If you're tired of your dog stealing your cat's food, imagine how annoyed your cat must feel. There are several kinds of cat feeding stations designed to be dog-proof, but the trick is finding one that works best for your pets and situation.
Deluxe Feeder Station Cat Hammock
The Deluxe Feeder Station Cat Hammock is one of the most innovative cat feeding stations available. This wall unit is a series of ramps, resting spots, and platforms made from a combination of wood and heavy-weight canvas, and it measures 52-inches wide by 45-inches tall by 11-inches deep. Since you can mount it as high as you like, you can keep this station totally out of your dog's reach. Just be sure you have a way to reach your cat's dishes.
- The station comes with two dishes.
- There's a hammock for your cat to rest in.
- You can select your combination of wood stain and fabric.
- All mounting hardware is included.
Price and Return Policy
This feeding station sells for just under $200 if you buy a standard unit. However, the manufacturer will create a custom unit for an extra charge which varies depending on what you want. There's a 30-day return policy, but the unit must be in like-new condition. There's also a 10% restocking fee, and the customer is responsible for all shipping costs.
Where the Deluxe Feeder Station Works Best
The Deluxe Feeder should be able to keep any dog out of a cat's food. However, it's especially suitable for cats that share homes with large dogs since it can be mounted as high as necessary. It's a good option as long as a cat is healthy and mobile enough to jump onto the station, and you're able to reach the feeding dishes at the top.
Etsy customers give this wall-mounted feeding station, as well as the other wall-mounted units sold by CatastrophiCreations, a solid average of 5 out of 5 stars for design and construction. The vast majority of owners say their cats love it.
Feed-Safe Feeding Station
The Feed-Safe cat feeding station is designed to keep a larger pet out of a smaller pet's food. The feeder is made out of plastic and shaped like a small igloo with depressions in the bottom to hold the two stainless steel dishes that come with it. It measures approximately 18-inches high by 23-inches wide at the base, so it should be large enough for nearly all cats.
- The feeder has an adjustable door in front which you can set just large enough to allow your cat inside.
- There's a small swing door in the back which your cat can use as an exit if the dog blocks the front door. This swing door pushes open easily from the inside, but it's difficult to open from the outside since it's slightly recessed in the feeder wall. This door has an optional lock you can use if you prefer.
- There's a removable lid on top of the feeder which twists and locks into place and gives you easy access to your pet's bowls.
Price and Return Policy
The Feed-Safe station is priced around $100. There's a 30-day return policy when you purchase directly from Feed-Safe.com, but the feeder must be in good condition and have all its parts.
Where the Feed-Safe Works Best
Feed-Safe works best in homes where the dog is larger than the cat. If you happen to own a cat and a Chihuahua, for example, you probably won't be able to keep your dog from entering and eating your cat's food. If you own a larger dog, like a Bulldog or Labrador Retriever, this feeder should prevent your pooch from filching your cat's dinner.
Customers at Doctors Foster and Smith give this feeder 5 out of 5 stars saying it works as advertised. A larger sampling of customer reviews at Amazon.com give the feeder about 4 out of 5 stars, with some dissatisfied customers complained about smaller dogs being able to enter the feeder and cats refusing to go in it.
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
As the name implies, the SureFeed uses microchip technology to limit access to your cat's food by only opening when it senses his chip in the proper range. Your cat's head must actually be under the detector arch and right in front of the feed bowl in order for the safety flap to open. When he backs away, the flap shuts and keeps dogs and other pets from eating any leftover food. This feeding station measures just over 18-inches wide by 6-inches high.
- Each feeder comes with one regular bowl and one divided bowl as well as a removable mat. You can purchase extra bowls and mats in a variety of colors.
- The flap seals when closed, so it keeps your cat's food fresh a little longer than an open dish.
- The set includes a tag that goes on your cat's collar with a unique code that will open the feeder for your cat, which is ideal if your cat doesn't have a microchip.
- The feeder operates on four C batteries.
