Feeding your cat is always fun. Seeing your cat wander around your legs, rub their head up against you, and anxiously await their food is a moment of bonding. Cats love a fresh tin of cat food opening or the dry food pellets' sound hitting the bowl. There are health reasons why feeding your pet is an important "touchpoint," as well. Cats who show no interest in food have an illness, so if you open up that tin and your cat doesn't come, you can almost guarantee something is amiss.
However, there are times when you need one of 2020's most popular pet industry trends, like a timed cat feeder. Maybe you're away on a trip or have pressing work obligations. As the name implies, these mechanical devices dispense food at regular intervals. For example, you can program it to refill the bowl with food every 12 hours, or some other interval. Instead of putting it all in a big bowl and having your pets overeat, you can ration it properly, just as if you were there in person.
Here are three reasons you need to buy a high-tech pet feeder such as a timed cat feeder, plus we take a look at one of the best automatic cat feeders with a timer on the market today.
The Biggest Reason to Get a Timed Cat Feeder: Save on Boarding Costs
You should know that you'll spend a lot on your pet's health. Boarding is expensive. The national average cost to board a cat is $25 per night, although those rates fluctuate depending on where you live. For example, if you live in Manhattan, you can expect a higher cost to board your pet than if you live in Buffalo. Still, $25 adds up fast. Going away for even just four nights would cost $100 on top of your plane fare, hotel costs, etc.
Cats can handle themselves pretty well on their own, staying indoors, even without supervision. While leaving your cat for days completely alone might not be advisable (most vets recommend trips no longer than 24 hours), many people take extended trips away without their pets. Caring for your cat is your responsibility as a pet parent, and having a cat feeding station with a timer ensures that they will have the food they need.
Even if you have a pet sitter come over every day or so to check up on the cats, having the timed feeder at least ensures that your pet will receive the proper feline nutrition they need at routine intervals.
Work Around Your Schedule
If you have two jobs (or one demanding job), you might find yourself working late. If so, then you probably can't adhere to a standard feeding schedule. That is, if you're wrapping up work at 10 pm, need to get up by 6 am, you can't provide enough spacing between meals.
A timed cat feeder as well as an electric/automatic pet water bowl let you work around your schedule. If you need to have the machine do one of the feedings so that you can stay at the office, a feeder gives you the ability to do so. Even if you don't currently work long hours or off-hours, getting your cats used to one of these feeders periodically gives you the freedom to accept extra assignments or additional opportunities without fear of how they will impact your pets. They'll already know and love the feeder!
Control Your Pet's Calories
Since a timed cat feeder only dispenses a pre-set portion of food each time, you can trivially control your pet's calories. If you're helping your cat to lose weight and is on diet, for example, or has non-standard food, you can ensure they get that food in the correct portions.
For certain health conditions, like diabetes, having accurate portion control can be vital for your cat's overall health. A senior cat's diet is also different so it's something that you should take into consideration. Doing precise portions at precise times is possible, but you'll have to remember to give your cat food on that perfect schedule. Most of the time, that's challenging to do, especially if you have other obligations. With a cat feeding station with a timer, you can ensure your pet gets the food they need when they need it!
What Is the Best Timed Cat Feeder?
As you might expect, there are quite a few timed cat feeders on the market today. If you peek into any pet store, you'll see plenty of them in the aisles.
One of the best automated cat feeders is the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed one. Reviewers note that it works well and tends to provide accurate portions. One of the most significant problems that many timed cat feeders succumb to is an inability to give exact amounts. If you're trying to control calories or provide a special diet for other health reasons, providing perfect portions is crucial. Thankfully, this particular pet feeder does that every time!
Most Owners Enjoy Having a Timed Cat Feeder
Most owners enjoy the flexibility of having an indoor or an outdoor automatic cat feeder with a timer. If you have a pet that needs portion control, you might use it frequently, but otherwise, most owners love the flexibility that comes with them for travel. They're generally advisable to have, so consider picking one up soon!