Automatic feeder tips

Elvisrocks

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I just purchased a catmate 500. It's circular and rotates for timed meals. Any tips on introducing my cat to this from people that have them? I just set it out on her mat and haven't turned it on yet. She ate some hard food out of it. I mainly bought it for wet food because it has ice packs underneath. Or should I just set it up , let it go and see what she does?? I believe it makes noise when it rotates. Reviews look good, only thing is I wish it was higher as she is used to an elevated dish.
 

maggie101

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As soon as she smells food she will run over. If you live in a house,not apt, it won't take her long to figure out where the food is if it's always in the same place. Put it near where she sleeps. My cats love theirs! One of my cats sleeps right in front of it and waits
 

maggie101

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I set it 10 pm and they eat 6 am. By then it's room temperature but I don't worry about it because it's cooked
 
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Elvisrocks

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As soon as she smells food she will run over. If you live in a house,not apt, it won't take her long to figure out where the food is if it's always in the same place. Put it near where she sleeps. My cats love theirs! One of my cats sleeps right in front of it and waits
Is yours low to the ground? Here is a picture of what it looks like. It's lower to the ground and deeper than she is used to. Hopefully that isn't an issue.
 

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maggie101

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Is yours low to the ground? Here is a picture of what it looks like. It's lower to the ground and deeper than she is used to. Hopefully that isn't an issue.
I thought being low would bother them but it doesn't. Maybe because cats are used to eating on the ground
 

eternalgaze

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I just used one of these for the first time over this past weekend. It worked great and my cat found it right away and used it. A couple days before it was needed, I set it out so the exposed compartment had a little dry food for overnight, and she found it right away and gobbled it up.
It worked great for the time needed and she had eaten all the food.
 

suzeanna

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Is yours low to the ground? Here is a picture of what it looks like. It's lower to the ground and deeper than she is used to. Hopefully that isn't an issue.
I have this one, too! It's soooo useful. I set a 15-kibble snack in it for overnight at 2:30 a.m. I do put it on top of a couple big books so it's elevated about 3 inches off the ground. While your cat is getting used to it, they may try to break in "early" to get to the food. It'll probably take some time (2-3 weeks) to get used to the times of day that it'll open (if you plan on using it consistently).
 

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Just place the feeder on a stack of magazines or old folded towels or an upside down shallow box or something to elevate it.
 

daftcat75

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Personally, I prefer the clamshell design over the wheel. Because the wheel rotates the exposed compartment, anything not eaten before the next rotation is rotated back inside the machine. Your cat can still smell it, but she won't be able to come back to it. However, if you deploy clamshells at a staggered schedule, your cat can come back to any portions she didn't finish before the next feeder opened. Of course, if you are trying to enforce time limits on meals, then a wheel with empty compartments is one (very frustrating for the cat) way to do it. I don't know the programmability of those wheels, but you can set up asymmetric feeding schedules with the clamshells e.g. two midday meals that open an hour apart with several hours until two dinners open an hour apart. I do recommend deploying these in pairs in the very rare instance they fail to open. The failure rate was maybe 3 in a 1000+ uses. But when the cost of a failure is an acid barf, splitting the meal over two different feeders was an easy price to pay.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FT93YM2/?tag=thecatsite


Krista with her daytime buffet line: 🐷😋😹
IMG_2536.JPG
IMG_2616.JPG
 

daftcat75

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I have this one, too! It's soooo useful. I set a 15-kibble snack in it for overnight at 2:30 a.m. I do put it on top of a couple big books so it's elevated about 3 inches off the ground. While your cat is getting used to it, they may try to break in "early" to get to the food. It'll probably take some time (2-3 weeks) to get used to the times of day that it'll open (if you plan on using it consistently).
Krista learned that I had the power to pop open the feeder. She would sit in front of it as long as her patience held out. Then she would do laps between the feeder and my chest singing her feed me song until the feeder popped or I gave in and popped it for her. 🤦‍♂️ It was still easier than preparing a meal for her in the middle of the night.
 
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Elvisrocks

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I have this one, too! It's soooo useful. I set a 15-kibble snack in it for overnight at 2:30 a.m. I do put it on top of a couple big books so it's elevated about 3 inches off the ground. While your cat is getting used to it, they may try to break in "early" to get to the food. It'll probably take some time (2-3 weeks) to get used to the times of day that it'll open (if you plan on using it consistently).
So I started it today. She has eaten a few meals out of it but when I put the ice packs in she wouldn't eat her wet food cold. I was normally heating her food up. Sooo now what? Will she get used to that or do I just put her wet food in without the ice packs and will it be okay for 10-12 hours and not go bad?
 

maggie101

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After 10 hrs the food was cold? Mine was room temperature maybe because of where I live
 
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Elvisrocks

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After 10 hrs the food was cold? Mine was room temperature maybe because of where I live
No, it was cold because of the ice packs. I was wondering if the wet food would be dangerous sitting in the feeder for 10-12 hours I didn't use the ice packs so that she would eat it. She wouldn't eat the wet food that was in there today because it was cold from using the ice packs.
 
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Elvisrocks

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After 10 hrs the food was cold? Mine was room temperature maybe because of where I live
What I meant to say was could i.put the wet food in the feeder without the ice packs and it still be safe for her to eat after 8-10 hours. The food was cold because I used the ice packs and she wouldn't eat it.
 

sanfran_kitty_lady_21

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I have the same feeder you do. Before using it while I was away, I used it when I was at home one day. A lot of initial sniffing, def a small jump when she first heard the noise of it turning but she adjusted to it pretty quick. One thing I will flag - she's fine when it uses dry food, i haven't had much luck with her using it with wet (which she doesn't like as much). Not sure if it's because the food dries out or what...tbd
 

daftcat75

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You can leave wet food in there without the ice packs. Cats simply won't eat it before you have to worry about it going bad. Cats also have a fairly robust gut. They often eat hours old prey leftovers without issue, if given the chance.

Not that you asked, but I would not recommend putting raw food in feeders for any period of time though. Raw food is not the same as prey remains and is far more sensitive to spoilage.
 

suzeanna

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I have a coworker who would freeze the wet food in an ice cube tray and put the cubes in the feeder without ice packs, so they'd thaw after a few hours.
 
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