Shopping for a good cat feeder can be quite challenging given all the choices and options available on the market. To help you out, I’ve summarized a quick list of points you should note or avoid so you can quickly understand what’s truly important. If you want to find our top recommended products, take a look at the best automatic pet feeders which we reviewed.
1. Don’t over focus on price
Many pet owners make the mistake of thinking that selecting a highly expensive feeder will certainly mean a high-quality product. Needless to say that there are many good products on the market, and some of them are indeed expensive and worth the price tag, however others just aren’t worth the money.
Thus I would highly recommend, just like with any other electronic device, to check the product reviews, warranty options, other people’s opinions, and also the quality of the material the unit is made out of, all before purchasing a cat feeder!
2. Pellet size
For many reasons checking the size and shape of the pellet is highly important. For example, if you prefer or need the device to dispense small quantities of food (due to health reasons or weight problems), then you need to make sure that the diameter of the pellet is just right.
3. Don’t buy a pet feeder just before you leave for your trip
Yes, despite understanding that you might be leading extremely busy lives, you are putting a lot of pressure and limiting your choices if you choose a feeder just before you need to go away. There is always a learning curve, and that’s with every new item you buy, so you should make sure that your pet feels comfortable with the auto feeder before you actually go away.
Maybe your pet won’t react positively to the feeder, in which case you don’t want to have any unexpected surprises or stress while you’re away (e.g. you forget to put new batteries in the unit, meaning that it will stop working).
4. Cats are adaptive
Any cat owner can attest to that, and cats have a way of getting things done when they put their mind to it. Some owners might have been exposed to the ability and ingenuity of their cat. Thus you need to consider that there is at least a small risk that you cat will be able to break the feeder and eat everything in its way.
Because cats are fairly obsessed with food until they gain some discipline, you will need to teach your cat to have boundaries and not destroy the feeder. That’s why it’s good to be around for that part. If for example your cat is notorious for opening doors, jumping on your worktop or trying to open drawers, you might not want to give it a challenge whilst you’re away.
Last but not least, you have the warranty. As with any electronic product, you just feel safer when knowing that you have the option to return or replace the item. You need to make sure that the product you buy has at least a one-year warranty, just in case.
Some units don’t provide that, and why should you risk buying a product which would not do its job? If the feeder is top-quality, then the warranty should be there, because the product won’t break within that specific time frame regardless.
Also note that even if you’ve checked all 5 of these points and have made a great purchase, you should always ask a friend or family member to check on your cat whilst you’re away, just in order to guarantee that everything is still okay.