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If you’re looking for an automatic cat feeder, the Petlibro Automatic Pet Feeder may have crossed your radar. Its sleek design, cat-friendly size, and balanced array of features make it an appealing choice for those who want a highly-functional unit without too much fuss.
But how does this automatic feeder work, and is it a good choice for your cat? After researching the automatic cat feeder market, studying the Petlibro, and trying it in my own home, I’m bringing you all the details on this feeder.
Read until the end to find out how you can get 20% off your order of the Petlibro feeder or any other Petlibro product.
Why Should You Trust Us?
Cats.com has reviewed hundreds of cat products, including a range of pet tech and accessories like water fountains, toys, and feeders.
I’ve personally tried dozens of these products with my two cats, Wessie and Forest. I’ve researched, pulled apart, cleaned, and tested a range of cat feeders, including classics like the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed and high-tech units with microchip detection and built-in webcams.
In addition to that personal experience, I’ve gotten insights from, well, you. The Cats.com community is always telling us what they need and want. Based on this background, we know what to look for in a good automatic feeder, which flaws are dealbreakers, and which types of feeders work best in various households.
So let’s jump into the Petlibro automatic cat feeder review.
We’ll Start With Some Background On The Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder
Not all automatic feeders are the same—some dispense wet food, some contain only kibble. Some allow you to feed four equally-sized meals a day, while others dispense up to 16 varied portions. And smart feeders are growing in popularity, allowing you to connect to your cat’s feeder from afar.
Read More: The 5 Best Automatic Cat Feeders
The Petlibro feeder is positioned somewhere in the middle of the cat feeder spectrum. It’s not a teched-out smart feeder, but it’s not a basic gravity-powered unit, either.
It’s a programmable upright feeder, meaning that it has a food hopper and dispenses food into its bowl according to a schedule of your choosing. With four customizable feeding times, plus an immediate feed option, the Petlibro feeder allows you to decide how much and how often your cat eats during the day.
Like any upright feeder, you can only use it with dry food.
In addition to all the basic features of an upright feeder, the Petlibro incorporates a few features you won’t see in other feeders of its type.
It has a built-in voice recorder, which allows you to record a 10-second voice message to accompany each meal. A couple of convenience features, including an easy-to-disassemble body, freshness lid, and screen lock, promise to make it easy and comfortable to use.
Now That You Know What The Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder Is, Let’s Talk About My Experience With This Food Dispenser
Having unboxed a few dozen cat products in the last year, I can tell when a company puts care into their packaging. And Petlibro is definitely doing that.
The feeder arrived neatly-packed, swaddled in dense packing materials, and crowned by a sleek branded envelope. The envelope contained a quick start guide, user manual, and a couple of stickers. Unlike so many pet feeders, Petlibro’s user guide is clearly written and easy-to-follow.
When I pulled everything out, I saw that the box contained the body of the feeder, the detachable food bowl, a power cord with an AC adapter, the hopper lid, and a desiccant pack intended to sit inside of the lid and keep the feeder’s contents fresh.
Assembly took just a few minutes. I peeled off the protective tape, attached the food bowl, plugged in the power cord, placed the desiccant pack into its holder on the underside of the lid, and made sure everything was stacked in place.
In addition to the included power cord, the Petlibro works with three D batteries (not included), so you won’t have to worry about your cat’s food supply becoming unavailable in the case of a power outage.
Once assembled, the unit measures 7.5” x 7.5” x 12” and weighs just over 4.74 lbs. It has a 4-liter capacity or about 16.9 ounces.
Once It Was Assembled, It Was Time To Program The Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder
Programming automatic cat feeders can be tricky.
Some have to connect to your home’s Wi-Fi. Some have extensive menus to navigate. Most work like digital watches, assigning various uses to each button and demanding that you sometimes press two buttons at once or one button twice.
The Petlibro automatic feeder is a refreshing exception. Of the automatic feeders I’ve tried, the Petlibro had the most intuitive setup. With clearly-labeled buttons and an LCD screen, it was easy to set the time, create a feeding schedule, and record a voice message.
The Petlibro has four feeding times, each delivering an adjustable portion.
Instead of measuring in grams, teaspoons, or ounces, the Petlibro uses a product-specific portion system. One portion is equivalent to about 2.5 teaspoons of dry cat food. Depending on the caloric density of your cat’s kibble, most adult cats will typically need 16 of these portions per day.
With up to 9 portions per meal—about ¼ of a cup—you have a fair amount of flexibility in how much you want your cat to eat each day. You can also use the immediate feed option to dispense a portion with the press of a button.
