Best Automatic Cat Feeder
If you travel a fair bit like me, you really ought to invest in a good automatic cat feeder. If you have a forever-hungry cat who wakes you up in the wee hours of the morning to be fed, that’s an even more compelling reason to invest in one.
For the reasons above, I’ve been using an automatic cat feeder for years. And, I HIGHLY recommend the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder which I bought on Amazon, because the programming that you can set is very dependable, there are up to 12 feeds you can set per day, and it’s cordless!
I’ve now had it for over 3 years and it still works the same as it did the day I bought it (knock on wood).
Factors to Consider When Buying an Automatic Cat Feeder
From my experience, when choosing the best automatic cat feeder, these are the key factors to consider:
- Does it hold dry food of any size?
- Does it hold a lot of dry food so you don’t have to refill it for at least a couple of weeks?
- Does it come apart for easy cleaning?
- Is it easily programmable and is the automatic time and amount setter dependable?
And extra features that would be nice-to-haves are:
- Bonus: Does it have an app component so you can control the release of the food?
- Bonus: Does it have a camera to see who is eating if you have multiple cats?
- Bonus: Cordless
And here are my thoughts on the Petsafe Simply Feed and why I think it’s the best automatic cat feeder out there.
Set It and Forget It – Very Reliable
Every morning, the feeder dispenses a ¼ cup of kibbles at 5am, because Charlie wakes up like clockwork every morning and gnaws at my hair until I wake up to feed him. So having this turned on gives me a couple more hours of sleep.
When I’m out of town for a longer than 2 nights, I hire a cat sitter to come in everyday to check on them and feed them some wet food for dinner. But during the day, I have the automatic feeder programmed to feed them in the morning, in the afternoon and for dinner at night.
In fact, you can set up to 12 meals a day. I don’t know who’s feeding their cats every hour but it’s good to have it as a backup, I guess!
So far, I’ve had it for over 3 years and it’s still working in excellent condition.
Kibble Size & Big Compartment
Another box the Petsafe Simply Feed checks off is the compartment size. When you compare this feeder to others online, this one is probably the ugliest. But it is so for a reason. It holds a ton of food, so I don’t have to constantly refill it.
No matter how big or small the kibble size, the feeder will dispense the accurate measured amount that you program it for.
Cleaning Can Be Easier
To be honest, the cleaning part can be easier. But let me explain, because I think I might be a little harsh here. The food bowl slides in and out of place very easily, so that’s very easy to clean.
The compartment where you store the kibbles have is a little harder to clean, because you have to take out the wheel that rotates the dispenser. This doesn’t have to be cleaned as frequently though, because the cats’ saliva doesn’t touch the compartment.
No App 🙁
Unfortunately, the model that I have is the older model, so it doesn’t come with the app.
However, the newer, updated version called the PetSafe Smart Feed, which is also sold on Amazon, does have an app that comes with it. It’s just a bit more expensive, obviously. Boo.
I never realized how beneficial it is to have a cordless automatic feeder until one day, Charlie discovered cords for the first time, and destroyed my Mac charger (which I had to replace for $80… Chaaarrrrlliieeee!!)
The feeder requires 4 of the D-cell batteries. Thinking I would need to replace them at least once a year, I bought a 12-pack of the D-cell batteries at the time I ordered the PetSafe Simply Feed. It’s been over 3 years and I’ve only lost 1 bar out of 3 in the battery indicator on the screen of the automatic feeder. Lol… So, you definitely don’t need to buy the batteries right away.
There’s no camera to let me see which of my cats is eating when I’m away, but there aren’t many automatic feeders available that have all the functions that I do like about the PetSafe Simply Feed as well as the camera function, so I’m totally fine with that. I can turn on my Petcube camera from my phone during their feeding time to see that anyway.
Use a Tray for Multiple Cats
If you are using the automatic feeder to feed more than one cat, the bowl is too narrow for two mouths. Thankfully, the bowl comes slides in and out very easily, so I replace it with a tray so that they can both take their side happily.