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Automatic Pet Feeder

Updated on November 5, 2012
5 stars for Le Bistro Automatic Feeder
Patiently waiting for the Le Bistro Automatic Feeder to drop the food.
Patiently waiting for the Le Bistro Automatic Feeder to drop the food. | Source

Le Bistro Automatic Feeder

I purchased my first automatic pet feeder one year when I went on vacation. In the past, I had gotten friends or family to take care of my cats, however, I had just moved to town and didn't know anyone. Also, because of the move, and going on vacation, I was short on cash: A kennel was out of the question.

So, what to do with the cats?

A Le Bistro Automatic Feeder was the answer. Little did I know, it came with a multitude of benefits which I did not anticipate.

Le Bistro Automatic Feeder
Le Bistro Automatic Feeder | Source

Feed your Pets for Free While on Vacation

There have been times in the past where I have gotten friends or family to watch my cats, but more times than not, it was a huge let-down. One December, I left my cats at home, and had a friend check on them every day to feed them and care for them. I was surprised, however, to come home a day early, and find that they were not very well taken care of! The cat sitter had actually managed to lock one of my cats in the garage, in the cold weather, for God knows how long. There was little evidence of the sitter actually having been there, as the house was also trashed.

I realized I needed to find a way to leave the house, without having to worry about what someone else was going to do to my house while I was gone; not having the need to have someone come to the house is the best solution to this worry.

The Le Bistro Automatic Feeder fed my cats for me, so I didn't have to get someone else to do it. Ever since then, I have never come home from vacation to find my cats trapped in an odd location.

Additionally, it sure is nice to not have to give someone money, then question their competence the entire time I am on vacation!


Fastest Way to Make a Cat Fat
Fastest Way to Make a Cat Fat

Portion Control: How to Make a Cat Lose Weight

The first time I ever left my cats alone, without a babysitter, I purchased one of those "vacation food dispensers" from the pet store, where you could fill up about five cups of food into a compartment, and leave it. The idea is, when the cat eats the food, more food gets pulled down (via gravity) to refill the tray. Problem? My cat is a clean-plater, and he has zero self-control whatsoever as to determine when he is full. He loves food. Needless to say, when I came home from vacation, I found my cat lying on the floor in a food coma, stomach as big as a basketball, while my other cat was starving in the corner.

Never. Again.

The Le Bistro Automatic Feeder dumps a pre-determined amount of food, so my cats can't stuff their faces.

Additionally, portion control keeps down cats' weight. Like humans, obesity in cats can cause a lot of problems, such as diabetes and joint problems. Ever had to give a cat insulin shots twice a day? If not, I suggest you don't find out what it's like, and don't over-feed your cats (my vet says a regular cat should eat 1/4 cup of cat food per meal, 2 meals per day).


Kitty Alarm Clock: Hit Snooze

Before I purchased my Le Bistro Automatic Feeder, my cats would wake me up every single morning. And it wasn't great, particularly because it wasn't consistent. Really, it was when they saw first light, or heard me tossing and turning in my sleep (the bed would creak). "Meow?" Additionally, cats do not observe Daylight Savings Time. Cats also do not care if you were up late last night, or have a headache. Cats want one thing at 4:55am, and one thing only: Food.

With the Le Bistro Automatic Feeder, they sit and wait by it, instead of bothering me in the morning. It's really quite funny; I will see them sitting and staring at it sometimes and hour before the food drops. Entertainment factor aside, the most important part is that I am not getting waken up at ungodly hours of the morning anymore!

Furthermore, it's great for people with busy schedules. When I purchased my Le Bistro Automatic Feeder, I was in college, and also worked inconsistent shifts at the local one-stop-shop. Some days, my cats would get breakfast at 6am, and dinner at 11:30pm. Other days, they would get fed at 9am, and then fed before work at 5pm. The erratic feeding schedule was not great for their health, let alone my sleep schedule!

The Le Bistro Automatic Feeder helps me feed them good portions, at consistent times.

"You awake yet? ...food?"
"You awake yet? ...food?" | Source
Scrap aluminum and duct tape is the best way to prevent my cats from obtaining extra food from my Le Bistro Automatic Feeder: Aluminum is easy enough to bend with human arms and fingers, but strong enough to keep kitty arms at bay!
Scrap aluminum and duct tape is the best way to prevent my cats from obtaining extra food from my Le Bistro Automatic Feeder: Aluminum is easy enough to bend with human arms and fingers, but strong enough to keep kitty arms at bay! | Source

The Only Downside.

There are three things that aren't that great about this product, however, they are manageable:

  1. The clock is slow. After a couple months or so, your pets will start getting fed about 10 minutes early. Currently I'm at about 17 minutes early, but I've had it on for over 2 years.
  2. Speaking of having it on for over 2 years, the battery lasts way longer than it says it does, on the box. This is great... But also makes me wonder if the battery will finally quit when I happen to be out of town. I have been switching it for new batteries every time I leave, then switching it back when I get home, to save the environment and such.
  3. Cats can, and will figure out how to, "fish" for food. Their arms fit up the corridor: It's an easy fix with a piece of scrap aluminum and some duct tape (see image). Also, some people have uploaded their inspiring pictures of unique, mega-portion-controlled, solutions for the "fishing" problem with the Le Bistro Automatic Feeder on Amazon.com.


Happy Feeding!

Comments

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    • kathleenkat profile imageAUTHOR

      kathleenkat 

      5 years ago from Bellingham, WA

      Yes! It is an excellent product, and I'm glad I purchased it. I originally got it for just travel, however, leaving it on all the time got them to stop bothering ME for food early in the morning. Thanks for the comment :)

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 

      5 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Wonderful information for leaving the cats at home with food. I do think that is funny they watch it, waiting for the moment the food will drop out. Thank you for doing this review. When we start to travel more, I will pick one up. We have 4 cats!

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