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How to Sleep In: Super Feeder

January 19, 2009

Our cat has a problem. When we free-fed her, she would eat until she was obese- even when we swapped to a “diet” cat food. As easy as it is to fill a food bowl once and just let her at it, it was threatening her long-term health. So we swapped to a 1-cup breakfast and a 1-cup dinner. This worked well in bringing her weight back to normal, but at the cost of our sleep- she resorted to meowing, opening our shutters to let the sun in, and generally making as much sound as possible in order to wake us up early so she could have her breakfast.

So after enduring this far too long, I began searching for automatic feeders. It didn’t occur to me that this is a common problem, but after reading the overwhelmingly positive feedback for the Super Feeder on Amazon, including one review suggesting I would once again be able to sleep to my own schedule, I bought one from their site.

I opted for “blemished” versions of both the feeder and base to keep the cost down- and when it arrived I was pleasantly shocked that I couldn’t detect any sort of defect in either product to qualify it as blemished. Of to a good start. I was also impressed by the build quality, and that it was it was flexible enough to include auxiliary inputs and outputs to allow for things like tying into home automation systems (who doesn’t want to brag they can feed their pet by sending a text message to their house?) And in about three weeks, our cat realized the feeder dispensed the food at a set time that didn’t involve us- and STOPPED waking us in the morning! An added bonus is that we’re now able to leave the house for periods spanning more than one meal, and not have to worry about our cat eating all of the food right away and starving the rest of the time.

The only downside has been that our cat has since figured out how to “pick” the dispenser and get it to drop a few kibble each throw. The Iam’s diet food is particularly small, so apparently even when adjusted to its tightest setting, a tenacious cat can manage to work some free:

Besides negating the benefit of a fixed calorie intake, she tended to do this late at night and the sound was annoying. Luckily this problem has already been solved via the optional chute cover, which I ordered tonight, and have little doubt it will solve the problem.

These facts alone would be enough for me to overwhelmingly recommend this product to anyone else with a similar issue- however the email exchanges with Gerard (owner?) may very well make this the best customer experience I’ve had in recent memory. When I described the problem prior to ordering the chute cover, he took the time to write a long and detailed replies suggesting other approached before we concluded the food pellet size was the issue.

The Super Feeder may very well been my best purchase of 2008. Highly recommended if you have a pond, or demanding cat or dog.

UPDATE: I’ve installed the chute cover and it’s 100% effective! UPDATE #2: The cat’s managed to break off two chute covers. No idea how. So I’ve fabricated a metal shield to keep her from picking the roller and getting kibble to drop out. It’s been over a week, so it seems effective.

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5 Comments
  1. wassy permalink

    Dude, even your cat is a hacker. Geez. Sounds like my cat and the cat door. She figured the door out, and I finally had to nail it shut to keep her out of the garage.

  2. Now…How could a small family owned company like ours not be highly motivated when reading such great comments about its products and service! What makes it all worthwhile is customer satisfaction. After all, a product can only be as great as its customer support, live with a real person…Rare these days!
    Gerard

  3. Bryan permalink

    Sorry for the double posting 🙂
    Great review. We too have a fat cat and are trying to get him to slim down.
    What Iams diet food are you using and how much do you feed him/her? How many times a day?
    Thanks!
    Bryan

  4. That’s pretty funny! Very smart cat to keep figuring out how to pick the dispenser. I have a dog who always keeps trying to figure out ways to outsmart me. They get smarter as they get older.

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