on 3 January 2012
After reading lots of reviews of automatic cat feeding machines we bought this. Its reliable, and greedy cat proof after 2 months still, ie they can't get into it. But the disadvantage is the programming is not intuitive, so you do have to keep looking back at the instructions. Its noisy but that isn't a problem as we bought it for when we are away. It does its job.
on 26 May 2014
With 3 cats and a tendency to be away at the weekend I want something to ensure huge amounts of food weren't left around, I had read the reviews with a few saying that after a few months the unit fails, well this was my experience too, but regular cleaning of the reservoir and moving bowl dispenser rectified the situation, I have now had the unit for 18 months and while yes, every time the unit Errors I have to reach for the timings instructions it is still a great purchase.
If the good people of Andrew James could make it a little quieter that would be ideal!
on 15 December 2012
We bought this to feed our young cat when we go away for occasional nights. There seemed to be a lot of different automatic feeders to choose from, but this one seemed right for us (size, choice of feed times and sizes, length of time it could run for, etc).
When it arrived, it was bigger than I expected it to be, but then it can run for 90 days, so I guess that's to be expected.
Batteries are easy to install, though it's a bit fiddly to turn on the feeder with the switch underneath, especially if you have had to turn the feeder off while there's food in it.
And then you have to program it. It's hard to explain the instruction booklet. I can only assume it was originally written in Serbo-Croat, then translated via Korean to English by someone relying on a free translation program available on the internet and who doesn't speak Serbo-Croat, Korean or English.
First you have to set the time. You have to do it within a certain number of seconds of turning the machine on, or it defaults to 12:00 and you have to turn it off, wait a few minutes and then turn it on again. You set the time first, then choose 12 or 24 hour clock. It will make a random choice for you anyway though, so good luck with that one. In the end, we decided if we had to turn it off and on again one more time we'd live with being 12 hours out, but it eventually accepted our choice of 24 hour clock on the 7th attempt.
Then you have to decide timings of feeds. If you want to do 4 feeds a day, you can just follow the instructions, though they're very poorly written. If you want to feed once, twice or three times, you have to know at what point to ignore the instructions and press a completely different (utterly non-intuitive) button.
Then there's size of feed, calculated in quarter cups. I assume the machine must be North American, because cups are a common measure of capacity over there. However, over here they're not a helpful measure, and it was only because I inherited my (Canadian) mum's measuring scoops that I could work it out. However, you can weigh the cups of food and refer to the feeding guide on your dry cat food, which is what we did. Ordinarily, I'd suggest setting it to your best guess and then amending as necessary, but you do NOT want to be doing that.
Then you set number of days it'll run for. Don't set anything and leave it running forever is my advice. Finally, you can record a message calling your cat for their dinner, but I beg you not to, as the embarassment might just kill you. You will sound like an utter prat, and your grating voice will echo through the house three times every feed...
When it's working, it makes an alarming noice when winding up to dispense the food and threatens to vibrate across the floor. We have put ours on an indoor doormat, which has reduced the noise considerably.
What is missing is a picture of the control panel, with the relevant bit highlighted for each function, plus a flowchart which asks yes and no questions and then tells you what to press. What you have instead is page after impenetrable page of text.
I am intelligent (no false modesty), well-educated, technically-adept and astonishingly patient, and I was close to tears twice before I had this machine set up correctly, and I am DREADING the clocks going forward in March. I suspect the cat's breakfast time will just have to become an hour later because I can't bear the thought of trying to do this again.
HOWEVER, it works. It dispenses food reliably and tidily once a day at the correct time, and the cat is perfectly happy with it, though the look of pity he gives me when my voice booms out of the tiny speaker saying "Colin! Dinner!" will remain with me always...
on 7 June 2012
I got this so we could avoid 5 am alarm calls for food! It also regulates meal times when we are not in the house as one cat is a hoover of dry food. We have 4 indoor cats.
So far it has worked well. It is noisy when dispensing food but we have it in the kitchen, a good distance from our bedroom, so it is not a problem for us. The cats soon got accustomed to the noise and are not bothered by it.
The "computer" controls are NOT intuitive to use but with the instruction booklet are not difficult to master either.
Top tip: slightly elevate the back of the dispenser (about 2 cm or so) as this allows the food to flow better into the feeding tray and prevents jamming with biscuits when they are dispensed, which is what I found was happening when it was on the flat.
This dispenser has worked reliably day to day for several weeks for us. I do feel confident leaving it to dispense food when we are out.
If the motor were to be made quieter and the dispensing of food on the flat were more reliable I would give it 5 stars. But it has certainly allowed me to get some morning lie ins which makes it a great purchase.
on 17 July 2015
I have a camera on it, so can monitor all feed times, those go of great but it's hit and miss if my dog gets his food, it might be because it's so warm and the food is getting more moist than usual, great idea but it should alarm if it doesn't actually deliver food
On the plus side it stops Maximus from devouring his food in 2 seconds so aids his digestion as when it works it delivers cups, for a dog the speaker is pointless he's there as soon as he hears the slightest sound :)
on 3 March 2013
I work long days, and can't always be around to feed my cat in the evenings, so this feeder is a great help. I think it's designed more for dog kibble because even the lowest amount setting releases a lot of dry food. It's also pretty loud when it releases the food, so don't set it for too early in the morning. However, it lets you set up a schedule for food as many times a day as you like and control the portion size (to a certain extent). It really is a life saver over long weekends too.
on 23 May 2014
The only reason that i give it 4 stars is because the portions between 1/4 and 2/4 is whether not enough or too much, when you have one cat.
Also, if you have only one cat you do not need to buy the large feeder, i believe that the medium size is good enough.
Apart from that it is a good product.