Getting an automatic cat feeder for your pet is a challenge; to go through so many reviews can be overwhelming, so I had to create a comparison chart to facilitate this task. Here you will find the most important criteria when it comes to choosing a good automatic pet feeder for your cat or dog. These criteria are based on the most common problems that customers encounter when buying a unit without knowing all the specifications before making the purchase.
The things to pay attention when choosing a dry food automatic pet feeder are not the same than a feeder that will dispense wet food or mix diet due to their different mechanisms. Here you will see two types:
√ Best 8 automatic cat feeders dry food comparison
√ Best 7 dish-shaped or flip-lid automatic cat feeders wet food or mix diet
Let’s start with dry food feeders and if you already want to see the best options, we picked the top 3 for you:
|PETSAFE SIMPLY FEED||CSF-3 SUPER FEEDER||PET FEEDSTER|
|Find the Lowest Price||Find the Lowest Price||Find the Lowest Price|
|Slow dispensing option||No Slow dispensing option||No Slow dispensing option|
|Most Parts Removable||Fully assemblable||Most Parts Removable|
|Backup power source||No backup power source||Backup power source|
|Pause Feed option||No Pause Feed option||No Pause Feed option|
|24-hr Timer||7-day digital timer||24-hr Timer|
|Very Good Accuracy||Fair Accuracy||Good Accuracy|
|Cat Proof||Cat Proof||Cat proof|
|Go to Review||Go to Review||Go to Review|
Do you still want to see more options? no worries! check here the top 8:
BEST 8 RATED AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDERS WITH HOPPER FOR DRY FOOD – NEW RATING UPDATED 2018
SUITABLE FOR: Cats Eating Dry Food (Click on the feeder’s link to see a FULL REVIEW)
|Petsafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed- Full Review||CSF-3 Cat Super Feeder Digital Timer – Full Review
||Pet Feedster USA PF-10 CAT – Full Review||GemPet PF-103 SmartFeeder Review||Lusmo Automatic Pet Feeder – Full Review||Cat Mate C3000 – Full Review||Petnet SmartFeeder – Full Review||Crown Majestic (Diamond Series V 3) Automatic Feeder Review
|STARS RATING *|
|Dimension (LxWxH)||13.3” x 10.3” x 15.8”||11 x 10 x 15||13.75 x 15 x 17||9.8”L x 7.5”W x 15”H||14.2” x 8.9” x 13.4”||8.3 x 8.3 x 14.5||15.32”x 8.70” x 15.32”||—|
|Item Weight||6.5 lbs||9 lbs||10 lbs||4.7 lbs||3.3 lbs||2 lbs||7 lbs||3.8 lbs|
|Total Capacity||24 cups||4.75 cups||10 lbs||4 lbs.||2.2 lbs (approx)||6.5 lbs||5-7 lbs||4.4 lbs|
|Timer||Digital timer||Digital Timer||Digital Timer||WiFi||LCD Timer||LCD timer||Digital Timer||LCD timer|
|Meals p/Day||1 up to 12||1 up to 8 times (**)||1 up to 5 times||1 up to 4||1 up to 3 times||1 up to 3 times||Limited to hopper capacity||1 up to 4 times at default intervals|
|Amount p/Serving||1/8-cup up to 4 cups||From few kibbles to several cups||From 1 teaspoon to 6 cups||2 Tbsp up to 1 cup||From 0.5 Oz up to 1 cup||From 2 teaspoons to cups||0.5 Oz to 0.52 lbs||From 1/4 cup to 2 cups|
|FOOD AND SIZES|
Suitable Kibble: Suitable kibble to get the best accuracy in the amount of food dispensed
|Most of kibble sizes||1/4″ rounded kibble||Adjustable to the kibble size||0.2-0.59 inch||Kibble no bigger than 0.6”||5/8″ kibble||1/8″ – 5/8″. It works best with round kibble||Adjustable to the kibble size.|
|POWER SOURCE AND BACKUP SETTINGS|
|Power Source||4 D-cell alkaline batteries||AC/DC Adapter||AC/DC Adapter or/and 6xD batteries||AC Adapter or 3 D size batteries||4 D-cell alkaline batteries||4 C batteries||AC/DC Adapter||4 AA batteries and/or AC adapter|
Backup Power: It refers to the ability to run on AC adapter and batteries at the same time to ensure the unit will operate during power outage or dead batteries.
|It Operates During Power Outage||YES, battery operated||NO (see note 5)||YES, up to months||Only if using batteries||YES, battery operated||YES, battery operated||YES, up to 7 hours||YES, if battery-backed|
|Programming Saved if Power Outage||YES, battery operated||YES||YES (clock w/ backup batteries)||Yes||YES, battery operated||YES, battery operated||YES||YES, if battery-backed|
|Setup Saved Battery Change
Setup Saved Battery Change: It applies to the feeders that work with batteries as main power source and without backup power.
