If you frequently run late coming home from work and worry about the hungry kitty at home you may want to take a look at an automatic pet cat feeder. Even if you just forget to fill her bowl from time to time, making your poor cat beg and whine a bit to remind you when dinnertime is, an automatic feeder might make your home a bit more peaceful. While keeping in mind that an automatic pet cat feeder is never a substitute for a pet sitter when you are away, here are a few things to consider in an automatic pet cat feeder. Features to Consider in an Automatic Pet Cat Feeder
An automatic pet cat feeder will come in two basic forms. The less complicated version of an automatic pet cat feeder is a large bin, or hopper, which is filled with dry food. As the food level in the bowl drops, more food falls down from the hopper. This simple version of an automatic pet cat feeder is unlikely to break and leave your cat hungry. However, if the food sits in the hopper too long it may become stale and some cats won't eat stale food. Cats generally prefer frequent offerings of fresh food.
The more sophisticated form of an automatic pet cat feeder features a battery operated timer that automatically dispenses a pre-set amount of food into a bowl or revolves to reveal a pre-set amount of food in a dish, on a schedule that you program. This kind of automatic pet cat feeder uses a battery and will be the more expensive of these options. The food will be fresher in a feeder like this, but if the automatic pet cat feeder malfunctions, your kitty may go hungry. Many models have a refrigeration unit that allows you to offer canned food without risk of it spoiling. Desirable Features in an Automatic Pet Cat Feeder
Look for an automatic pet cat feeder that is easy to clean, easy to use and that your cat will like. High-impact plastic, that's resistant to rough handling and dishwasher safe is a desirable feature in a hopper style of an automatic pet cat feeder. Also look for automatic pet cat feeders with removable lids for easy cleaning.
When buying an electronic automatic pet cat feeder, look to see that all the parts are well-made, unlikely to break and easy to clean. You may also want to find one with a guarantee or on the recommendation of a friend, so that you can feel secure that the automatic pet cat feeder will not malfunction or break shortly after purchase. If using canned food, consider models with a cooling mechanism. Also, some models will allow you to offer 2 to 8 meals on a schedule so consider how often you want to offer fresh food when selecting the right model for your cat. The Ideal Automatic Pet Cat Feeder
The ideal automatic pet cat feeder is large enough to feed your cats for as long as you are going to be away. It should be easy to use, easy to clean and work well for your needs. Automatic Pet Cat Feeder Safety Tips
Never use an automatic pet cat feeder as a pet sitter. If your feeder malfunctions, the food becomes infested with insects or anything else unforeseen happens, your cat may have to go without food. An automatic feeder can be a time saver, but you should still check on your cat at least daily.
If you have a cat that is overweight and should have her food rationed, you may want to avoid the hopper style feeders which “free feed” food all day long. Some cat owners use their automatic pet cat feeders to dispense dry food, but also feed two small meals a day of canned cat food. This can be a good option as well. Consider all the options and set up the feeding system that suits your feline. Bon Appetit!