How to Choose a Cat Feeder


Gone are the days when cat owners leave their cats with a family member or hire someone to look after them. Times have changed, and through various innovations in technology, cat feeders are designed with automated systems that people use to their advantage. More and more cat feeders are created in hopes of helping cat owners take care of their cats better. Effectively, cat feeders provide enormous convenience from feeding cats on time to taking full control over their feeding activity. Furthermore, cat feeders are absolute life-savers in the day to day bustle. Cat owners no longer have to stress about missing on feeding their cats while they are working or while they are on a trip. Thus, selecting a feeder for a cat can mean the difference between convenient and hassle feeding. 

cat feeder

It cannot be denied that you only want the best when it comes to your cat. As there are a lot of cat feeders in the market, few key factors will help you narrow down your options and select the best cat feeder. These are:

  • Storage Capacity
  • Ease of Use
  • Ease of Cleaning
  • Cat Proofing Ability
  • Number of Feedings
  • Portion Control Settings
  • Food Type Compatibility
  • Programmable Timer
  • Refill Alert
  • Cost

Waking up early to accommodate a begging, hungry cat takes away the joy that comes with pet parenting. Supposedly, pet parenting should nurture a relaxed environment for you and your pets. The stress of implementing a healthy diet when all you want is to catch a deep sleep can be a total dilemma. With cat feeders that deliver a pre-set quantity of food at regular intervals of time, cat owners like you will be tension-free and happy.

You can select the best cat feeder as long as you consider all these important facts:

STORAGE CAPACITY

An important consideration in selecting a feeder for cats is its storage capacity. Some cat feeders allow you to fill with dry food that can go for weeks longer, while some have several compartments that need to be refilled every one to three days. Depending on how many cats you have, the size of each cat, and how long you will be gone, the amount of food that you have to store will vary. If you will be gone for a long time, consider getting a cat feeder that can hold up a large amount of food so that your cat will not run out before you come back home. But if you will be gone for several hours only, the average timed pet feeder will suit your cat.

EASE OF USE

This is also an important consideration because some cat feeders are difficult to use. As high-tech feeders become more and more available, it is hard to keep up and operate when you do not know your way around technology. If you find feeding cats via smartphones and tablets, consider other options that do not require much more than you loading food into it.

EASE OF CLEANING

Ease of cleaning is another consideration in selecting a feeder for cats. Some cat feeders suffer from a serious flaw in design in which it is impossible for you to clean some of its components. Failure to clean the cat feeder regularly may result in rancid food accumulation and oil build-up. These contaminants may cause allergies and serious health problems to your cats. To avoid this, purchase the cat feeder that was designed with a thorough cleaning in mind. If you can easily disassemble every component that comes in contact with your cat’s food, cleaning could not be easier.

CAT-PROOFING ABILITY

Your cat may have the tendency to play with the pet feeder and cause it to disintegrate. If you do not want the food to scatter in the feeding area and become waste, select the cat feeder, which has secure covers and locking mechanisms. With the right cat-proofing options, even the most determined cat will not be able to dislodge the food stored inside the feeder. Moreover, it is wise to get a solid stainless steel cat feeder as the sight of inaccessible food in a clear, plastic cat feeder can be extremely daunting.

NUMBER OF FEEDINGS

Not all feeders allow you to provide multiple feedings in a day. When you have a full-time job, setting a maximum schedule up to 4 feedings per day provides you the most convenience. Before purchasing a cat feeder, think of the number of feedings that your cat should need while you are not at home.

PORTION CONTROL SETTINGS

In selecting a feeder for cats, you need to research its portion control settings. The portion control settings enable you to quantify the amount of food needed for your cat for each feeding time. Cat feeders with certain dish sizes allow you to limit the amount of food being dispensed.

FOOD TYPE COMPATIBILITY

Taking into consideration how well a cat feeder dispenses multiple types of food means reviewing its food type compatibility. Sometimes a cat food feeder is an only wet food compatible. If you have a cat at home that eats multiple types of food, choose the model that can run on both dry and wet food diets.

PROGRAMMABLE TIMER

Essential to selecting a feeder for cats is the programmable timer. It should never be forgotten as it can be a total life-saver for those who are busy with their jobs and errands. If your cat eats five times a day, be sure to purchase the cat feeder that can really feed up to five times a day.

