Feeding your cat is one of the essential tasks you must perform every day and that shouldn’t be a problem if you are at home but what if you need to go on a trip or you spend too many hours at work? To make sure your feline friend will not starve until you get home, you can count on an automatic feeder to serve the cat the right portions at the exact hours. Take away the hassle of feeding your cat with this device that portions kibble and releases them at the right time. This way, you can get your things done and still look after your pretentious pet.
|1. Petwant PF-103 SmartFeeder||2. Petnet SmartFeeder||3. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed||4. Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder||5. GemPet 5 Meal Trays Automatic Pet Feeder|
|Dimensions||10.6 x 8.3 x 15.9 inches||22 x 12.6 x 12.3 inches||18.5 x 8.7 x 12.4 inches||N/A||14.2 x 4.7 x 13.4 inches|
|Weight||6.7 lbs||11.2 lbs||4.6 lbs||6.8 lbs||4.2 lbs|
|Feeding Bowl Material||Plastic||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Plastic||Plastic|
|Power Source||AC adapter and batteries||AC adapter and batteries||4 D batteries||DC adapter and batteries||DC adapter and batteries|
|Total Food Capacity||4.3 L||7 pounds||24 cups||1.14 gallon||1.2 L|
|Portion Setting||10 grams to 100 grams||24 ml||1/8-cup to 4-cups||24 ml||Electric|
|Number of Daily Meals||4||N/A||12||4||4|
|Smartphone Compatibility||iOS above 7.5 or Android above 4.0||iOS and Android (since 2016)|
|Remote Video Monitoring||Sends notifications on low food levels, meals status, food delivery, and more||Slow Feed Mode||LCD display for easy operating||Five individual food compartments|
|Supports a 32 GB microSD card that is not included||Comes with a ramp to help kittens reach the feeding tray||Immediate Feed Mode||Pet safe magnetic lid to prevent pets from breaking into the food supply||Standby Mode|
|Compatible with Nest video equipment and Amazon Alexa||Pause Mode||The tray is dishwasher safe for a thorough cleaning and sanitizing|
|Additional Warranty||N/A||90-day for the replaced or refurbished item, 30-day money back||N/A||N/A||N/A||Customer Support||N/A|
Nonetheless, one of the main benefits you get is the certainty that your cat will receive food even though you are not at home to give it. No matter if you are at work or you must leave town for a few days, you can rest assured knowing that the cat will be fed without asking someone else to go to your house. You can even use it when you are at home but you are busy or when you want to forget about the early morning meals.
Even though it’s advertised as a cat feeder, it can also be used for small dogs, around 60 pounds, that eat small portions of food. Therefore, you will find it extremely useful if you are a cat and a dog lover as well.
Fear not about getting the hang of the automatic feeder because it’s very intuitive and you will easily go through all the programming steps. All you have to do is set the time of each meal and the portions you want it to serve and it will do the rest.
With it, you can take the guessing out of feeding the cat because it precisely measures the amount of food required for each meal. Each model can serve a number of daily meals and certain portions so that the food will be released with accuracy and at the proper time.
If you think that your cat is eating too much or, on the contrary, it’s not getting enough food, this device will be your perfect ally in achieving the right diet. Based on your dog’s medical condition, weight, and age, it will deliver the right amount of food so that the cat will remain healthy.
The biggest problem encountered in an automatic cat feeder is the food getting stuck in the chute. Most devices only work with a specific shape of kibbles that are not very large to force the chute to get clogged. Unless you are using that specific type of food, you could find it stuck before reaching the tray and the plastic parts could even break from the pressure of expelling the food.
Even if the cat won’t come to eat, the next scheduled meal will be released at the programmed hour so the tray could get clogged with food that could also spill on the sides. Also, if you leave home for a longer time, the food could start to smell bad and even harden on the tray if the feeder also dispenses moist food.
Given that the tray is usually square or rectangular, small cats might have troubles reaching the back and eating all the food. This makes some machines impossible to use on kittens without an aiding ramp that would lift them and help them get to the back of the food tray.
Some cats are very aggressive with food and they tend to tilt the bowl and spread the kibble or attack the food supply to get more on one meal. These cats might hit the automatic dispenser and open the lid unless it’s secured with a lock that will prevent the pet from reaching all the food. You might come home to find that your cat has opened the lid and eaten all the food before you arrived.
If you own more than one cat, having it around for feeding could turn out to be pointless because no one can guarantee that one cat will not eat all the food while the others will starve. It’s impossible to control which cat will come to lunch since you won’t be around to make sure all the cats take turns. The solution is to purchase separate machines for each cat but this could double or triple your investment.
Bottom line, cat feeders are not fail-proof and they can most certainly show some malfunctions but they are truly efficient when it comes to feeding your beloved pets. Picking one of the models we have reviewed will guarantee that you will get the best for your money.
For peace of mind, you must rely on a machine that is large enough to store enough food portions for the entire time you will be away. This is why we only looked for dispensers that could hold up to 4 pounds of food that will eventually be released into measured portions. This way, you will know for certain that your cat will have enough food for many days.
Although it’s an innovative gadget, you wouldn’t want to squeeze your brain trying to figure out how to program the feeding schedule or refill the container. If you are not in the pursuit of technology, you will be just fine with a feeder that simply releases food without any complicated features and apps.
Your budget also takes part in making the decision because you will have to set a price limit based on your needs. In case you are on a tight budget, you will have to drop some of the features that cost more money like video monitoring or a dedicated app. Still, there are many affordable products that will turn out to be very useful.
The majority of the models you can buy are designed for dry food only because it’s demanding as wet food. However, you can also find food dispensers that work with both types. The essential trick is to get a machine that works with the type and shape of food you usually offer your cat.
Keeping the bowl and food container clean is mandatory if you want to avoid your cat getting sick so it’s important to look for components that can be easily removed and washed. Some of them are dishwasher safe so you will know for sure that your cat will always be eating from a clean bowl.
If you have a pretentious cat with a specific diet, you will certainly need a feeder that will adapt its diet to its medical condition. Therefore, we recommend one that includes an app so you can create your pet’s profile and adjust its diet based on its needs.