Keeping up with your cats’ diet can be challenging, especially on busy workdays. Searching for friends who would agree to take care of your cats while you’re traveling is yet another pain.
If this sounds familiar, then an auto feeder would be your best bet. In this article, I’ll present my opinion on the best outdoor automatic cat feeders currently on the market. I’ll also discuss how you should pick one that fits your needs, so make sure to hang on till the end. Let’s go!
Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Table of Contents
- The Best Outdoor Automatic Cat Feeders
- Automatic Feral Cat Feeder (Raccoon-Proof)
- How To Weatherproof Your Outdoor Automatic Cat Feeder
- How do you keep racoons out of outdoor cat food?
- Are automatic cat feeders a good idea?
- What to Consider Before Buying an Automatic Cat Feeder
- The Verdict
The Best Outdoor Automatic Cat Feeders
How does every feeder function? How much do they hold? Will they thrive outdoors? These are some of the questions I’ll cover in the following reviews.
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder – Best Overall
- DO YOU HAVE A HOUSE FULL OF PETS: Does one cat steal the others cat food... Stressful Feeding times... The selective feeder uses the pets Microchip ID or by wearing a lightweight RFID collar tag to communicate with the feeder and open for that specific pet. Feeders come standard with one tag; additional collar tags can be purchased separately. Ideally one feeder per pet.
- GREAT FOR PETS ON PRESCRIPTION DIETS: Holds 13.5 fl. oz, wet or dry pet food. The lid closes to form a seal with the neoprene lip, helping to retain moisture and to keep food fresh.
- KEY BENEFITS: Prevents food stealing and stress at mealtimes in multi-pet homes, keeps your pets healthier by controlling portions and helping keep weight under control. The selective pet feeder helps save money by not overfeeding expensive prescription foods and helping to avoid vet bills related to pet health conditions.
- MICROCHIP COMPATIBILITY: Works with 9 (Avid Secure), 10 (FDXA) and 15 (FDXB) digit microchip numbers; you can check with your veterinarian, pet shelter or animal rescue. Automatic Cat Feeder opens when the assigned pet microchip ID approaches, and closes when it moves away. Simple one button programming. VETERINARIAN RECOMMENDED.
- PERFECT GIFT: The SureFlap Microchip Pet Feeder is a great gift for pet lovers and cat lovers – making happier mealtimes for all. THREE YEAR WARRANTY.
Do you know how actors in spy movies gain access to facilities by scanning their eyes? Well, this is kind of close to how this feeder works!
Your cat should have an under-skin microchip implanted by a veterinarian, or you can opt for an RFID collar tag. Whatever you choose, this feeder won’t open its lid unless it detects the programmed microchip. Raccoons wouldn’t be able to outsmart this.
This feeder will also be perfect if you have a dominant cat stealing food from weaker ones. Program the chips of the sickly cats and let them enjoy unrivaled feeding.
Moreover, the lid closes over a neoprene lip. This provides an excellent, tight seal that would keep food fresh for long periods. It’s also possible to place wet food without worrying about spoilage.
- Reads microchips
- Tight seal
- Small capacity (13.5 oz)
Belopezz Pet Automatic Feeder – Best Smart Feeder
- Automatic Food Dispenser Makes Feeding Hassle Free for Pets' Dietary Health & Wellbeing. Automatic feeder can avoid overeating and avoid starvation.
- Capacity: 6L,around 6.5Lbs dry food, Size: 14.2inch * 8.3inch * 14.2inch. Suitable for small size pets, medium size pets, large size pets. Such as: Poodle, Bo Mei dog, cat, shepherd, Labrador and so on
- 2pcs Meal size(S and L,size S for small and medium size pets,such as poodles, Pomeranian, cats etc. size L for medium and large size pets,such as Shepherd, Labrador etc.), Shaking Q pet(Gift:Tumbler pet toy) for small size pet only.
- 10 seconds voice recording is available to be played when feeding. 4 meals can be set at different times with different quantities. Dual power supply,Like laptop, when mains power is failed, battery power supply will be available. With three D size battery(Not included), the device can work for 2 years.
- Automatic detection and controlled feeding to avoid excessive foods. If there is a lot of food at the feeding tray and the pet didn't eat, the machine will detect it and stop feeding according to your setting. High quality ABS housing, anti-abrasion and drop, and environment-friendly. Over 10 years experience in producing feeder, meeting European and U.S. standards, environment-friendly, and pollution free.
With this smart feeder, go on your trip and rest assured, your cats may not even miss you! This feeder can record up to 10 seconds of you calling your cat for food, then play it right after it dispenses the kibble.
The programming supports up to 4 scheduled meals with 1-39 portion control. This gives you absolute control over your cat’s diet to make it easier to solve problems like obesity.
