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Acclimating cats to an automatic feeder

post #1 of 3
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I've got two cats--Zek is about 2.5 years old, and Odo is probably around 15 years old. I work long, weird hours, and I know that the boys get hungry when I'm gone for more than half the day. They also have a tendency to wake me up between 30 minutes and 2 hours before I intend to get up much of the time. As a result, I decided to invest in an automatic cat feeder.

The model I bought is a Cat Mate C20 (looks like this: http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/p...d_id=348&Page=). It has two compartments with separate timers. I'm now trying to teach my cats what this device is all about. When I first plopped it down and put food into it, my old one (who is the bigger pest when it comes to food and typically the one to wake me up) was scared of it--I think he didn't like the ticking sound. My younger one, who gets into everything, spent at least 10 minutes scratching at the lid to get it open, and eventually he somehow succeeded. Since then, I realized a more gradual approach is necessary.

For now, I'm planning to leave the lids closed and the compartments empty except when I feed them manually. Then I put the food in the compartments--this alone is causing an issue as my younger one is a bit possessive of his food and he tends to grumble under his breath as he's eating if I put my older boy next to him. I think I'll try this for a few days and then try leaving a little bit of food in the compartments.

Has anyone else had success at introducing an automatic feeder to two or more cats?
post #2 of 3
We just went away on vacation and left an automatic feeder on for our two. The one I got was the Petsafe 5 meal feeder (see it here). This one was whisper quiet (except when the bowl moves at feeding time) and can be set to different feeding times.

My two aren't crazy about sharing, but they got used to it quickly. We did a dry run for a few days before we left (just a little bit of dry food in each compartment so they got the idea). The day before we left I left it on to give them a 6 AM feeding --worked like a charm . While we were away my brother came over and filled the empty compartments.

The only thing I don't care for is the plastic bowl, but I think with regular cleaning, it would be fine. Bella's chin acne didn't flair up after a week of eating out of this thing...
post #3 of 3
I tried one and my cats would not eat out of it, they are scared of it. I was so worried that they wouldn't eat because they were scared of it with me home that they wouldn't eat at all with me gone that I gave it to a friend. Her cat never had a problem with it at all, apart from trying to work out how to open the locked compartment for more food.
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