Choosing an Automatic Cat Feeder: Buying Guide

 

We love our pets and want to do everything possible to make them happy. But, sometimes we have to work late or we get held up in traffic and our poor furry friends have to suffer. Pets like routine. If they are accustomed to having dinner at a certain time, they can get quite grumpy if you’re late, especially cats. Cats have a special way of letting you know they are not pleased with you!

You can easily solve this problem with an automatic cat feeder. Just fill it up in the morning or evening and your pet will have his food right on time! Automatic feeders help you control the amount of food your pet eats, which helps when you have to put your pet on a diet. And if your cat is an early riser, you get to sleep in without worrying about your cat going hungry or trying to drag you out of bed in the morning!

The tough part is deciding which one is right for you and your pet. There are several great products to choose from.

Here are some buying tips to help you find the automatic pet feeder that is just right for your cat:

 

Capacity of the Feeder

This is one of the biggest decisions. If you are customarily gone for long periods of time, or if you have more than one cat, you will need a feeder that can hold quite a few servings. You also have to decide how much and how often the food will be dispensed. If you aren’t sure how much you should be feeding your cat, talk to your vet or follow the feeding instructions on the bag of cat food.

Some dispensers allow you to give your pet small snacks in between meals. For many pets, this is much healthier than eating one big meal just once a day, because their bodies can digest small amounts better than large servings. However, many animals only like to eat once a day. Make sure you know your pet’s eating habits so you will know whether you need a multiple meal feeder or one that serves a single daily meal.

 

Ease of Use

Pet feeders are designed to make your life easier, so you want one that you can easily use. If programming the feeder causes you to rip your hair out, you may opt to forget the process and just try to make it home on time. This will cause you unnecessary stress. You will save yourself a lot of headaches if you buy one you are comfortable using. However, most feeders are easy to operate.

 

Dry or Moist

Some people prefer to feed their cats moist cat food as opposed to dry. You can get an automatic feeder that works with both, or with one or the other. Just remember that moist cat food may spoil if left in the feeder too long, so you will need ice packs in order to keep the food fresh. Or, another option is to freeze the cans ahead of time.

 

Safety

When you leave a pet at home alone, safety should always be your first concern. Make sure there is no possible way your cat can hurt himself on the feeder. Also, make sure that your cat can’t accidentally unplug the feeder if it is electric powered. If this happens, the machine won’t work. Many feeders are battery powered, but these can also cause problems if the batteries are knocked out of the machine.

Always test the feeder before leaving your cat at home alone to make sure everything is working the way it should.

 

Style

Style is a very personal choice. Ask yourself if you are more concerned about the feeder matching your décor, or with the convenience of your cat? The needs of your cat should come before how good the feeder will look in your kitchen, however there are many great looking feeders that can satisfy both needs.

 

How Much Do You Want to Spend?

Automatic feeders are generally very inexpensive. The size of the feeder may have an impact on price, but usually it is the features that dictate how much the feeder costs. Fancy models with all the bells and whistles are obviously going to cost more than a simple model. Additionally, the more components the feeder has, the more chance there is that something could go wrong.

For more information, read these reviews of automatic pet feeders to help you decide which one is best suited to your needs.

Super CSF-3 Automatic Cat Feeder
This is a top of the line model. It is very reliable and allows you to select portion from a fraction of a cup to several cups. It uses a digital timer. Read full review.

Cat Mate C10 Automatic Cat Feeder
This simple unit serves one meal per 24 hours and be used with both moist and dry cat food. It is battery operated. Read full review.

PetSafe Electronic Pet Feeder
A simple rotating tray design. The trays open at feeding time. Read full review.

One Response to “Automatic Cat Feeder Buying Guide

  1. By: Maria Holmes
    Date: August 19, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Hi there,

    Can you help me please.

    I have a friend who has been feeding a feral cat on a mostly daily basis – the cat comes along once a day (but sometimes has a gap of a day or two) very early in the morning and is not seen for the rest of the day/night. My friend is going away at Christmas for a couple of weeks and does not have someone who can take over the feeding of the cat except perhaps once a week.

    I am looking for an automatic food dispenser (or two) that she could start using now to get the cat familiar with the dispenser a few months in advance – the cat has wet and dry food so I was thinking of a wet dispenser and a dry dispenser that can be left outside and could run on batteries. It would need to dispense one meal a day for 5-7 days (at which point it would be replenished). I am not sure my friend would be able to ‘build’ something to protect or house the dispensers and I don’t believe there is any outside electricity.

    Do you have any recommendations please or suggestions on the best ones to choose?

    Maria

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