|NO||N/A||YES, except clock||Yes||NO||YES, changing batteries within 1 min||N/A||NO|
|Battery Life Indicator|
|Suitable w/Automation System||Yes, Wi-Fi feeder||Controlled by Smartphone|
|Duration||One Year Non-Transferrable Limited Warranty||1 year. Timers and adapters 90 days||1 Year||—||One year||3 years||2-year limited||—|
|CHECK FULL REVIEW|
¹This feeder has more sizes and capacities. ² Meal size is determined by daily allowance and number of meals by day. The minimum portion (1 tablespoon) can’t be programmed by size (this is a gravity type feeder) but by how long the doors will stay opened.³ Kibble suitable for Ergo Medium size feeder. (4) You cannot operate this feeder with battery and AC adapter simultaneously. If using AC adapter and a power outage occurs, the feeder won’t retain the programming and it won’t dispense food. (5) Super Feeder and Ergo Pet feeder won’t dispense food during a power outage but they will start dispensing normally according to the scheduled meals as soon as the power is restored. (*) Ratings are based on customer reviews for verified purchases and amount of verified reviews (**) If used with the analog timer it can be adapted to dispense up to 48 cycles per day, by moving the internal electronic jumper to reduce the reset time. (***) Check more details of warranty policy with the manufacturer or distributor.
BEST AUTO CAT FEEDERS: SUMMARY OF MAIN ASPECTS
#1 PETSAFE HEALTHY PET SIMPLY FEED
The Best: The feature that allows you to program the feeder to dispense a meal in small bits at a time dispensing the full meal in a period of 15 minutes so your cat won’t inhale the food at once. This is an excellent feature for cats that eat too fast and then vomit. The feeder has the ability to work with batteries and AC adapter in conjunction, so the settings won’t be lost in case of power outages.
The Worst: Tricky to program and the bowl is too deep for a cat. The minimum dispensing (1/8-cup) can’t be programmed in Slow-Feed Mode.
Ideal Cat Type: A cat that inhales food (if you program 2 portions each mealtime)
Ideal Cat owner: Somebody handy at programming devices. Someone that wants to back up the unit to keep the settings.
Customer satisfaction: 87% FULL REVIEW
#2 CSF-3 SUPER FEEDER
The Best: The dispensing internal system similar to a fish feeder that avoids the unit from getting jammed. The quality of construction and the versatility to adapt it in many ways since is fully assemblable. The 7-day digital timer (also available with 24-hr analog timer and Wi-Fi plug)
The Worst: The accuracy isn’t that great if not using rounded spherical kibble.
Ideal Cat Type: A cat that eats rounded spherical kibble. A cat that is always trying to break into the feeder (this feeder can be mounted high on a wall, redirecting the food into the bowl using some ingenuity).
Ideal Cat owner: Ideal for someone handy with tools that needs a versatile unit that can be adapted in many ways, mounted to a wall, increase capacity, etc.
Customer satisfaction: 87% FULL REVIEW
#3 PET FEEDSTER
The Best: Cat-proof design. It works with AC adapter and batteries in conjunction acting as a backup. Excellent food capacity.
The Worst: Maybe too large for a single cat. Programming isn’t very intuitive (easier when watching my YouTube video).
Ideal Cat Type: A mischievous cat. Multi-cat households.
Ideal Cat owner: Handy at programming. People that forget to refill the hopper. Somebody that lives in areas with power outages. A multi-cat owner.
Customer satisfaction: 77% FULL REVIEW
#4 GEMPET PETWANT PF-103 SMARTFEEDER
The Best: Fully manageable through iOS, Android or Tablets, it uses free App, webcam, audio, videos, real time feedings.
The Worst: Connecting the device to the App is tricky. It doesn’t work well with big kibble or irregularly shaped kibble, it doesn’t feature night vision, audio is uni-directional.
Ideal Cat Type: Any cat that doesn’t tip things over.
Ideal Cat owner: People with 2.4GHz WiFi network, and using iOS above 7.5 or Android above 4.0.
Customer satisfaction: 70% FULL REVIEW
The Best: Beautiful and functional design
The Worst: Meals limited to 3 times p/day. Batteries don’t seem to last very long. Mischief guard could come loose.
Ideal Cat Type: A cat that eats small rounded kibble. Not for a mischievous cat.
Ideal Cat owner: Someone that wants a beautifully designed unit simple to program. Somebody that can check on the unit once in a while.
Customer satisfaction: 75% FULL REVIEW
#6 CAT MATE C3000
The Best: Reliable when protected from the cat’s paws. Good duration of batteries up to a year.
The Worst: The feeder’s lid isn’t cat proof. Tricky to program.
Ideal Cat Type: Cat not obsessed with food.
Ideal Cat owner: Somebody that is handy with programming and willing to invest a little time to protect the unit from the cat for a reliable feeder.
Customer satisfaction: 66% FULL REVIEW
#7 PETNET SMARTFEEDER
The Best: Can be programmed and remotely controlled through the Smartphone or Tablet.
The Worst: Some kibble gets piled up near the chute and jam. Feeder gets disconnected.
Ideal Cat Type: A cat that eats a rounded spherical kibble. Not for food aggressive cats.
