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10 Best Automatic Cat Feeders in the UK in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat eating food from automatic feeder

Whatever your schedule, and no matter how busy you are, it’s important to make sure that your cat is getting the food and water it needs to stay fit and healthy. You can put down a bowl of biscuits for grazing, feed meat at breakfast and dinner time, or combine these two methods, but your cats crave consistency and thrive on routine.

Automatic cat feeders can provide this structure. With the right choice of cat feeder, you can even ensure that different cats are given different foods, and you can provide food for two or three days or longer, so that the cat sitter only must worry about providing company and checking everything is OK.

Below, you will find reviews of 10 of the best cat feeders in the UK so that you can find the one that best matches your cat feeding needs.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favourites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Cat Mate C200 Automatic Feeder Cat Mate C200 Automatic Feeder
  • Feature icon48-hour timers
  • Feature iconUses ice packs to keep food fresh
  • Feature iconTamper-proof, fly-proof feeder
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Cat Mate C100 Single Meal Feeder Cat Mate C100 Single Meal Feeder
  • Feature iconSimple to operate
  • Feature iconWorks with Wet and Dry food
  • Feature iconDishwasher safe parts
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
  • Feature iconOnly opens for recognized cat
  • Feature iconSuitable for wet or dry food
  • Feature iconGood for monitoring cat diet
  • Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder
  • Feature icon5 meal feeder
  • Feature iconWorks with wet or dry food
  • Feature iconCheap
  • Cat Mate C3000 Dry Food Feeder Cat Mate C3000 Dry Food Feeder
  • Feature iconEasy to clean - dishwasher safe
  • Feature iconProgrammable LCD control and timer
  • Feature iconHolds up to 1 month worth of food
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    The 10 Best Automatic Cat Feeders In The UK – Reviews & Top Picks 2022

    1. Cat Mate C200 Automatic Feeder – Best Overall

    Cat Mate C200 Automatic Feeder

    Food type: Wet or dry
    Meals/Weight: 2 meals

    The Cat Mate C200 Automatic Feeder has two trays that operate on independent timers, although they can both be set to the same time so that it can be used to feed two cats at the same time. The trays each have a 48-hour timer, which means that you can put enough food in for a whole weekend, and it uses an ice pack to keep food fresh.

    You can buy stainless steel food bowls separately, which are arguably better for wet food, although the included plastic trays are also suitable for canned meat. This is one of the simplest feeders on the list, but this also means that it is one of the cheapest despite offering the convenience of 48-hour automatic feeding, fresh food, and dishwasher-proof components.

    The dials are not as precise as those on digital feeders, however, and although the ice pack is a good inclusion, it really needs to be bigger to be able to keep food fresh for 48 hours or more. The Cat Mate C200 Automatic Feeder is our choice as the best overall automatic cat feeder in the UK.

    Pros
    • 48-hour timers
    • Cheap
    • Tamper-proof, fly-proof feeder
    Cons
    • Imprecise dials
    • Ice pack would benefit from being bigger
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    2. Cat Mate C100 Single Meal Automatic Pet Feeder – Best Value

    Cat Mate C100 Single Meal

    Food type: Wet or dry
    Meals/Weight: 24 hours

    It’s simple, cheap, and it works with dry or wet food. All you must do is put food in the plastic tray, which will hold up to 400 grams of food, and set the 24-hour timer. Once the timer reaches zero, the tamper-proof and fly-proof lid pops open and your cat can eat.

    A single meal automatic pet feeder can be useful for providing an early morning meal that will prevent your cat from waking you up, or it can be set to open halfway through the working day. The feeder runs on a single, standard AA battery, which Cat Mate claims will last 12 months, and other than the food, this is the only ongoing cost.

    Unlike the two-tray option above, this single tray model does not include an ice pack so you may have to choose food wisely to avoid it going off or stale. You can also buy separate steel bowl inserts, and both the plastic and steel bowls can be put in the dishwasher to keep them clean and hygienic. The Cat Mate C100 is one of the best automatic cat feeders in the UK for the money because it is inexpensive and easy to operate, which also means that there is very little to break down or go wrong.

    Pros
    • Simple to operate
    • Cheap
    • Dishwasher safe parts
    Cons
    • No ice pack to retain freshness
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    3. SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder – Premium Choice

    SureFeed Microchip Cat Feeder

    Food type: Wet or dry
    Meals/Weight: 400ml

    If you have multiple cats on different feeding plans, or a cat flap that allows unwanted diners into your cat’s feeding area, the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder offers the functions you need. This is a premium cat feeder and costs considerably more than any other on the list, but it is also the most advanced.

