Best Gravity Feeder + Waterer for Cats
February 7, 2022 12:31 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a gravity based feeder and waterer for my 8 y/o cat Bun, who is shown here in loaf pose on her most favorite piece of bubble wrap. I'd like a reliable water fountain, but she finds them unsuitable, and I am afraid of electronic feeders because I worry they'll fail during a power outage. What gravity based brands have you found success with?

Right now I refill Bun's water bowl twice daily because she likes to drink from it by dunking her paw in so she can suck the water off. Her food is a little trickier because she scarfs and barfs, so I've put her current bowl on a little stand to reduce the degree to which she hunches over. This seems to help a little with the barfing but not much. Wet food is served under supervision only.

I am very distressed by the idea of her not having water on a consistent basis, and I'm also not sure whether I should get her something with a water filter because right now I just fill her bowl with bottled water from Trader Joe's (material gworl doesn't do tap water without getting sick.)

No concerns re: bugs or mice or her trying to get inside the food container.
posted by The Adventure Begins to Pets & Animals (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am afraid of electronic feeders because I worry they'll fail during a power outage.

Every electronic feeder I've seen has been battery operated, and the ones I've used personally have run just fine when fitted with rechargeable batteries.
posted by flabdablet at 12:41 AM on February 7, 2022 [7 favorites]

I use this gravity based waterer for my four cats. It's dead simple to set up and easy to sanitize due to having a stainless steel bowl and a large mouth on the jug. I find I have to replenish and clean it about once a week. There's no water filter on it, but IMO you're better off using a separate filtration system since the filters that come with cat waterers aren't necessarily going to be high quality. They also used to gross me out because they'd develop a dirty film from sitting in the water.

Also, Bun is a cutie.
posted by rhythm and booze at 7:01 AM on February 7, 2022

I have no suggestions, but only want to say that Bun's stroppy little face is a delight.
posted by elsmith at 7:16 AM on February 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

I am afraid of electronic feeders because I worry they'll fail during a power outage

Are you asking for recommendations for feeding and watering your cat while you're away? I wouldn't trust an electronic feeder if I was away for an extended period of time, because I would worry about things like it jamming, but I see no trouble with using one when I'm around.

The nice thing about electronic feeders is that they make it easier to give your cat multiple smaller meals throughout the day, which can help with the scarf and barf problem. Gravity feeders will just continually fill for as long as the cat is eating.

But if you really want a gravity feeder, is there a reason you can't buy a small raised tray/platform to keep it up off the ground a bit?
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:51 AM on February 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have no suggestions (but sympathize with the scarf and barf). Bun is absolutely adorbs. And I love her little face. And the bubble wrap. Hilarious. Cats are gonna cat, I guess.
posted by kathrynm at 9:36 AM on February 7, 2022

Response by poster: She DOES have a stroppy little face, doesn't she? I just pulled her off the couch for chewing aggressively on it while I was in a Zoom meeting and she gave me a tremendously mutinous look in reply. Best cat, love of my life, etc.

I am looking for a replacement for my current routine of rinsing and refilling her water and food bowls manually every few hours, which in turn will help should I travel away from the house for the day.
posted by The Adventure Begins at 10:34 AM on February 7, 2022

I have used a few different gravity waterers for my small dog including this and this and I have found that, even buying the smallest size, they get kinda gross well before the water runs out. I end up still emptying and cleaning them daily or else he won't drink from them. I am also worried about him running out of water without me noticing, so now I just use an oversized water bowl (we rotate, but either a large dog bowl or a small mixing bowl work fine for us) and wash it daily. It holds roughly the same amount of water as the gravity waterers and is a heck of a lot easier to clean.

If your issue with her drinking style is debris from her paw (I'm not clear if it's that or capacity), the debris would still stay at the bottom of a gravity waterer so I'm not sure it'd really help with what you need it to do. I think the best options are a powered fountain (if you can find one she'll accept) or just embracing the cleaning routine.
posted by mosst at 10:51 AM on February 7, 2022

Does Bun jump up on kitchen sink / bathroom sink counters? Would you be willing to keep a big bowl of water in the sink for when you are away from home all day?

My cats have decided water by itself is a toy (this is on me for trying to do summertime enrichment with a big tub and an ice cube) so I actually just add water to their wet food. This slows them down a teeny bit as well, it's too easy for them to gobble up chunks-in-gravy in 12 seconds. They have yet to barf, despite all the scarfing.
posted by spamandkimchi at 3:49 PM on February 7, 2022

Response by poster: Bun is usually a burrower, like her namesakes, but I like the idea of having something else somewhere that she could get to if she really needed to, so a big additional bowl of water up in the sink for when I am away = a good fit.

Sleepy Bun sends her thanks for all these great ideas.
posted by The Adventure Begins at 9:33 PM on February 7, 2022

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