Pet Tech

The best automatic cat feeders to keep your pet fed while you're away

Your kitty will always be fed on time with an automatic cat food dispenser.
By Caitlin McCormack and Ashley Keegan  on 
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Our Top 7 Picks

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder
Credit: petsafe

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

Best Overall

A large capacity and high programmability make this cat feeder the ideal choice for cat owners.
Buying Options
$129.99 from Amazon

The Good

  • Program up to 12 daily meals
  • Adjustable portion sizes
  • Slow feed mode

The Bad

  • Batteries and/or power supply sold separately

The Bottom Line

For pet parents who want to program multiple daily meals in set portions, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder is your best bet.
Pros & Cons
WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder
Credit: WOPET

WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder

Best For Pampered Cats

A sleek cat feeder that lets you record a voice message to play when it's time for your cat to eat.
Buying Options
$79.99 from Amazon

The Good

  • Timer programmable
  • Voice recorder
  • Infrared sensor prevents spills and clogs

The Bad

  • Confusing instructions
  • Kind of easy to knock over

The Bottom Line

If keeping your home chic is as important to you as your cat is, this white design will look good while getting the job done.
Pros & Cons
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
Credit: surefeed

SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder

Best For Cats With Special Diets

This smart cat feeder uses RFID and microchip tech to only feed specific cats and keep others out.
Buying Options
$172.49 from Walmart

The Good

  • RFID-controlled
  • Sealed lid prevents tampering
  • Differentiates between up to 32 microchips or RFID collars
  • Connects to app to monitor feeding

The Bad

  • Can’t feed multiple meals
  • Batteries not included

The Bottom Line

If you’re a pet owner with multiple pets and one requires a special diet or medication, this smart feeder will give you peace of mind that the right pet is consuming what they need.
Pros & Cons
PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Feeder
Credit: petsafe

PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Feeder

Best Budget Pick

Pet parents can enjoy all the convenience of an automatic cat feeder, without the hefty price tag, thanks to this unit.
Buying Options
$69.99 from Amazon

The Good

  • Sealed compartments
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Budget-friendly

The Bad

  • One compartment always available
  • Battery powered only

The Bottom Line

This feeder is affordable and will feed your cat up to five times.
Pros & Cons
Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder
Credit: iseebiz

Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder

Best For Smaller Cats

This automatic cat feeder can dispense smaller rations of food for young cats and other small pets, or cats who require more frequent feedings and precise portion control.
Buying Options
$59.99 from Amazon

The Good

  • Voice recorder
  • Programmable timer
  • Hard to knock over/break into
  • Customizable portion sizes

The Bad

  • Small 3-liter capacity
  • Hard to clean

The Bottom Line

Capable of serving small portions, this automatic pet feeder can keep your cat fed for a long time.
Pros & Cons
PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder
Credit: PETLIBRO

PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder

Best For Portion Control

This automatic feeder can be programmed to dispense the perfect-sized portions for your cats at multiple feeding times throughout the day.
Buying Options
$79.99 from Amazon

The Good

  • Easy to program
  • Secure locking lid
  • Voice recording

The Bad

  • Requires a little math to dispense the right portions
  • Instructions could be better

The Bottom Line

If you don't mind taking a little time to figure out how many of the small portions need to be dispensed to equal the proper serving of food, this feeder is great for getting your cat's meals just right.
Pros & Cons
Cat Mate Automatic Digital Pet Feeder
Credit: Cat Mate

Cat Mate Automatic Digital Pet Feeder

Best For Wet Food

For cats that enjoy only the finest of wet foods, this pet feeder is the optimal pick.
Buying Options
$89.96 from Amazon

The Good

  • Long battery life
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe
  • Quiet operation

The Bad

  • No AC adapter
  • Extra ice packs are pricey
  • One compartment always available

The Bottom Line

If your cat prefers wet food at feeding time, this automatic cat feeder is the ideal choice to keep them healthy and happy.
Pros & Cons

If there's one thing cats love, it's food. Honestly, they probably love food more than they love us, the givers of the food. However, we can't always be at their side to feed them at meal time, as much as we wish we could be.

But, life goes on and we've got places to go and people to see, and our cats' feeding schedule shouldn't have to suffer for that. So if your cat has become accustomed to regular meal times throughout the day and your workday (or long weekend away) doesn't quite line up with that, an automatic feeder is a smart investment to keep your cat fed without disturbing either one of your schedules. While we can't guarantee that an automatic feeder will help your cat be cool with you leaving them home alone, at least you can rest assured that they won't go hungry while they miss your company.

What to consider when buying an automatic cat feeder

Whether you’re looking for a no-frills, basic gravity feeder, or a full-fledged product to program perfectly timed and portioned meals, we’ve found the best automatic cat feeder options to fit your — and your kitty’s — needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Wet or dry food: Which food type does your cat usually eat? Wet dispensers will require daily cleaning and more attention than dry food feeders.