The thing I like the most is its convenient capacity. It can hold up to 3.5 lbs of dry food, which can feed an adult cat for 15-30 days, according to your diet plan.
What’s more, those evil raccoons won’t be able to tip it over thanks to the non-skid pads installed on its bottom.
- Can record voice
- Large capacity
- Non-skid pads
- Its clock may need frequent adjustment, or else it’d get off by a couple of hours.
Cat Mate C500 – Best Automatic Pet Feeder for Wet Food
- Material-Plastic. Five food compartments will serve up to five meals, one initial feed and four further timed feeds while you are away. Each holds 11. 5 ounces wet food.
- removable, easy-to-clean cover and bowl (also dishwasher-safe)
- battery status indicator. Two cooling ice packs and one close-fitting cover keep the feed fresh
- uses 3 x AA batteries (not included)
If your cat goes nuts over wet food, this feeder should be your best bet. It features a 5-compartment tray that rotates to give food in programmable intervals. Each compartment holds up to 11 oz.
Then why is it “best for wet food”? Well, if you lift the tray, you’ll find 2 ice packs, shipped with the device. Together with the tightly sealed lid, these ice packs would preserve wet food till the end of the day.
I’m not fond of its relatively low weight, though. It wouldn’t even stand a raccoon cub. To solve this issue, punch a couple of holes in its base and screw it to a wooden board.
- Double ice packs
- Tight seal
- Easy programming
- Small capacity
PetSafe Automatic Cat Feeder – Best Smartphone-Compatible
- Feed from your phone: Feed your pet anytime from your smartphone with the smart feed app; App requires an iPhone or iPod device iOS 9.0 or later, or a compatible Android smartphone 6.0 or later
- Personalize your pet's meals: Schedule up to 12 meals for your dog or cat; The feed Now option allows you to feed your pet in addition to the scheduled meal times; Dry food only
- Flexible portions: Meals can be dispensed in portions of 1/8 cup to 4 cups to fit your pet's needs; Slow feed option allows food to dispense slowly over a 15 minute period to help prevent digestive upset
- Battery backup: The optional battery backup requires 4 D cell alkaline batteries (not included); If Wi-Fi drops, your pet still receives the next scheduled feeding
- Dishwasher safe: Lid, hopper, stainless steel bowl and bowl holder are top shelf, dishwasher safe for convenient cleaning; Made of BPA free plastic and stainless steel; For indoor use only
I hate it so much when a button fails on an automatic feeder. You could replace the whole device with only one failed button. That’s why smartphone feeders are increasing in popularity each day.
This feeder from PetSafe can hold around 24 cups of cat kibble. It’s possible to schedule up to 12 meals in portions of 1/8 of a cup to 4 cups.
Here’s what I like the most. From the app’s scheduling panel, you can enable the “slow feed” mode. This dispenses the same portion slowly over 15 minutes, to help with digestive upset.
- Supports smartphone
- Large capacity
- It can slowly dispense the food.
- Somewhat expensive
Xiapia Automatic Cat Food Feeder – Best Gravity Feeder
- 🐈 Designed for Cats and Puppies: Highly Recommended by all veterinarians, this adjustable cat food and water bowl set works perfectly for cats and small dogs. It's the best food feeder for your lovely pets.
- 🐈 Double Stainless Steel Bowl: Durable and Sturdy and Easy to clean, safe for the microwave and dishwasher. One pet bowl for food and one for water, it will last all day for food and water.
- 🐈 Reduced Neck Strain: You can easily adjust the stand height (2" - 4.5"), angle (0°- 30°). Your lovely cat can eat and drink comfortably without having to pull its neck down.
- 🐈 Anti Vomiting Cat Bowl Set: The 15°cat bowl ensures your cat is in the proper position while eating, helping it swallow and digest more easily. Reduce health problems.
- 🐈 No Slip and NO Mess: The Elevated Cat Bowl Set has 4 non-slip rubber bottoms to keep it stable in one place. No need to worry about water or food on the floor.
If you wish to devote your feeder to feral cats, you wouldn’t want one that runs on intervals. Instead, consider this gravity feeder from Xiapia.
Being a gravity feeder means that it’ll dispense food constantly as cats eat what’s in the bowl. The bottle holds up to 1 liter of kibble, which would be more than enough.
Additionally, this product comes with a similarly-designed waterer and a slicker brush, giving you the best value for your money.
- Large capacity
- No programming needed
- Safe, non-electrical design
- Some customers reported leaky waterers
Automatic Feral Cat Feeder (Raccoon-Proof)
Looking for a way to keep pesky raccoons from raiding your feral cat feeder? Look no further, because with the Petsafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder, you can rest assured that the feral cats you care for will always have plenty to eat.
