The 17 Best Automatic Cat Feeders
An automatic cat feeder is a must-have for anyone who wants to keep their cats fed while they're away, whether during the day or on vacation.
They are also useful for giving precise portions to cats on special diets, as well as automating morning feedings so your cats stop waking you up and instead begin waiting by the feeder for breakfast.
We evaluated different models for accurate timing, portion control, software, and other features in order to find the best automatic cat feeder for a variety of situations.
More information about our testing process can be found further down the page in the "How BestForPets (bestforpets.org) Tested" section.
The following are the best automatic cat feeders.
The Whisker Feeder-Robot had the most intuitive feeding options and the most useful app of any feeder tested, according to our testers. The feeder was praised for its features, effectiveness, timer accuracy, and portion control.
The Feeder-design Robot’s is both futuristic and friendly, though it is on the larger side, so buyers should be prepared for it to take up a lot of space. Despite its large size, the Feeder-Robot has a 9 x 11.25 inch footprint.
This makes it feel a little top heavy, but not enough to worry about cats knocking it overâ€”bashing it with a ten-pound sandbag didn’t budge it, and your cat won’t either.
It took us about 15 minutes to set up the feeder right out of the box, including downloading and syncing the phone app (via a QR code on the back of the feeder), which is available on iOS and Android.
The Feeder-robust Robot’s settings make it simple to program precise meal times and serving increments, allowing you to dispense up to a full cup of food up to eight times per day.
The Feeder-Robot comes with a dispenser that uses 1/4-cup increments, but you can swap it out for an included 1/8-cup dispenser for more precise portion control (though this reduces the maximum single serving to 1/2 cup).
There’s also a setting that dispenses just enough food to keep the bowl full for 6 hours, with the Feeder-Robot checking the level every 6 hours.
If your cat doesn’t overeat and you don’t closely monitor servings, this “gravity mode” prevents the feeder from dispensing an overflowing mound of food while you’re away.
The reservoir of the Feeder-Robot can hold up to 32 cups of dry food, though anything other than small, round kibble will most likely require the included Hopper Insert.
It’s intended to funnel food more effectively into the dispenser, but it also reduces the total capacity to 25 cupsâ€”still a sizable amount of food.
“The app is great!” one tester exclaimed, before describing the Feeder-Robot as an exception to their general disdain for having to download an app for every new connected product. “The notifications give me peace of mind, so I can worry less about my cats while I’m away.”
The included backup battery, which can continue to run a feeder program even if the power goes out for up to 24 hours, adds to this peace of mind.
In addition to receiving push notifications at feeding times, the app allows you to check food levels, create schedules, and remotely dispense a snack-size serving by tapping a button.
While we haven’t had enough time with the Feeder-Robot to assess its utility, the app’s more in-depth features provide unrivaled insights for the cat-owning data nerd: tracking feedings over time, calculating daily averages, and providing other insights that can be exported to a CSV file ready for Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
The Feeder-Robot, thankfully, does not rely on the app. Whether a schedule is created using the app or the control panel keypad, the Feeder-Robot stores it locally and will continue to maintain it even if it is not connected to the internet.
An easy-to-read blue indicator light indicates whether the unit is currently operating on a predetermined schedule. While the Feeder-Robot has a higher quality feel than many of the other feeders tested, with beefy, dependable components that slotted together intuitively, it’s worth noting that our test model’s clear plastic food reservoir arrived cracked.
This appeared to be a shipping error rather than a problem with the product or manufacturer. Regardless, the device performed flawlessly during our tests.
We were also dissatisfied with the included plastic bowl, which cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher and may cause skin allergies in some cats (however, all components are BPA-free).
A dishwasher-safe, hypoallergenic glass bowl is sold separately, for an additional $30 to an already substantial investment.
We would have preferred that other Feeder-Robot components were also dishwasher-safe, though its washable components are simple to separate from the feeder’s base and hand wash.
The Whiskers Feeder-Robot comes in four different color combinations, with the body available in black or white, in conjunction with a clear food hopper or a more opaque smoke-colored option.
In addition to the 18-month warranty, it comes with a 90-day in-home trial period. Customers in the contiguous United States can even get free shipping.
The PETLIBRO Automatic Pet Feeder was our previous “Best Overall” pick, and while it’s still a dependable automatic feeder with a variety of configurations, it’s no longer our favorite. It is, however, a full-featured automatic feeder that is reasonably priced.
While the PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal, which is recommended elsewhere in this roundup, is slightly less expensive, it has fewer features, whereas the PETLIBRO feeder has all the bells and whistles.
The PETLIBRO has a power adapter and a battery backup, and one tester described it as looking like a “sleek coffee maker” (which uses 3 D-cell batteries). It has a good interface for programming a feeding schedule on the device’s front LCD screen.
