Which food dispenser should I choose for my cat?

The cat, a nibbler

A snacker by nature, the cat is used to eating small quantities many times a day. But if you are not there to renew his plate regularly, some foods such as pates can dry or even turn, especially in summer. Thus, a bowl is not always ideal. This is why a food dispenser can be very practical because it allows the cat to feed himself in your absence.

You won’t have to come home on purpose to feed your cat. Better yet, you can even get your cat out of the habit of asking for food by serving him all of his meals with the help of a food dispenser, which will spare you the repeated meows of your little fawn.

The different types of cat food dispensers

Manual dispenser

It is the cheapest model but it has disadvantages. Indeed, because of its mechanical operation, your hairball will be able to allow itself small feasts when it wants, which certainly promotes obesity. It is strongly discouraged, especially for cats that are greedy, sedentary or overweight.

Vending machine

Whether it’s an economical model with analog timer and flip-flap or the latest high-end all-digital model, an automatic (battery operated) food dispenser allows you to program and schedule your cat’s meals in advance. Your cat will only be able to eat kibble at the times you decide, which will limit any risk of becoming overweight.

The most elaborate models even allow you to choose the exact amount of food delivered at each meal, to control the device remotely using a remote control or to record a message yourself to call your cat each time the meal is “ready”, which will console even the most anxious cats in your absence. Some large tank models allow you to plan up to three months of meals!

Compartmentalized dispenser

It is also an automatic and programmable food dispenser but has the particularity of being composed of five or six closed compartments in order to be able to store different types of food (kibbles, pates, fresh bags) and not only kibbles. Here too, it is possible to determine the exact amount of food to be served. Some compartments can be used to keep pates cool.

2 in 1 dispenser (food + water)

This type of mixed dispenser, which delivers both food and water, is very practical because you won’t need to buy an extra waterer. As a reminder, a cat should always have fresh, drinkable and renewed water nearby every day.

Chip dispenser

This is the ideal type of dispenser if you have several cats at home. It will only dispense food to those animals whose chip number has been entered into the machine beforehand, using a cat identification chip number detection system or an RFID tag provided with the machine. This may also be advisable if you have a cat trap and sometimes receive visits from cats outside the home, to prevent them from stealing your cats’ food.

Interactive dispenser (toy)

Finally, if your cat has a propensity to be overweight, does not do enough activity or is simply very playful, there is also a toy dispenser, which can come in different forms: ball, pipolino, toy in the shape of a grass bush… The cat will deliver the kibbles as he plays with them. He will also learn to eat more slowly, which will allow your cat to have a perfect satiety. On the other hand, be patient because it will take some time to get used to it.


The automatic dispenser must be attached or placed intelligently so that it cannot fall on your pet if it ever plays with it. It must also be protected by a lid or flap strong enough so that your cat cannot open it by itself and steal food. So choose your dispenser with care.

Nothing can replace its owner

Always keep in mind that a dispenser should not be used as an excuse to leave your cat alone for too long (more than two days). A dispenser does not replace your presence and the cat may develop stress and anxiety in your absence. Not to mention that a dispenser can break down, leaving your cat completely hungry if you are not there. The safest thing to do is to choose a quality model that will not break down and will last longer.