent performance, the Cat Mate C500 is our top pick for the best automatic cat feeder on the market. Though less advanced than some of our other recommendations, it functions well and is compatible with any type of cat food. Its rotating design keeps the food secure while the built-in ice packs keep it fresh.

In addition to our top recommendation, we’ve selected six more of the best automatic feeders you can buy. But before we jump into the reviews, let’s talk about what we looked for when choosing the best automatic feeders.

At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Automatic Cat Feeders

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In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Overall Best
Picked by 21 people today!

Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder

  • Compatible with any type of food
  • Safe and secure - cats can’t access the food under the cover
  • Affordable compared to other feeders
Best Camera Feeder
Picked by 18 people today!

Petlibro Automatic Feeder with Camera

  • WiFi-enabled with a 1080p wide-angle camera and smartphone app
  • Large hopper holds up to 21 cups (about 1 month of food)
  • Works consistently without spilling or jamming
Most Versatile
Picked by 31 people today!

PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Pet Feeder

  • Compatible with any type of food, including treats and medications
  • Allows you to choose exactly how much you want to give your cat
  • Affordable compared to other feeders
Premium Pick
Picked by 31 people today!

Feeder-Robot by Whisker Automatic Pet Feeder

  • Program and control the feeder through the Connect app
  • Generous 32-cup storage capacity for dry cat food
  • Precisely dispenses food in portions ranging from 1/8 to 1 cup
Best for Long Absences
Picked by 31 people today!

Petlibro Granary Automatic Pet Feeder

  • Works consistently with very few malfunctions
  • Twist-lock lid and desiccant pouch keep food fresh for weeks
  • Very secure against even highly motivated food thieves
Best Hassle-Free
Picked by 25 people today!

DOGNESS Mini Programmable Automatic Pet Feeder

  • Good for single-cat households
  • Dispenses up to 3 meals a day with customizable portions
  • Includes a stainless steel food dish
Best Microchip Feeder
Picked by 25 people today!

MiBowl Automatic Microchip Pet Feeder

  • Controls food access with implanted microchip or collar-worn ID
  • Enclosed design keeps other pets out of your cat’s bowl
  • Revolving lid keeps food fresh between visits

Why Should You Trust Us?

We’ve researched, tested, and reviewed hundreds of cat products, including a range of pet tech and accessories like water fountains, toys, and feeders. We’ve consulted veterinary experts about potential health and safety concerns, and talked to animal behaviorists about what makes a product cat-friendly.

We’ve also read thousands of customer reviews and, with the help of our own cats, we got hands-on experience with most of the automatic cat feeders on this list.

How We Tested

We spent hours researching the different types of automatic cat feeders, exploring the various products on the market, and reading hundreds of customer reviews. Most of the products on this list have been tested in depth by our experts.

Throughout the testing period, our experts observed various performance indicators such as portion accuracy, timing consistency, and malfunction frequency. Our experts have also made note of factors affecting user experience such as programmability, app connectivity, noise level, and more.

Top Picks Explained

Though we’ve recently added some new products to our list of top picks, you can see an in-depth video review detailing five of our favorite automatic cat feeders. Check it out below:

What Are the Qualities of the Best Automatic Cat Feeders?

The Best Automatic Cat Feeders Are Smooth and Quiet

Jamming and malfunctioning are constant realities when dealing with poorly designed automatic cat feeders. These feeders can’t handle the food you put in them, they malfunction, they clank and whirr, and ultimately, they don’t feed your cat.

We scoured customer reviews to ensure that all the feeders we’ve recommended work quietly and consistently with as few malfunctions as possible.

Great Automatic Cat Feeders Are Compatible With Your Cat’s Favorite Food

Make sure that your automatic feeder works with the type of food your cat likes. While top-of-the-line automatic feeders boast compatibility with every shape and size of kibble you can dump into them, you’ll have to do a little more research to find a feeder that’s compatible with wet or raw food.

The Best Automatic Cat Feeders Are Secure, Ensuring That Your Cat Can’t Hack the System

A poorly designed automatic feeder is no match for a motivated and crafty cat’s desire to eat. Less secure automatic feeders are acceptable for laid-back cats. Those who are extremely food-driven will require a secure system that only humans can manipulate.

The Best Automatic Cat Feeders Have a Large Food Capacity

Just as the best water fountains have a high water capacity, the best automatic feeders have large hoppers or compartments capable of storing a generous amount of food.

