Having an automatic cat feeder can make life a lot easier for cat owners. Not only does it ensure your cat is fed on time while you're away, but it also helps regulate your cat's food intake to prevent overeating. Buying a pre-made automatic feeder can be expensive, with most costing over $50. However, with a few simple materials, you can make your own DIY automatic cat feeder for under $20.

What You'll Need

Making your own automatic cat feeder is an easy DIY project. Here are the materials you'll need:

In total, these materials will likely cost you less than $20. The most important components are the storage container and the digital timer. Try to find a bucket or container that is large enough to hold at least one week's worth of food for your cat. For the timer, look for one that has an outlet you can plug into and program up to 6 feedings per day.

How to Make the Automatic Cat Feeder

Follow these steps to make your own automatic cat feeder:

Step 1: Cut a hole in the container lid

Use the X-Acto knife to cut a hole in the center of the lid of your container. Make it just big enough for your cat to comfortably fit its head through. You want it to be large enough to easily access the food but not so large that food spills out.

Step 2: Glue the bowl to the lid

Find a low-profile bowl and glue it to the underside of the lid using super glue. Center the bowl directly under the hole you cut so your cat can access the food from above. Let the glue fully dry before moving on.

Step 3: Mark and cut a dispenser hole

On the side of the container an inch or two up from the bottom, mark and cut another hole. Make it around 1-2 inches wide. This will be where the food dispenses out.

Step 4: Attach the dispenser

Cut a piece of duct tape and fold it over itself lengthwise to make a long strip about 2 inches wide. Attach this duct tape liner inside along the bottom edges of the hole you just cut. Make sure the tape runs straight across evenly. The tape will help guide the food through the opening.

Step 5: Add food and attach the timer

Pour your cat's dry food into the container. Program the digital timer so it turns on and powers the container open at your desired feeding times. Finally, plug the timer into the wall and into your container. Your automated feeder is complete!

Tips for Use and Customization

With a simple plastic container, digital timer, and a few customized holes and parts, you can easily make an automatic cat feeder on a budget. Your cat will love the consistent, timed feedings!