Besides making setup a cinch, the LCD gives you helpful information, like which meal your cat is on and how many portions they’ve been served. Thanks to the battery indicator, you’ll feel more confident that the feeder has backup power if the electricity goes out.
How Well Did The Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder Work?
Once it was programmed, it was time to put the Petlibro automatic cat feeder to work. While its 4-liter capacity is a little bit smaller than that of some other automatic feeders intended for both cats and larger dogs, I found that it holds plenty of food. I dumped in a 4.5-lb bag of kibble and it filled up the hopper.
The Feeder Dispensed Food Reliably And Neatly
It dispensed food at each mealtime, playing back my voice recording and sending the intended portion of food into the bowl.
In my experience trying automatic feeders, I’ve found that few get the bowl size just right. Many feeders are engineered primarily for dogs, translating to huge, intimidating bowls. Other food bowls are too deep and many are too shallow, allowing kibble to bounce and spray onto the floor rather than staying put in the bowl.
In contrast, the Petlibro’s bowl was small enough for my cats to access easily, but not so shallow that the kibble ended up on the floor. The feeder is made for both cats and dogs, but in contrast to other dog-oriented feeders, its design is best suited to small pets.
In Terms Of Security, My Experience Was Mixed
If you have a cat—or thieving pup—who’s prone to hacking into feeders, you’ll want a secure system. While the Petlibro feeder is sturdy and it’s impossible to access the food by reaching up into the hopper from the mouth, the feeder’s weak point is its lid.
While most other feeders have latches or tabs that keep the lid secure, the Petlibro’s lid seats with nothing holding it in place. If your pet knocks the feeder over, the food will go flying.
I spoke with Petlibro about this issue and they said that they were aware of it and are currently looking for solutions, so those concerned about security should have a better Petlibro feeder soon.
The Moderate Size And Removable Desiccant Bag Promise To Keep Food Fresh
Thanks to the Petlibro feeder’s comparatively small cat-sized hopper, your cat’s food shouldn’t be sitting around for months on end, meaning that the food should still be crisp and fresh by the time you reach the bottom.
Additionally, the lid has space to hold a pouch of silica gel pearls, which come included with the feeder. These beads will adsorb moisture to keep your kitty’s food crunchy and delicious.
What Did The Cats Think?
My cats are on a high-moisture diet, so they weren’t able to get any long-term experience with the feeder.
Instead, I asked them to take a look and try a few bites from it. As mentioned earlier, both cats seemed to feel comfortable eating from the bowl and weren’t afraid of the sounds it made while dispensing.
I can’t say that the voice message brought my cats running into the room every time, but I did notice Wessie wandering in when it was played. If your cat is trained to come when called, the voice message feature could be a powerful training tool.
When it came time to clean the Petlibro, it was easy to disassemble and hand-wash the unit.
The company doesn’t recommend putting the Petlibro automatic feeder in the dishwasher, but it’s easy to disassemble and clean, without a lot of fiddly parts or crannies to deal with.
How Much Does The Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder Cost?
The 4-liter Petlibro automatic feeder costs $69.99 on the Petlibro website, with free shipping on any order in the continental United States. If you opt for the 6-liter version with a translucent tank, your price will go up to $79.99.
We’re teaming up with Petlibro to offer our readers a special 20% discount on all items in the Petlibro store. That means that you’ll pay just $56 for the Petlibro feeder—a low price we haven’t seen anywhere else on the web.
Enter the promo code “ALLABOUTCATS” at checkout to secure your discount.
Overall, Is The Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder A Good Choice?
If you’re looking for an automatic feeder that dispenses dry food according to a customizable schedule, the Petlibro is an exceptionally cat-friendly and human-friendly choice.
With its easy-breezy programming, helpful LCD screen, and easy disassembly and cleaning, the Petlibro automatic feeder is a cinch to handle and maintain. The combination of a power cord and battery backup power gives you peace of mind during long days away from home. And for your cat, the feline-friendly bowl size and freshness features help to make mealtime tasty and comfortable.
The Petlibro isn’t the right choice for everyone, though.
For example, if you want to feed your cats more than four meals a day, you’re out of luck. And while the system’s 2.5-teaspoon increments will work for most cats, this isn’t enough portion control for everyone. Additionally, the Petlibro isn’t the best choice for determined food thieves and rambunctious pets who might topple the feeder.
In conclusion, I was happy with the Petlibro automatic cat feeder. After testing out several automatic cat feeders over the last year, I’d rank this upright feeder among the best on the market in terms of ease of use and cat-friendliness.