Best Automatic Cat Feeders for 2019 [20 Reviewed]

Best Automatic Cat Feeders for 2019 [20 Reviewed]

  • 27 min read
  • Last Updated: 07/10/2019
  • Author: Jonathan Cooper

While most of us spend a good deal of time with our kitties catering to their every need, there are times when we can’t be home to feed them, and that’s when an automatic feeder may be useful. Automatic feeders can help keep your feline friend on a good feeding schedule when you have to work late or be gone for short periods from your home and give you peace of mind. Sometimes you may be home and want to sleep in when your kitty wants his breakfast on time. While they are convenient, they are not all made equal, and some can cause more problems than they solve. Your home environment, other pets, your cat’s temperament, dietary needs, and other variables should all be taken into consideration when choosing an automatic cat feeder.

Click here to scroll down to see what things we look for
when choosing the best automatic cat feeder

Best Plate-Style Automatic Cat Feeder

SureFlap - SureFeed - Microchip Pet Feeder

9/10

Useful for multiple cat/dog households

Ideal for prescription diets

Other cats can eat from behind

Lid closes very slowly

Does not portion out food

FEEDER TYPE:
Plate style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
13.5 fl. oz
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic bowl
MATERIALS:
Plastic
clear acrylic

BELOPEZZ 6L Smart Pet Automatic Feeders for Cat

7/10

Up to 4 meals/day

Dual power supply

Voice recorder

Does not seal tightly

Quality control

FEEDER TYPE:
Programmable hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
6.5 lbs of dry food
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic tray
MATERIALS:
ABS plastic

Petmate Pet Café Feeder

4/10

Easy to fill

Easy for cats to reach

Low maintenance

Can choose a small or large capacity

Does not regulate portion size

Not dishwasher safe

No airtight seal

FEEDER TYPE:
Gravity-fed hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
3 lbs
6 lbs
or 12 lbs
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic tray
MATERIALS:
Plastic
PET

WOpet Pet Feeder,Automatic Cat Feeder Pet Food Dispenser

5/10

Voice recorder

IR detector

Up to 4 meals/day

Stainless steel bowl not included

Quality control/no customer service

FEEDER TYPE:
Programmable hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
2.5 lbs dry food
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic tray
optional stainless steel bowl
MATERIALS:
Plastic

WOpet 7L Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser for Cats

7/10

Dual power source

Customizable food auger

Removable tray

Difficult to swap augers

Quality control issues on some units

Food can get jammed in crevices

FEEDER TYPE:
Programmable feeder style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
20 cups dry food
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic tray
MATERIALS:
Plastic

Best Smart Hopper Style Automatic Cat Feeder & Best Quality Automatic Cat Feeder

PETKIT Automatic Pet Feeder

9/10

Can be controlled with ALEXA

Can accommodate smaller kibble/portions

Sealed food compartment

Higher price point

Software can be glitchy

FEEDER TYPE:
Smart hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
6 lbs
EATING AREA TYPE:
steel bowl
MATERIALS:
Plastic
steel
melamine
silicone

Best Value Automatic Cat Feeder

Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder 3L Pet Food Dispenser Feeder

6/10

Dual power source

10-second voice recorder

IR bowl sensor

Difficult to clean

Quality control issues

FEEDER TYPE:
Programmable hopper-style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
small (3 lbs)
large (6 lbs)
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic tray
MATERIALS:
Plastic

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat and Dog Feeder

2/10

Program up to 12 meals

Slow feed option

Detachable bowl

Difficult programming

Quality control issues

Flimsy latch

FEEDER TYPE:
Programmable hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
4 lbs
EATING AREA TYPE:
stainless steel bowl
MATERIALS:
Plastic
steel
melamine

Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder

6/10

Integrated ice packs to keep food fresh

Battery operated

Easy to clean

Shorter battery life than advertised

Quality control issues

FEEDER TYPE:
Plate style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
5 x 3/4 lb portions of wet or dry food
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic tray
MATERIALS:
Plastic

