The best automatic cat feeders to keep your pet fed while you’re away

Many of our pets are going to have to get used to being alone after nearly two years of constant attention.


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If you plan on being away for a couple of days or you’ve started your cat on an eating schedule that they’re used to, an automatic feeder is a smart investment to keep your cat fed even when you’re not home. We can’t guarantee an automatic feeder will help your cat be cool with you leaving them home alone, but at least they won’t go hungry while they miss your company.

What to consider when buying an automatic cat feeder

Whether you’re looking for a no-frills, basic gravity feeder, or a full-fledged product to program perfectly timed and portioned meals, we’ve found the best automatic cat feeder options to fit your — and your kitty’s — needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Wet or dry food: Which food type does your cat usually eat? Wet dispensers will require daily cleaning and more attention than dry food feeders.

  • Your cat’s needs: While automatic feeders should never be a replacement for human interaction, consider your and your cat’s routines. Would the feeder be useful for days when you’re busy in meetings, or are you planning to go out of the house for a while? If it’s the latter, your feline friend could develop separation anxiety so it’s important to pick one that best suits their needs (like one that allows you to leave voice recordings — yes, really — which is great for those pandemic adoptees who have never been alone for long stretches of time).

  • Overall functionality: If you’ll be using the feeder often and have a dishwasher, look for dishwasher-safe containers or bowls so you aren’t stuck hand-washing each week. If you’re someone who often mixes up times, pick a programmable feeder that will remember for you. If your cat will continue to snack all day long, opt out of a gravity feeder and go for one that dispenses a specific amount of food.

So, which automatic cat feeder is best?

To help you figure out which option is right for you, we researched the internet’s favorite models and broke them down based on the features cat owners care about most.

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