    Register a cat’s microchip with a single press of the button. When that cat leans down to eat and through the loop, the reader recognizes the microchip and opens. If another cat or animal attempts to get into the bowl, the bowl won’t open. It can be used with wet or dry food and holds the equivalent of around two wet food pouches. This can be useful if you have more than one cat, but one is on a diet or one has to specially medicated food. It can also work if your neighbours’ cats regularly pop in and try to eat your cat’s food.

    It does have a training mode, but some especially reluctant cats might not like having the plastic frame above their head while eating, and there’s a chance that other cats will simply eat from the bowl at the same time as the registered cat or break the automatic lid off.

    Pros
    • Only opens for recognized cat
    • Suitable for wet or dry food
    Cons
    • Very expensive
    • Easy to circumvent
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    4. Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder

    Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder

    Food type: Wet or dry
    Meals/Weight: 5 meals

    The Cat Mate C500 Automatic Pet Feeder includes a 5-meal carousel, with each bowl capable of holding as much as 330g. It has a twin ice pack, which should keep wet food fresh for up to 24 hours, and it uses a digital timer that is easy to set and reliable. There’s also a small display screen to show you the feeding schedule and allowing you and the cat sitter to keep track of what will be fed and when.

    The lid is said to be tamper resistant, which is important in these devices: cats are notoriously good at fishing things out of small holes and finding ways to open the lids of trays and other items that they aren’t supposed to. The bowl and lid can be put in the dishwasher so are easy to maintain, and the bowl is designed to be deep, therefore preventing food from being flung around during mealtimes. It is also well priced for a five-bowl feeder.

    The buttons are tamper proof, so your cat shouldn’t accidentally set them, but they’re also quite fragile and easily broken; broken buttons can easily render the automatic feeder useless. It’s also worth noting that the first of the five meals are not timed, and is essentially an open bowl. If you live in a hot climate, expect the ice packs to thaw after a few hours, too, so you may struggle to keep wet food fresh for the promised 24 hours.

    Pros
    • 5 meal feeder
    • Works with wet or dry food
    • Cheap
    Cons
    • Buttons are easily broken
    • Ice melts quickly
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    5. Cat Mate C3000 Dry Food Feeder

    Cat Mate C3000 Programmable Dry Food Feeder

    Food type: Dry
    Meals/Weight: 3KG

    The Cat Mate C3000 Dry Food Feeder is another automatic feeder from Cat Mate. This one is designed specifically for dry food and cannot be used with wet food. It holds up to 3 kilograms of kibble and you can set up to three timers that will operate every day that the machine is on. This means that you can simply top up the hopper when you buy more cat food and have a precise and measured amount of food dispensed to your cat at your designed mealtimes.

    The Cat Mate C3000 holds a lot of biscuits, which is convenient, and it allows for regular feeding times. It is also well priced.

    The Cat Mate C3000 has a tamper proof lid on the food holder, and a tamper proof spout, but its lightweight design means that the whole thing is easily knocked over, especially by impatient felines. It is a little bit fiddly to set up. Similarly, if you want to change feeding times, it does take a bit of work, but it is a good automatic dry food dispenser.

    Pros
    • Holds up to 3kg of dry food
    • Feed three meals a day, on a schedule
    • Cheap
    Cons
    • Lightweight design is easily knocked over
    • Fiddly to set
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    6. PetSafe Digital Two Meal Automatic Pet Feeder For Cats And Dogs

    PetSafe Digital Two Meal Automatic Pet Feeder

    Food type: Dry
    Meals/Weight: 2 meals

    The PetSafe Digital Two Meal Automatic Pet Feeder is a digitally controlled automatic pet food dispenser. It has two bowls, which are plastic, easy to remove, dishwasher safe, and will hold 200 grams of dry food each. The timer is easy to use and shouldn’t require the instructions every time you wish to use it. It allows you to dispense food up to 99 hours after setting, which is just over four days. The dispenser looks good and is robust enough that cats shouldn’t be able to easily destroy it.

    While the bowls are removable, they are small, which means that you won’t be able to take advantage of the 4-day timer. The size should be enough for one or two meals’ worth of food for your cat, though. The timer, although easy to operate, is basic and if you buy two dishes for two separate cats, they will open at different times even when set with the same delay. It is more expensive than most two-meal feeders.

