Are you thinking of buying an automatic cat feeder? Before and after purchasing a timed auto feeder, avoid making the following mistakes most people do:
If you are looking for an automatic cat feeder, it’s a big mistake to select one based on price. A high-priced automatic pet feeder is not necessarily a good one and on the contrary, some low priced auto feeders perform really well. If you buy a high priced feeder it may be really good and worth the money you pay for it, but depending on which one you buy, you may also be regretting your purchase if not getting the right one.
I recommend you investigate criteria other than the price, such as reliable reviews, warranty and quality of the materials to name some. There are important tips and features you must consider before purchasing any automatic feeder.
2.Thinking That The Accuracy Is The Same With All Feeders
This is another typical mistake when buying automatic cat feeders. The dispensing accuracy of a given feeder will depend on: the kibble size you feed your cat and the type of mechanism the feeder has to dispense. Some devices work with a screw type mechanism to push the food out, and in order to dispense small portions the pellet size has to be big (1/2” diameter). If you feed your cat small pellets (1/4” diameter or less) the accuracy won’t be the same and you will be overfeeding your cat. It is important to consider the kibble size and the type of dispensing mechanism in order to get the best accuracy.
3. Buying The Pet Feeder At The Last Minute Before You Leave On A Trip
This is very common. You have to leave on vacations or for a business trip and you come up with the idea of automatically feeding your cat while you are away. This usually happens about a week or so before your trip, and that’s not a good idea. There is always a learning/experience curve that you have to go through before leaving your cat alone with an automatic feeder. Even if you try the unit several times during that week, the whole idea might not work out very well for you and your cat. Why? for many reasons, just to mention some:
- You forgot to put fresh batteries in the unit and it stopped working.
- If it works with an AC adapter, you didn’t put the cable in the right position and your cat unplugged it while walking around.
- The automatic feeder wasn’t programmed correctly and it jumped one feeding cycle while you were away.
- Your cat tried to break into the feeder and tipped it over or figured out a way to eat all the food at once. This usually happens when we don’t consider the following point number 4.
4. Assuming That Your Cat Won’t Try To Defeat The Feeder
This is important because no automatic cat feeder is perfect if your cat is smart enough or very determined to get extra food from it. Some people underestimate cats ability and ingenuity. Cats are very unique and versatile animals so when it comes to buying an automatic feeder for your pet, you have to consider that there is a small but real risk of your cat trying to break into the feeder. Cats are usually very obsessed with food and you will have to educate your cat to respect the automatic feeder from the outset and discourage it from trying to get extra food from it.
Breeds like the Bengal or Siamese, could be more aggressive at trying to get food than other breeds, but this isn’t 100% the general rule. Any cat could try to break into the feeder. To give you an idea, if your cat is able to open doors, jump on tables to get food or manipulate things in general with his paws, then you might need to pay special attention and look for a cat-proof automatic feeder with extra protection.
Cat Defeating The Automatic Feeder
5. Buying A Feeder Thinking Of Using Rechargeable Batteries
This is a common problem among cat owners. People think they will save money using rechargeable batteries so they purchase a battery powered automatic feeder. What happens is that these devices don’t work with rechargeable batteries and even further, they usually work only with brand new alkaline batteries for a guaranteed performance. If you like to use rechargeable batteries for all your devices, know that auto feeders are the exception in this case. All in all, you shouldn’t worry about having to buy alkaline batteries to make the automatic feeder work. Batteries usually last about 1 year on average with auto feeders.
To facilitate you the job on finding the best device considering all these points, I created a Comparison Chart that will help you to decide between different brands confronting each other on these criteria.
If you travel it’s highly recommended to ask somebody to check on your four-legged furry friend every other day or so to make sure it will be OK.
If you keep in mind these 5 simple points, you will buy the best automatic cat feeder for your pet without any regret.