|1) Cat Mate C20 Automatic Feeder||2) Surefeed Microchip Pet Feeder||3) Cat Mate C50 Automatic Feeder||4) Petsafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder||5) Andrew James 6 Day Automatic Pet Feeder|
|Average User Rating||(4.3 / 5)||(4.6 / 5)||(3.8 / 5)||(4.3 / 5)||(4 / 5)|
|Batteries Required||1 x AA (not included)||4 x C cell (not included)||1 x AA (not included)||4 x D cell (not included)||4 x C cell (not included)|
|Number Of Bowls/Trays||2||1||5||5||6|
|Removable Food Bowl||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in Ice Packs||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
A Guide To The Best Automatic Cat Feeders
Paying someone to look after your cat can be quite costly or just an unnecessary expense, an automatic cat feeder can eliminate the need to have someone to look after your cat when you are away.
As the name of the product suggests, automatic cat feeders gives your cat access to food when it’s their feeding time. As well as food, of course cats also need a supply of water and a pet water fountain will do exactly that.
Although it would be nice to have a device that can feed your cat all the time, auto cat feeders would only work short term as there’s not enough food storage bowls and timers to accommodate for days ahead. Cats shouldn’t be neglected for a long period of time so a short term automatic cat food dispenser is ideal.
How To Choose The Best Automatic Cat Feeder
When deciding upon which one is the best and most suitable automatic feeder for your cat, there are several factors to take into account:
Number of bowls/trays – The bowls or trays provided will indicate how many times your cat can be fed. Each bowl or tray will be covered and will only open for when you set the timer for. The capacity size for each bowl or tray will vary, so some may be able to hold two servings.
Microchip compatible – Currently there’s only one microchip cat feeder shown in the table, which can be programmed to store up to 32 pets. However it does come with one RFID collar tag for non-microchipped cats, so it will still work if your cat isn’t microchipped.
There is no timer function for the Surefeed Microchip Pet Feeder, the cover will simply open whenever a pet you made compatible with the feeder reaches in to get food.
Built-in ice packs – Ice packs helps keep food fresh, it also allows you to store wet food in the food bowl as the ice packs will keep it fresh. Automatic cat feeders without built-in ice packs will only be able to hold dried, tinned or semi-moist food.
Battery type – Check to see what batteries the auto cat feeder requires, some require C or D cell batteries which you’re probably less likely to have at home so you’ll need to purchase some batteries as well.
Automatic Cat Feeder For Multiple Cats
If you have more than one cat then you’ll need a large cat feeder to feed your cats whilst you are away. Another option would be to simply buy more than one timed cat feeder. The Andrew James Large Pet Feeder has enough capacity to last up to 90 meals, so this would be ideal for multiple cats. However only dried cat food can be stored as there are no built-in ice packs to keep wet food fresh.
The problem with multiple cats or pets is they might try eating each others food which will leave a cat with a smaller portion. Although quite costly but a solution to this could be to invest in a microchip cat feeder.
Benefits Of Using An Automatic Cat Feeder
Using an auto cat feeder over an ordinary cat feeder may be more beneficial for you, below we’ll list the benefits of using an automatic cat feeder:
You don’t have to be present – This is probably the number one reason why people buy an automatic cat feeder in the first place, having one means you don’t have to be present to feed your cat as this will be done for when you have set the timer for.
Timer – Most of automatic pet feeders will have a timer but the frequency of how often it can open will depend on the model. The Andrew James Pet Feeder shown in the table offers good flexibility by allowing the bowl to automatically open at 6 different times over 1 to 6 days and everything in between.
You can programme the feeder to uncover the food for when you have set the timer for. Some feeders will allow you to set the timer for a few days ahead, so your cat will have access to food for a few days whilst you are not present.
Portion sizes – As the feeder will only uncover one bowl or tray at a time, you can measure how much food you want to put it to ensure your cat doesn’t overeat.
If this was an ordinary auto cat feeder and you put two days worth of food in his bowl in the hopes that it’ll last him two days, he may just eat everything in his bowl in one sitting! Therefore an ordinary feeder would not be practical for you if you plan to be away for a day or two.
Easy to clean – The bowl or tray does detach from the feeder so cleaning it would be easier.