Automatic cat feeder: what you must know before purchasing one

If you are thinking of buying an automatic cat feeder for your pet and you are not sure which one would be the most suitable, this information will be useful for you.

You can save a lot of time and money by reading about important aspects when it comes to purchasing these kinds of products.

These tips will help you to decide what to buy.


What you must keep in mind before purchasing an automatic pet feeder?

1. Period of time in which the feeder will be used. 

The feeder will be used within 24 hours? 2 days? a week? Depending on the period of time you will need the unit, you can choose an automatic feeder that can be programmed for several days or just during the day.

If you are going to use it for several days, you should consider buying a very reliable, top-quality feeder, like for example the CSF-3 cat feeder with timer. These type of devices can be programmed to set feeding times and frequencies for several days. They also can be adapted to be used with home automation or web-based systems.


2. If the automatic feeder works with intervals or customizable times.

This is one of the most important points to consider. Some automatic feeders only work on intervals basis, this means you just have to tweak the mechanism every cycle at certain time (always before the first feeding time) and then the feeder will start “rotating” or opening every certain amount of hours so you can choose only the first time of feeding. The same system based in intervals can be found in feeders with digital timer.

The other more sophisticated system is the feeder with digital timer where you can choose whenever you want to feed your cat in times and frequencies.  This important point is mentioned in all the reviews you will find on this website.


3. Pellet size of your pet’s food. 

There are several automatic feeders that guarantee accuracy in food dispensing with only certain pellet sizes (generally, the typical size of the cat food, 1/4″ diameter) while others can be adjusted manually to the pellet size you use because they are designed to be used whether by cats or dogs.

So it is a good idea to check this point before deciding your purchase.


4. Your cat’s health. 

This is very important because if your cat is overweight you need a programmable digital automatic feeder with the ability and the accuracy to dispense small amounts of food at a time. For example, an automatic feeder which dispenses 1 Oz (30 grs.) of food 3 times a day, completing a total of 3, 17 Oz (90 grs.), per day. This way you can control automatically your cat’s intake if you have your pet on a diet. On this list are the Pet Feedster, the CSF-Super Feeder and the Wireless Whiskers.


5. Your cat’s personality and behavior. 

This is also very important, because many people who purchase automatic feeders for their pets end up with a complete disaster because their cats manage to find a way of getting more food than their daily intake from these feeders, in many cases damaging the feeder. If your cat is not very disciplined with food and it is a very smart or wild “locksmith” type cat, you have to buy a feeder that has a very good protection system on the nozzle and if possible, one that can be mounted on the wall or in a corner to keep the hopper away from the bowl where your pet eats. If you have a very clever cat that is always trying to get more food, think twice before getting the dish-feeder if it doesn’t have a locked top protection over the trays, for example.


6. If you have more than one cat. 

It’s a good idea to get an automatic feeder that has a big hopper to store a lot of food and also a timer capable of dispensing several times a day to satisfy the food intake of both cats. This system works only if your cats are good friends and can eat together. There are special wall-mounted automatic feeders like the CSF-3XL automatic cat feeder that can be adapted to dispense food in different directions with a little bit of ingenuity. If your cats don’t like to eat together or if one cat (usually the chubby one) likes to steal the other cat’s food, Wireless Whiskers could help you to resolve that.


7. If you feed your cat moist or dry food. 

If you only use moist food for feeding your cat, there are not many options of sophisticated automatic feeders. But don’t get disappointed, there are currently some brands that offers feeders for this purpose. Some of them don’t have timers and work on an interval basis, while others work with analog timers and others have digital timer.

These moist cat food feeders come with ice packs to keep the food in good condition. Another good option for moist food is the flip-lid type dispenser, and also works with ice packs to keep the food fresh.

Going through a full list of cat food dispensers and their reviews will help you to decide what is the best for you and your cat.


Lorena Avila is a Marketing Engineer, Writer, cat figures collector, cat lover and cat owner as well but above all a very passionate investigator of felines. She started investigating cat products 5 years ago when she couldn’t find reliable reviews on the internet to buy an automatic feeder for her own cat and since then she has been helping others providing honest information online.

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5 Responses to “Automatic cat feeder: what you must know before purchasing one”

  1. Sonya says:

    Great info with lots of detail. If I were a cat owner and needed a cat feeder, this would become THE source for me. If I knew people who owned a cat and who needed a cat feeder, I would refer them to this site.

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Thank you very much Sonya! I am very happy to know my work can help people and that is useful as you said.

  2. Lorena Ávila says:

    Meredith, don’t forget to come visit me once you get that cute kitten 🙂

  3. This is such a well structured article. Nice on Lorena! I have a friend who has a cat and a dog in the same house. lol.. Feeding them is a big problem! The dog likes dry food, so the cat can’t be given that otherwise CATACLYSM!!!!!! 🙂

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Yeah, I can imagine the problems your friend has lol! Thank you for your comment, that is a great input to keep me writing more articles like this. Thanks again!!