Cat Mate C20 2 Bowl 48 Pet Feeder

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Ani Mate - Pet Products
Pros: Two separate food compartments with independent timers; ice pack to keep canned and/or raw food at the proper temperature
Cons: Small ice pack may not keep canned and/or raw food at the proper temperature all day
After we transitioned our cats from free-feed kibble to timed meals of canned and raw, we needed a way to provide food for those times when we have obligations that keep us away from home during normal feeding times. Our male cat was very sick last spring and has an extremely sensitive stomach, which may or may not heal over time, and it's important that he eats on a fairly regular schedule. 

So far, this feeder has met our expectations. It has a small ice pack and it keeps cat food the proper temperature until the compartments open and the cats eat. Our male cat is extremely food-motivated and clever, and always sniffs around as soon as I place it on the floor, but he's not yet figured out how to break in. The timer is a simple dial that you can set for any number of hours up to 48. So far the timer seems accurate enough and I generally set it to open about an hour before a scheduled feeding time, just in case. Each compartment has a separate timer. The timers are quiet and the compartments open without much noise.

I am sufficiently satisfied with the feeder that we purchased a second one, so each cat has its own. Our biggest problem is ensuring each cat eats its own food, as the male tends to gobble up everything and push the female away from her food bowl. We recently started separating the cats when using the feeders, which isn't ideal, but has resolved a number of problems. So now I know each cat is eating and how much, even when we are away. The cats are adjusting to these periodic and temporary separations.

There are a couple of things that I don't love about this feeder. Even though it has an ice pack and keeps food chilled for a decent amount of time, the ice pack is very small and I am concerned about keeping food chilled all day, especially when the weather is warmer. I am experimenting with freezing food ahead of time, placing it in the feeder in the morning, and seeing what it is like in the evening. I am also considering purchasing flexible ice blankets to tuck in the feeder and provide extra cooling. Additionally, the feeder is battery-operated, but there is no way to assess the battery. I find myself replacing the battery probably more often than I need to, but I don't want to risk the feeder not opening.

Once I become comfortable leaving raw food in the feeder all day, meaning the proper temperature is maintained, then our plan is to try overnight. Anything more than overnight, I would get a sitter or board, but would love to be able to do a quick overnight trip now and then, and know the cats are eating their proper food at their regularly-scheduled times.