Today’s pace of life makes difficult for us to be at home to feed our pets all their meals, particularly if we wish to ration these to promote weight loss or improve anxiety problems.

Getting a dish-style digital timer automatic feeder such as the Cat Mate C500 can help solving these problems, while making sure that curious pets like dogs cannot access them.

Its design allows to program up to four meals, plus a fifth meal that is not covered to be served at the present time. It is also compatible with both dry and wet food that can be kept fresh for up to 24 hours depending on the room temperature.

Pros and cons


  • Both dry and wet food
  • No need to worry about clogging thanks to dish-style design
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
  • Sturdy and difficult to open for cats and other pets
  • Reliable and easy to set up
  • Ample food slots
  • Intended for cats and small dogs


  • No stainless steel bowls (although option to be purchased separately)
  • Only four meals programmable
  • Batteries-powered only

Which automatic cat feeder is the best? – Things to consider before choosing an automatic feeder

Making sure that our pets will eat whatever the time is, whether we are sleeping, working or away on a short weekend getaway, is a great advantage of these automatic feeders.

Some of the key points that we recommend considering before getting one are the following:

  • Does my pet eat dry, wet food or both?

This will determine what type of automatic feeder you are going to need, as most gravity-based upright feeders are compatible with dry food only. For wet or mixed food, usually you will better go with a dish-style design one.

does my pet eat dry, wet food or both?
  • Is it intended for just one or more than one pets? Does any of them take a veterinary prescription diet?

In multiple cat households, unless your cats are trained, normally they will have different eating habits and that may result in one of them overeating and the other too little. If that’s your case, or any of them are on a veterinary prescription diet, then you might want to consider a microchip feeder instead. If you would like to have a look into these, please see our SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder Review post, where we compare it with its competitors.

  • Do you have any other pets that could access the automatic feeder?

Due to the high palatability of most of cat’s diets, your dog might find their food very interesting and that could lead to dietary indiscretions. To solve this problem, you can either get robust options like this dish-style automatic feeder reviewed here or even consider a microchip feeder (see link above).

do you have any other pets that could access the automatic feeder?
  • How much are you willing to invest depending on its features?

It depends on what you are planning to use it for and how important some of their features are for you. For us is very important for them to be reliable, easy to program multiple servings/portions, easy to clean, and ideally with a bowl made of stainless steel to avoid any undesired allergic skin reactions.

Key features

If your plan is feeding wet food mostly, mixing it with dry food, raw or adding medications at certain feeding times, you should consider a dish-style feeder, as these can address all these points. They allow you to program up to four meals plus an extra one that is uncovered, which allows you to feed your pet/s for one or two days thanks to its rotating system. This also means that you don’t have to worry about it clogging.

If you rather get an automatic feeder that you don’t have to fill up pretty much on a daily basis, then you should probably get a programmable upright feeder instead like the PETLIBRO, only compatible with dry food.

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Product description

Both dry and wet, also raw

Because it includes a carousel with five bowls that you can fill with anything that you wish, can be easily used for dry, wet, or raw food without having to worry about it getting clogged. It comes with twin ice packs, which are ideal to keep wet and raw food fresh for longer.

Programmable meals

The rotating carousel contains five bowls, of which we can schedule four to be presented to our pet when we wish. The 5th meal is not covered, so will be presented straight away. This means that you can set up four meal times and the device will simply repeat that each day, allowing also to be set up, for example, twice a day for 2 days, or once a day for 4 days.

Portion size

Each slot can hold up to a total of 330 grams meals, making it spacious enough for either a cat or a small dog to feel comfortable eating from it. You could also consider it if you have two cats, and they are trained so you can be sure that they won’t compete for their food.

Dimensions and weight

Measuring 34 cm high, 34 cm deep, around 21 cm wide and weighting approximately 500 grams, makes it ideal for houses with little space and easily transportable in case needing to change it from one place to another.

Energy supply

Requires 3x AA alkaline batteries, which are not included. These might last between six months and a year, depending on how often is used and the quality of the batteries, according to some customers. This feature prevents it from being dependent on electricity in case there is a power cut, and our pet could be left without being fed. It has a low battery indicator, and you can also turn it off without losing your set times, ideal for when you are going to clean it or just not using it.