    Pros
    • Removable, dishwasher safe bowls
    • Easy to operate
    • Looks good
    Cons
    • Only two, small bowls
    • Expensive
    • Inaccurate timer
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    7. PetSafe Automatic Meal Feeder

    PetSafe Automatic Meal Feeder

    Food type: Dry
    Meals/Weight: 2 meals

    The PetSafe Automatic Meal Feeder holds enough food for two meals and can be set with a delay of up to 24 hours. Each bowl has its own timer, enabling you to offer food for the day, while you’re out. Unlike the digital feeder above, this is a mechanical timer and allows half hour increments. The bowls are BPA free plastic, can be removed from the base, and they are dishwasher safe. The bowl lids are described as being tamper proof, which should prevent gluttonous cats from being able to pry the lid open and helping themselves. The 2-meal feeder is reasonably priced.

    As is a problem with a lot of mechanical dials, the PetSafe’s timers aren’t fully reliable. One way that these dual tray feeders can be used is to feed two cats at the same time, but the unreliability of the mechanical feature means that the bowls will not open and can sometimes slip so that food is delayed by 30 minutes or more.

    Pros
    • Dishwasher safe bowls
    • Decent price
    Cons
    • Unreliable mechanical timers
    • Timer dials can slip
    • Not fully tamper proof
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    8. Trixie TX2 Automatic Food Dispenser

    Trixie TX2 Automatic Food Dispenser

    Food type: Wet or dry
    Meals/Weight: 2 meals

    The Trixie TX2 is a reasonably priced two meal automatic cat food dispenser. It works with dry food and, according to the manufacturers, can be used with wet food thanks to the twin ice packs in the bottom of the device. The timer can be set up to 48 hours in advance, and the two bowls can be set independently or to open at the same time if you have two cats that need feeding together. It is reasonably priced, and the bowls can be removed and put in the dishwasher to keep them clean.

    The two ice packs are small and melt quickly, which means that it won’t keep wet food fresh for the full 48 hours and the dial is flimsy: a boisterous or intelligent cat will work out that knocking the dial off gives access to the food. It is also a noisy mechanism, likely to scare your cat if it is sat by the feeder waiting for dinner time.

    Pros
    • Reasonable price
    • Dishwasher proof bowls
    • 48-hour timer
    Cons
    • Flimsy dial
    • Loud mechanism
    • Ice packs melt too quickly
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    9. Trixie TX4 Plus Automatic Food Dispenser With LCD Display

    Trixie TX4 Plus Automatic Food Dispenser

    Food type: Wet or dry
    Meals/Weight: 4 meals

    The Trixie TX4 Plus Automatic Food Dispenser With LCD Display is a modestly priced automatic food dispenser. It enables you to delay four meals, separately, for up to 96 hours. It has an additional shelf, which could be used for ice packs to keep food fresh, but no ice packs are included, and you would have to ensure that you buy the right size. It has a voice recording feature so that you can call your cats over when food is dispensed, although most cats will know.

    Although it has an LCD screen, the small buttons are fiddly and the whole unit can be difficult to program and control, especially during your first time. The lid is flimsy, so if you are buying an automatic feeder to help prevent dogs or cats from getting into their food before it’s time to eat, you should look for something more robust.

    Pros
    • 4-day timer
    • LCD display
    Cons
    • Very flimsy
    • Fiddly
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    10. Petmate Le Bistro Portion Control Feeder

    Petmate Le Bistro Portion Control Feeder

    Food type: Dry
    Meals/Weight: 1.9KG

    The Petmate Le Bistro Portion Control Feeder is a dry kibble feeder that holds up to 4 pounds, or 1.9 kilograms. It can be set with up to three timers, at different times, and will dispense between half a cup and two cups of food at these preset times. Simply leave the timer and it will continue to deliver food at the same times every day, meaning you only have to worry about filling the giant hopper.

    Although a good idea in principle, the Petmate is top heavy and easily pushed around, while the bowl does not fit securely on the bottom of the feeder. The lid is easily removed, and the design means that inquisitive cats will almost certainly push their paw up through the dispenser to try and get to the food source inside.

    Pros
    • Holds a lot of dry food
    • Can dispense food three times a day
    Cons
    • Too light: easily pushed around the room
    • Easy for cats to get to food inside the hopper
    • Bowl doesn’t fit securely

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    Buyer’s Guide

    Automatic cat feeders can offer convenience, portion management, and you can use them to feed your cat even while you’re at work or away for the night or weekend. However, some feeders are difficult and fiddly to operate while others are so lightweight that they are easily pushed around or knocked over. While writing our reviews, we looked for those feeders that are simple to operate and difficult to break, while being affordable and providing the range of features that users and their cats need.

