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How to Feed Cats Wet Food While Away (Work/Vacation)

If you are heading off on a vacation, trip or just at work, you may be wondering how you can still keep your beloved cat fed with wet food. Let me explain how this is possible…

How can you feed your cat wet food while you are away? You can feed your cat while you’re away 3 ways: Using an automatic feeder, hiring a professional cat sitter or mixing wet & dry food. Your choice depends on your trip duration and budget.

Now that you know the three best options, let me explain more detail on getting a professional sitter, what mixing wet & dry really is, and which automatic feeder I think is best (my best option).

My top way to feed them wet food while you are away:

Description Image My Rating
01. SureFeed (Best Overall)
Auto Cat Feeder
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5 stars
02. Cat Mate Auto Cat Feeder
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03. Cat Mate 2 Bowl Feeder
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4 stars

3 Top Ways to feed your cat while you are away

In this section, I am going to explain a few ways that you can feed your cat while you are away (Click here to learn if your cat will forget you after two weeks). The duration of your trip will be a big factor in your final selection. Let me explain…

01. Automatic Cat Feeders

Automatic feeders are excellent when you have a short trip planned. It drip-feeds your cat with the required amount of food (that you configure) while you are away.

It can be programmed to feed your cat multiple times per day, depending on your kitties’ needs. It is also possible to keep the food chilled so it will not spoil, while you are away.

What features should you be looking for in an Automatic Feeder?

Before you consider an automatic feeder its important to understand the key features to look out for. For that reason, in this section, I will break-down some of these features for you.

  • Easy to clean
  • Warranty
  • Secure the food
  • Ice packs
Easy to clean

This feature goes without saying really. But it’s important to overlook this. All of these feeders can be cleaned. But, some are way easier than others. And, if you are like me, simplicity and easy maintenance is important.


Personally I don’t like any device without a decent warranty. However, I understand that “decent” is subjective. Ideally, you want to find one that has at least two, ideally three years warranty. This will give you that peace of mind.

Secure the food

Securing the food is a great bonus, especially if you have multiple cats. Basically it will only allow your cat to open the device for feeding. Typically this is done using the unique chip in your cat. This ideal if you have multiple cats and they tend to try and steal food off each other.

Ice Packs

This is great for wet food. These ice packs will keep your food fresh longer. It’s like having an in-built fridge for your wet food.

My top 3 Automatic Feeders for cats

 01. SureFeed Auto Cat Feeder (Best Overall)

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  • Unique ID required to unlock
  • Food stealing prevented
  • Helps prescription food from getting consumed
  • 3-year warranty
  • Keeps wet food.
  • The food bowl is quite low
  • Cleaning could be easier
What I like about the SureFeed Auto feeder

One of the things I love about this feature is its secure ID feature. Considering a lot of domestic cats have already been chipped these days, it’s a smart way to make use of this. Essentially the food will be unlocked to your cat only.

This is ideal when you have multiple cats or some random other pet that keeps trying to steal your cat’s food. Another benefit is if you have important prescription food that needs to be consumed, and you don’t want another cat to get it.

On top of this, it keeps wet food cool and fresh and comes with a 3-year warranty for that extra peace of mind.

What I do not like about the SureFeed Auto feeder

Like most things, nothing is perfect. And this SureFeed device is no exception. Firstly, the feeding bowl is quite low. It’s not a big deal, to be honest, but I need to mention it. In fact, this may only affect certain sized cats.

Finally, the device is not the easiest to clean. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it could definitely be improved.

02. Cat Mate Auto Cat Feeder

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  • Easy to wipe clean
  • 5 x Food compartments
  • 2 x Ice packs – Keeps wet food fresh
  • 3-year warranty
  • Ice pack doesn’t stay cold too long
  • The screen display is a bit dim
What I like about the Cat Mate feeder

The feeder is a doddle to keep clean, which I love. It also has multiple food compartments for your convenience. I love the fact that it comes with 2 ice packs that are mandatory for wet cat food lovers. Finally, there is the extra comfort with the 3-year warranty.

What I do not like about the Cat Mate feeder

Firstly, I have to comment on the freezer packs. In particular, how long these packs keep the wet food refrigerated. To be honest, time is quite short. This could definitely be improved.
Finally, I have to comment on the display screen. I understand this may come across as a minor observation, and maybe it is to be truthful. But, it is a bit dim never the less.

