The Best Pet Feeders to Grab if You’re Sick of Your Cat Biting Your Face off at 3AM

The Best Pet Feeders to Grab if You’re Sick of Your Cat Biting Your Face off at 3AM
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

As a cat owner, I know all too well what it’s like to be woken up at 3am by my adorable, blue-eyed ragdoll pouncing on my face and biting my chin. While I know I could simply shut my bedroom door and avoid this situation altogether, I really do love it when my cat chooses to curl up by my side instead. The reason why my cat decides to attack me in my sleep is often because her food bowl is empty. So to combat this, I’ve been considering an automatic pet feeder that can keep her fed throughout the night.

Even if your pet doesn’t rouse you from your sleep every night like mine does, an automatic pet feeder can benefit your household in so many ways. Many of my friends with rescued strays struggle to keep up with their pet’s demanding appetite. These pets are still afraid that their food won’t be in its bowl if they leave it unattended so they tend to gobble it all up as fast as possible.

Some pets are simply ravenous in general and need a feeder to control their portions throughout the day to prevent them from overeating. This is especially handy if you’ve got an overweight furry companion sitting at home.

Regardless of your pet’s eating habits, you might just be worried about missing meal time and leaving them hanging. Whether you’re heading to a friend’s for a nightcap or staying out late, don’t make yourself feel too guilty about leaving your pet home alone for a few extra hours when you have an automatic feeder handy.

Since no one wants to wake up in the freezing cold wee hours of the morning, we’ve rounded up a bunch of pet feeders for you to consider.

Pick an automatic pet feeder if your furry companion loves to wake you up at ungodly hours

PETLIBRO Auto Cat Feeder

Automatic pet cat and dog feeder

Perhaps our favourite feeder on the list is the PETLIBRO auto cat feeder. This stylish-looking automatic food dispenser is perfect for scheduling up to six meals a day to prevent your cat from bothering you in the early hours of the morning when it’s too cold to roll out of bed.

Available in either a 3L or 5L option, the best part about this feeder is the fact that it features a secure twist-lock lid, which is ideal for preventing any cunning pets from tipping over the dispenser. Trust me, I’ve seen it all. Its airtight lock will also ensure that your pet’s meals stay fresh and crunchy from the moment it’s poured inside.

But the final selling point? You can use its easy-to-use digital display to record a meal call, so it basically feels like you never left home. Perhaps the main downside when switching to an automatic feeder is the fact that you lose the intimacy that comes from feeding your pet yourself, but by programming your voice you’ll still let your furry friend know that you’re the provider in this family.

Where to buy

Amazon ($173.12) | eBay ($175.99)

Petscene 7L Pet Feeder Auto Cat Feeder

Image: PetScene

Do you have two pets that tend to compete for food? Or maybe even two best friends that love to share meal time? Say no more.

This 7L PetScene feeder comes with two bowls and a removable splitter to evenly distribute food between two pets. Record your voice then set the timer so that at dinner time, both pets can come running in to their respective bowls. No fighting and no fuss.

And in case you’re worried about the kibble getting stuck in the tubes, the feeder’s in-built infrared sensor can detect when food becomes jammed in the passageway, which will trigger the motor to work in the opposite direction in order to free that pesky biscuit.

Where to buy

Amazon ($115.55) | eBay ($129.95) | Kogan ($129.98) 

SCHITEC Auto Cat Feeder

Automatic pet feeder

If you want a more compact option, perhaps to cater to a smaller breed or a puppy/kitten, then consider this automatic pet feeder. Not only does it fall under the $100 mark, but it’s a tidy 3.5L and will serve four meals a day.

You can leave it plugged in at all times for regular use, or if you only intend to use it here and there, it comes with three backup batteries, which are useful in the exception of a blackout.

Where to buy

Amazon ($79.99) | eBay ($99.99)

PetSafe Digital 2-Meal Programmable Pet Feeder

PetSafe cat food dispenser
Image: PetSafe

Don’t want a tall, bulky automatic cat food dispenser? Try this 2-meal programmable pet feeder instead. If you have a cat or dog that can happily graze all day long, this is a great option if you’re planning to leave them at home for between 24 to 48 hours.

It features a hidden digital screen that allows you to schedule your pet’s meals up to four days in advance. Its plastic container is also dishwasher-friendly, making clean-up a sure breeze.