This is especially important if you plan to leave the house for a few days and are relying on the feeder to keep your cat fueled up while you’re away.

The Best Automatic Cat Feeders Fit Your Budget

There’s an automatic feeder for almost every budget. Simple gravity-powered feeders are generally the cheapest choice, while automatic feeders with high-tech smartphone connectivity integrations will come at a higher cost.

Overall, automatic cat feeders range from $10 for basic low-end models to $250 for a cutting-edge unit.

The Best Automatic Cat Feeders Have Reliable Power

Most automatic cat feeders plug into a power outlet and rely on your home’s electricity. To ensure that your cat continues to receive food in the case of a power outage, it’s important that the feeder is equipped with a backup battery. This will keep your unit alive when your home electricity can’t.

Conversely, some automatic cat feeders have no power cord and rely on a battery alone. Battery-dependent units should have a history of long battery life and reliability.

Here Are the Top 5 Types of Automatic Cat Feeders

Illustration of the Top 5 Types Of Automatic Cat Feeders

While automatic cat feeders come in a variety of forms, there are five main types on the market. Each of them appeals to slightly different needs and will work best for a different type of cat owner. Let’s learn more about each.

1. Gravity-Based Automatic Cat Feeders

The simplest of automatic feeders, these units dispense food using nothing but the power of gravity.

They’re not timed, they’re not adjustable, and you can’t use them to watch your cat from around the world, but for some, they’re a convenient solution. These are ideal for dry feeders who want to manage their cat’s food intake while they’re out of town for the weekend.

As the most low-tech choice on this list, gravity-based feeders are also the most affordable.

These simple feeders work well if you’re on a budget, but they’re not the best choice for very food-motivated cats. If your cat is desperate to get food out of the feeder, these are some of the easiest for cats to “hack” or tip over.

2. Programmable Upright Automatic Cat Feeders

This type of feeder has the same hopper and dispensing design found in a gravity-based feeder, but it’s programmable, meaning that you can decide when it dispenses kibble and how much comes out at each feeding.

These feeders work well for people who want to manage their cat’s dry food intake according to a controlled schedule. Quality varies widely and you might find yourself with a feeder that jams or dispenses imprecisely. If you need to closely control your cat’s food intake, you may prefer the next type of automatic feeder.

3. Programmable Dish-Style Automatic Cat Feeders

These feeders work a little bit differently than the typical automatic feeder. They feature several food compartments and, according to a set schedule, expose the food hidden within the covered saucers.

Because they have a limited number of food compartments, this style of automatic feeder might not be the best choice for longer outings. Most will feed up to six meals before needing to be refilled.

That said, this type of feeder is the only one compatible with wet or non-kibble food. You can use these feeders to store canned or otherwise wet food for up to 24 hours.

While these feeders have a limited capacity, they’re a good choice for those who want to carefully control their cat’s food intake.

4. Smart Automatic Cat Feeders

These feeders connect to your smartphone, allowing you to control your cat’s feeder remotely. Many also feature webcams so you can watch your cat through their automatic feeder.

While exciting in theory, smart automatic cat feeders usually disappoint. You’re paying a high premium for, essentially, a webcam and the ability to change your programs when you’re not at home.

If those features sound interesting, an automatic feeder might be a fun addition to your gadget collection. But if you only care about making sure your cat’s fed while you’re away, a standard programmable feeder will work equally well.

5. Microchip Automatic Cat Feeders

Instead of dispensing food automatically, these feeders help you to keep meals separate among your cats and can also protect your cat’s food from a greedy dog.

While they’re not for every feline family, if you need to keep your cats’ food separate due to special dietary needs or gluttony, these feeders are the most low-hassle option available. They’re easy to use and usually do their job without glitches or hassle.

The Best Automatic Cat Feeders: Our Top 7 Recommendations

Illustration of Best Automatic Cat Feeders

We’ve tested and reviewed a lot of automatic pet feeders over the years and new models are constantly being developed. Here are our current top 7 picks for the best automatic cat feeder.

#1 Overall Best: Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder

Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder

  • Type: Dish-style timed feeder with cooling packs
  • Works With: Any type of food
  • Capacity: 5 and ¾ cups
  • Ideal For: Cats who eat wet or raw food that needs to stay cool
  • Price: $59.99

This automatic feeder consists of a rotating dish with five different compartments, each of which contains a serving of food. Like all dish-style feeders, this product has an advantage over upright feeders with a hopper. It allows you to choose exactly which type of food you want your cat to eat.

