• Freda

3 Best Automatic Cat Feeders of 2021

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

Now there are many different brands of automatic cat feeders in the market, and the functions are also dazzling. How to choose an automatic cat feeder? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different automatic cat feeders? what are the most important aspects to pay attention to when choosing an automatic cat feeder? This article will take you to reveal the secret of the automatic cat feeder.

3 well-known brands are selected:

PETKIT: https://amzn.to/3m8IsTe

HOMERUN: https://bit.ly/3J0DUrN

XIAOMI: https://bit.ly/33w77dT

Before we buy an automatic pet feeder, we must first ask ourselves: "Is a 20-dollar cat bowl not good enough? Why should we buy an automatic feeder?"

The automatic pet feeder is mainly suitable for the following 3 scenarios:

-Regular food supplements are required when business trips or traveling;

-Cats eat too much in the free-feeding and need to control their food intake;

-Show your Cool items to your friends or family.

In particular, there is a study showing that some cats can control their intake and maintain their weight under the condition of ad libitum feeding; some cats will continue to increase their weight. Therefore, not all cats need regular and rationed food, and many cats can control their intake by themselves. When choosing a feeding method, owners can give priority to observing cats’ food intake under the condition of free feeding.

If you usually do not travel far away; pets are more self-disciplined (feeding freely and will not eat too much), or usually spend a lot of time at home, you can manually provide cats regular rations, without an automatic feeder. Functionally necessary.

When we choose an automatic feeder, what are the most important factors to pay attention to?

All functions need to be combined with scenarios. Therefore, we have listed some of the more important factors about automatic cat feeders. The following factors are also important for later reviews.

-Whether the food is stuck;

-Food weight accuracy;

-Food storability (the tightness of the container);

-Convenience to disassemble and clean;

-Convenience to clean without dead ends;

-APP remote controlling;

-Whether it can work normally when the power is off and the network is cut off;

-Protective measures (whether the power cord is easy to be bitten, easy to be touched by a pet by mistake, etc.)

Let's review those three feeders

1. Cat Food Storage Container

(1) Capacity

PETKIT: 2.85 L, 1.5 KG;

HOMERUN: 5 L, 2.5 KG;

XIAOMI: 3.6 L, 1.8 KG;

Generally speaking, an adult cat eats 70-100g of cat food a day, and the smallest food disperser can maintain an adult cat's food intake for at least 10 days. So the proper ones are enough.

(2) The tightness of the food storage barrel

Both Xiaomi and PetKit are fully enclosed and only opened when food is dispensed.

Because the food bowl is retractable, when it is extended, there will be a certain gap under the food storage container; when retracted, there will also be a certain gap because it cannot be tightly closed (but for the food storage) It should not be a big issue).

Xiaomi and PetKit are also equipped with a desiccant and a box especially containing the desiccant, which is very considerate.

2. Food Output

These 3 automatic cat feeders need to install the corresponding APP before operation.

Among them, Homerun's products do not need to be connected to an APP, and can also be operated directly on the touchscreen of the fuselage (it is indeed very rigorous).

(1) Food output Accuracy

Test the accuracy of 15g and 30g food with fish flavor snacks:

The density of different cat food decides the actual weight, it is acceptable when errors occur.

PetKit: 2 servings of food, the APP prompts about 10g, the actual weight is 12g. After 6 servings of food, the APP prompts that it is about 30g, and the actual weight is 36g.

Xiaomi: 2 servings of food, the APP prompts about 10g, and the actual weight is 11g. After 6 servings of food, it is about 30g, and the actual weight is 34g.

Homerun: 10g of grain, the actual weight is 11g. the actual weight is 34g when an indication of 30g.

Three automatic feeders are all acceptable in terms of the accuracy of the food output, and the errors are all within an acceptable range.

3. Hygiene and cleanliness

Hygiene and cleanliness are also very important. wet cat food will leave oil stains after being left for a long time and needs to be cleaned frequently. Therefore, the ease of cleaning matters.

(1) The material of the food bowl

Many products advertise that stainless steel is better than plastic and It is also true that plastics are easier to breed bacteria than ceramics, glass, steel, and other materials, but the most important thing is to clean them frequently. it is indeed worth evaluating regarding the bacterial growth of these food bowls after being placed for more than 1 week, we will review later because of its procedure complexity.