4.5L Automatic Cat Feeder Buildin HD Camera and Audio Communication

7/10

Integrated webcam to watch and talk to your cat

Up to 4 meals/day

Voice recorder

Offline mode

Issues with app

Camera is not adjustable

FEEDER TYPE:
Smart hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
9 lbs
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic tray
MATERIALS:
ABS plastic

PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Pet Feeder, Wi-Fi Enabled, Smartphone App

3/10

Up 12 meals

Slow feed option

Dual power source

Offline mode

Easy to clean

Issues with app

Connectivity problems

Belt-fed

FEEDER TYPE:
Smart hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
Up to 24 cups
EATING AREA TYPE:
Stainless steel bowl
MATERIALS:
BPA-free plastic
steel

Best RFID Controlled Automatic Cat Feeder & Best Overall Automatic Cat Feeder

PortionProRx Automatic Pet Feeder

7/10

RFID Access control

Secure latch

Ceramic bowl

Easy to clean

Noisy

RFID tags have non-replaceable batteries

RFID tags are bulky

High price point

FEEDER TYPE:
Programmable hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
32 cups
EATING AREA TYPE:
Ceramic bowl
MATERIALS:
Plastic
Ceramic

Sailnovo Automatic Pet Feeder & Waterer

2/10

Anti-slip base

Voice programmable

Quality control issues

Tray does not always line up with lid

Cheap construction

Water can spill into food

FEEDER TYPE:
Plate style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
4 x 3/4 Cup portions
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic
MATERIALS:
Plastic

PetSafe Six Meal Automatic Pet Feeder

2/10

Easy to program

Gravity-fed distribution

Very short battery life

Quality control issues

Easy to break into

FEEDER TYPE:
Plate/hopper style hybrid
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
6 x 1-cup portions
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic bowl
MATERIALS:
Plastic

Orita 12 Meals SmartFeeder Auto Pet Feeder

7/10

1080 HD Camera

ALEXA compatible

Food level indicator

Dual power source

Connectivity issues

Quality control issues

FEEDER TYPE:
Smart hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
6 lbs
EATING AREA TYPE:
ABS Plastic tray
MATERIALS:
Plastic

HoneyGuaridan A36 Automatic Pet Feeder

7/10

Voice programmable

Washable bowl

Offline mode

Dual power source

Difficult to program

Clogs with medium/larger kibble

FEEDER TYPE:
Programmable hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
13 cups
EATING AREA TYPE:
Stainless steel bowl
MATERIALS:
ABS plastic

WOpet Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder Pet Feeder Bowl 1-Meal

1/10

Can be programmed 48 hours in advance

Ice pack to keep wet food cool

Difficult to clean

Low battery life

One hour increments only

FEEDER TYPE:
Plate style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
1 x 1.5 cup meal
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic
MATERIALS:
Plastic

PetSafe 5-Meal Pet Feeder

1/10

Dishwasher safe eating tray

Programming buttons hidden beneath lid

Quality control issues

Difficult to program

Lightweight and cheaply made

FEEDER TYPE:
Plate style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
5 x 1 cup meals
EATING AREA TYPE:
BPA free plastic
MATERIALS:
Plastic

Petnet SmartFeeder (2nd generation) - Automatic Wi-Fi Pet Feeder

2/10

Works with ALEXA, Nest, and Google Assistant

Sealed food compartment

Offline mode

Not precise

Weak app

Connectivity issues

Poor customer service

FEEDER TYPE:
Smart hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
7 lbs
EATING AREA TYPE:
Steel bowl
MATERIALS:
BPA free plastic

Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder Food Dispenser

2/10

Dual power sources

Removable bowl

Easy to program

Quality control issues

Auger feeder breaks easily

FEEDER TYPE:
Programmable hopper style
CAPACITY / NUMBER OF MEALS:
1.14 gallon
EATING AREA TYPE:
Plastic
MATERIALS:
Plastic

HOW TO CHOOSE AN AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDER:

Most automatic cat feeders were designed for single kitty households or a home where dogs do not have access to the kitty food. If you have multiple cats or other animals in the home who have access to the feeder, it could be problematic, especially if any of them are pushy about food. You would not want your kitty’s food to be eaten by the dog or one cat to get all the food, all the time. It’s a good idea then to assess what might go wrong in this kind of scenario. You want to make sure you choose a feeder that has the right feed mode for your cat. If you have multiple kitties on different diets or one of them is greedy, there are feeders on the market today with RFID chips that will only open for a cat with the matching tag on his collar. It may also be more convenient to feed a cat higher off the floor such as on a sideboard or lower table where it is easier for him to eat in peace.