Whether you feed your cat raw chicken wings, medications wrapped in cheese, or dry kibble, this feeder will dispense it according to a set schedule. You can choose up to 4 different feeding times.

The feeder shows each mealtime on an LCD display, making it easy to keep track of and adjust your cat’s feeding schedule. This customizability comes with some limitations, however.

The feeder features five 11.5-ounce food compartments—one of which is for immediate feeding only—meaning that you’ll need to refill it regularly. It might not be ideal for multiple cats, extended trips, or people who don’t want to measure out their cat’s food. I also found the dishes themselves to be a little deep which could be uncomfortable for some cats.

This automatic cat feeder offers an experience similar to other rotating dish-style feeders but has a few added functionalities.

Most importantly, the Cat Mate feeder has ice packs built in under the feeding compartments. Like a miniature ice chest, it keeps food cool and fresh for 1-2 days, depending on the conditions.

Though it doesn’t have all the features you might find in some other programmable feeders and requires frequent refills, this automatic feeder is an outstanding option for people who want to feed their cat wet food or a variety of different types of food.

The feeder is powered by 3 AA batteries, which aren’t included with your purchase.

What We Liked:

  • Compatible with any type of food or medication
  • Safe and secure – cats can’t access the food under the cover
  • Affordable compared to other feeders
  • Contains ice packs for fresher food

What We Didn’t Like:

  • You’ll need to measure your own food
  • Features just five compartments, making it less than optimal for longer trips
  • Deep bowls may be hard for some cats to eat from
  • Batteries are the feeder’s only power source (not included)

#2 Best Camera Feeder: Petlibro Automatic Feeder with Camera

Petlibro Automatic Feeder with Camera

  • Type: Upright programmable feeder
  • Works With: Dry food only
  • Capacity: 21 cups (5L)
  • Ideal For: People who want to control and monitor their cat’s feeding
  • Price: $139.99

The latest addition to the Petlibro family of automatic cat feeders, this granary-style feeder has been upgraded with WiFi capability and a 1080p wide-angle camera lens.

This automatic pet feeder features a generously-sized 5L hopper which holds about 21 cups—roughly equal to about a month of meals for the average cat. Because the hopper has a tight seal and a desiccant packet under the lid, the food stays fresh for weeks at a time. It dispenses food consistently and reliably. You can adjust the meal size between 1 and 50 portions—each portion being 10g (about one tablespoon of dry cat food)—for up to 10 meals per day.

The feeder comes with a large, wide bowl and food is dispensed with a gentle whirring sound – no clunking or snapping like the noises some feeders make. The hopper itself is incredibly secure, so you don’t have to worry about hungry cats or determined dogs getting into it.

What sets this model apart from previous Petlibro feeders is the upgraded camera lens and the addition of the Petlibro Lite smartphone app (available for both iOS and Android devices).

The Petlibro Lite app enables you to monitor your cat through the 1080p camera. Unlike other automatic feeders with cameras, the camera focuses on your cat and the bowl rather than the rest of the room. Night vision allows you to monitor and record your cat’s activities in the dark as well as daylight hours.

Sound detection notifications let you know when your cat is near the feeder, and you can use both one-way and two-way communication to speak to and hear your cat.

Use the coupon code ALLABOUTCATS at checkout to get 20% off this feeder or any other single item in the Petlibro store.

What We Liked:

  • WiFi-enabled with a 1080p wide-angle camera and smartphone app
  • Large hopper holds up to 21 cups (about 1 month of food)
  • Works consistently without spilling or jamming
  • Built-in camera allows you to communicate and monitor feeding
  • Tamper-proof but easy to take apart for cleaning

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Only compatible with dry cat food
  • Only programmable through the Petlibro Lite app
  • Uses portions rather than volume measurements

#3 Most Versatile: PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Pet Feeder

PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal Pet Feeder

  • Type: Dish-style programmable automatic feeder
  • Works With: Any type of food or treats
  • Capacity: 5 cups
  • Ideal For: People who want a consistent, reliable feeder that gives them plenty of flexibility
  • Price: $52.95

Rated the #1 best automatic feeder for cats and small dogs on Wirecutter, this dish-style feeder works consistently and effectively to dole out properly-portioned meals of your choice. It’s not a great choice if you’re spending more than a couple of days away from home, but it can make your daily routine a lot simpler if your cat requires special meals and treats.

