3 Things You Should Consider Before Buying An Automatic Cat Feeder
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Let's face it, most of us can't be at home at all times of the day. Most cat owners, go to work, have errands to run, have a social life, weekend trips, and other activities, which means that they may be away from home from a few hours to a few days.
This however doesn't mean that your feline should stay hungry. Having an automatic cat feeder will solve all the worries of feeding your cat while you are away.
There are dozens if not hundreds of automatic cat feeders on the market, some can serve 3 meals other up to 8 per day. Depending on the model and it's features, you should be able to find the right one for your needs.
Before you start shopping however, read our guide on choosing the best automatic cat feeder.
Important Features of Automatic Cat Feeders
When you start comparing different brands and models, you'll notice that there several important features that each feeder has. Let's discuss each one in details:
- Food storage capacity - make sure you check how much food the cat feeder can hold. This way you'll know how often you'll have to refill it with food. Some can hold 4 cups of dry food, while others can hold much more. If you have more than one cat at home, you should get a feeder with a larger storage bowl, so it won't run out of food fast.
- Portion control - some feeders allow you to set the precise size of each portion. This is useful if you have a feline that is on a diet and needs to eat a very strict amount of food each time.
- Number of feedings - most importantly you'll need to know how many meals the feeder can dispense during the day. Some can dispense 3, while others can do up to 8 each day for a whole week. Depending on how busy you are and what is your work schedule, you'll need to pay special attention to the number of feedings that can be programmed.
- Pet proof - some models have special locking and pet proof design, that will stop your mischievous feline from tampering with the feeder and stealing a day's worth of food at once. This can pose a risk of your feline overfeeding.
- Ease of use - there are a lot of high tech cat feeders, that you can also control and program from an app from your phone. Some even have a camera, and let you see your cat in real time. This might be too advanced for some users. There are other models (gravity based models), where you only need to load in the food. Make sure you're comfortable with the features and it's settings, before you purchase one.
Best Automatic Cat Feeder
We've written a very detailed article on the best automatic cat feeders on the market right now. Our number one recommendation is the Roffie Automatic Cat Feeder.
It can hold up to 7 lbs of dry food, and can dispense up to 4 meals a day.
Many people like it because it can serve food for up to 2 to 4 days while you are away from home.
There is a programmable timer, where you set the timings and the portions of each food serving.
Automatic Cat Feeders Help Control Weight Gain in Cats
Having an automatic cat feeder, means that you can precisely control the amount of food it will dispense during the day. This will help keep your feline fit and help them maintain a healthy weight, so obesity doesn't become an issue in the future.
There is a rise of obesity with cats and dogs, and this is because many pet owners keep the bowls of their pets topped off with food throughout the day, so they have access to it and can eat whenever they like.
Think about it, if you have a plate of your delicious sandwiches on your desk, would you be able to say "no"? I think certainly you will be tempted to take more of it and won't argue of not having more than one or two.
You can give some snacks in between meal times, as a treat, but don't be tempted to serve more food than it's necessary, otherwise you'll ruin their diet, and they'll probably start gaining weight.
Another tip to maintaining a healthy and fit cat, is to get them a cat tree and condo. This is the perfect place where they can regularly go to jump and play several times a day. There are different types of cat trees, from just 40 inches tall to all the way to ceiling.
As it was discussed in 2010 association for the obesity in pets prevention study, it is calculated that 171 million cats are kept in homes and among them 93 million cats are considered overweight. The effects ANC reason behind this is a discussed.
Primary Risks of Excess Weight in Cats
It is very common for any pet to gain weight easily and it may lead different health problems as a result.
List of diseases that are caused by obesity in pets:
- Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart and Respiratory Disease
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
- Kidney Disease
- Different Forms of Cancer
- Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
It is as same as their human counterparts, it is important for the animals like pets to struggle with the excess weight gained and also its effects.
As the reason behind having automated feeders is to regulate the right amount of food which is served, and help them maintain a healthy diet.
Many nutritionists can consult us about the proper habits of cats and can tell us which foods we should or should not feed our cats with. Also, many recommend feeding your cat in small portions several times a day, verses having few but larger meals.
3 Things To Consider Before You Buy An Automated Feeder
1. You should consider the number of pets you have at home. You should have an individual automated feeder for each cat, if they are aggressive during feeding time.
2. You must keep in mind the strength and size of your pet that will be fed with that particular feeder.
3. You must also review that the cat is suitable for your feeder or not. Does your cat finish it's bowl each time? Or does it like to leave some? With some feeders, it's difficult to determine how much your cat has eaten.
Don't forget to give fresh and clean water to your cat that is essential for them to have. It is very much important for their health to stay hydrated. You may also want to invest and get a cat water fountain.
Automatic Cat Feeder For Two Cats
If you have two cats at home you can get a special feeder that can serve both of them food at the same time. Usually they have are two bowls, and the feeder will dispense the food in two different directions, filling up both bowls at the same time.
The main advantage is that each cat has their own bowl, and should not be fighting or eating the each other's food. Just make sure the feedings at dispensed smoothly, and there is no clogging or overflow.
Automatic Refrigerated Cat Feeder For Wet Food
If your feline likes to eat wet canned food, then you'll notice that the majority of feeders are suitable only for dry food. However, that leaves out many pet owners who need to find a product that can serve the wet food.
When shopping for an automatic cat feeder that serves wet food, it's best to find one that has an ice pack integrated below the food bowl. This means that each time you load the wet food, you'll also place an ice pack, which will keep the food refrigerated for a few hours during the day.
This way it won't get the food won't go bad and won't make your feline ill. You'll find some feeders that can serve 1 or 2 meals a day, or up to 4, depending on the model.