REFILL ALERT

The most modern cat feeders come with a food level sensor inside the storage hopper. Before the container gets empty, the sensor will emit an audible series of beeps that alert the cat owner of the need to refill the feeder with food. Thus, refill alert is one convenient consideration in selecting a feeder for cats.

COST

A cat feeder may have a lot of additional features. For example, some cat feeders come with a voice recorder that allows you to record a voice message and play it during feeding time. This warns the cat when food is coming and makes him feel a lot less lonely while feeding. However, additional features sometimes call for an additional cost. How you choose to set up your cat feeder depends on you and your budget.

Gravity Feeder vs. Electronic Feeder

Cat feeders come in a variety of shapes and sizes. While there is no official set of cat feeder types, modern cat feeders are automated and generally fall on the following types:

Gravity Feeder

The most basic function of a gravity feeder is to distribute the food. The food falls to the bowl through gravity. This means that due to gravity at any time, more food will be dropped to the bowl. When you use this type of feeder, you have no control over the number of times food is dispensed. As gravity feeders have large storage containers, a constant supply of food may cause overeating in your cat. To prevent this, fill less quantity of food in the storage container that even when the feeder consistently dispenses food, your cat will not be overfed.

Electronic Feeder

Contrary to gravity feeders, this type of feeder prevents overeating in cats. An electronic feeder is programmable that the cat owner will be able to control the portion of food that should be dispensed at scheduled feeding times. Cats with weight problems need this type of feeder. Most models in the market are more expensive than gravity feeders because they are battery operated and come with surprising features.

Dry Cat Food vs. Wet Cat Food

While it is completely acceptable to feed your cat commercial dry and wet food, there are advantages that help you choose which of the two is best for your cat. However, your choice of cat food should be weighed against all the pros and cons. There is no one-size-fits-all food solution, so always choose which can provide the nutritional benefits that suit your cat’s lifestyle.

Dry Cat Food Wet Cat Food
For Convenience
For Food Safety
For Dental Health
For Hydration
For Urinary Tract Issues
For Weight Loss
For Easy Eating

Dry Cat Food for Convenience: For convenient feeding and storage, dry cat food is the best option. It is mess-free and easy for kids to handle while helping out with cat feeding.

Dry Cat Food for Safety: Dry cat food is perfect for cat owners with hectic schedules. They can just easily put it in an automatic feeder and leave it all day with much confidence that it won’t allow for bacterial contamination.

Dry Cat Food for Dental Health: The number one way to promote healthy teeth of your cat is by brushing it. But research suggests that dry cat food with calcium carbonate can assist in nurturing your cat’s dental health.

Wet Cat Food for Hydration: Cats are known to have low thirst drives that they are likely to experience dehydration when fed with a dry food diet only. The natural prey diet of outdoor cats is 60 to 70 percent hydration. It is safe to say that wet cat food, therefore, provides the closest natural moisture content.

Wet Cat Food for Urinary Tract Issues: Indoor cats are susceptible to urinary tract issues as well as kidney stones. This results from chronic dehydration in the cat. Including wet cat food in your cat’s diet is the best thing that you can provide for your cat’s health.

Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss: Moisture is again a winning factor for weight loss. The high-water content of wet cat food is ideal for your cat’s weight loss and weight maintenance. Similarly, the high protein and low carb content in wet cat food keep your cat from getting hungry every few hours.

Wet Cat Food for Easy Eating: Kittens naturally have sensitive stomachs and have trouble eating solid foods. The ideal food for them is wet cat food because the moisture content makes an easy transition from formula and easy digestion.

Related Questions:

How much food should my cat need?

The amount of food your cat needs depends on its size and weight. So, do not abide by what your neighbor is feeding his cat with. Instead, ask advice from your veterinary doctor. Failure to ensure that you are feeding your cat with the right amount of food will cause either underfeeding or overfeeding. The end result will then be a shorter life span.

What can be the results of transitioning from one type of food to another?

As with humans, your cat’s stomach may adjust from anything new. Transitioning from dry cat food to wet cat food, for example, may cause stomach upset or diarrhea. Such effect in transition is usually temporary and not alarming. For a slower and safer transition, mix some of your cat’s previous food with the new one. Continue mixing until the cat becomes well-adjusted to the new food. 

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