I have a neutered male cat who is in his 11th year now, and as of this year has had trouble keeping his usual dry food down (same stuff he's been eating for years), vomiting it up a couple times per month. No obviously problems at the vet, so we experimented with different food. We tried a couple of wet foods, increased the ones that worked well for him, and it seemed to resolve the issue mostly. Well, it resolved it in that he only eats the wet food now (and has even more trouble stomaching the dry food, now that he eats it rarely). Going exclusively to wet food got rid of the vomiting.

Unfortunately, we still need an option to free-feed him for specific periods, such as unplanned travel or (as is the case now) an upcoming birth of a baby. In short, if we need to quickly leave for more than 24 hours, we obviously can't just dump a couple of cans of wet food out and go "See ya!" On the converse, our apartment uses magnetic key fobs, so we can't just "leave a key for the cat sitter" (coordinating with cat sitters is quite complicated where we live).

This leaves us needing some other type of emergency free-feeding option that can cover up to 48 hours, but that he can stomach. Are there any specialized dry foods, food dispensers, or highly-spoilproof wet foods that people would recommend for this purpose?

2 Answers 2


I've used a timed feeder for wet food (this is the one I've used) and it worked pretty well. It takes a bit of time to set up, so wouldn't work if you had to run out of the house with no warning, but if you have about 15 minutes to set up it should be fine.

It has an ice pack in the base so that helps the wet food stay fresh. I ended up buying several extra ice packs, but I was using it pretty consistently.

  • I've used one of those before -- but beware; two really detemrined cats can remove the battery and thus lock the food away from themselves :)
    – user10093
    Aug 8, 2017 at 10:23

I've never tried them, but there are semi-moist foods that you can get in pouch. Perhaps they would keep a bit better than wet food?

Also, if you check a pet store you should be able to find a variety of dry foods for cats with sensitive stomachs. I think you should be able to find one that suits your cat. Of course, you'll need to make any food changes slowly and incrementally.

  • Thanks, I found one dry food that should digest easily as a fallback. Will keep this in mind.
    – Namey
    May 24, 2016 at 4:18

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