PetSafe Smart Feed WiFi Automatic Cat Feeder: An In-Depth Review

PetSafe Smart Feed

The PetSafe Smart Feed automatic dog and cat feeder lets you control and monitor your pet’s feeding schedule no matter where you are.

This automatic pet feeder connects to your home WiFi network which lets you set your pet’s feeding schedule, receive important alerts and change the speed of feeding right on your phone.

This PetSafe feeder is the perfect automatic pet feeder for busy pet owners who are gone all day and like to take short trips out of town, with an extra-large food bin and flexible remote monitoring and control options.

That said, it’s not the least expensive feeder you can buy.

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Continue reading for my 5-minute in-depth review of the PetSafe Smart Feed.

If you are not looking for a WiFi-connected pet feeder, then read our automatic pet feeder guide for the best non-smart alternatives.

Also, if you don’t need the remote control features, then check out the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed automatic feeder. It has most of the features of this unit but is significantly less expensive.


What’s In This Review?

Use this table of contents to skip to the feature you’re most interested in learning about.


For Dogs and Cats  

PetSafe Smart Feed

The PetSafe Smart Feed is designed for cats as well as small and medium-size dogs.

The PetSafe Smart Feed automatic pet feeder is ideal for:

  • Pets on a strict diet. If your pet is overweight or has a health issue that requires a special feeding diet, this feeder is great. It allows you to customize the feeding schedule and portions to your pet’s needs.
  • Pet owners who travel. If you go on multi-day trips, get the Smart Feed upgrade. You can monitor and control feeding even when you are away. Just make sure to fill up the food hopper and make sure the batteries still have plenty of power left.
  • Pets that eat too fast and get a tummy upset. The Smart Feed has a unique slow feed mode that releases each meal in small bits over 15 minutes.
  • Pet owners with two pets. The Smart Feed can dispense as many as 4 cups of kibble, which is more than enough for two pets. For optimal feeding, I recommend getting a third party two-way splitter adapter explicitly designed for the PetSafe Smart Feed.
  • Mischievous or rough pets.The Smart Feed is designed to prevent any tampering by pets (and kids). There is no way they can reach the food inside the hopper. It has a heavy base and a tight lid to ensure it cannot be knocked over or opened.

Size and Number of Pets

As I mentioned, the PetSafe smart feed is only for cats and small to medium-size dogs. Do not use it with large dogs since they can tip it over. The feeding bowl may also be too small for them.

You can use the Smart Feed with up to 2 cats or dogs. If you are afraid that one pet will eat too much and cause the other one to starve, get the 2-way splitter adapter I mentioned above. Also get a bowl for each pet.

The Smart Feed is for all pet ages, but you’ll need to make sure your kitten or puppy can easily reach the feeding bowl.


Food Capacity

PetSafe Smart Feed

The food hopper can hold up to 24 cups, or around 5.6 liters, of kibble. That’s a lot of food even for two pets.

If you are planning to travel for a couple or so days, you won’t have to worry about refilling the hopper. Just set a schedule, and the feeder does the rest.

The hopper has a translucent window on the side where you can see how much food is remaining without having to open the lid.

You can add different shapes and sizes of dry or semi-moist kibble to the food hopper. Do not add moist, canned or wet food. It will cause the dispensing mechanism belt to jam.

The Smart Feed uses a conveyor belt to measure out and dispense precise kibble portions. The mechanism is designed to be jam-proof. But in case it jams, or there is a problem, you’ll be notified through the phone app.

The food is dispensed into a large bowl with a 5-cup capacity. So even if you select the maximum 4-cup portion, the bowl never fills to the brim. This minimizes messes around the eating area.

The bowl is stainless steel, which is more hygienic. The bowl, bowl holder, and hopper can be cleaned in a dishwasher. The crumb catcher and conveyor belt can only be washed by hand.


Feeder Capacity and Frequency

PetSafe Smart Feed

The feeder can dispense up to 12 meals a day. The actual frequency will depend on your set schedule.

You can set any number of portions to be dispensed up to a maximum of 12. For each portion you’ll be able to set the exact time it will be dispensed and the amount of food the feeder will pour into the bowl.

The portions can range from 1/8 cup to 4 cups. You can increase or decrease the portion size in increments of 1/8 of a cup. For instance1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 and so on.

If you measure your pet’s portion in ml, convert the cup amounts. Each 1/8 cup is roughly 30ml. So 1/4 cup will be around 60ml, and 1 cup will be roughly 240ml (236.5ml to be precise).

Remember to prime the feeder when you first set it up and fill it with food. This involves pressing the manual feed button until some food is dispensed.

If you don’t prime the feeder it will not dispense anything, or it will produce under-size portions for the first few feedings.