While this dish-style feeder limits your convenience by demanding that you measure out your own portions of cat food, it makes up for lost convenience in control. Like the previous model, if your cat is on a special diet, this feeder gives you the ability to carefully measure out portions of treats, snacks, medications, and meals.

The serving disk is segmented into five 8oz compartments. The fifth compartment is designated for immediate feeding. You can choose precise feeding times for all other compartments.

Programming using the digital display takes some time because the buttons are only labeled with symbols. You’ll need to read the manual to know which buttons to push and in what combination, but it’s fairly easy once you get the hang of it.

This automatic cat feeder looks a bit like a food-dispensing Roomba vacuum cleaner. Because it’s so low-slung, excited cats are unlikely to tip it over. And unlike some upright dispensers, your cat can’t reach into the machine to release food on their own. It’s a good choice for food-motivated cats with a tendency to beg and fight for their food.

While this feeder is incredibly secure once you’ve closed it up, you can’t view the feeding schedule after it’s set up like you can with the Cat Mate C500. The feeding compartments are a little smaller as well, but that makes them easier for some cats to eat from.

The feeder relies on four D batteries, which aren’t included. If you’d prefer to plug it into a wall outlet, you’re out of luck. It doesn’t come with a power cord and no such cord is available as an additional purchase.

What We Liked:

  • Compatible with any type of food or medication
  • Allows you to choose exactly how much you want to give your cat
  • Affordable compared to other feeders
  • Virtually pet-proof-keeps even the most motivated cats out of the food storage
  • Comes with a 12-month warranty

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Plastic compartments aren’t as hygienic as metal or ceramic bowls
  • With just 5 compartments, this isn’t the best choice for longer trips
  • Relies on batteries alone and they’re not included with your purchase
  • You can’t view the feeding schedule once lid is securely closed

#4 Premium Pick: Feeder-Robot by Whisker Automatic Pet Feeder

Feeder-Robot by Whisker Automatic Pet Feeder

  • Type: Upright programmable feeder
  • Works With: Dry or semi-moist cat food
  • Capacity: 32 cups of dry food
  • Ideal For: Cats who eat dry food, people who want a smart feeder
  • Price: $299.00

When it comes to pet tech, Litter-Robot is a name you’re probably familiar with. We’ve reviewed the Litter-Robot 3 Connect automatic, self-cleaning robot which delivers freedom from scooping in an all-inclusive package.

The Feeder-Robot frees you from measuring and administering your cat’s meals yourself, creating a more stable and predictable feeding routine for your cat.

This WiFi-enabled, automatic pet feeder is an upright programmable pet feeder. It stores up to 32 cups of dry or semi-moist cat food and can dispense portion sizes ranging from 1/8 cup to 1 cup. Using the feeder itself or the Feeder-Robot app, you can schedule up to 8 mealtimes per day.

If portion control isn’t a concern, you can also remove the hopper to use it as a gravity feeder.

What sets the Feeder-Robot apart from other upright programmable models is its smart features and thoughtful design. With integrated anti-jam technology, this unit doesn’t clog or jam as much as others and it has a convenient hopper-level indicator so you’ll know when it’s time to refill the feeder.

The app enables you to control your Feeder-Robot (and other Litter-Robot devices like the Litter-Robot Connect 3) from anywhere. You can adjust your feeding schedule, administer an immediate feeding, or check the hopper level. The app also provides insights into your pet’s feeding schedule.

Though the Feeder-Robot has some unique features, it does come at a price. At nearly $250, this feeder is one of the most expensive out there. You do get both a plastic and stainless-steel bowl with your purchase and the unit comes with a backup battery good for 24 hours, but it’s hard to say whether the smart features are really worth the cost.

It’s also worth noting that while many “smart” feeders double as pet cams, the Feeder-Robot does not. You also can’t record a message to play calling your cat at mealtime when food is dispensed like you can with other models like the WOPET automatic feeder.

If you already have a Litter-Robot automatic litter box, you might appreciate being able to control both the Litter-Robot and Feeder-Robot from the same app. Using the Connect app, setup is quick and intuitive. Overall, it’s a versatile and reliable feeder, though it may not be in every cat owner’s budget.

