I know the problem all-too well. You switched your cat over to wet food. It’s healthier. She loves it. It’s all good. Now you and your honey want to head out for a long weekend. Or maybe Cancun for a week. Yikes. Lucky!
How am I gonna keep the kitty fed wet food throughout the week or weekend if the whole block is gone for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July?
Ugg! Double ugg. Totally get it.
So as one cat lover to the next, I gonna give it to you straight. There is no perfect solutions. Thanks a lot! Easy with those claws. I didn’t say there were no workarounds.
In fact, it can be done. And some of them are pretty great. So here’s how to feed your cat wet food while away.
I’m gonna walk you through in detail but but if you want the the Reader’s Digest version (am I dating myself?), get a cat sitter or friend to come by once a day and then set the automatic cat feeder for the second feeding. You should be golden.
Automatic feeders are remarkable contraptions that have gotten better and better over the past decade. For a weekend getaway, you can try to get around this and I’ll discuss some ways, but an automatic cat feeder and a human being are going to be your best bests. (I’ve got some recommendations at the bottom, but if you’re ready to get a nifty little feeder now, check it out here.)
How to Feed Your Cat Wet Food While You’re Away
Don’t do it. I’m not trying to be cute. Just honest.
So before we get into the fancy stuff, let’s state the obvious. The easiest solution is dry food. I know. I know. My kitty won’t eat it. But is that totally true? Have you tried? Recently? Dry food is, well, dry. It keeps longer and much easier to handle if you’re going to be gone for a while.
It might be worth a try. There’s a way to do it and it doesn’t involve going cold turkey on your beautiful cat. That wouldn’t be very nice for humans or cats. In fact, switching food on cats suddenly is not a good idea. Be kind to your cat and don’t do that. Building up to it over the course of the week or two before you head out would be much better.
Only you know your cat, but don’t rule out dry food entirely. Give it try. See how your cat reacts. You might be surprised. Pleasantly.
The way I’ve done it with some success is to feed my cat a little dry food with the regular wet food. In essence, introduce the dry food with the wet. Grow the portions bit by bit over the week or two. And by that Friday morning ahead of your getaway weekend, you should be fine to leave the dry food over the long weekend. In a portion controlled feeder, of course.
If it works, please keep in mind that water will be essential. With dry food, proper water intake is very important. You might look to get a Drinkwell water fountain or two for the house to make sure your cats get plenty hydrated.
Automatic Cat Feeders
OMG! Automatic cat food dispensers are the bomb.
I mean what can I say? They’re great. Like anything, you have to purchase a good, quality one but they have freed all cat and dog owners to get out and vacation like Greek gods.
OK, that was a bit much.
Back to the story. So the hack to feeding your cat wet food while you’re galavanting all over kingdom come is the automatic cat feeder and a human.
Simple and as difficult as that.
Let me break it down for you. You feed your cat twice a day. So in the morning, the cat sitter or friend comes by and feeds the your cat and plays with it a bit. She gets the automatic cat feeder and puts the wet food in the contraption, sets the timer for that evening, and voila!
She should pack the dispenser with a few ice packs so that the food stays moist but even without it, it should be fine.
Will Cat Wet Food Go Bad?
I know what you’re thinking? This won’t work. I can’t leave wet food out for hours.
Well, actually . . . it’s find—within reason. It won’t immediately spoil as it’s cooked or prepared food. It’s like leaving a plate of food on the kitchen table. It’ll get dry and maybe even a little crusty over time but it won’t spoil in 20 minutes.
It depends on the wet food, but it’ll keep for 8 to 10 hours. Friends have told me their cutoff for wet food is 12 hours. I peronally wouldn’t go quite that long, but that’s just me.
The hack is to add a little extra water to the cat food to keep it moist or even better freeze it into portion sizes and then let the frozen food slowly defrost in a timed feeder.
It’s really that easy. Your cat will thank you. After he gets over you leaving him for days on end. 😊
So an easy and much more affordable approach to feeding wet food to your kitty kat over a vacation than having a pet sitter come over twice a day is to get an automatic cat feeder and have the pet sitter provide one feeding and then set the next one in the feeder.
It works crazy good!
If it’s a neighbor or friend who can only come by after work, then just have the dispenser dish out the morning meal, which the neighbor or friend would set in the evening after feeding your cat dinner. Again, with some ice packs from the freezer to keep things moist.
Pet sitters can usually drop by during the day, so the schedule would just be reversed. Easy peesy.
Leaving the wet food overnight—frozen or with ice packs—will be perfect in the morning.
The beautiful thing is that this schedule works whether you’re going on a weeklong vacation or just a long weekend. As I mentioned, you have more flexibility with a long weekend.
It’s conceivable you could do without the pet sitter or friend for a long weekend, if you play your cards right. You may not want to do that, but that option is there. With the PetSafe Health Pet Simply Feed Programmable Pet Feeder, you can program up to 12 meals per day. (And, of course, as I’ve mentioned wet food won’t keep past a day, so we’re talking dry food here. If you’re planning on wet food for your cat over a weeklong vacation, you’ll need a pet sitter or a friend. No two ways about it. It’s the right thing to do.)
Pros and Cons of Automatic Cat Food Dispensers
All right. I’ve already tipped my hand. I like cat food dispensers. They’ve worked very well for me. But I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that they don’t always work perfectly.
I’ve never had a problem but I’ve heard stories. And you don’t have to spend all that much time on Amazon to see some of these machines get shellacked for their lack of sturdiness or quality. And, of course, things malfunction . . . or our beloved pets find ingenious ways to make them malfunction.
But that goes for just about anything in life.
There are cheaply made things and there are things that are made to last. Right?
So forewarned is forearmed.
Take your time and and pick the best quality that you can afford. Your feline friend is more than worth it.
So get yourself a good, solid automatic cat food dispenser and a pet sitter or friend you trust, and then have the time of your life while on vacation.
The Best Automatic Cat Food Feeders
This post isn’t about reviewing cat food dispensers; it’s about helping you find a way to provide your cat with wet food while you’re away on holiday, as the British say.
But that’s the obvious next question. Which one should I buy? There is a bewildering array of automatic cat food dispensers. There old school ones that use no batteries to one’s that sync up with your iPhone or Android to schedule the feedings and even let you see the bowl and talk to your cat.
You, I’m sure, what to go down that rabbit hole. I don’t blame you. So here are some of my favorites and industry standards. You really can’t go wrong by starting your search with these bad boys.
Due your due diligence but my experience and scouring reviews and information tell me these are some of the best on the market. Depending on what you need in terms of your cats, here a quick rundown of automatic cat food dispensers. (Please note that while I have no affiliation with these companies, I make a small commission from Amazon for products sold from affiliate links on my site. It helps me keep this blog going and there is no cost to you.)