Price and Return Policy
The SureFeed sells for about $150. There's a 30-day return policy as long as you buy the feeder directly from SureFlap. If you purchase this feeder elsewhere, you'll have to contact the seller about returns.
Where the SureFeed Works Best
The SureFeed works best in homes where the cat is willing to eat if the dog joins her. This is because a dog may be able to insert his head in the gap between the back of the detector arch and the open flap while the cat is eating. Unless the cat backs away from the food bowl when the dog approaches the feeder, her canine companion can share her meal.
In a product review published at Cat Behaviourist, Anita Kelsey gives the SureFeed her recommendation, although she advises gradually introducing the feeder in stages so a cat has time to get used to the look of it before finally programming it to respond to a microchip or collar tag.
According to Cat Food Dispenser Reviews, the SureFeed works as advertised and can be a good solution for keeping a dog and other pets out of a cat's food. However, the reviewer recommends placing the feeding station against a wall to help keep other pets from reaching the food through the gap between the flap and arch.
MeowSpace Feeder Station
The MeowSpace Feeding Station uses your choice of identification system to open an electronic door at the front of a ventilated, clear polymer plastic box, and this effectively prevents your dog from reaching your cat's dishes. The station measures 30-inches long by 16-inches wide by 16-inches tall.
- RFID entry stations come with one RFID tag.
- Magnetic entry stations come with one collar magnet.
- If you choose a microchip entry door, you won't need a collar or tag.
- The MeowSpace can also be used to house a litter box, but you wouldn't want to put a litter box and food in the same enclosure.
Where the MeowSpace Feeder Works Best
Since this feeder is completely enclosed and requires the correct microchip, RFID tag or collar magnet to gain entry, it's dog proof against any pooch large or small. As long as your cat is willing to enter the box, she'll never have to share her dinner again.
Price and Return Policy
The cost depends on which model you get, but prices range from just under $200 for a magnetic collar entry feeder to about $330 for a dual microchip/RFID collar tag entry feeder. MeowSpace has a 30-day refund policy, but the feeding station must be new and unused, and it must still have the protective covering on the panels. There's also a one-year guarantee on parts.
Customer Reviews and Veterinarian Endorsements
Customer reviews at the website are highly favorable. In general, cats seem to learn how to enter the feeder station easily, and the entry doors work properly. MeowSpace is also endorsed by at least five veterinarians.
WonderBowl Selective Cat Feeder
The WonderBowl Selective Pet Feeder uses infrared technology to limit access to your cat's feeder. The feeder consists of a base with a lid that only opens when it detects the infrared tag that comes with the set. Simply attach the tag to your cat's collar and it's ready to use. This feeder measures 9.5-inches long by 8.6-inches wide by 6.3-inches high.
- The feeder comes with a stainless steel bowl that sits in the base.
- The collar tag and the base are both water resistant.
- The tag has a low battery indicator.
- The system uses three D batteries, but you can purchase an AC adaptor separately.
Price and Return Policy
The price varies depending on where you purchase the WonderBowl, but it typically sells for under $55. Brookstone has a 60-day return policy, and Amazon.com offers a 30-day return policy.
Where the WonderBowl Works Best
This feeder works well for cats that aren't willing to share their food. Otherwise, a dog could join the cat and share the food if the cat doesn't mind company. If the cat turns away from the feeder, the lid closes and the dog won't be able to eat anymore.
Customer reviews at Brookstone are a little mixed, but the feeder gets about 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. One customer complained it took time for the cats to get used to the sound of the feeder while another customer felt the infrared tags don't work as well as RFID tags. In the end, they all seemed to agree the feeder basically works.
Amazon.com customers give the WonderBowl an overall 3.3 out of 5 stars rating. Some customers complained about the infrared tags and felt the batteries ran down too fast.
Dog-Proof Feeders Make a Difference
Some "dog-proof" feeding stations work better than others, but they all seem to make at least some difference when it comes to protecting a cat's food so the dog doesn't get it. Whether your dog is a sneak thief that steals your cat's food when she's occupied elsewhere or he pushes her away from her bowl after you fill it, one of these feeding stations should improve the situation.