  • Your cat's needs: While automatic feeders should never be a replacement for human interaction, consider your and your cat's routines. Would the feeder be useful for days when you're busy in meetings, or are you planning to go out of the house for a while? If it's the latter, your feline friend could develop separation anxiety so it's important to pick one that best suits their needs (like one that allows you to leave voice recordings — yes, really — which is great for those pandemic adoptees who have never been alone for long stretches of time).

  • Overall functionality: If you'll be using the feeder often and have a dishwasher, look for dishwasher-safe containers or bowls so you aren't stuck hand-washing each week. If you're someone who often mixes up times, pick a programmable feeder that will remember for you. If your cat will continue to snack all day long, opt out of a gravity feeder and go for one that dispenses a specific amount of food.

How to train your cat to use an automatic pet feeder

The younger a cat is, the easier it will likely be to train them to get used to an automatic cat feeder, but a cat of any age should acclimate relatively well. It's food, after all, so even if they're apprehensive of the fancy new robot hanging out in their feeding area, they will eventually eat when they get hungry enough. That said, there are a few tips and tricks to help the process move along smoothly:

  • Remember that cats love routine and familiarity, so don't be surprised if your cat turns up their nose at the new device. Give them time to get used to the automatic feeder's presence — especially if it makes noise — and let them sniff and examine it for as long as they need to get comfortable.

  • If your cat is not already adjusted to a regular feeding schedule, try getting them into that routine first. If they're used to having a bowl of food available to them at all times, an automatic cat feeder with timed food disbursement will come as quite a shock.

  • Don't remove your cat's current food bowl from the area; keep it near the automatic feeder so they can still get some food even if they're a little skittish around the new device. Leave out both the old cat bowl and the new feeder for a few weeks, decreasing the food in the old bowl while increasing the food in the automatic cat feeder.

  • Keep as close of an eye on your cat's behavior around the food bowls as you can. When they are eating primarily from the automatic feeder, you can start to take away their old pet food bowl for good.

  • A surefire way to coax your cat to the automatic feeder is by placing some of their favorite treats in it.

The most important thing to remember as you train your cat to eat from an automatic cat feeder is that you can’t expect to plop the automatic feeder in front of your cat and immediately run off for a weekend away. This process will take a little time and patience — and doubly so if you have multiple cats — so be sure to plan ahead and give them lots of reassurance and cuddles.

What kind of food can you put in an automatic feeder?

Automatic cat feeders are ideal for dry cat food, and are typically sealed pretty well to keep the dry food from getting stale over time. Kibble of just about any size or shape should fit well inside and dispense properly from the feeder without clogging or overflowing.

Since the nature of an automatic pet feeder relies on the fact that cat food will be sitting out for a while, most automatic cat feeders are not designed to house wet food or semi-moist food, both of which can spoil easily in a few hours’ time. However, some pet feeders are designed with a cooling mechanism to make wet food delivery possible. Be sure to take note of the type of food your automatic cat feeder is designed for before you make your purchase.

So, which automatic cat feeder is best?

Imagine being able to sleep in late without cats pawing at your face because they're hungry, or working overtime without feeling guilty about missing kitty's mealtime. With an automatic cat feeder, you can make that a reality, and your cat will most certainly thank you for it.

To help you figure out which option is right for you, we researched the internet's favorite models and broke them down based on the features cat owners care about most. Find the best automatic cat feeder for you and your cat in 2022 right here.

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder
Best Overall
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder
Credit: petsafe
Specs
  • Capacity: 24 cups
  • Meals: Up to 12
  • Power source: Battery/adapter
Buying Options
$129.99 from Amazon

For single or multi-cat homes, the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed allows pet parents to program up to 12 different daily meals, ranging in size from one-eighth of a cup to four cups. The large capacity hopper holds up to 24 cups of dry or semi-moist food at a time, which should last most felines quite a while before needing to be refilled. 

One standout feature that cat owners will love is the slow-feed option. This mode dispenses your cat’s food over a period of 15 minutes, which helps prevent your kitty from bingeing and then vomiting their meal. There’s also an immediate feed button that allows you to give your feline a little nibble in between their regularly scheduled mealtimes.

It comes with its own bowl and stand, which attaches to the feeder, but you can also use it with your kitty’s favorite dish. The pet-proof dispenser keeps prying paws out, and food fresh. The majority of the parts are top rack dishwasher-safe and are made of BPA-free plastic and stainless steel. 

WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder
Best For Pampered Cats
WOpet Automatic Pet Feeder
Credit: WOPET
Specs
  • Capacity: 20 cups
  • Meals: Up to 4
  • Power source: Battery/AC adapter
Buying Options
$79.99 from Amazon

This feeder does it all. It controls the portion size of each feeding (which can be scheduled up to four times a day), lets you leave a voice-recorded message for your pet letting them know it's time to eat, and looks good while doing it. 