What We Liked:

  • Connects to your home’s WiFi, controlled through app
  • Designed with anti-jamming technology
  • Includes a power cord and battery backup good for 24 hours
  • Comes with a plastic and stainless-steel bowl
  • Can also be used as a gravity feeder by removing the hopper
  • Connect app can be used with other Litter-Robot devices
  • Comes with an 18-month warranty

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Significantly more expensive than some models
  • Limits you to dry food only
  • No “call to meal” function to alert cat when food is dispensed

#5 Best For Long Absences: Petlibro Granary Automatic Pet Feeder

Petlibro Granary Automatic Pet Feeder

  • Type:
  • Works With: Dry cat food
  • Capacity:
  • Ideal For: Cats who eat dry food and for long absences
  • Price: $54.99

Petlibro offers over a dozen automatic pet feeders and each new release improves on the previous model. This granary automatic feeder is an upgrade to the Petlibro Easy Feed which didn’t have an airtight lid and which offered limited security against probing paws.

This granary-style feeder features a twist-lock lid which keeps food fresh for weeks at a time. It also has a desiccant pouch integrated into the lid for extra protection against moisture. The lid also helps keep pets out of the hopper which comes in a 3-liter or 5-liter capacity.

With six feeding times and ultra-adjustable portion sizes ranging from 1 1/3 tablespoons to over 4 cups, you’re able to fine-tune your cat’s meals and give them exactly the amount of food they need, when they need it. It also has a voice recording function which allows you to call your cat to each meal.

Though the feeding call is an interesting feature, its function is limited on this model. The recording sounds a little muffled and may be less effective in catching your cat’s attention than the sound of food dropping into the stainless-steel bowl.

A combination of indicator lights and an LCD screen give you insights into the feeder’s status. Use the easy-to-read LCD screen to adjust your cat’s feeding schedule, monitor battery power, and identify when the hopper is low.

Overall, the Petlibro Granary feeder functions well and works consistently. Like other Petlibro feeders, this model has a jam prevention feature which detects food if it starts to back up against the spout. It stops the feeder from dispensing food until the jam is cleared.

Between the twist-lock lid and the patented hopper design which blocks off the chute after dispensing food, it’s one of the most secure upright feeders we’ve tested.

Use the coupon code ALLABOUTCATS at checkout to get 20% off this feeder or any single item in the Petlibro store.

What We Liked:

  • Works consistently with very few malfunctions
  • Twist-lock lid and desiccant pouch keep food fresh for weeks
  • Very secure against even highly motivated food thieves
  • Effectively protects food against moisture and pests
  • Reasonably priced under $100

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t offer as many features as some feeders
  • No slow feed function for cats who eat quickly

#6 Best Hassle-Free: DOGNESS Mini Programmable Automatic Pet Feeder

DOGNESS Mini Programmable Automatic Pet Feeder

  • Type: Upright programmable food dispenser
  • Works With: Dry cat food
  • Capacity: 8.3 cups
  • Ideal For: Cat owners seeking a low-tech option
  • Price$62.99

Automatic pet feeders enable you to ensure your cat is fed even when you’re away from home. Unless you travel frequently or have a cat who needs their meals specifically timed, however, it may not be practical for you to spend hundreds of dollars on a complex feeder.

The DOGNESS Mini Programmable Automatic Pet Feeder is a simple, hassle-free automatic feeder you can program with the push of a few buttons. It dispenses up to three meals per day with customizable meal sizes and the 8.3-cup hopper will last about two weeks in a single-cat household. The stainless steel food dish is hygienic and easy to clean, and the feeder comes in three colors.

This feeder relies on a USB charger and does not require an internet connection or smartphone to function. In addition to the USB charger, it has a self-activating backup battery in case of a power outage. An LCD screen makes it easy to see and program your cat’s meals and the enclosed hopper keeps food safe from food thieves, moisture, and bugs.

Users report that the controls take some getting used to, but if you’re not smartphone savvy it might be a simpler option than app-controlled feeders.