It’s essential to consider your cat’s dietary needs as most automatic cat feeders are only suitable or work best with dry kibble unless they are a plate style feeder. Soft or wet food may be used with some plate feeders but as a general rule should not be left out very long and if this is primarily what your kitty eats a feed automatic feeder may not be an effective solution for absences of more than a few hours. Does your pet have a particular amount of food he should be fed each time or is there room for error? Not all feeders are specific enough for the needs of some cats on a limited or medical diet, and plate-style feeders are the few that will allow exact measurement of cat food as you create the meal portions. It’s important to think about the cups of food your cat needs. Hopper-style feeders are not as precise and therefore not an effective way to manage your cat’s calorie intake. Electronic hopper feeders are rarely exact enough for a dietary purpose, and a gravity feeder will continue to distribute food until it’s gone and some cats have no self-control with available food.

You should also take stock of your cat’s physical requirements for eating. Does your cat need a specific size or height of bowl to eat food easily or would he struggle with a narrow opening that some feeders use for access? Be sure to measure the dimensions of the container or food compartment including the depth to be sure your kitty can reach his food without straining.

Some automatic cat feeders can be very noisy and scare even the hungriest cat away. Most cats can tolerate change provided they are allowed to ease into a new routine or technology gradually. It is critical to acclimate your cat to a feeder before leaving him unattended with one, so he understands and does not develop anxiety associated with the unit. Some feeders have the function where you can record your voice calling your kitty for dinner. While this is a thoughtful feature, again consider if this may frighten your cat.

Other considerations for an automatic cat feeder: If it’s a hopper-style feeder is the food kept securely inside and will the design of the food storage compartment ensure food stays fresh? Is there a possibility a power interruption or outage could disable the unit? Some units have a battery back-up. However, if your unit relies on wi-fi, you could experience the same issue with it not feeding correctly. You may not be able to diagnose a physical problem with the feeder such as a blockage or clog remotely either.

As convenient as it may seem, an automatic cat feeder may not be the best idea to utilize unattended for more than a few days as even the most expensive one could fail or malfunction, leaving your kitty without food if you do not have anyone coming to look in on him.

We’ve narrowed the cat feeders we’ll be reviewing into three categories. While we do not recommend the gravity-fed hopper style feeders for most kitties, they may work well for you if you are lucky enough to own a cat that only eats when he is hungry, paces his eating habits and does not gorge himself on food because it’s available. Gravity-fed feeders do not require electricity, programming, or wi-fi and are simple for your kitty to figure out.

Not all cats are alike, however, and we know that when left to their own devices with unlimited food, most kitties will overdo it and you may come home to a starving cat and a lot of vomit. That’s where the automatic feeders that dispense specific portions at intervals you choose come in.

Gravity-Fed Hopper Feeder Style: This style of feeder is basically a large plastic bottle with a wide mouth upside down over a food bowl or tray. As the cat eats, gravity allows more to flow into the bowl or tray.

  • May jam easily
  • No portion control
  • Does not keep food fresh

Plate Style Feeder: This style of feeder is typically a rotating tray with compartments or a series of compartments with lids that flip open

  • Portion size easy to control: pet owner determines and measures portions
  • Limited quantity of meals that can be distributed
  • Ideal for single-cat family

Programmable or Smart Hopper Style: These  are typically designed as a reservoir of kibble over a tray or bowl with the ability to program the frequency of cat food distribution or control remotely using an app

  • May malfunction with power/wifi outage
  • Precise portion control may be more difficult to achieve
  • Usually higher price point