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If you are a cat owner, I’m sure you’ve experienced at least one of the common feeding-related problems that cat owners all around the world struggle with on a daily basis. The most common annoyance cat owners experience is being woken up too early when they are trying to sleep in on a Saturday. When your cats are hungry, they don’t care if you want to sleep in or not. Another common problem is making sure your cats are fed when you’re away working or traveling.
All that can be harder if you keep your cat wondering outside because then you need an outdoor cat feeder. Those feeders are more durable than the ones you can put inside, which is natural since they have to endure different weather conditions.
The two main types of outdoor cat feeding stations are gravity feeders and electronic feeders. The first model uses gravity to give your cat fresh food and it doesn’t require any type of power, while the electronic feeders use electric energy (mostly batteries) and you can set a timer for feeding periods.
Today I want to share with you the best and the most popular outdoor cat food dispenser models you can use on your balcony for your furry friend, just make sure that they are under a roof and protected from the wind since they are rather small feeders.
Best Outdoor Cat Feeder Models
Petmate Pet Café Feeder
The first outdoor cat food feeder I want to share with you is a gravity feeder, which means it doesn’t require batteries or any kind of power and that is (by me) the best option for an outdoor feeder. The biggest perks of any gravity feeder are that they are easy to use for you and your cat and the same story is with this product.
As you can see it on the picture, this is a plastic pet feeder which means it doesn’t have any metal and it won’t corrode if it gets in contact with the rain, snow or any other weather condition. Another perk is that it is easily adjustable. That means it comes in 3 different sizes and you can use it for cats, small to medium-sized dog breeds, but I am not sure it is a good choice for large dog breeds.
There isn’t one complicated thing about the feeder. If you want to fill it with food, simply remove the top lid and pour the food in. The transparent storage allows you to see the amount of food in the feeder so you don’t have to worry about checking it all the time. Your cat (or dog) can eat no matter if you are home or not and once the gravity feeder is empty you can simply wash it by hand. There are a few parts that are dishwasher safe which is great.
The next perk might not be important but it can be a deal breaker. This feeder comes in different colors so you can choose different shades of blue and silver, which is pretty cool.
- It can be used outdoors.
- It’s simple to use.
- It comes in a variety of colors.
- Large kibble can get stuck in the opening.
PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Cat and Dog Feeder
The next on my list is this electronic feeder by PetSafe. It’s a really great option for controlling cats’ weight and making sure they don’t gorge on their food.
The feeder is very interesting because you can adjust the size of the meal from 1/8 cups to 4 cups. That is a great way to monitor how many has your cat eaten during the day. It is an automatic cat feeder which means it uses batteries (4D alkaline batteries you have to buy separately). That is why you have to put it under the roof of your balcony and make sure it is dry.
But the best feature of this outdoor cat feeder is the Slow Feed Mode. That mode slowly releases food during the 15-minute period which means that your cat can’t eat too fast. That is very important if you want to keep your cat from vomiting after a meal. This feature is also pretty useful for people with ill cats that are on a special medical regime.
The feeder allows you to set up to 12 feeding times, so it will also be a great choice for households with multiple cats. If you wish to feed your cat outside the scheduled times for one reason or another, simply use the Immediate Feed Mode.
When it comes to cleaning you will be glad to hear that most of the parts are dishwasher safe (the lid, hopper, bowl…). The entire outdoor cat feeding station is mostly made of BPA-free plastic and the bowl is made of stainless steel which is a better choice than plastic bowls.
- It comes with mostly dishwasher safe parts.
- The batteries aren’t included in the package.
AmazonBasics Self-Dispensing Gravity Pet Feeder and Waterer
As I have already mentioned I think that the gravity feeders are better and that is why they are the majority on the list, like this product which is a feeder and a waterer. This is great because cats need more water on a dry food diet. I’ve already listed all the pros and cons of gravity feeders above, and besides the fact that it also comes with a waterer, this one isn’t much different.
Just like the first pet feeder product on the list this one comes in small and large sizes. You can adjust the size of how many cats you have, their breed and age. The smaller version has 6-pound capacity while the bigger one is 12-pounds.