Feeding Modes

The Smart Feed automatic feeder has two feeding modes.

There is a slow feed mode which slows down the pace at which food is dispensed. Instead of all the food for one feeding coming out at once, it is dispensed slowly over a period of 15 minutes. This forces your pet to eat slower and avoid a stomach upset. Activate this mode when your cat or dog eats too fast.

There is also a manual feeding mode. You use this when you want to dispense a portion outside the normal feeding schedule. Just select how much food you want to dispense and then tap the ‘feed now’ button.

You can access the manual feeding mode from either the phone app or the button on the feeder.

But the slow feed mode is only available through the app.


Timer and Scheduling Options

One of the main downsides of the PetSafe Smart Feed automatic feeder is that the smartphone app is the only way to access most functions and settings.

The feeder itself has no control panel. Just a reset button, a manual feed button and an indicator LED.

Everything else, including the scheduling and slow feed mode, is accessible from the app.

So unless you want to feed your pet every time manually, you have to download the companion app and connect the feeder to WiFi during setup.

Once you do that, it’s easy to set a schedule.

You can set anywhere between 1 and 12 meals. You’ll be able to configure the portion size and time for each meal.

Both the portion size and timer settings are very flexible. You can set any time you want (including the hour and minutes) and select any portion size between 1/8 cup and 4 cups.

Once you set the schedule, it will be automatically repeated every day until you delete or change it.

There is no option for setting different schedules for different days. But you can easily toggle the schedule off to stop the feeder from automatically dispensing meals. When you turn it on again, it will revert to your initial schedule; no settings are lost.

Note: The feeder downloads the schedule settings and stores them locally. In case there is no internet connection, so in case your network goes down the unit will still dispense per the set schedule.


Connectivity/Apps

PetSafe Smart Feed

As I mentioned, you’ll need to download the companion app and connect the feeder unit to your router before you can use it.

The app is free to download for both iOS (9.0 and later) and Android (5.0 and later) phones and tablets.  

As for WiFi, the Smart Feed feeder only connects to a 2.4GHz network. So make sure you have a 2.4GHz or a dual 2.4/5GHz router.

The app is clean and very easy to use.

Setting the number of portions and the amount of food as well as the time for each only takes a couple of minutes.

Other things you can do with the app are:

  • See the next scheduled meal on the main screen.You can access the schedule and slow feed settings from this screen.
  • See an activity log for the past two weeks.The log displays the meals dispensed and any errors that were encountered by the feeder.
  • Change various settings including notifications, feeder name, time zone, child lock and time format. Under settings you’ll also see the remaining battery level and whether the feeder is online or not.
  • Use the feed now mode to dispense a meal outside the normal schedule. This does not interfere with the main schedule in any way.
  • Turn schedule on or off.
  • Activate the slow feed mode.
  • Receive notifications when meals are dispensed and when there is an error.

Note: You can control more than one feeder from the same app.


Power Options

The Smart Feed feeder comes with an AC power adapter and a compartment for 4 D batteries which are optional and not included.

I highly recommend buying the batteries and installing them provide a power backup. In case of a power loss, the feeder will still dispense food, and you will not lose your schedule.


Price

The PetSafe Smart Feed is just a bit pricier than the non-smart PetSafe feeder. It costs$179.95 vs.  for the non-smart version.

If you need the ability to monitor and control the automatic feeder from wherever you are, then the extra money is worth it.

Comparing it with traditional feeders, this unit is more expensive.

But it’s still a bargain when you consider that you barely have to do anything other than filling the hopper (once every few days) and occasionally wash the hopper, belt and bowl.

If you have a pet on a strict diet, the PetSafe automatic feeder is super convenient. You don’t have to keep track of time or measure portions. The Smart Feed does it all for you.


Warranty

The PetSafe Smart Feed comes with a 1-year limited warranty.


Pros

  • Remote control and monitoring from your phone.
  • Great for those with a busy schedule and travel often.
  • Jam-proof and tamper-proof mechanism.
  • Flexible meal schedule and portions.
  • Battery backup option.
  • Large-capacity hopper.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.

Cons

  • No physical control panel – many settings can only be accessed on the app.
  • No webcam or integrated speaker like most other smart feeders.
  • It’s fairly large.
  • Only one person can control the feeder from the app. You cannot add family members.
  • No notification when the food in the hopper runs low.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a high-quality automatic pet feeder that you can control and monitor completely via your phone, the PetSafe Smart Feed is an excellent choice – especially with the Smart Feed upgrade, as it eliminates a lot of work.

In fact, we think this is the best feeder for pet owners who like to take overnight trips.

This feeder is easy to set up, the remote scheduling is extremely flexible, and the feeder is reliable and safe (based on over 190 reviews on Amazon).

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