03. Cat Mate 2 Bowl Auto Cat Feeder

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  • 2 x Large cat bowls
  • Simple to clean
  • Ice back included in the pack – keep wet food fresh
  • 3-year warranty
  • The feeder is quite light – Easy to push around
  • The timer doesn’t always seem precise
What I like about the Cat Mate 2 Bowl feeder

The feeder comes with two large bowls, which is great for big or multiple cats. But more importantly it’s easy to keep the thing clean, are you with me?
It comes with an ice pack, which is perfect for keeping your wet food nice, cool and fresh. Finally, there is the warranty. It comes with a lovely 3-year warranty for your peace of mind.

What I do not like about the Cat Mate 2 Bowl feeder

A couple of observations that I need to bring to your attention. Firstly, the timer is not always 100% precise. Maybe it’s just me. The last thing I would say is the build of this feeder.

It’s quite light, which one could argue is a plus. But, my point is, it’s easy for your cat to throw this thing around like a tennis ball. It’s not a deal-breaker, but something to be mindful of if you have an aggressive or hyper cat (Click here to learn how to keep your cat away from your TV screen).

02. Getting a Professional Sitter

The next option is getting a professional cat sitter. You may be thinking that getting a professional sitter is a bit over the top. But there are certain circumstances that will warrant this. But what exactly? Trips longer than 24 hours.

If you are leaving for longer than 24 hours, at a stretch 48, you really need to get a sitter. Why? Because you will have the following issues:

  • Run out of food
  • Neglect
  • Damage to your house

Run out of food

Using an automatic feeder is great if you are out at work for the day, or even overnight at a friend’s house, but beyond that, you will struggle to keep enough food fresh. Especially if you are keen on wet food. Therefore, you will need a sitter to cover for you in your absence.


Neglecting your cat can have long term psychologic issues that you need to avoid. It can make your cat become anxious. In extreme circumstances, they can start to lose trust in you.

Damage to your house

One of the big issues is damage to your house. If you leave your house for over 2 hours, without a sitter, your cat can start to use your entire house as a litter tray, are you with me?

Also, there could be various other items damaged that can be avoided with the presence of a sitter.
Getting the sitter Ideally you should get a professional sitter.

They are a bit more expensive, but they will take the best care of your cat. It is possible to leave your cat with a trusted friend or neighbor if you feel is adequate. Ideally, they have had some experience of looking after cats before.

03. Mixing Wet & Dry Food.

This final method is quite simple, but mainly for keepers that envisage a short trip. More suited for people out at work for the day and plan to be back by the evening.

The technique is to provide wet & dry food. This can be left out for your cat to consume. However, it is more suited to cats that prefer wet food.


Simple, because the idea is they will eat wet food first, which goes off quicker. Then they are left with dry food. And, as I am sure you are aware, this dry food will last a lot longer.
This will give you more than enough time to get back home and take over.

Also, while away at work, some cat owners decide to use a pet camera to check up their fur baby (Click here to see why I rated this one best).

Why is it important to keep your cat fed wet food while you are away?

Wet food is great for cats. As you may know it not only provides a nutritious meal but it really helps with its daily water intake. So, when you are away, its important to have this available to keep this going.

This method of hydration is important, especially for cats, because they may struggle to consume enough water from its bowl alone. So, if you just leave out dry food and some water in a bowl, its unlikely to meet its hydration goals

Why are built-in ice packs in an auto-feeder helpful?

Built-in ice packs are advisable because they will keep your cat’s wet food chilled and fresh for hours. In fact, some auto-feeders claim up to 48 hours.

The great thing is, with this wet food while you are away is now a viable option. Whereas, without it, dry food is the only viable option. And, as stated earlier, if you can offer wet food your cat will benefit.

The benefit of asking a neighbor or friend to help

If you can, a neighbor can help to feed and check up on your cat while you are away (Click here to see if it will forget you). This is beneficial because they may already have a bond with your cat. And, it is much cheaper than hiring a professional to do this. In fact, in most cases, it is free.

Your cat may feel uneasy with a random person, so if its a neighbor, or local friend, it can really help to keep your cat at ease.

Is it OK to leave my cat alone for a week?

No. Leaving your cat for a week is not acceptable. Many issues can occur such as running out of food, or water. Or, you may return to your home in a mess because of an issue your cat caused.

For this length of time a cat sitter, or at least a neighbor, or friend will be needed. This way, each day, or two, they can come in and check up on your cat.

Do cats get lonely at night?

Some cats do get lonely at night. This is because they appreciate the presence of their owner and without them they may feel sad and needy. However, not all cats are like this.

Some cats, on the other hand, do not need this and are more than happy in their own room, or bed and will not make a sound.

Lindsey Browlingdon