This outdoor cat water bowl and food bowl are made of pet safe plastic without metal parts to prevent corrosion so you can put it on the balcony. They both come with small rubber feet so you can be sure that your cats won’t move it around the balcony during the meal. But, if you want to move them you can simply pick them up by the small cut out holes on the sides which are made for easier grabbing and transportation.
The plastic on the feeder and waterer isn’t dishwasher safe so you have to clean it by hand, but I don’t think it is a big problem since it is very easy to clean. There aren’t small corners that are hard to reach. The downside of this simple outdoor cat feeder is that it consists of 3 pieces you can detach too easily, they should be better. The way it is now, food can spill all over your floor if you’re not really careful when you’re refilling it.
- This waterer and feeder is a great choice for the multiple-cat household.
- The design is not too good, it is very sensitive.
PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder
The next on my list is another automatic feeder, and it’s a bit different from the others because you can use it only for 5 meals ahead. The good thing is that it is very small and light so you can carry it with you and use it outdoors.
The feeder consists out of 5 outdoor cat bowls you can fill with food and they rotate every few hours (how you set the timer). Each slot is made for one meal and once the meal is finished, the lid closes and your cat can’t access the food. That is actually a great solution because it prevents food from spoiling.
All in all, I really like the flexibility of this outdoor cat feeder. You can combine dry and wet food in the feeder which is great because there are feeders made only for dry food. You can also schedule multiple smaller meals per day, or one bigger meal, whatever fits you best. This means that this feeder is a good choice for most households.
The entire feeder is made of BPA-free plastic without metal parts. The lid is sturdy, and even the most stubborn and greedy cats won’t break in it. The small downside is that it uses 4D batteries and you have to buy them separately.
- The tray is removable and dishwasher safe, which makes maintenance really simple.
- Since it has batteries, make sure it is on a dry part of the patio/balcony.
Arf Pets Automatic Pet Food Dispenser
The last outdoor cat feeder on my list is this electronic feeder by Arf Pets. As you can see it in the picture, it looks pretty amazing in its black and white color combination. This outdoor feeder can be used for dogs too, but smaller breeds.
This automatic feeder has an option to set 4 meals a day and in total around 10 meals ahead. Each portion can be around 24ml and you can’t adjust the bigger/smaller portion size. You will have to set the timer every two days which is not good for an automatic feeder, but it’s not too bad either.
The good thing about this pet feeder is that you can lock the top lid so your cat won’t be able to open it and steal food. Once you close the lid, the food is safe and it will stay fresh in an airtight condition. You can’t see the amount of food, but you don’t have to open the lid to check it out because you will receive a notification when the food level is low.
There is one more feature of this automatic feeder you will love and that is the recorder. You can record a 10-sec message that sound will play during your cat’s mealtime. You can record your voice or you can record a sound if a bag or can opening and you can be sure that your cat will come in a second.
Since it is an electronic feeder, you can power it with batteries or power cord. If you want to keep it outside, use the batteries but they aren’t included in the pack. Just like with other electronic pet feeders, keep it dry all the time.
- You can record your voice or another sound that will attract the cat.
- It uses batteries so you have to keep it dry and you have to set it every two days.
How To Keep Ants Away From Cat Food Outside?
The best way to keep ants out of outdoor cat food is to get an automatic cat feeder with a silicone or airtight container which releases a certain amount of food every meal. That way the food is closed and it won’t share any smell to the animals around you, including ants, birds or racooons. There are outdoor cat feeder raccoon/bird/ant-proof models and one of them is the Arf Pets Automatic Pet Food Dispenser I have reviewed above.
Conclusion: Best Outdoor Cat Feeder
As I have already mentioned in the “How to keep ants out of outdoor cat food?” paragraph, the best outdoor cat feeder are the ones with the sealed lid. I would recommend the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder because it has one additional feature and that is the Slow Mode as cat slow feeder. But, if you don’t need an outdoor pet feeder, you can check out my post about automatic cat feeders or even cat water dispensers that provide your feline fresh and clean water.