Catster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

My Cat Is Obsessed With Their Automatic Feeder, Should I Worry? Vet-Reviewed Causes & Facts

Written by: Annaliese Morgan

Last Updated on April 13, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

automatic cat food dispenser or pet feeder

My Cat Is Obsessed With Their Automatic Feeder, Should I Worry? Vet-Reviewed Causes & Facts


Dr. Amanda Charles Photo


Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Cats, generally speaking, are food lovers. They become very intrigued and interested in food and are always hoping for a bit more. Given that you are reading this article, it is assumed you tried out an automatic cat feeder. But now it seems like your cat has become obsessed with their automatic feeder, always hanging around the bowl waiting for their next meal to drop. There are a few reasons why this might be, and some require more attention and action than others.

cat + line divider

The Benefits of Automatic Cat Feeders

Automatic feeders are often recommended by veterinarians and other pet professionals because they hold several benefits. Automatic feeders are convenient, allowing your cat to follow their ideal feeding schedule and receive a measured portion of food even if you are not there. Individual cats have different eating preferences but many prefer to graze or do better on multiple small meals throughout the day. Automatic feeders help regulate and slow a greedy cat’s eating, which is better for their digestive system and helps prevent weight gain.

Some automatic feeders only open for the designated pet, activated by either their microchip or a tag. These can be helpful for multi cat households, and allow owners to manage different dietary requirements and needs. Automatic feeders can aid in weight loss programs and the management of some other medical conditions that require specific diets or feeding schedules.

Image Credit: Kylbabka, Shutterstock

cat face divider 2

Why Is My Cat Obsessed With Their Automatic Feeder?

It is not uncommon for cats to be overly interested or even obsessed with their automatic feeders, especially if they associate it with mealtime. However, whether or not you should be concerned depends on the specific behavior your cat is displaying.

Here are a few factors to consider and pointers on what to do if you notice your cat is becoming a little too reliant and obsessed with their automatic feeder:

1. It’s Normal Feline Behavior

Cats are curious creatures, and they often investigate anything new, appealing, or interesting in their environment. If your cat is simply showing curiosity, it might be normal behavior.

Image Credit: Axel Bueckert, Shutterstock

2. Obsessive Behavior

If your cat’s interest and fascination with the automatic feeder becomes obsessive and interferes with their normal activities or seems to be causing stress, it might be a concern. Signs of stress in cats can include changes in appetite, retreating, aggression, a change in litter box behavior, excessive grooming and digestive issues. An obsessive behavior condition is best addressed by your veterinarian or a feline behaviorist to find, diagnose, and correct the underlying issue causing the stress and therefore the subsequent obsession.

Interestingly, feline food obsession has also been diagnosed as a legitimate condition, so it is always wise to consult a veterinarian if you suspect your cat is becoming a little too interested in their food or feeder.

3. Fear or Anxiety

Some cats may become anxious or fearful around automatic feeders, especially if they associate it with a negative experience (for example, a loud bang during feeding, the noise of the feeder itself, or if they are stressed by the added contraption to their house).

If your cat seems afraid or anxious, you may want to observe their behavior closely and consider making feeding time a positive and calm experience, or simply revert back to your original feeding method. Make a diary of their behavior to identify patterns or problems, and if you’re still concerned, consult your veterinarian or a cat behaviorist for help and further guidance.

Image By: Okrasiuk, Shutterstock

4. Health Issues

If your cat’s obsessive behavior with an automatic feeder is new and accompanied by other concerning signs, such as changes in weight, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, or changes in appetite, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian. There could be underlying health, behavioral, or medical issues causing this.

In general, if your cat’s behavior seems normal and they are overall healthy, it might be okay. You can try to make the automatic feeder a positive experience by associating it with treats or praise. On the other hand, if your cat’s behavior is causing distress or if there are other concerning signs, it’s best to seek advice from your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues and to discuss ways to address the behavior.

Why Is My Cat Always Hungry?

As we have briefly touched on, this can be due to various reasons, but to expand a little or to alert you to a perhaps larger issue that might be at play, below is a list of problems requiring attention that may cause your cat to always be hungry.

  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Malabsorption issue in the intestines
  • Diabetes
  • Stress (this can also reduce their appetite)
  • Anxiety (this can also reduce their appetite)
  • Parasites
  • Incorrect diet type or low-quality food
  • Incorrect amount of food being fed
  • They are looking for more attention and interaction with you
  • Another cat or pet is eating their food



There are many reasons why your cat may have become obsessed with their automatic feeder, but it is important not to dismiss it as solely feline antics. It may be a cat thing and they just enjoy the feeder and driving you mad, especially if all else appears well and the vet has given them a clean bill of health, but many other reasons are cause for concern. It is always better to err on the side of caution and have these things checked by your vet in case further help or treatment is required.

Featured Image Credit: Vadym Hunko, Shutterstock

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Catster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.