7 Best Automatic Pet Feeders: Your Buyer’s Guide (2018)

If work or play make it so you can’t be home at a consistent time to feed your dog or cat, an automatic pet feeder might be a good choice for you. Regular, reliable feedings aid digestion and help your cat or dog stay on a schedule. Additionally, these feeders almost all come with portion control of some sort. If you’re busy and feeling guilty about it, you might find yourself rewarding your dog or cat with a little extra food to make up for your absence. The extra food — as well as the random schedule — will quickly lead to obesity, which leads to other health problems. Most automatic pet feeders allow you to dial in the exact amount of food for each feeding.

Most of these will work for cats and small dogs around 20 pounds or less. To complement all of these options, we recommend the Petmate Replendish Gravity Waterer to keep your pet’s water fresh, too.

For both weight control and schedule maintenance, here are the best automatic pet feeders.

What's the best automatic pet feeder?

Amazon Customer Reviews
  • WiFi enabled
  • Dedicatd iOS and Android app
  • 1/16 to 1.5 cup portions
Price: $179.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Up to 12 meals per day
  • 1/8 cup to 4 cup portions
  • Slow feed mode
Price: $134.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Wireless pet tags feed automatically
  • Alerts for bad feeding habits
  • Up to 24 meals per day
Price: $149.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Variable portion control
  • Up to four meals per day
  • Battery or adapter powered
Price: $89.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Remote control makes programming easy
  • Sleek, modern look
  • Variable meal size
Price: $77.89 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 1/32 cup to four cup portions
  • Up to six meals per day
  • Voice recorder for meal time call
Price: $69.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Five meals of up to 3/4 pound of food
  • Interior ice packs keep food fresh
  • Works for wet or dry food
Price: $119.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Petnet SmartFeeder Automatic Pet Feeding

    Pros:
    • WiFi enabled with dedicated iOS and Android app
    • Dishwasher safe hopper and bowl
    • 1/16 to 1.5 cup portions
    • Five to seven pound hopper capacity
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Not for use with dogs over 50 pounds
    • Some kibble shapes may jam

    You could also go with a fully-modern, IoT approach to automatic pet feeding. The dedicated app allows you to set schedules and portion size, receive updates, and profiles your pet to offer nutritional guidelines. By inputting your animal’s age, weight, breed, and activity level, you can leverage Petnet’s database to tailor their diet for maximal health. The unit itself is wifi connected and rechargeable, with battery status indicated in the app. The unit holds five to seven pounds of food, which should be round in shape to work optimally. 

  2. 2. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

    Pros:
    • Digital timer programmable with up to 12 meals a day
    • 1/8 cup to 4 cup portions
    • Slow feed mode disperses portions over the course of 15 minutes
    • Pause and Immediate Feed options
    Cons:
    • No smartphone integration
    • Requires D batteries or separate power adapter
    • Confusing user interface
    • Clock seems to lag, which impacts feeding schedule

    This is a simple automatic feeding unit that recalls some automatic coffee makers with built-in grinders. The hopper on this feeder holds 24 cups of food, which will last around a month, depending on the feeding cycle you select. Your options range between 1/8 of cup to 4 cups at a frequency of up to 12 times per day. The stainless bowl is removable and dishwasher safe. To power it, you’ll either need four D cell batteries or one of PetSafe’s power adapters. Additionally, it’s quite expensive, especially given that it isn’t particularly modern and offers no integration with smartphones like the next one on our list. That being said, with the relatively large bowl and optional large feeding portion, this could work even for medium or large dogs where others may not.

    PetSafe also make a wifi and app enabled version that competes with the Petnet above, if you want something higher tech.