Ideal Cat owner: Somebody that wants to control the feeder from anywhere with the smartphone.
Customer satisfaction: 68% FULL REVIEW
#8 CROWN MAJESTIC
The Best: I’s a feeding station with a water bowl. Wide anti-tipping base.
The Worst: Meal sizes and meal times are not fully customizable. Subject to jam with flat disc-shaped kibble.
Ideal Cat Type: A cat that likes to drink water close to the food bowl. A cat that eats rounded kibble.
Ideal Cat owner: Someone who’s OK with feeding the cat by default intervals (the shortest interval between meals is 4 hours)
Customer satisfaction: 74% FULL REVIEW
#9 WIRELESS WHISKERS
The Best: Multipet programmable feeder that feeds each cat selectively.
The Worst: Cats needs to wear a collar tag. The tag may not be sensed by the feeder if not in the right position. Glutton cats could develop bad eating habits.
Ideal Cat Type: Cats not obsessed with food. Adult cats that can handle RFID collar tags.
Ideal Cat owner: A multi-cat owner. Someone with more than one cat and one of them is on a prescription diet. Cat and dog owner.
Customer satisfaction: 65% FULL REVIEW
BEST 7 RATED DISH SHAPED OR FLIP-LID AUTOMATIC PET FEEDERS WET FOOD/MIXED DIET
Suitable for: To feed cats or small dogs wet food or a mixed diet
If your cat eats wet food, dry food or a mixed diet, check the chart for the best 7 rated automatic pet feeders wet food or mix diet.
Click the image to go to the chart.
TIPS TO CHOOSE AN AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDER FOR DRY FOOD
1) Does the feeder allow you to make a customized feeding schedule for your cat, in frequency and amount of food at a time?
A very important feature of an automatic feeder is to allow you to choose the feeding times without default intervals or default scheduled meals. This means that you should be able to program the feeder for your cat to have breakfast at any time, at 5 am, 6:30 am, etc. Once you decide the time your cat is going to have breakfast, you should be able to choose in how many hours the next meal will be dispensed, according to your cat needs and not according to default intervals.
For example, setting breakfast 3 hours apart from lunch, and lunch 5 hours apart from dinner. The idea is you to have the ability to decide length of intervals between each meal and what time those meals will be dispensed.
The other important feature is the capacity of the feeder to dispense small portions of food. This is crucial because if you want to feed your pet several times a day in small amounts of food at a time, you have to choose an automatic feeder with the ability to do that, especially in situations as follows:
- Your cat is on a diet and you don’t want him to eat only once or twice a day.
- Your cat has a medical condition that requires him to eat several times a day, within a limited amount of food.
However, if you want to feed multiple cats with one unit, this last feature might not be essential.
2) Does the automatic feeder work better with the food my cat eats?
It is a very good idea to choose a unit that performances best with the type of food you feed your cat, especially if your cat is happy with the food he is currently eating. The performance of the feeder with the type of food will influence the accuracy of the amount of food that the unit will dispense. The more accurate the feeder dispenses food, the better you will be able to control how much food your cat really eats.
Besides, the size and shape of the kibble have also influence in jamming problems so it’s important to consider this point.
3) What is the most reliable power source for an automatic cat feeder?
A very important point to consider here:
If you want to choose a battery operated feeder, you have to make sure the batteries on the feeder last a long time, because even though a battery-operated feeder dispenses food during a power outage, if it consumes batteries fast this system is much less reliable than an automatic feeder that won’t dispense during a power outage but instead it will start dispensing normally according to the scheduled meals as soon as the power is restored. In this group are the Super Feeder and the Ergo Pet Feeder.
In other words, an automatic cat feeder with dead batteries will make your pet to starve the whole day vs a plugged automatic feeder that will go through a power outage but will retain the programming and as soon as the power is restored will dispense food normally.
The Pet Feedster is the exception because is the only automatic pet feeder that can be used with both power sources, batteries and AC adapter, simultaneously.
4) Does the feeder retain all the programming when power outage or change batteries?
If you don’t want to reprogram the automatic feeder every time you turn it off or unplug it, or in case of power outage make sure the feeder will keep the programming in these scenarios.
If you choose a feeder that works only with batteries, check if it will retain the programming when changing batteries.
5) If you want to check on your pet and feed it from anywhere
If you are really nervous of leaving your pet alone and want to make sure that pet is actually eating you need a automatic feeder with webcam that you can control remotely through devices such as smartphones, tablets, or PC. On this group you can find feeders like the Petnet, Feed and Go, PetPal, PetStation, PetWatch and Hoison.
5) Is the warranty good? And what about the guarantee?
Finally, we have to check if the guarantee is by replacement or refund and how long the guarantee covers the product. Also, we have to find out if the warranty lasts at least a year to give you the peace of mind you need when you want to invest in a new product.
If you don’t want to check too many reviews and want to get a well made cat-proof automatic cat feeder, you can check here my 4 top cat-proof automatic feeders, with a good analysis of their construction.