What We Liked:

  • Good for single-cat households
  • Dispenses up to 3 meals a day with customizable portions
  • Includes a stainless steel food dish
  • Powered by USB with a self-activating backup battery
  • Alerts cats to mealtime with a voice message

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Controls take some getting used to
  • Not intended for long-term use

#7 Best Microchip Feeder: MiBowl Automatic Microchip Pet Feeder

MiBowl Automatic Microchip Pet Feeder

  • Type: Dish-style feeder with microchip-activated cover
  • Works With: Any type of food
  • Capacity: 12 ounces
  • Ideal For: Cats with special diets, people who want to keep other pets out of their cat’s bowl
  • Price: $179.99

The MiBowl automatic cat feeder is tamper-resistant and microchip-activated. If your cat requires a special diet, it’s a great way to ensure that they’re the only ones who have access to the food. It also keeps larger pets like dogs from stealing your cat’s food.

This feeder features a 12-ounce plastic dish set in an enclosure with a revolving lid. The action of the lid is triggered by either an implanted microchip or a special tag worn on your cat’s collar. Though the feeder only comes with one of these special tags, it may be programmable for multi-pet use with implanted microchips.

The MiBowl feeder works with any kind of cat food. Keep in mind, however, that it doesn’t include an ice pack or any other way to keep wet food fresh for more than a few hours.

Pairing the MiBowl feeder to your cat is quick and easy. In pairing mode, the feeder will automatically register your cat’s microchip or the collar-worn ID tag. While your cat is learning to use the feeder, you can activate Training Mode which delays the closing of the lid. In default mode, the lid closes quickly after your cat moves out of range.

While the MiBowl feeder works well for keeping other pets out of your cat’s bowl, there are limitations to its cat-friendliness. The feeder has an enclosed design that supports security but some cats may not feel comfortable sticking their heads into the unit to eat. Depending on your cat’s size, their whiskers might also brush up against the sides of the feeder.

For kittens or very small cats, the MiBowl comes with two plastic shields you can clip to the sides of the feeder to reduce the width of the opening. These clips can also provide an extra level of protection against determined food thieves.

This feeder runs on four C-cell batteries and works with both standard alkaline and rechargeable batteries. It does not come with a power cable and there doesn’t appear to be one available.

What We Liked:

  • Controls food access with implanted microchip or collar-worn ID
  • Enclosed design keeps other pets out of your cat’s bowl
  • Revolving lid keeps food fresh between visits
  • Includes a lid stall detection safety feature
  • Easy to program with the touch of a button on the top

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive, costs over $200
  • Doesn’t have an ice pack to keep wet food fresh
  • Enclosed design may make some cats uncomfortable

Are Automatic Cat Feeders a Good Idea?

Automatic cat feeders promise a convenient way to make sure your feline friend stays well-fed and healthy whether you’re at home or on the go. But they’re not the right choice for every household. Here are a few of the benefits of automatic feeders and the best cat feeding station plus the signs that you should buy one.

An Automatic Feeder Ensures That Your Cat Receives Portioned Meals When You’re Not Home

For short trips and long days, an automatic cat feeder provides the portion control and meal management your cat needs. Unlike an ice cream pail overflowing with cat food, an automatic food dispenser ensures that your cat won’t gorge themselves or gain weight while you’re away.

If you feed wet food, a refrigerated dispenser is one of the best ways to feed your cat fresh or wet cat food while you’re away.

Additionally, automatic feeders are an effortless way to provide multiple small meals a day. As natural predators, cats in a natural environment might eat six meals a day. This eating routine can keep cats stimulated and may help to keep your cat satisfied, staving off the boredom and hunger pangs that may promote gorging and obesity.

Similarly, They’re Useful for Anyone Who Feeds Feral Cats Outdoors

If you feed feral cats outside, you probably know that cat food appeals to more than just the ferals – raccoons, skunks, neighborhood dogs, and other local animals love eating cat food. An automatic feeder dispenses cat-sized portions of food and sequesters the rest, ensuring that your outdoor cats get the food they need.

Cats Who Eat Too Quickly Can Benefit From a Slow Feeder

If your cat has a tendency to inhale their food and throw it up later, you know that eating too quickly is a real problem. Some automatic feeders are designed for cats who do this, moderating your cat’s eating speed and helping them to properly digest their food.

Automatic Cat Feeders Can Be Helpful, but They’re Not the Solution to Every Problem

Great automatic feeders can make your life easier. They free you from the need to feed your cat throughout the day.

They make sure your cat gets well-portioned meals when you’re not home. And if you choose the right one, they can help cats with special diets or shy personalities get the food they need.

But they’re no substitute for human care. Even the smartest automatic feeder can’t come close to replacing a good cat sitter. If you’re leaving the house for more than a day or two, you’ll still want to find someone to care for your cat while you’re away.