The design of this WOpet dispenser is different from most. Its sleek white exterior won't clash with your decor, and its narrow shape will fit just about anywhere. And don't worry about the power going out while you're away: This dispenser has a backup battery system, though batteries aren't included.

The feeder also has infrared sensors that stop the dispenser if there's already food in the bowl. This helps keep your cat's food fresh and prevents food from spilling or getting backed up.

SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
Best For Cats With Special Diets
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
Credit: surefeed
Specs
  • Capacity: 2.5 cups
  • Meals: 1
  • Power source: Battery
Buying Options
$172.49 from Walmart

If you have an extra special kitty who requires a prescribed diet or is on a weight-management program, this automatic cat feeder is the one for you. It’s super high-tech, and uses an RFID collar system to only open and dispense food to the correct kitty (especially important when you have more than one cat in the house). It is also compatible with any implanted microchip for added convenience. This way, your cat gets their special food, while any other pets are access-denied. Since the SureFeed Microchip Feeder can store up to 32 microchip identifications, there’s plenty of space to store all your cats. 

It’s also an excellent choice if your cat requires medications to be dispensed during the day. Because the lid is sealed, it keeps flies, ants, and other yuckies out of your cat’s food, and is ideal for serving up wet food without drying out. It can also handle dry food as well. The batteries should last for up to four months of daily use, and the low battery indicator will let you know when it’s time to change them.

PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Feeder
Best Budget Pick
PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Feeder
Credit: petsafe
Specs
  • Capacity: 1 cup/chamber (5 cups total)
  • Meals: Up to 5
  • Power source: Battery
Buying Options
$69.99 from Amazon

Pet parents can enjoy all the convenience of an automatic cat feeder without the hefty price tag, thanks to this unit. The PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Feeder features five chambers that can hold up to one cup of food in each spot. Because of its covered, spinning design, it can be used with both wet and dry foods of varying shapes and sizes—there’s also nothing to get jammed, unlike with hopper-style feeders. You can set a schedule for the feeder to rotate at the same time every day.

The BPA-free, dishwasher-safe food tray makes for easier cleanup. Keep in mind that while there are five chambers, one will be available to your cat right away. The spinning system is nice, as you can check how much food your kitty has (or hasn’t) eaten at the end of the day. 

Because of its compact and lightweight design, this feeder is also a great pick for when you have to travel with your cat and want to keep them on their regularly scheduled meals. Even if you aren’t super tech-savvy, this feeder is easy to program. 

Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder
Best For Smaller Cats
Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder
Credit: iseebiz
Specs
  • Capacity: 12.65 cups
  • Meals: Up to 4
  • Power source: Battery/AC adapter
Buying Options
$59.99 from Amazon

This robot-shaped Iseebiz feeder is great for smaller cats (or other small pets) who don't need too much food to be dispensed per meal. It can hold enough food to feed your pet for up to 15 days with optimal portion control and it's rather fairly priced for having all the perks of other, more expensive feeders. It has an IR detector to prevent clogging and overflowing, and its screw-lock design keeps food fresh inside while simultaneously keeping curious pets out. Best of all, you can create an optional 10-second recording that will call your pet to the feeder when it's time to eat, even when you can't be there to do it yourself.

PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder
Best For Portion Control
PETLIBRO Automatic Cat Feeder
Credit: PETLIBRO
Specs
  • Capacity: 16.9 cups
  • Meals: Up to 4
  • Power source: Battery/AC adapter
Buying Options
$79.99 from Amazon

With this programmable pet feeder, you can schedule up to four meals per day and up to nine small portions per meal so that your feline friend always gets the right amount of dry cat food — no more, no less. It has a capacity large enough to keep most cats fed for up to 25 days before it needs to be refilled, and its secure lid-lock design ensures that food stays fresh inside even if the cat feeder gets knocked over. The automatic feeder also allows you to record a 10-second clip that will play when feeding time is on, so you can reinforce the bond between you and your cat even when you can't physically be there. Plus, it has a battery backup in case of power outages, though the batteries are not included.

Cat Mate Automatic Digital Pet Feeder
Best For Wet Food
Cat Mate Automatic Digital Pet Feeder
Credit: Cat Mate
Specs
  • Capacity: 1.69 cups/chamber (roughly 8.5 cups total)
  • Meals: Up to 5
  • Power source: Battery
Buying Options
$89.96 from Amazon

This battery-powered cat feeder boasts five food compartments: four hidden and one open for the initial feed. Each one holds up to 11.5 ounces of wet food or dry food to be dispensed at timed intervals. And, thanks to its close-fitting cover and the two included ice packs, it should easily keep that food fresh for up to 36 hours. The feeder also has a timer and digital display in the corner for easy programming at a glance. The only downside is that it requires 3 AA batteries (which are not included) and it cannot be plugged into a wall outlet.


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