You can also record a short message to entice your pet to come to the bowl for feeding. A slot for a desiccant bag is also included to keep kibble dry. However, because PETLIBRO recommends changing the desiccant every two weeks, it may not be worth buying filter refills on a regular basis unless you live in a very humid climate.
The difficulty of programming the PETLIBRO was rated as moderate by testers, with some wishing for the option to set the feeder using a.m./p.m. times rather than a 24-hour clock. While we are more accustomed to the a.m./p.m. split, programming with a 24-hour clock eliminates any ambiguity and reduces the likelihood that you will set the device to feed at the incorrect time.
You can program up to four feedings per day, each of which can be customized to serve your preferred portion size. You cannot, however, set a different schedule for different days, such as weekendsâ€”the PETLIBRO will run on the same schedule every day.
The food reservoir, which requires both hands to open, also divided our testers. Its purpose is to prevent your pet from accessing the kibble in the reservoir, but testers found it inconvenient to open and refill. Cleaning was also a bit of a chore, as there were numerous components that needed to be washed by hand.
The PETLIBRO Automatic Pet Feeder’s biggest flaw was its lack of stabilityâ€”it was the only feeder that was knocked over and spilled food during our stability test.
To be fair, we were walloping feeders with a 10-pound sandbag, so we still believe the PETLIBRO will perform admirably in most feeding situations. However, if your cats are particularly rowdy, or if you intend to use the feeder for a dog, you should look elsewhere.
Nonetheless, for the price, this is an excellent feeder. While the more affordable model is our “Best Budget” pick, we also tested and recommend the PETLIBRO Automatic Dog & Cat Feeder, 2.4G Wi-Fi Enabled, which is nearly the same feeder but with Wi-Fi connectivity and an included app. It also comes with a stainless steel bowl.
While the app in the connected version didn’t impress as much as the software included with the Whisker Feeder-Robot, our tester found it to be a useful extra feature.
“I’d definitely recommend it,” said our tester. “I like the app feature and being able to control the feeder remotely with your phone. You can also be notified if something goes wrong.”
This feeder is also available in other optional configurations, including a larger capacity 6-liter version and one with a semi-opaque reservoir that makes it easier to see how much food is left.
While our testers found the WOPET 6L Automatic Feeder more difficult to set up on a Wi-Fi network than our Best Overall pick, it is a viable alternative to the much more expensive Whisker Feeder-Robot.
The WOPET Automatic Feeder was described as “a little tricky” by one tester because it required a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection rather than a 5 GHz connection, but other than that, setup issues were minor. While not as slick as our top pick, the WOPET app was simple to use and had an appealing interface.
The app allows for precise feeding control and can schedule up to 15 meals per day. You can change the portion sizes dispensed in 5-gram increments and create weekly schedules.
You could, for example, program the WOPET Automatic Feeder to dispense meals during the week but not on weekends. The app will track when feedings are given and notify you if there is insufficient food or if a meal is not given because the bowl is already full.
The feeder is white and sleek, with a semi-opaque hopper that allows you to see how much of its large 6-liter capacity has been used.
However, the feeder’s minimalist design may be too much for some, as you must rely on the app to operate itâ€”there are only three buttons on the feeder’s front interface, one of which allows you to manually dispense a portion of food.
While we found the WOPET 6L Automatic Feeder to be dependable when testing scheduled and overnight feedings, it only dispensed five pieces of kibble instead of a full serving in our first test. In subsequent tests, it dispensed the correct amount on time, but it was an unsettling first impression of a machine that must be trusted with our pet’s health while we are away.
We believe this is a one-time occurrence caused by newly loaded kibble not settling properly into the dispenser chute, rather than a chronic problem with the feeder. When reviewing previous models, we found WOPET feeders to be consistently reliable, so we thought it was worth mentioning in this review.
Other useful features of the WOPET include a battery backup to ensure that your pets are fed even if your house loses power. You can also record your voice calling your cats to their mealtime, which is a feature found in several other feeders we tested.
The Cat Mate C500 Digital 5 Meal Dog & Cat Feeder, like our Portable pick (the PetSafe Eatwell 5-Meal), employs a rotating, multi-compartment tray rather than dispensing food through a chute.
Because you can load each compartment yourself and schedule when it’s “revealed” to your cat or cats, it’s ideal for semi-wet or wet food.
However, wet and canned cat food spoils faster than dry food and must be refrigerated after opening, making it more difficult to prepare ahead of time.
The Cat Mate C500 addresses this issue by incorporating two ice packs beneath the rotating tray.
While this makes the Cat Mate C500 useful for pre-loading wet food that would otherwise require refrigeration, it is still not ideal for serving wet food while you are away. We discovered that the two ice packs kept the food cold overnight but not for more than 24 hours.