This top-of-the-line feeder features a robust feeding tray that’s built to stand up to even the roughest of animals. Plus, it’s fully automatic, so you can set it and forget it – perfect for busy pet parents.
The real magic is putting it into a Rubbermaid bin to keep out the raccoons.
Watch the video below to see how it’s done.
Petsafe Automatic Feeder – Best for Multiple Outdoor Cats or Feral Cats
- SCHEDULE YOUR PET'S MEALS: Conveniently schedule up to 12 meals per day for your cat or dog; best for cats and small to medium sized dogs
- FLEXIBLE PORTIONS: Schedule 1/8 cup to 4 cups per meal depending on your pet’s unique needs; requires 4 D-cell alkaline batteries (not included) or power adaptor (adaptor sold separately)
- WORKS WITH MOST KIBBLE: Feeder works with dry and semi-moist pet kibble that is up to 3/4 inch in diameter
- SLOW FEED OPTIONS: For pets who tend to eat too quickly, schedule meals larger than 1/8 cup to slowly dispense over 15 minutes
- PET-PROOF: The feeder is designed to keep prying paws from sneaking food before scheduled mealtimes
- Large 24 cup capacity – This is enough to feed up to 48 cats a day (but you must refill daily)
- Can feed up to 12 meals per day
- Uses a timer so you can spread out the meals evenly
- Must refill often if you feed lots of feral or outdoor cats. The best way we found to overcome this is simply buy two of them and store them both inside a doghouse (see next video below).
How To Weatherproof Your Outdoor Automatic Cat Feeder
Weatherproofing an outdoor automatic cat feeder is fairly easy and inexpensive to do. Some folks use a plastic storage container or even just put it inside their recycling bin, but the cheapest option is to simply put it inside a doghouse that you would normally buy for an animal such as a dog.
How do you keep racoons out of outdoor cat food?
You can keep raccoons out of your outdoor cat food by using scents that they dislike, such as garlic, rotten onions, pepper spray, or Epsom salt.
Also, raccoons dislike peppermint so you can either use peppermint essential oil around the feeder or better yet, put it in a patch of peppermint or mints that you are growing.
Another option is to place the food in a covered container or feeder (see video above).
And finally, you can try spraying the area around the food with a repellent made specifically for raccoons.
Are automatic cat feeders a good idea?
If you need an automatic cat feeder then yes, it’s a good idea. They’re great for people with crazy schedules who just can’t get to the pet store or feed their pets with consistency.
Automatic cat feeders can also cause a variety of problems. One concerns overfeeding from the lack of self-regulation that takes place when you’re not home. This is mostly true for the gravity feeders that allow your cat to free feed.
If weight is a concern you’ll need to use an automatic cat feeder that dishes out measured amounts of food at set intervals.
Another issue is keeping wet food fresh. We recommend only using outdoor automatic feeders when it’s not too hot outside so wet food stays fresh.
You may also run into a problem with wet food and it freezing at night then your cat doesn’t eat it.
In general, for outdoor automatic feeders, it’s best to use dry food and only use wet food for indoor cats.
What to Consider Before Buying an Automatic Cat Feeder
Now that you know the best products on the market, these are some points that’ll help you reach a decision.
First Things First, Should You Buy an Automatic Feeder?
Serving food for pets yourself is a fantastic experience. So, why should you buy a robotic, senseless device to do it for you? Here are some of its benefits:
A Freer Schedule
This is the most obvious benefit. An automatic feeder will allow you to freely travel for a couple of days without worrying about your cats.
If your cats won’t stop meowing and you’ve tried everything, you might want to try an auto feeder.
Pet cats tend to be dependable, just like babies. They think of you as their only food source. So they keep meowing for your attention even if they’re the slightest bit hungry.
When you use an auto feeder, they’ll remember the feeding time and, hopefully, annoy you less with their cries.
For Feral Cats
Feeding feral cats yourself can be daunting. In a similar fashion to pets, ferals would attend at the designated time to eat.
Purchasing a feeder to put outdoors is a bit tricky. We’re speaking about rain, dirt, and stealthy animals like raccoons.
Luckily, protecting the feeder from environmental conditions is the easy part. Building any platform or a feeding station can get the job done.
But for raccoons, it’s not always that easy. You should buy a product that closes tightly to resist the sneaky paws. Moreover, your feeder should have a feature that prevents tipping, such as non-skid pads.
Buy a capacity that fits your needs. If you travel for a bunch of days leaving more than 1 pet at home, then the bigger, the better.
Small devices would be an affordable option if you just want to adjust your cat’s diet and behavior.
The second best is Belopezz Pet Automatic Feeder. It’s a smart feeder that records your voice and plays it back with every meal. Such a cool way to keep your cat full and loved!
Lastly, don’t forget to regularly clean whatever feeder you choose, as it may build up bacteria pretty fast. Later!