Cat Doesn't Respond To Auto Feeder

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by Kjtran, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. Kjtran

    Kjtran Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    We've decided to try and use auto feeders because one of our cats overeats and the other is slim and doesn't eat enough in one sitting so it needs to be fed 3 times a day.

    One is very smart and knows that the sound of an auto feeder means food time and eats immediately. The other cat, not so much. We've tried showing him how it works, but he doesn't seem to understand. He just stares at us blankly as the auto feeder dispenses the food. We've tried leaving the room and setting off the feeder to see if he would eventually eat, but he just doesn't grasp it. Any tips or suggestions on what to do? The poor guy never had good instincts would struggle to find treats when tossed in his direction as he hears it, but doesn't know where to look. If thrown directly at him, he snatches it out of the air, but if it's thrown behind him, he can't find it well (50/50).
     
  2. Anne

    Anne Site Owner Staff Member Admin

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    Hmmm that is strange. Cats should have good instincts where it comes to finding food. Does he have any health problems?
     
  3. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

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    Cats are afraid of new things in their lives, it will take him a while to get used to the feeder, it is something different. Take a couple of pieces of kibble out of it and lay them right next to the feeder so he gets used to it. You may have to do this for several days. Let him see the other cat eat out of it, they are reassured it won't hurt them. If you have something he CAN'T resist, like bacon, put a few pieces of that in the bowl. I take it he is the slim one? He may not be very food motivated. He will get used to it, it will just take time.
     
  4. Kjtran

    Kjtran Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    He has no health problems that I know of. He'll eat out of the feeder if I walk over to it and manually scoop food into it, but if I'm not there and it automatically dispenses, he doesn't walk over to it. Not sure how to get around it. We've had it for about a month now and I don't see any changes. I think he's just used to humans feeding him rather than a machine. Does anyone else have a similar experience? Will he eventually learn?
     
  5. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yes he will learn, especially when he gets hungry enough. His nose should lead him to the feeder and if you show him the food in it a few times, he'll get the idea. I have cats that smell one treat lost under a chair, surely he can find a bowl of food!
     
  6. sabian

    sabian TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    That's what I was thinking, if he gets hungry enough he'll figure it out. Never heard of this problem before. One thing Manny doesn't have trouble with is finding food.
     
  7. sabian

    sabian TCS Member Alpha Cat

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  8. Anne

    Anne Site Owner Staff Member Admin

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    Replying there! :geekcat:
     
  9. hypatia

    hypatia TCS Member Kitten

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    My auto-feeder came with the instruction that I should manually feed my cat in the feeder's bowl for a while until it becomes 'his' bowl. That is what I did and it worked. Have you tried that? Before getting a feeder was your cat fed on a regular schedule and at a specific spot? If so, try putting the feeder in that spot and setting the timer so that the food is dispensed a few minutes before your cat's time to eat, so that the food is ready and waiting for him. It could simply be that he is confused about food magically falling from the machine. If your cat eats when you scoop food for him, try manually putting in half the portion of his food while the feeder dispenses the rest. This should get him to associate the sound of the feeder with availability of food. Like others have said, it's just a matter of him getting used to it. Hope that helps!
     

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