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Rate Auto Pet Feeders

dogmelissa
October 26th, 2006, 03:54 PM
I am going to get an auto pet feeder, because I simply cannot stand Taz's demanding behaviour anymore. I was in discussion with someone who was working on a new one that hadn't been marketed yet, and was supposed to have gotten a test unit many months ago. Now he's not responding to my messages, so I gave up on him and did another search.

Here's what I found, in my preference order and why. Do you have one of these? What do you think of it? Other opinions or options?

1. Ergo Systems Inc. AutoPetFeeder (small) http://www.autopetfeeder.com/p_feeder.asp
For the price ($115 American - 30% discount if I get my vet to fill in a form), it seems "Taz-proof", and dispenses food slowly, so he can't gulp it all up in one mouthful. Possible drawback: not sure if it can dispense less than 1/4 cup accurately (it goes at a certain rate per minute so you have to time how long it takes to get what you want to give), or if food that's still in the auger could get pulled out by a persistent kitty sticking his foot inside (tube-chute cover might solve that).

2. FF-1V For Cats With Eating Disorders
http://www.furryfeeder.com/ff1v.htm
More expensive, but can do accurate dispensing of as small as 1 teaspoon. I like the mechanism of this (see video), but don't like how it crushes the food that gets caught in it, nor do I like the "snap-top lid". I can totally see Taz figuring out how to get that open and get at the food. Plus the whole unit is, IMO, ugly. They do have a DIY kit for $69 + $15 shipping, which could be an option to "build" one that's not so ugly, and maybe without the crushing (could run a wide-mouth funnel to the feed tube?).

3. Ergo Systems Inc. 8 day feeder
http://www.autopetfeeder.com/p_8day.asp
Or others like this... would be good for Taz's evening meal of pumpkin, yogurt & canned food, but how long does it stay cold with the freezer packs? Surely not 8 days? Not sure if this is Taz-proof, if he could get into it or not. A possibility for 1-2 days of pumpkin meals (could freeze the food before I put it in and then it might still be ok on the 2nd day), but not for 8 days. Nor does it re-fill itself, or dispense out of a bigger container, so if he was eating 2 meals a day, every 4 days I'd have to refill all the compartments. :shrug:

4. Petcetera has an autofeeder ...ah, I found it: http://www.mysimon.com/Bowls-and-Feeders/9000-10992_8-0.html?mlpid=29558706
Not sure on the price of this, but I've looked at it. It uses a "water-wheel" type dispenser, which would be fine, except that the thing is made of flimsy plastic and a little kitty foot could get up there really easily and just scoop out all the food he wanted.

I can't find any others. Do you know of any?

Maybe I'd be better off to buy some random pieces and start building my own. I've thought about it, but not sure how I'd even begin.

Well, throw me your experiences, opinions, etc on these or others.

Thanks!
Melissa

Prin
October 26th, 2006, 03:57 PM
Sorry, but what do you expect to accomplish with the autofeeder? :o

dogmelissa
October 26th, 2006, 06:02 PM
Was mostly looking for input from those who have an auto feeder (non-gravity), about which one of these is better. I am getting one, just trying to figure out which one is best.

But since you asked:
Having Taz fed on a schedule, so he doesn't bother me for food on my sleep-in days, so I can go out of town for a day or two and not have to get someone in to feed him, and to have him fed smaller meals more often on the hopes that he doesn't gulp/gorge and then starve (since I work away from home, I can't feed him 4 times a day, or in the middle of the night). I'm also hoping that he'll learn that he *will* get fed, regardless of what I'm doing or whether I'm there, which will help alleviate some of his stress.

There is a lot of evidence that auto feeders can help animals with behavioural and physical conditions, including persistent begging, whining, etc and for animals with diabetes (just one example) it can help keep their blood sugar more stable by feeding on a schedule. Taz is a gulper, so he's on a schedule anyhow (otherwise he'd eat everything in sight), but if I could automate it, then he won't be so dependent on me to be there on time or get out of bed on time (or if I'm sick or hurt I won't have to at all!).

For those with big dogs, it can help reduce the risk of bloat, because smaller meals are fed more often, so their stomachs have less risk of turning (which usually happens when they eat a big meal).

Melissa

jiorji
October 26th, 2006, 06:50 PM
but you have more than one cat. How is this going to work?

Cats help themselves to food if allowed to do so. With another cat in the house, the other cat will most likely end up stealing the Taz's portion. SO you'll end up with a fat cat and an underweight cat.

I keep saying this, to myself and to others, but you have a pet you have to take repsonsibility. My cat too wakes me up at 7am to demand food. But what can I do? I took her in now I have to adapt to her. I usually go back to sleep after she eats. I want to say that an auto feeder is being neglectful to your cat...but I don't want it sounding too harsh.
You have to take care of your cat and feed her when she feels the need to eat, just as much as you need to cuddle with her and give her attention. You see what i'm saying?

basically, i wouldn't trust an autofeeder. You need that connection with your cat even if it's just giving her food.

jiorji
October 26th, 2006, 06:52 PM
oh yeah, and if your cat begs for food now, she'll still beg for food with the autofeeder. WHy??because cats don't udnerstand the concept of a machine. If you want a schedule you have to put your foot down and feed morning, noon, and evening. The autofeeder will do the same thing, but i bet you anything that there'll still be whining hehe cats :rolleyes:

dogmelissa
October 30th, 2006, 03:51 PM
Cats and dogs are able to understand the concept of a machine that feeds them. They are also able to understand the concept of care and know that they are cared for and taken care of regardless of whether they are fed out of my hand or out of a machine. I am simply taking the begging aspect out of their meal times. Machines are impartial; a machine will not "give in" to begging, or give smaller meals because it's "too early" or too much to make up for a missed meal. Machines aren't capable of putting an emotional link to feeding time, and there shouldn't be an emotional association to feeding time. Food is simply to nourish a body, not a soul. The love, cuddles, playtime and other time that I spend with my pets is to feed their soul. Let the machine feed their body, so I can have all of the good stuff left over!

My pets are my responsibility. I've already solved the issues surrounding Taz eating all of the girls's food, and the one of Aubrie having special litter box needs. The way I am solving the latest in Taz's special eating needs is by getting an auto pet feeder. The details of why and your personal concerns about me being "neglectful" aren't up for discussion here. I was simply looking for "product reviews", not opinions on whether or not I'm taking appropriate care of my pets.

If no one has any "product reviews", then I'm going to get this thread deleted. I will leave it up for another couple days, and if nothing comes through which would help me decide which feeder to get, then I will request a thread deletion.

If you want to discuss the details of my pet-care techniques, send me a PM.

Melissa