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5 DIY Automatic Cat Feeders You Can Build Today (with Pictures)

Are you considering getting an automatic cat feeder but can’t decide if it’ll be the solution you and your cat need? Mate, you’ll appreciate using these devices, especially if you are a busy cat parent.

Automatic cat feeders, just like other modern inventions, save time by helping take care of your cat’s feeding on your behalf. Of course, it starts with you finding the correct feeder for your kitty. But, don’t spend a fortune buying one when you can DIY on the go!

Keep reading and discover why you should have an automated cat feeder and how you can DIY one with remotely available material, like water bottles!

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5 DIY Automatic Cat Feeders

1. Plastic Bottle and Tray Auto-Cat Feeder

This fantastic DIY craft is the easiest automatic cat feeder you can make. Plus, you can create it on a budget, or nothing at all-it requires only a bottle and tray that you can quickly get from your kitchen.

Here’s where the knife comes in: cut half of the bottle’s bottom to create a hole and a base. You can put a handful of cat food in the bottle and place it on a tray.

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2. Auto-cat Feeder from Two Water Bottles Combined

Do you have two empty juice, milk, or water bottles? If so, you can turn them into a disposable automatic cat feeder device for your feline companion.

You’ll need two plastic bottles, scissors, and of course, pet food for this DIY automatic cat feeder. First off, start by washing the bottles to get rid of the residues.

Use the scissors to cut a hole that’s a little wider than the bottle’s mouth on one of the container’s sides. Cut the same bottle in half width-wise – this will act as the dispensing slot or tray.

Cut the second bottle almost half-way and remove the bottom entirely. Fill the lower part with pet food. Don’t throw the bottom, though-it’ll act as a cap for the dispenser.

Connect the bottles where you cut them and glue where they join. You should have your automatic cat feeding device ready by now.

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3. DIY Automatic Cat Feeder using Cardboard

This DIY cat feeder is a little more time-consuming than the other options but is also very helpful and engaging.

You may need measuring skills, cardboard, ruler, scissors, glue, and a ruler for this one. You have to take measurements to create appropriately sized holes and edges on two thick cardboard – one piece to hold cat food and the other to dispense.

This automatic feeder is an option if you have a gentle kitty companion, though.

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4. Automatic Cat Feeder from a Plastic Jar

Don’t throw the mayonnaise jar away when you can convert it to a functional DIY automated cat feeder. Plus, it doesn’t require many skills or items: a plastic jar, a pie pan, and duct tape.

You cut the plastic jar at the bottom on the side, just a little, to create a dispensing hole. Put the jar on the pan or tray, pour in cat food, close the lid, and go for a trip if you want.

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5. DIY Auto-cat feeders from Gallon Buckets

You need a bit more energy and more robust tools for this DIY automatic cat feeder hack. The must-have materials include two-gallon buckets, a marker, and a strong razor or carpet knife.

The two buckets should be able to fit nicely and snug because you’ll use one of them to choke down the flow of cat food. Cut a sizable hole out of the bottom of one of the buckets to release food into the second bucket. Also, cut at the bottom on the side of the second bucket to let the food out.

This DIY cat automatic cat feeder can hold large quantities of food for many days. Here’s a step-by-step guide on the dimensions and how to piece the buckets together.

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Advantages of DIY Automatic Cat Feeders

1. They Are Affordable

Making an automatic cat feeder yourself is much cheaper than the high-tech automatic cat feeders in pet stores.

The good thing is, you can DIY a cat feeder using cheap and readily available household items like bottles and cardboard. Plus, DIY automatic cat feeders don’t always require motors, batteries, or electricity-just your feline’s clever paws (cat-powered) and gravity.

2. They Are Convenient

Do you want to have fewer sleep interruptions from today? If yes, find an automatic cat feeder. These devices will allow you to be a responsible cat parent by feeding your kitty without your physical presence.

It’ll help prevent guilt and give you peace of mind knowing your kitty is well-catered for, even when you are on a trip or at work. Most importantly, you’ll stop being the nagging neighbor that asks friends and neighbors to cat-sit every time.

3. Prevents Bloating

One of the reasons that cause your cat to bloat is making your cat overeat in one sitting. You can avoid making excess food available by taking advantage of the automatic cat feeder’s ability to dispense smaller foods.

4. Allows Complete Personalization

If you are the cat owner that loves being in control of every detail, a DIY automatic cat feeder will help you get control of your kitty’s eating habits, from portion to eating hours.

5. Have Medical Value

Vets have always recommended cat feeders if your kitty struggles with weight-related issues, thanks to the cat feeder’s ability to regulate the pet’s food intake.

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How Do DIY Automatic Cat Feeders Work?

These cat feeders rely on gravity to work. When the cat begins eating from the bowl or feeding station (that should be lying on the ground horizontally), it creates a space that automatically fills with feeds from the container above.

How to Make an Automatic Cat Feeder

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

  • Knife
  • Two same-size bottles
  • Tape
  • Hot Glue
  • Cardboard
  • Step 1: First off, take the first bottle and cut a hole at its bottom. Almost half of the bottom should be cut out.
  • Step 2: For the second bottle, cut a hole on the side, just near the bottom. This will help the two bottles slip in together nicely.
  • Step 3: Fit the two bottles together at the cutouts. The first bottle should be standing, with the second lying horizontally on the floor, acting as the cat’s feeding station or bowl.
  • Step 4: Stick two bottles together using tape or hot glue to hold them in place.
  • Step 5: Cut a dispensing hole near the second bottle’s top. Your kitty will use this hole to access the food.
  • Step 6: Cut a hole at the first bottle’s top, removing the bottle top to widen the mouth. This hole will allow you to pour in cat food. It would be best if you made a lid that you can close the mouth with, to prevent the food from pouring out if the cat knocks down the feeder.
  • Step 7: Fold the cardboard to a suitable size depending on the size of your bottle to make a platform. Tape or glue the folded cardboard where the two bottles connect. Pour in the cat’s food and allow it to eat.

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As much as automatic cat feeders make taking care of a cat easier, responsible cat owners shouldn’t use them as substitutes for human connection.

Cats have a reputation for independence and appear not to need the same affection, attention, and love as other household pets. However, don’t use an auto cat feeder as an excuse not to find cat sitters, walkers, or boarding facilities for your kitty when you travel.

Long stay without human connection and interaction may make your cat develop a separation anxiety disorder and other behavior problems.

You might also be interested in: 5 Best Raccoon-Proof Cat Feeders in 2021 — Reviews & Top Picks

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Featured Image Credit: Kylbabka, Shutterstock