Cat opening its mouth looking at food

Cat opening its mouth looking at food (© fantom_rd -

As a cat owner, there is nothing worse than being woken hours before your alarm at the crack of dawn by a passive aggressive kitty demanding to be fed. Those with feline friends know the antics of a cat trying to get your attention range from loud yowling to sheer destruction. One of the best ways to keep everyone happy is having technology step in to save the day with an automatic cat feeder. Most of the best automatic cat feeders (with the exception of a few models) only dispense dry food, but you can choose from different models that include everything from wifi and app connectivity or a built-in camera.

Besides letting you get a few more minutes of extra sleep, an auto-feeder can be helpful for pet parents who are out most of the day and want to feed multiple meals, or even for short vacations. Some models even allow you to record a custom message calling your pet at mealtime. Once you convert to the convenience of an auto feeder, you won’t be able to live without the upgrade! StudyFinds researched the best automatic cat feeders, choosing the models that were most recommended across 12 expert sources. Start here if you’re not sure which one to purchase for your cat. Let us know if we missed one in the comments below!

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Cat eating food from a bowl
Cat eating food from a bowl (Photo by Laura Chouette)

The List: Best Automatic Cat Feeders, According to Experts

1. PETLIBRO Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder

PETLIBRO Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder
PETLIBRO Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder

This PETLIBRO model has the ability to dispense even larger kibble if you have a dog, with a capacity of 17-25 cups depending on which model you choose. The Spruce Pets doesn’t recommend getting this model if you have a very large dog in the house who likes to knock things over, but for cat households it should be just fine. It even comes with replaceable desiccant packs to keep food fresh and battery backup capabilities in case of a power outage.

The feeder uses buttons and an LCD screen to program when you want the food to drop, and you can even record a message in your own voice that will play at feeding time to call your pet to you. People loves how easy it is to take apart and clean, as well as the sleek, minimal design.

The included stainless steel bowl the food drops into is specifically angled for better neck posture, and you can easily program in up to four meal times with nine different portions settings. Rover explains that if you’re worried a smart cat might get into the food, you’ll need two hands to open the locking mechanism that secures the container.

2. Cat Mate C500

Cat Mate C500
Cat Mate C500

If your cats only eat wet food and you need an automatic feeder option, the Cat Mate C500 is a great option that can serve five portions of either wet or dry food. The compartments rotate and become accessible to your cat according to the times set, and the feeder comes with two ice packs to keep wet food from spoiling. Forbes notes that the feeder is designed so that one compartment is always open, but it comes with a tamper-proof lid to keep pets from getting into food until you leave the house and remove it.

Each compartment holds ¾ lb of food, which should be more than enough for a serving. U.S. News mentions the feeder runs on three AAA batteries, which means it can be positioned anywhere around your living space regardless of outlet location. The motor that turns the cover makes some noise that might scare some cats at first.

Woman’s Day loves that the lid and bowls in the feeder are dishwasher safe, especially since containers that hold wet food need to be washed more frequently. The timer on the feeder defaults to serving meals chronologically, so make sure you set it in order, otherwise your cat might be waiting longer than intended for meal time.

3. PetSafe Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

PetSafe Simply Feed Automatic Feeder
PetSafe Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

For a straightforward dry kibble feeder, you can’t go wrong with the PetSafe Simply Feed. This 24-cup capacity feeder allows you to program up to 12 daily meals that can vary in size, from ⅛ of a cup to four cups. Chicago Tribune mentions it may not dispense accurate measurements if the kibble is larger than ½ inch, but this shouldn’t be a problem for cats who eat small kibble.

Mashable loves that the PetSafe has a slow feeding option for cats who tend to inhale their food – the machine will dispense the entire serving of the kibble over a period of fifteen minutes. This will ensure your kitty doesn’t binge and end up vomiting all over the floor. If you want to drop them an extra snack in between meal times there is an instant feed button that will drop them a bite.