(2) Disassembly and Cleaning

The disassembly of PetKit is relatively simple. The food storage container can be taken out directly with a magnetically adsorbed bowl, which is easy to disassemble and wash. One of the shortcomings is that the food transfer tray at the bottom of the storage bucket cannot be fixed by screws and removed, leaving some dead spots that are difficult to clean.

The disassembly of Xiaomi is also very simple. Its storage barrel can be taken out directly with an easy-disassembled food transfer tray, so there is no dead space for cleaning. The base of the food bowl is attached to the body by magnetic adsorption, and the stainless steel food bowl can also be taken off and cleaned separately. It provides the best cleaning experience among the three automatic feeders.

Since Homerun's food bowl can be retracted, it is slightly more difficult to disassemble. It is necessary to tilt the entire feeder to a certain angle before taking out the food bowl. The food storage bucket needs to be unscrewed entirely, which requires some skills; the transfer tray can also be unscrewed, and the cleaning can basically achieve no dead ends.

After washing and drying, put it back in.

4. Unexpected situation and safety

When you are away from home, the most feared is that the automatic feeder has some unexpected situations like the power is cut off at home, or the cat’s hand is caught, and other safety issues. Let’s t check out the performance of these three automatic feeders on these safety issues.

(1) Only power off (not disconnected from the network)

power outage is one of the most anxious situations for automatic pet food feeders. All three models have made Plan B for power outages. Among them, Hörmann is the most powerful, providing a directly built-in large-capacity lithium battery, which lasts for up to 1 month.

Both Xiaomi and PetKit need to install batteries separately and need to be operated with a screwdriver.

Therefore, if you choose Xiaomi and PetKit, it is recommended that you install the battery before you travel, just in case.

After installing batteries, we unplugged all the power cords of the three automatic feeders:

-PetKit's automatic feeder can still perform various food addition and feeding plan operations on the APP;

-"The device is offline" is displayed on the XiaoMi APP, and it is not possible to set the feeding plan and manually add food;

-"The device is offline" is displayed on the Homerun APP, and feeding plan settings and manual feeding are also not possible.

In other words, when the power is cut off (the Internet is not connected), Xiaomi and Homerun feeders cannot be controlled remotely, and can only provide food according to the previously set feeding plan.

(2) Network disconnection

Another worry is whether we can pay for food if the internet is disconnected?

These three automatic feeders also claim to have prepared plans for this situation. As long as the plan is set up in advance, even if the internet is disconnected during the trip, the food distribution can be done normally.

(3) Power line

Both Xiaomi and PetKit use nylon ropes to prevent cats from biting.

Homerun is made of rubber, which is at risk of being bitten by cats. If the cat likes to bite and develops the habit of chewing the power line, it is recommended that you wrap a layer of something exterior, such as a rolling rope to minimize the risk of the cat biting.

(4) Anti-jamming

We tested the following three possible security issues:

-When millet is dispersing food, cat reaches in and out of the food port that will stop closing and will not pinch hands;

When PetKit is dispersing food, the food port will automatically pop open without pinching the cat’s hands; When the Homerun food bowl is automatically retracted, the cat’s hand stretches out and the food bowl will pop out automatically.

(5) Child Lock

Safety locks are set for preventing pets from touching by mistake.

Homerun's operation screen is designed with a swipe to unlock function to prevent pets from touching it by mistake.

(6) The food bowl was accidentally knocked off

Since Homerun takes the form of a card slot, it will not fall off due to impact.

Xiaomi's magnetic attraction is relatively large, and it is not easy to fall off by the impact.

The magnetic attraction force is relatively small and easier to fall off under impact.

5. The advantages of those three automatic feeders

(1) Homerun

One of the advantages of Homerun's automatic cat feeder is that it is equipped with a high-definition camera that can be used during the day and night, high definition pictures are guaranteed. You can also talk to pets, record videos, take screenshots, etc. Save the money for an additional camera directly.

(2) Xiaomi

Xiaomi continues the usual style of Mijia series products, elegant design, the power cord can be stored, inclined food bowl makes it easier for cats to eat.

(3) PetKit

It covers a small space and owns lightweight.

Overall, PetKit is the best looking and lightest; Homerun owns the most technical sense and is provided with the most functions; for the price, Xiaomi is a value for money, regardless of APP or the machine, three of them are simple and friendly to operate.

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