Where to buy

Amazon ($56.26) | eBay ($89.99) | Pet Circle ($87.60)

Stop greedy pets from stealing food with microchip pet feeders

Sure Feed Microchip Cat Feeder

Microchip cat feeder
Image: Sure Feed

If you have multiple pets in your home, we’re willing to bet that you have one gutsy critter that loves to steal their siblings’ food. Whether your dog keeps chewing on your cat’s kibble or somebody’s possessive of their food, a microchip cat feeder is the solution to your in-house game of Survivor.

This microchip cat feeder will work by only opening up for the pet with the corresponding microchip number that’s been programmed into it. This means that any sneaky pets planning to swipe another’s food won’t be able to access that pet’s dinner at all.

Where to buy this microchip cat feeder

Amazon ($399) | Petbarn ($239.99) | Pet Circle ($173.35)

You can also check out the Sure Feed Connect Microchip Cat Feeder which allows you to access its unique app to design profiles for your pets, choose which ones can access the feeder and view how much food has been consumed by each pet and so much more. You can check it out here for $189.35. 

Keep a close eye on your fur pal through a pet feeder with a video camera

Petrust Automatic Smart Pet Feeder with Camera and App

Automatic pet feeder
Image: Petrust

We get it. When you’re away from your fur baby, it can feel like a deep ache in your chest. Whether you just want to check in on them or make sure they’re eating appropriately, this Petrust smart pet feeder will allow you to control everything from your phone.

Sometimes when your train gets delayed or your colleagues invite you out for a spontaneous round of Friday night drinks, you hesitate because you know you should head home to tend to your beloved pet’s dinner time routine. I know I’ve declined so many post-work outings for this reason. But with one of these automatic feeders, I know that I’d feel more comfortable accepting an invite.

With this Petrust smart feeder, you can call your furry companion in real-time and schedule the feeder to dispense food immediately. Or perhaps you’ve realised that you’re going to be home earlier than you thought, so you can cancel your pre-scheduled feeding routine.

This smart cat food dispenser features a 1080p HD camera with a 110-degree wide angle so you can see your pet from your hand wherever you are. It also features a two-way microphone, so you can show them some love and hear them bark back at you. Probably to say, “when are you getting home, human?”

Where to buy

Amazon ($189.99) | Catch ($169.99) | Kogan ($169.99)

SKYMEE 8L Smart Automatic Cat Food Dispenser

Auto cat feeder and dispenser

If you want an even bigger smart food dispenser, look to this 8L auto cat feeder by SKYMEE. Not only can you stop and start your pet’s feeding schedule as you please, but you can also keep watch over them day and night. This one also has a two-way microphone and a camera with 1080p resolution.

But the best part? You can even record or take photos through its built-in camera that you can share on social media if you feel like it. After all, who doesn’t want footage of an adorable critter munching on kibble gracing their Facebook feed?

Where to buy

Amazon ($219.99) | eBay ($274.99)

Tricky feeders to make your pets work for their food

Trixie Flip Board Activity Dog Feeder

Image: Trixie

If you want to keep your pets entertained while you’re away, you can try leaving their food in one of these activity dog feeders. Plenty of dogs get bored when they’re cooped up at home all day and require some extra stimulation to keep themselves occupied.

These dog activity feeders work great because it forces them to work for a treat. Overall, it’s just good for their brain and gives clever dogs such as border collies or huskies the mental stimulation they need so they don’t go tearing your house apart or howling all day.

Where to buy

Petbarn ($29.99)

LickiMat Slomo Slow Feeder Dog Mat

Image: LickiMat

LickiMats are a simple way to stop your dog from wolfing down all of its food in one greedy gulp. After all, many dogs suffer from digestion issues all because they eat too quickly.

So if you notice your pup can’t help but rip into every meal, try sprinkling its food into one of these LickiMats to slow them down.

Where to buy

Petbarn ($21.99) | eBay ($22)

A Snuffle Mat

Snuffle mat
Image: IFOYO

Another great dog training tool, snuffle mats not only slow down your pets from eating too quickly, but they also teach dogs to use their sniffers. It’s fun for them (apparently).

Where to buy

Amazon: Assorted colours ($42.46) | eBay: Sunflower ($16.13) or Grassy ($17.59)

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At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


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