If your cat has a mixed diet, or eats wet food only, serving meals while away becomes a real challenge. There are a multitude of options available. For example, you can ask your relatives or neighbors to visit your house and change pet food. Some owners buy wet food dispensers that serve meals automatically on a pre-set time. Alternatively, there are special pet sitter services available: professional sitters clean the cat’s litter box and bowls, serve fresh food, and wash the pet, if necessary. They can also play and communicate with the four-legged pal.
Each of those options has its pros and cons. In this guide, we will dwell on each variant for you to decide which one may work better for you. You’ll discover the best refrigerated cat feeders, services provided by vacation feeders, read the suggestions for feeding. We will observe the best devices and figure out the most convenient way of organizing the cat’s meal plan while you’re on a trip.
Solution#1 – automatic wet cat food feeder with a refrigerator ❄️
Let’s start with a BIG frustration: there no feeders in 2020 that are equipped with a real refrigerator; ice packs are used instead.
However, this option seems to be the most sensible. An automatic wet cat food dispenser serves refrigerated meals at a particular time. These devices consist of a plastic or metal bowl placed over ice packs. The cold emitted by ice prolongs the freshness of wet food. This class of devices is quite rare: there are hundreds of automatic cat feeders on the market while there’s less than ten feeders with refrigeration possibility.
There are several reasons for considering a refrigerated cat food feeder:
- It keeps the wet food fresh and cold for up to 48 hours
- It eliminates the need to serve food several times a day – bowl capacity is enough to accommodate several portions while ice keeps them fresh.
- It opens access to food according to the pre-set timing, which eliminates the risk of overfeeding and obesity problems as a result. It allows you to feed your cat as much as it’s required even when you are away.
- It does not require electricity to run.
Yet, it has a few drawbacks:
- There is no auto cat feeder for wet food that comes with an in-built refrigerator. That means you cannot just leave it for several days without checking – you will need to have someone visit your cat and change both ice packs and food in the feeder.
- The capacity is pretty limited (about 200-300 ml per each bowl).
When choosing a refrigerated wet food dispenser, pay attention to such aspects as:
- Quality of materials
- Timing features
Let’s observe the worthiest models present online.
Made of BPA-free plastic, this automatic wet food cat feeder with an ice pack accommodates five portions of 11.5 ounces each. Good news: there’s no need to buy ice packs – reusable ones are already included. The digital timer with an LCD display allows you to schedule meals and help your pet follow a diet. The removable lid and bowl are dishwasher-friendly, and tamper-resistant design allows fastening it to a wooden board.
- High capacity;
- Suitable for both wet and dry foods;
- Reusable ice packs.
- Automatic serving of 4 portions instead of 5;
- Meal times can be set up only at a 10-minute break.
Capacity: 11.5 oz x 5
Timer: Yes (up to 24 hours)
Batteries: 3 AA batteries (not included)
With this automatic cat feeder, refrigerated wet food will last 1-2 days. The model boasts a high capacity: 2 x 450 g containers are more than enough even for two cats. The bowls are easy to remove and clean, they are dishwasher-safe. Reusable ice packs are already included. The timer allows scheduling meals within 48 hours, but it’s mechanical which makes it less precise than digital analogs.
- High capacity;
- Long-lasting battery;
- Ice pack is included
- Easy to clean.
- Timer is not precise enough;
- Can be easily flipped over.
- Capacity: 450 g x 2
- Timer: Yes (48 hours)
- Batteries: One AA battery (not included)
Sick and tired of running out of battery on the most inconvenient moments? This feeder comes with a mechanic countdown of time and allows setting two meals within 48 hours – it requires only one battery which lasts long. Since there are two bowls, it’s recommended for a multi-cat household. Bowls are sturdy and can be cleaned in a dishwasher.
- High capacity;
- Only one battery required;
- 48-hour timer.
- The timer may work incorrectly;
- An AA battery is not included.
- Capacity: 300 ml x 2
- Timer: Yes (up to 48 hours)
- Batteries: One AA required (not included)
Solution#2 – Pet sitter’s services
If you plan to leave for a long time, a vacation cat feeder won’t be enough. Consider hiring a cat sitter – this person will be like a nanny to your furry kid. A cat sitter will:
- Play with your pet, entertain and keep it active;
- Clean its litter box, replace cat litter;
- Wash bowls, replace water, serve food;
- Help pet in case of health issues and injuries;
- Wash or groom a pet, or take it to a grooming salon, if necessary.
Thus, you can trust all pet-related tasks to such a person. This variant is acceptable when you have no one to take care of a pet.
|Cat gets enough attention;Food is served every day;You can check your pet by keeping in touch with a sitter.||It’s expensive;Cat may stress when meeting a new person.|
Solution#3 – Ask your relatives or a neighbor
That seems to be the most affordable and sensible option of all. A friend/neighbor might cause less stress if your cat already knows and likes this person. Besides, you can trust your pet and household to someone you are friends with. Depending on your agreements, a relative/neighbor can play with the furry pal and entertain it, change the contents of the refrigerated automatic cat feeder, and do all the cleaning.
Ideally, you should ask someone to come and visit your cat twice a day and spend some time together. Besides, you can organize Skype sessions to see and have a small talk with your furry friend. The only problem here is to find a person you trust.
|Cat gets enough attention;Food is served every day;It’s less expensive than hiring a sitter;You can check your pet by keeping in touch with a friend/relative.||If your cat does not like this person, it may get nervous;It may be hard to find someone to visit your cat too often.|
Solution#4 – The Smartest Approach
If the latter approach is not agreeable for some reason, you can set things up the following way: ask a cat sitter to come by once in two days. During these visits, a person will perform all the cleaning, refresh cat litter and serve wet food after washing the cat vacation feeder and freezing ice packs. Thus, your cat will get essential care without you overpaying for services.
To realize this option, you will need a refrigerated cat food dispenser. Also, it’s important to find a sitter who appeals to your cat and can surround it with love and care. Use special cat sitter platforms, read forums and user reviews – it will help you find a ‘perfect match’ for your pet.
In a word
Whenever you plan to leave your cat for a long time, its nutrition should be your primary concern. Serving it dry food alone is a bad decision, especially if a cat has digestion problems. Luckily, it’s possible to maintain a healthy diet and stick to a schedule.
There are several options available, so you can easily figure out how to keep your cat well-fed. No matter which one you choose, buying an automatic feeder is a great idea. There is a wide choice of decent models on the market which allows keeping wet food fresh for a couple of days.