    Uses For an Automatic Cat Feeder

    Uses for an automatic cat feeder include:
    • Monitor And Manage Food Consumption – If your life doesn’t conform to a strict schedule, it can be difficult to keep track of exactly when and how much you’ve fed your cat. Over time, this can lead to weight management issues and an overweight cat. Using an automatic feeder allows you to measure food portions and set a schedule for your cat, even when you’re home. You will need a feeder with a 24-hour schedule, that allows you to feed at least two different meals, and if you feed wet food to your cat, it will need ice trays or ice packs to keep the meat fresh until eaten.
    • Morning Feeds – Cats are virtually nocturnal animals. They will sleep throughout the day and want to feed at night. It is possible to get some cats into a daytime feeding schedule, but many will cry and call for an early morning feed. You can set an automatic feeder so that it allows access to food at a specific time in the morning. Your cat can eat when it’s naturally hungry, and you can sleep when you’re naturally tired.
    • Holidays – Even if you have a cat sitter check in to make sure your cat is safe and has constant access to fresh water, an automatic feeder enables you to set the amount and frequency of feeds while you’re away. Your cat sitter will have less to worry about, and you can enjoy your holiday without worrying whether your cat is being under-fed or over-fed. Look for an automatic feeder with a timer that lasts 48 hours or longer, depending on how long you intend to go away. Some dry food hoppers can be set to feed two or three times a day, every day, until the food runs out.

    Feeder Features

    There are many automatic feeders on the market, but not all are created equal. Different features will benefit different owners and cats. Consider the following when buying a feeder.

    Food Type

    Some cats have a diet consisting of wet food, some are only given dry food, and others enjoy a mixed diet that consists of both.

    Determine the type of food you give to your cat. Dry food stays fresh for days, or even weeks, without additional assistance, while wet food will need an ice pack or some form of chilling mechanism to ensure that it remains fresh for your cat. If you use the feeder for wet food, it is handy to find a model that lets you remove the bowls for washing. Those that are dishwasher safe are even more convenient.

    Digital vs Mechanical

    Cheaper feeders tend to have a mechanical dial to set the timer. The dial has half hour or one hour increments and can be set to open in 24 hours or more. Some mechanical dials can slip during the day, which means that your cat is left waiting longer than expected before it can eat. They are not as accurate as digital timers.

    Digital timers usually have a clock feature and allow you to set a specific time: more reliable and accurate than a mechanical dial but accompanied by buttons that can be fiddly and a small screen that can be difficult to read.

    Single vs Multi-Cat Feeders

    If you have more than one cat, it can be beneficial to have two or more automatic feeders. It allows you to put different amounts and even types of food in each: perfect for picky eaters. Alternatively, feeders with large or multiple bowls can be used for feeding two or more cats. If this is the case, try to ensure that the dials or timers synchronise, otherwise you might find that one cat is bullying the others to get to their food, as well as eating their own.

    Food Capacity

    Food capacity is another important consideration because you need to ensure your cat is getting enough food. Those that have a rotating carousel or trays to contain food do tend to have limited food capacity and they may not allow enough space for a day’s worth of kibble. Determine the amount of food that can be held in each tray and how often a new tray is open and ensure that your cat will be getting its fill each day.

    Ice Packs

    Dry kibble stays fresh for days, but wet food can go stale in just an hour or two. One way to slow the staling process is to chill the food. For this reason, wet food feeders will include an ice pack or ice section, or they offer space for you to include your own ice packs.

    Microchip Reader

    If you have multiple cats but need to ensure that each one is eating its own food and only its food, an automatic cat feeder with a microchip reader is a possible solution. These have a reader that sits around and above the cat’s head. You can set the reader to recognize an existing microchip, and if that microchip is detected, the bowl or lid will open. If any other or no microchip is in the area, it will not open.

    These may not be suitable for nervous cats that don’t like to be crowded when eating, because the reader is located prominently above the cat’s head.

    Voice Recorder

    You may see some cat feeders that allow you to record a short audio clip. This is played when the feeder dispenses food or opens its lid and is used to let the cat know that food is ready. In most cases, cats get to know a feeding schedule quickly, but if you want to ensure your moggy knows its time to eat, these can be a good feature.

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    Conclusion

    Automatic cat feeders are useful if you work long shifts, go away for the night or weekend often, or you want to more carefully manage a daily feeding schedule and feeding amount. Hopefully, using the reviews above, and our handy guide, you have been able to find the automatic feeder that best suits your cat’s requirements and your daily needs.

    If you’re looking for an affordable automatic two meal feeder, the Cat Mate C200 can be set up to 48 hours in advance and is easy to operate. For a little less, the Cat Mate C100 has a 24-hour mechanism and is great for early morning feeds or to feed your cat while you’re out at work.

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    Featured Image Credit: Kylbabka, Shutterstock