Also Read: The Complete Feeding Guide From Kittens To Seniors

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About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at Cats.com and an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

24 thoughts on “The 7 Best Automatic Cat Feeders”

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  1. Susan Stein

    An automatic feeder doesn’t solve the my problem. It offers the options of feeding small meals, but my cat would still eat too fast which means she may vomit afterwards. I need a licki mat or a slow feeding bowl that has grooves in it or slows her eating some other way. I don’t really need an automatic feeder. Although I may so some traveling now that I’ve had my second vaccine. I did get a Liki mat and it works well with pate, but not that good with chunky or flaky wet food.

  2. Steve

    Have you reviewed the automatic cat feeder from litter robot? They’ve started to make robot feeder now too? I’m curious how it stacks up to the list.

  3. Cheryl

    One thing I noticed with a non-automatic feeder is that the shape of the cat food tends to cause the food to get “stuck” and dispense properly. This is alluded to in the article. “Make sure that your automatic feeder works with the type of food your cat likes.” I don’t know any easy way to know that without buying it and trying it out. It makes me wonder if that is why dog food is shaped differently than cat food, to try to overcome this problem. No easy answer on this.

  4. Debbie Vernon

    Hi Mallory, I am on the fence about automatic feeders myself. I can portion control my 3 furbabies fairly well. However, I see this as a great tool for someone who travels.
    You made a comment about using with feral cats. It seems I a person who seems to attract stray ( rescued and found forever homes) and 2 feral cats ( 1 recently succumbed to late stages of FIV, despite regular vet care; she resided on my patio for 3.5 years and was ear tipped. The other is a very spicy Blue Russian Make who is set to be TNR, vaxxed, medical care; he come and eats at night) in the 6 years lived in my wooded apartment community. I have deer who will empty my bird feeders which are just 7 feet from my sliding glass doors! Opossum and Raccoons are crazy and “Blue” , my feral boy, has to fight them off at night when he eats. While the raccoons have seemed to gone away, the opossum haven’t. When it comes to food being left outside, I don’t think any automatic feeder stands a chance. This is based on my experience as a caretaker.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Stephanie, apologies for the late reply! I went through the process myself and am also not receiving the $25 discount. I’ll contact Whisker and see if we can get this sorted out. Sorry about the inconvenience!

  5. Gina

    One thing I am looking for and can’t find is easy to clean. I don’t like just refilling dry food reservoirs without being able to clean the unit out. Any suggestions?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Upright feeders for dry cat food do tend to be a little bit more difficult to clean, but it’s certainly not impossible. If you want a really straightforward cleaning process, though, I would opt for one of the rotating feeders like the CatMate C500. Hope this helps!

  6. Rachel

    Hi Mallory, great website. I also love your videos. I bought the Petlibro granary feeder a few months ago and it worked well for a while. Then, it started clogging. I then bought the Petlibro Granary WiFI feeder and it has been clogging up from the beginning. I washed it and that didn’t help. Are there any pet feeders out there with WiFi function that will not clog? Some of them advertise as “anti-clog” design, but when I read the reviews, they all seem to clog up.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Rachel, good question. Have you heard of jamming issues with the Feeder-Robot by Whisker as well? To my understanding, it should be able to resist jamming, and in my brief test, I didn’t have any issues. Hope this works.

      1. Rachel

        Thank you for that information, Mallory. I have not tried the Feeder Roboto. If I do decide to buy it, I will be sure to share my feedback with you.

    2. Alissa

      Hey Rachel, thanks for the info also. I can see between the automatic feeder clogging under normal circumstances that it won’t solve my issues with two cunning cats who will do anything to get inside that feeder for the food. (That’s just what I don’t need!) The third doesn’t care that much. This is why I’m considering getting him the microchip feeder on a daily basis; I don’t have the time to be cleaning the automatic out constantly. I can see owning one though for travel, as you recommended. I really appreciated your input!😁

  7. Momma Ailene

    Thank you so much for this wonderful piece, Mallory. I have landed here because I am wits end with these dang things. We tried the petsafe but it didn’t have an hd cam. We tried the ‘petlibro’ but it malfunctioned in multiple areas. We are now trying the wopet like you have in the video, but ours is perhaps the new model or a higher-end version. Ours has the hd cam, wifi, etc. It is working well so far but only time will tell. This one https://youtu.be/aZLhRwXStDE