According to Wirecutter, the feeder runs on batteries that last for a year, but you can purchase an additional power cord if you wish. Most pieces on the feeder are also dishwasher safe, including the stainless steel bowl. Though it only needs to be refilled every few weeks, it’s probably best to use only dry kibble as semi-moist kibble will go stale faster.

4. PETLIBRO Air Automatic Feeder

PETLIBRO Air Automatic Feeder
PETLIBRO Air Automatic Feeder

The PETLIBRO Air Automatic is a great budget pick for those who want an all around solid feeder with no extra bells and whistles. Popular Science’s favorite features include a press to lock protection mechanism to keep smart cats out of the food reservoir, as well as a cover for buttons to keep stray paws from pressing and accidentally changing settings.

The Spruce Pets tested this feeder and found that the smaller two-liter size held a little over seven cups of kibble. The default portion is 1/26 of a cup, though you can change how much food is dispensed at once by assigning multiple portions to be released until it reaches your desired feeding amount. The max portions amount to ⅔ of a cup, and you can use the manual feeding button up to five times if you want to give your cat more.

The feeder comes pretty much fully assembled out of the box with minimal setup, and runs on a battery life of 180 days or a USB-C cable charger. People notes that even if it is a great budget pick with a straight-forward interface, it is best for households with only one cat due to its small capacity.

5. Whisker Feeder Robot

Whisker Feeder Robot
Whisker Feeder Robot for cats and dogs

This high-tech feeder is a bit of a splurge, but Forbes gives it an overall rating of “best smart cat-feeder” due to its ease of use and large capacity. The Whisker Feeder holds up to 32 cups of kibble and has an all-inclusive app that lets you control everything from portions to timing.

Rover notes that this feeder was created by the makers of the high-tech self-cleaning Litter Robot, and boasts the same extra features. Besides scheduling meals you can track your cats eating habits through the app, which will also alert you when the food levels are low and need a refill.

If you aren’t sure about investing so much money into a pet feeder, the product has a 90-day money back guarantee. Woman’s Day notes that the smart app scheduling allows you to add or remove certain days when scheduling feeding, or you can use the “gravity feeding” mode that will continuously drop small amounts of food for cats who are grazers.

6. PetSafe Five Meal Feeder

PetSafe Five Meal Feeder
PetSafe Five Meal Feeder

One of the most versatile and budget friendly options is the PetSafe Five Meal Feeder, which works for both cats and dogs and any kind of food or medication. Instead of dropping kibble, the device has five bowls that rotate and are revealed to dispense food. Though it’s not ideal for longer trips away, Wirecutter says that it isn’t limited by the size and shape of kibble and keeps wet or semi-moist food fresher than other feeders.

Mashable loves that you can travel with this feeder because of its compact design, and the food tray is removable and dishwasher safe. There is no way for the dispenser mechanism to clog either, due to its rotating compartment design.

The device comes with a 12-month warranty and operates on four D-cell batteries, according to Cats. Though the battery operation allows for portability and flexibility with location, there is no option to purchase an additional power adapter if you want to plug it in.

7. PETLIBRO Granary Two Cat Feeder

PETLIBRO Granary Two Cat Feeder
PETLIBRO Granary Two Cat Feeder

This bigger version of the PETLIBRO feeder is great for multiple cat households so multiple animals aren’t fighting over the same bowl and are more likely to get the designated portion. The Chicago Tribune likes that you can opt to get the model with a camera that allows you to monitor and talk to your pets when you’re away from home.

The Spruce Pets notes this feeder has a five-liter capacity, and the divider between the two stainless steel bowls can be adjusted for more food to flow into one bowl, though it’s hard to adjust for a precise measurement. Up to 10 meals a day can be programmed, as small as a teaspoon and as large as four cups.

The top food compartment has a sleek twist turn locking mechanism to keep animals out and has a battery backup option in case the power goes out and you’re away from home. Time argues that this model is actually small enough to break down and stow in a bag for travel, and food tray can be removed and placed in the dishwasher.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

About Elsa Lee

Elsa is a freelance journalist, copywriter, and marketer based out of the Los Angeles area. She has been writing for 7 years.

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