  3. 3. Wireless Whiskers AutoDiet Pet Feeder

    Pros:
    • Wireless pet tags automatically feed the right amount for up to eight pets
    • Alerts for when a pet eats less than 65 percent of allowance
    • Up to 24 meals per day
    • Can use batteries or included adapter (batteries will act as backup for power outages)
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • A dedicated cat or dog will be able to break in
    • Sensors sometimes don’t recognize tags
    • Tricky menu interface

    While this option doesn’t have any smartphone compatibility, it uses a novel approach to solve some issues with other feeders. Where others use a mechanism of some kind to deliver the food, this one is based around a simple plastic hopper. The tech comes in with automatic doors that open and close based on the presence of wireless tags your pet wears. Each tag has its own profile set to deliver a measured amount of food before the doors close again. You can have up to eight tags programmed into each unit so every pet gets a specific meal plan. Two tags are included, and more can be purchased from the manufacturer’s website. The company recommends this for pets up to 18 inches tall, in part because the tags won’t trigger if the animal is too tall. Some reviewers note that putting the feeder on something helped to improve the response from the feeder.

  4. 4. Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder

    Pros:
    • Record a ten second meal alert to call your pet to come eat
    • Choose one to ten portions up to four times per day
    • Good value
    • Can use batteries or included adapter (batteries will act as backup for power outages)
    Cons:
    • No smartphone integration
    • Portion size is fixed at 24mL
    • Some quality control issues
    • Some food types may jam

    This newly-updated feeder combines a few simple features for a relatively inexpensive option. It uses a set portion size (24 mL) with the meal size determined by how many portions you program it to feed, from one to ten. This can be done for up to four meals per day. You can record yourself calling your pet to come eat, which will play at each meal time. The hopper holds about 18 cups of food and is sealed shut with a magnetic strip. An alarm will sound when the hopper needs to be refilled. The dish is large enough to work for a good size dog, too.

  5. 5. Anself Programmable Automatic Feeder with Remote Control

    Pros:
    • Remote control makes programming easy
    • Sleek, modern look
    • Choose one to ten portions up to three times per day
    • Reasonable price
    Cons:
    • No smartphone integration
    • Not suitable for most dogs
    • Portion is fixed at 15g

    This attractive-looking option in some ways improves upon the Arf Pets product above, albeit only for cats and small dogs. This compact unit holds 19 cups of food, which is dispensable between one and three times per day. Like the Arf Pets, the portion size is fixed at 15 grams of dry food, though you select one to ten portions per meal. The hopper, lid, and dish are all removable for easy cleaning. The real key to this one is the remote, which displays the current settings with dedicated buttons for easy updates. This includes making the voice call recording, manual feeding options, and battery indicator.

  6. 6. HoneyGuaridan A25 Automatic Pet Feeder

    Pros:
    • 1/32 cup to four cup portions
    • Up to six meals per day
    • Infrared light monitors dish to prevent spills and blockages
    • Voice recorder for meal time call
    Cons:
    • Only runs on D cell batteries
    • Batteries run out after about a month and a half
    • Some cats can reach up the chute and pull out food
    • Battery covers fall off easily

    Combining a few features from the options above at a lower price, this HoneyGuardian unit also throws in a few extras. The first is an infrared light meant to detect food in the dish to prevent spills and jamming should a pet miss a meal. The screen shows six locks that correspond to each of the six programmable meals. Like the others, you can record a voice greeting to invite your pet to come eat. The storage capacity is a bit more limited at 3.3 pounds, and they specify that the kibble size should not be larger than one centimeter square in order to avoid jamming. Other than that, though, you can use just about any shape. One thing to note that eluded some Amazon reviewers: the clock uses 24 hour time and can’t be changed, so keep this in mind when programming.

  7. 7. Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder

    Pros:
    • Five meals of up to 3/4 of a pound of food
    • Interior ice packs keep food fresh
    • Works for wet or dry food
    • Clear, easy to understand LCD screen
    Cons:
    • Battery operated only (though lasts up to a year)
    • No automatic portion control
    • Only holds five meals worth
    • No smartphone integration

    Sometimes the simplest answer is best. Like the Feed and Go, but minus all the expensive technology, this cheap and cheerful option still provides a couple of upgrades over its PetSafe competition. Ice packs fitted under the five-compartment bowl help to keep food fresh for longer, which means those weekend trips won’t mean your cat misses out on wet food. The lid and bowl are both dishwasher safe, and wash of the compartments holds three quarters of a pound of food. The LCD screen clearly displays the current time and the programmed meal times and is much simpler than some of the other options to program.

    Alternatiely, Cat Mate also make a more conventional automatic feeder for dry food, as well.

See also:

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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