Made from BPA-free plastic, it is a durable and easy to clean feeder. It is also dishwasher safe. In normal circumstances we would prefer stainless steel bowls, but this is not necessarily a disadvantage, as you can find stainless steel bowls inserts in Amazon. These are usually more friendly with skin sensitivities, although we must admit that our very own cat Mei (see her in the picture below enjoying one of her meals) has been using it since December 2020 and never had an issue with it.

Tamper-resistant lid

Its lid design takes into account possible tricks that small pets can do to get more food than what they are supposed to have. Made from plastic, it is light but sturdy enough. We have tested it ourselves and can confirm that it is cat-proof.

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Easy to set up

Something that we consider fundamental is how easily can be set up and programmed, as the last thing we want is complicating our lives when, possibly, one of the reasons why we decided to purchase an automatic feeder is to make it simpler. Basically, it has a control panel with three buttons that allow you to program the four meals on the digital clock in time intervals, allowing us to differentiate between AM and PM.

User reviews

1review catmate
2review catmate
3review catmate

Comparison with its main competitors

Material of the bowl

Same as the Cat Mate C200, the Cat Mate C500 includes BPA free plastic bowls which make them durable and easy to clean, however not perfect if your pet suffers from skin sensitivities, particularly around the chin area. Without panicking, it is worth noting that the brand has taken this into account, and we can find stainless steel bowl inserts to be purchased separately in Amazon. In this respect, the PETLIBRO granary automatic feeder (3L) comes with a stainless steel bowl by default.

Number of programmable meals

Being a superior model to the Cat Mate C200, the Cat Mate C500 is presented as a dish-style carousel with five bowls in total, of which you can programme four to present food when you set it. The PETLIBRO granary automatic feeder is quite different in this respect, as it is a vertical-type feeder and allows you to program up to 6 meals to drop into the bowl when you choose to.

Type of food compatible

While both the Cat Mate C500 and Cat Mate C200 allow any type of food that you can imagine (provided that fits within the bowl – dry, freeze-dried, wet, raw…), the PETLIBRO granary automatic feeder can hold only dry and freeze-dried food, as otherwise it would get stuck.


Both the Cat Mate C500 and its predecessor, the Cat Mate C200 run only with batteries, which makes them more portable than alternatives, such as the PETLIBRO granary automatic feeder, which you normally need to keep closer to a wall plug. At the same time, the fact that this option includes dual power, means that your pets should never be left without any food, as even if the power cuts, you’ll have the batteries as back-up.

Ideal for

The Cat Mate models and the PETLIBRO automatic feeder serve a similar purpose at the end of the day, but it will depend a lot on your pet’s habits. If your pet only eats dry food or you plan to feed them wet food manually, then you may benefit more from splitting the day meals even more with the PETLIBRO (up to 6 meals a day). If they eat mainly wet or raw food, then Cat Mate is probably more interesting for you. In this respect, the Cat Mate C500 is superior over the Cat Mate C200 because it allows you to spread out the meals more throughout the day (4 plus 1 presented straight away).

Cat Mate C200

PETLIBRO Automatic 3L Cat Feeder


BPA free plastic bowls (stainless steel inserts available separately)

BPA free plastic bowls (stainless steel inserts available separately)

Stainless steel bowl


Dry, freeze-dried, wet, raw

Dry, freeze-dried, wet, raw

Dry, freeze-dried

Programmable meals

Four meals plus one that is not covered (presented at the time)

Two meals

Six meals


4x C-alkaline batteries (not included)

1x AA battery (not included)

Dual: power supply plus 3x alkaline D batteries as back-up (not included)

Should you get the Cat Mate C500?

If you are concerned about your cat’s relationship with food, especially if they take both solid and wet, and you probably don’t find yourself at home to ration these meals as much as you’d like, the Cat Mate C500 is likely to be your solution. Allowing you to program a total of four meals, we can confidently say that is one of the sturdiest automatic feeders we have tried so far.

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