  8. Alissa

    Hi Mallory,
    I noticed a few new microchip feeders on Amazon recently besides Sureflap such as MiBowl, Portion Pro RX, and TL Microchip. These vary widely in prices due to options like wearing an ID tag, etc. I was wondering when you’d review and list your favorite microchip feeders again? It’s no longer on the list of automatic feeders?
    Also, and I digress, but I have Pet MetLife Insurance, and they’ve been fantastic with paying my claims. They offer so many options, too. I was surprised that they didn’t even make your Top 5?Thanks for all you do! 🙂

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Alissa, that’s a great idea—I agree that it’s about time we explored some of these other microchip options. Will see what we can do! The Sure Microchip Feeder was removed from the list due to availability issues, but I’ve confirmed that it’s now available in a few places, including Amazon and Petco’s website. Regarding MetLife, I’ll consider it for an update of this article as well. It looks pretty good—though the annual limits are a bit lower compared to some other providers, you get plenty of flexibility in your deductible and reimbursement rates, and the single comprehensive policy seems to cover the basics we look for in any pet insurance. ConsumerAffairs reviews look decent, too. I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with them so far, and that’ll weigh into how it’s ranked in the updated review.

  9. Alissa

    Looking forward! I wanted to thank you for all the information. I’ve really learned a great deal, and I show cats as a hobby. No one informs you about nutrition except for one Ocicat vet back in 2012, and your site is so educational! These microchip feeders are so expensive for only battery operated, but my Mau (typical) is turning into a big porker. The Sure Feed and the MiBowl “appear” to not require collar tags, but that’s why I wanted you to do the rigorous testing with the cheaper microchip competition available. Probably won’t work. I have a feeling I will end up with the Sure Feed with the extra sides attached for the Big Fatty not to get in. Lol

  10. Avatar photoRod Stasick

    We’ve been using Sureflap feeders. I started looking at others because the one that’s 10 years old started having problems by opening and closing randomly and after a reset wouldn’t recognize the cat’s microchip. Also, it does allow a bully cat to get in the food. This is why I thought about getting the MiBowl, but I’m reading that old-style microchips (one of our cats has a 10-digit ID) don’t work. it has to be a 15-digit ID, so, keep that in mind the next time you have to compare feeders. It’s a bit frustrating with the Surefeed company because their US phone line for help is no longer in service.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Thank you for sharing this! Helpful information. Would you feel comfortable using the included tag on your cat’s collar? That’s usually a good workaround for cats who have no microchip or an incompatible ID.

  11. Avatar photoRod Stasick

    Only one of the cats would have a problem with the tag because he complete spazzes out with anything around his neck – to the point of even hurting himself. I got another Sureflap to replace the old one. We’ll see how that works … but, yes! the tag could work for most people on the various feeders. The microchip inconsistencies should probably be made clearer at a company’s website, Amazon, and any future reviews.

  12. Kylynn

    In the video you had reviewed the SureFeed microchip feeder, but the links (as of when I’m looking on 12/19/2023) show the MiBowel as the recommended microchip feeder. Can you provide a comparison of the two? We’re a multi cat household with food thieves and differing prescription diets, so I’ve been researching solutions to ease meal times and still allow my cats access to portioned food throughout the day.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi there! I’m working on an updated review at the moment, to be published on our YouTube channel next month. You’ll be able to refer to that soon!

  13. Heidi Gaultney

    I think an outdoor feeder needs to be ant and raccoon-proof. Those are two very different features but I have a hard time finding info about either of those in most reviews. Can you recommend one that is good for that? I would like a camera also. It needs to stand up to the swings in temperature of an outdoor temperate zone, environment. I’m asking a lot, but that’s what I am hoping to find.

    1. kateKate Barrington

      Hi Heidi, that’s a valid concern. Most automatic pet feeders are designed for indoor use, so they’re not perfectly pest-proof. Placing the feeder on an elevated platform about 40″ high may help keep raccoons out without restricting access by cats. Just be sure to place it away from anything a raccoon could climb.
      If you’re DIY-included, The Hundred Cat Foundation has some tips for building a raccoon-proof feeder here: https://www.hundredcats.org/raccoonprooffeeder.html
      As for the camera, it sounds like a wildlife camera might do the trick. Someone at your local home and garden center might be able to recommend a good fit.