The 5 Best Automatic Cat Feeders

One way you can simplify your life while also keeping your kitty happy is to invest in an automatic cat feeder. The best automatic cat feeders will keep your cat on a healthy eating schedule while also giving them a sense of autonomy. No longer will they have to wait for you to wake up in the morning to eat or have to chow down on dinner late at night after you’ve come home from a long day.

Besides simply providing on-demand food to your feline friend, there are some seriously cool features available in cat feeders today. For example, some have mechanisms that help slow down a cat that eats too fast. Some feeders can be programmed to dispense the right portion of food for your cat's size, which is a great feature to have for those overweight felines that are able to manipulate their owners into giving them more food with a few meows.

Beyond cool features, you'll want to look for a feeder that matches your cat's preferences and your lifestyle. Some feeders are better for dry food versus wet food, for example. Other feeders are designed to hold enough food for over a week, if you have a long vacation planned, or frequently travel for work.

No matter what your reason for needing one, one of the best automatic cat feeders is sure to be purr-fect for keeping your Fluffy well fed.

1Best Overall

For less than $100, this automatic feeder gives you a lot of features that the more expensive versions offer, like dual-power sources, a twist-lock lid to prevent your cat from breaking into the 12-cup storage container, and an infrared detection system that prevents the food bowl from over-filling. Amazon reviewers have praised this product for its easy setup and use: You can easily program the amount of food to dispense (from 1/32 cup to 4 cups per meal) and the number of times to feed your cat (up to six times per day). The feeder will get right to work, alerting your cat with a prerecorded voice message every time its ready to start dispensing food. "This thing is amazing," wrote one Amazon reviewer. "My always-hungry cat is finally not begging me for food constantly. And he hasn't figured out how to break into this machine to steal food - which is amazing, because he's pretty crafty!"

2A Budget-Friendly Feeder

Although it lacks all of the bells and whistles of more expensive automatic cat feeders, if you're looking for a low-cost model, this Petmate feeder gets the job done. Its gravity design means it will automatically replenish dry food as the reservoir gets low, so your cat will constantly have a supply of kibble throughout the day. (Although this feeder will slow down your cat from gobbling all of the food at once, it still probably isn't good choice for cats that tend to overeat as it will continuously refill.) The feeder has a 6-pound capacity (about the size of a medium cat food bag) and a removable lid for easy refilling. The only downside is that the feeder's plastic base is not dishwasher-safe, so you will have to hand-clean the feeder. Still, for less than $15, you won't find a more affordable automatic cat feeder out there.

3Best For Dry Or Wet Food

This dual-power source feeder from TDYNASTY DESIGN can be used with any kind of dry or wet food, and even treats or medicine, thanks to its smart, rotating design. Perfect for those occasions when you'll be away for most of the day, there are five individual compartments that you can fill with meals and then use the touchscreen panel with LCD display to program the feeder to open at set times. Note: it's not safe for your cat to consume wet food that's been left out at room temperature for long periods of time, and this feeder will not allow you to schedule the five feedings for more than a 24-hour period.

The food compartment trays are also dishwasher-safe, and the feeder has a locking mechanism to prevent your cat from breaking in between meals. Best of all, you can record a voice message that will notify your cat when it's time to eat, so even if you can't be there in person for mealtime, your cat will still hear, "Here, kitty kitty," or "Sophie, it's time for dinner!" in your familiar and comforting voice.

4Best For Long Periods Of Time

This feeder from WOpet lets you dispense dry food from anywhere in the world, thanks to its WiFi-enabled app that allows you to program the machine to feed your cat up to four times a day. If you're like many pet owners and worry that your cat might not actually be eating when you're away, the feeder's built-in HD camera with two-way audio not only lets you monitor your cat while you're traveling but also lets you speak to him as well. This feeder has a large storage compartment that can hold up to 17 cups of dry food, and it comes with a backup battery power source, in the event that your home's WiFi connection goes down. The feeder's stainless steel bowl is also dishwasher-safe, making it easy to clean when you arrive back home from your travels.

5Best For Multiple Cats

The PetSafe Smart Automatic Feeder has amazing features like WiFi-enabled programming from your smartphone, dishwasher-safe parts, a jam-proof conveyor design, and a slow feed programming option that spreads out a meal over 15 minutes. But what makes it especially great for feeding several cats is the extra-large 24-cup capacity and the two-way splitter adaptor that's sold separately. The splitter ensures that each meal is evenly distributed between two bowls, so that two cats can eat at the same time without having to compete with each other over the food. (There is also a three-way splitter available for sale too.) Portions can be set from anywhere from 1/8 cup to 4 cups, up to 12 times a day, so no matter how much your cats eat, this feeder should be able to keep up with them. At $180 for the feeder and bowls and $34 for the two-way splitter adapter, it's definitely on the pricier side, but it might be worth it for the peace of mind of knowing that all of your cats have been fed equally. You can even receive an alert on your phone each time they eat!

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