Cat owners who are tired of their cat waking them up and would prefer their cats adjust to waiting by the feeder for their scheduled mealtime are likely to find the Cat Mate C500 useful. It could also be useful for scheduling a meal if you are going to be late for work.
The C500 can be programmed to serve up to 5 meals per day, with each compartment holding 1.25 cups of food.
The programming is simple, but one tester suggested that users pay close attention to distinguishing between a.m. and p.m. to avoid missing a meal.
The Cat Mate C500 is also simple to clean because the top cover and food tray are both dishwasher safe.
The Faroro 7L Automatic Cat Feeder holds more dry cat food than any other feeder we tested (and even the Whisker Feeder-Robot has a smaller capacity when using its insertable hopper), making it the best choice if you want to refill your feeder as infrequently as possible.
The Faroro was simple to set up, with instructions available in multiple languages and a functional LCD interface.
The Faroro is shaped like a white tower, and unlike many other feeders, its programming buttons are located on the top of the device rather than the front.
This is a convenient location with easy access to the controls, but our testers were disappointed by the touch buttons, which were mushy and small.
Nonetheless, these were minor design flaws in an otherwise solid package. Across multiple feedings, we discovered the Faroro to be dependable in terms of both timing and portion size.
It supports detailed meal planning for up to four meals per day and can serve portions as small as two teaspoons.
It also has features like a battery backup, so you can rest assured that your cats will be fed even if you leave them at home alone.
What to Look for in a Cat Feeder Automatic
When it comes to automatic cat feeders, there are two major dimensions to consider: capacity and footprint.
Overall capacity varies greatly between feeders, which is an important consideration if you want to use an automatic cat feeder to keep your cats fed while you’re away.
While the amount of dry food cats eat varies depending on their diet, a half-cup per day is a good starting point.
Many of our top picks can hold 5 liters or more of dry food, enough to feed a single cat for more than a month before needing to be refilled.
Other feeders have separate compartments that must be pre-loaded; these models typically have a much lower overall capacity.
Another factor to consider is how much space you want to give up to an automatic feeder. Our top overall pick is quite large and would be difficult to overlook in a kitchen.
Other recommended feeders will take up less space on the floor.
BestForPets’s (bestforpets.org) recommended feeders range from basic models with basic options for pre-planning meals to fully-featured devices with phone apps and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Battery backups (in case your house loses power while you’re away), stainless steel bowls (which are dishwasher safe and suitable for cats with plastic sensitivities), and clear reservoirs that allow you to see how much kibble is left are some of our favorite features to look for.
Other features, such as the ability to record a voice message, were less important to our testers or even felt like a gimmick.
Cats, in our experience, quickly learn when they’re going to be fed and rarely need to be reminded.
Because the interface for programming a feeding schedule varies so greatly between feeders, we’ve attempted to provide the best sense of how easy or difficult each feeder was to program.
The combination of an intuitive interface and helpful information displays contributes to the ease of use.
Most feeders have programming buttons and a small LCD screen, but several of our recommendations can also be programmed via a phone app. We preferred feeders with both options.
BestForPets (bestforpets.org) would like to thank customers for trusting our website to read and refer to the best automatic cats feeders. We hope that you have chosen the right automatic cat feeder that fits your budget.
How do automatic cat feeders function?
Best automatic cat feeders are battery or plug-in powered devices that store and distribute cat food at predetermined times of the day.
Automatic cat feeders, like automatic coffee makers, have programmable settings that allow cat owners to customize meal time.
A timer inside the feeder causes a door to open and dispense a set amount of food from a container into a bowl below in tank feeders.
When the pre-programmed amount of food has been allowed to fall into the bowl, this small door closes and secures the remaining food in the container.
Other feeders feature a round tray with several small compartments and a lid that only opens to one compartment at a time.
The tray rotates to the next compartment at the predetermined time. Both designs keep your cat from getting to the food and keep it fresh until mealtime.
Is it possible for multiple cats to share the same feeder?
While multiple cats may have no problem sharing a dish that is always full, sharing a bowl on an automatic feeder can be difficult.
Because only a certain amount of food is provided at each meal, one cat may end up eating all of it while the other cats do not.
Slower cats may miss meals if a faster cat gets to the bowl first because not all cats are as motivated to eat as soon as the food falls out of the feeder.
Consider a separate feeder for each cat if your cats’ feeding habits aren’t conducive to sharing a bowl.
Feeders that dispense food into two separate bowls are also available, including one recommended in this roundup.
What is the maximum capacity of an automatic cat feeder?
Some automatic cat feeders can hold up to several pounds of food, while others only a few cups.
Less expensive models typically only hold a few meals’ worth of food, whereas more expensive models may hold up to 3 pounds.
We’ve provided the maximum capacity in cups or liters for each of our recommended feeders to help you compare models.
While it may appear that larger containers would be better for a feeder, smaller containers may help food stay fresher because they will be refilled more frequently.
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.