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Automatic cat feeding

I’m going away shortly, and so far have not been able to find anybody free to feed my cats while I’m gone.

As I’m not overly keen on the idea of throwing them into cat prison (aka a local cattery) for a couple of days, I’ve been looking into the idea of automatic pet feeders.

So far, my research has shown me that:

  • They do exist
  • Most are easily cheated by an intelligent cat
  • Any cat can take advantage of the food stowed within
  • They almost exclusively have badly-Photoshopped pictures of cats on their packaging (seriously, what on Earth is happening to that cat’s mouth on the right?)

Unfortunately, this combination of qualities means that most aren’t suitable for my needs. You see, I have two cats. One adult, one kitten. Both are incredibly voracious and will stop at nothing to get some food. The adult cat, Nutmeg, has just been on a six-month long diet to help her lose a significant chunk of weight.

Also, the two constantly fight over each other’s food bowls – so much so we have to separate them in the mornings.

Micro-Chip Cat Feeders

I’ve seen cat flaps and pet doors that only open for authorised animals by reading the microchip information contained within the cat’s neck.

However, I can’t seem to find any mass-produced cat feeders that run on the same principle, as this would solve the problem of the cats fighting each other for food. There are RFID versions, which use RFID chips carried around on a collar, but this isn’t suitable as my cats won’t wear a collar.

I did come across the IPv6 Cat Feeder, though. It’s not mass-produced, it’s the brainchild of one Mathew J. Newton, otherwise known as “my hero.”

Seriously, just look at it. What a piece of engineering.

OK, so it doesn’t authenticate the cat using a microchip, but there’s no way a cat’s going to cheat the food out of that, and the splitting mechanism helpfully keeps the cats separate. It being controlled over the Internet is just a bonus.

Mathew J. Newton – I salute you. Now, any chance you could build me one of those babies?