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Automatic feeders with multiple multiple cats?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have 10 cats, 9 live in the whole house, 1 lives inmy bedroom. I work 10+ hours a day, and I have found that because my cats go so long between feedings, they tend to get destructive, and when I get home I have 9 cats bombarding me for food. So I have been looking into the automatic feeders, particularly http://www.amazon.com/Petmate-LeBist...cmu_pg__header this one. Does anyone have an auto feeder with lots of cats? Right now my cats get 1/2 cup a day each, which adds up to 4.5 cups. This feeder dispenses 3 times per day, so if it dispensed 1.5 cups each time, the correct amount would come out. Should I get two? And anyone who has one, how well/how long does it last?
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
anyone? There has to be someone who has used this.
post #3 of 11
I can't help, but wanted to respond, at least. I have 6 inside, and they are all freefed dry, and given wet every few nights in the evening.

I do work 10+ hour days (mostly 12, lol,) and with 6 cats, I find that one bowl of food per day is sufficient, even with two of them being a bit piggish.

The auto feeders are all made of plastic, as I find that plastic bowls give a couple of my white/light chinned indoor cats feline acne, so I freefeed in ceramic bowls.

Again, not sure I'm any help, but didn't want you to feel ignored.
post #4 of 11
Plastic can be porous, but that does not mean that it is not hygienic, it just means it needs to be cleaned appropriately.

A dishwasher for example will penetrate the pores via temperature and spraying anti-bacterial cleaning agent.

The bowl on the Petmate lifts out very easily. You can also wash it by hand using an anti-bacterial foam cleaner. The trick is, get a wet sponge, a dab of foam, and wash it but DO NOT rinse it. Let it sit for a minute or two, then rinse it, and I promise you bacteria cannot survive that. At least not enough to cause acne.

I would definitely recommend the feeder, and the 10lb can hold a whole bag of good stuff like Blue Wilderness kibble.

Rather than getting multiple, you can simply use a short chute (I'd just get a piece of smooth bore black PVC pipe and wash it thoroughly) and use your own extra large ceramic bowl. I'd put it on an anti-slip mat so they don't push the bowl around.

This is mine, and can give you an idea of how big it is:
post #5 of 11
I have 10 cats in the house, and they are all freefed from one feeder. None are overweight (Except one, but he has thyroid issues). And we feed canned food every night. I never have problems with using the feeders. I can't feed 10 cats separate meals everyday, that would be very hard to do! lol. Plus we have 16 foster kittens in the house! So I don't have time to individually feed!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! I guess I don't even really want this as their only source of food, but to have it as something that will throw out a few kibbles here and there so they don't start climbing my walls until I get home lol. And I also thought about using some kind of big bowl/pan for the food to drop into, so that more than one cat can have it's head in there to eat. I've been reading reviews and most of the negative reviews come from people saying their cats figured out how to shove their paws up in the dispenser and pull out kibble. Anyone have cats that do this?
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit E Cat View Post
I've been reading reviews and most of the negative reviews come from people saying their cats figured out how to shove their paws up in the dispenser and pull out kibble. Anyone have cats that do this?
Mine have tried for hours, and never gotten more than a couple kibble. But that just means they are a few kibble short on the next meal rotation, so they still get the same amount every day.

An easy fix is to take a chopstick, and wedge it in between the bowl and the feeder, right where the chute is. I haven't needed it, but read on a forum it fixed the issue for an owner with a clever cat who would dive into the system upside down so his arm could reach in under the chute cover.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post
Mine have tried for hours, and never gotten more than a couple kibble. But that just means they are a few kibble short on the next meal rotation, so they still get the same amount every day.

An easy fix is to take a chopstick, and wedge it in between the bowl and the feeder, right where the chute is. I haven't needed it, but read on a forum it fixed the issue for an owner with a clever cat who would dive into the system upside down so his arm could reach in under the chute cover.

rofl, that's a funny image. And I have some pretty persistent cats, but I'm glad to know it can be dealt with. Ducman, how many cats do you have?
post #9 of 11

Checkout Wireless Whiskers feeder. It allows you to set individual diets for up to 8 pets and keeps out other animals.

www.wirelesswhiskers.com

post #10 of 11

I had the smaller version of this, and unfortunately, mine was a bad experience. It just stopped working - display went out, no food dispensed,  new batteries didn't help - after six weeks. Luckily, Amazon stepped up to the plate and graciously let me return it as a defective item. If I would have had to contact the company, I would have had to pay the shipping cost of the defective unit to their location, which is quite a lot because it is a very bulky piece.

 

I have no clue why it stopped working. My cats would sit in front of it worshipfully, waiting for it to dispense more treasure, but being as they aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer,  they never tried to attack it to crack it open or anything. 

 

While it worked, it was accurate as far as the quantity and the time. I would have wanted an even smaller minimal amount (only got two cats) but of course that wouldn't be a concern in your household.

 

I still really want a feeder but I would buy locally and at a store with a good return policy. This seems to be the leading brand but I'm afraid to try it again. Unfortunately I don't know of any alternative to recommend. I'd just say, if you order it online, keep in mind that if you end up having to use the warranty, you will have to bear the cost of shipping it to the manufacturer (they cover the return shipping). 

 

Just to add, the reviews for this item, and especially all the photos of owners' modifications, are hysterical. It's astonishing what lengths people will go to to deter their little cat-pawed thieves. I just got one recently and I think the company made a design change, because you can't just shove your paw up the chute and dispense kibble at will anymore. Of course my whole unit didn't last, but the dispensing structure is definitely different than in earlier versions, and more cat-proof. 

post #11 of 11
My husband uses this dispenser for the ferals. It's outside, surrounded on two sides and under cover. In that condition, it seems to last about a year. Several cats eat at the same time. He finds it easy enough to adjust what comes out. It's been broken into a couple times, lid taken off, but he thinks it's raccoons, not the cats. He now has everything severely taped down.
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