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Anyone have experience of automatic cat feeders?

(13 Posts)
humptydumpty Tue 17-Nov-20 12:26:17

Hi all, your help would be much appreciated! We're hoping(!) to go away over Christmas and out prospective cat-sitter is only willing to visit once on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. My cat has got used to eating several small meals a day, bit has previously has had 2 meals per day when we were away.

I was thinking of using an automatic feeder for those 2 days, there seem to be quite a few and I wondered whether anyone has any experience/thumbs up/thumbs down?!

Septimia Tue 17-Nov-20 14:09:32

We use 2 because we have 2 cats and the person who feeds them tends to be a bit erratic and forgets to come at their usual mealtimes.

We have one circular one with 6 sections which we fill with dried food. We set it to open 3 times a day, at times when they might be hungry. The person coming in only needs to refill it and restart it (one button to press) every 2 days. It's a little tricky to set initially but the times don't need to be reset unless it's switched off. The interior rotates, so uneaten food goes back under the cover when it moves on.

We also have one with 2 sections that takes an ice pack to keep wet food fresh. It's fairly easy to set and we usually fill the sections and set it to open at times different from the round one. The person coming in would need to replace the icepack, especially in warm weather.

We've been away for a couple of weeks at a time and the cats have been fine. They've also survived with just the automatic feeders for a weekend.

They give us peace of mind that there is something for the cats to eat if the person doesn't turn up for some reason.

Ellianne Tue 17-Nov-20 14:13:17

Yes we use it over a weekend period if we go away. Works perfectly. Dried biscuits are best, wet food gets very messy. I'm not sure which cat gets to the trough first, but ours fetch their own takeaways when they are hungry anyway.

Ellianne Tue 17-Nov-20 14:14:21

It's called catmate btw.

Lucca Tue 17-Nov-20 14:58:05

Who has an automatic cat ?

Septimia Tue 17-Nov-20 15:10:14

Not me Lucca, but we do have one that teleports!

Nandalot Tue 17-Nov-20 15:34:18

We had one for our previous cat. It seemed to work well but I would only use it for brief overnight stays. We gave it away when the cat died (18 years old) thinking we would never have another one. However......we now have Molly,
What we do find useful with Molly is an electric drinking fountain. She never seemed to drink out of her dish but would try and drink from any glass of water left on a low table, from the sink etc. Since we had the fountain she only drinks from that.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 18-Nov-20 14:36:26

I tried one once and the cats absolutely refused to play!

Your cat will come to no harm only being fed once a day for two days.

Probably. he will leave some of the food until he hears a key in the door then gobble it down and be fast asleep before the cat-minder comes in.

If a cat is not absolutely certain when the next meal is going to materialise, he will be careful to spread his intake out.

NotAGran55 Wed 18-Nov-20 14:49:05

We had one when we had a cat and it worked perfectly. We had trial runs in the run-up to our night away to observe the cat 🐈 and also to ensure that it worked .

He “got” it straight away , no problem.

watermeadow Fri 20-Nov-20 20:45:35

Surprised to hear these work. I know someone who left his cat for several days and the mechanism jammed the first mealtime. When he returned the poor cat had been unfed the entire time.

Charleygirl5 Fri 20-Nov-20 21:58:27

watermeadow that is what would worry me.

Ohmother Sat 21-Nov-20 17:24:40

Might try something like this for my DH to stop hom eating between meals. 😊

Ohmother Sat 21-Nov-20 17:56:33

Hom = him. Oops!