Very easy to program (choose hours to feed); this is based on a 24-hr day feed; so you choose the hour to feed 1x, 2x, 3x, etc per day; and then repeats the schedule every day until you make changes. If you feed five times a day, you will need to refill daily. One downside, it is somewhat loud when making the turns (there is a motor "spike-type thing" that turns the plate. This might frighten some pets; mine did not seem to care too much and is now use to it and knows the plate is delivering food.
Generally speaking, this feeder should work fine and would work fine if your cats don't want to try to break it for more food. Unfortunately, our cats love food and do whatever they can to get more. If your cats are like this, they will figure out how to spin the tray with their teeth, claws, or anything else they can think of, and they'll get the next set of food (or multiple portions sometimes) before they should. DO NOT BUY if your cats are food motivated whatsoever.
This cat feeder works exactly as it should. This is the first one I've ever used and I'm glad it was our first choice. I did research, and it seemed to be the most recommended one. I can see why. It's simple and effective. I don't have to worry about our pets knocking it over to try to get to the food, and I am in full control over how much food is given at each feed time. I don't see how any pet could break into it unless you have a big, powerful, very determined pet bent on total distruction. Our cat is no match for it though. She wants to eat all the time and I'm hoping using this tool will not only help her lose some extra weight she's carrying, but also make her look less to me to feed her all the time since she's getting most of her food from this feeder on a timer. I'm trying to train her to exactly when her feed times are, and how much she should expect at each feeding. I hope this will make her less anxious/needy about food. If she knows exactly when it's coming and how much. Also, if we can't be home at the time of feeding, we know it is still being taken care of for us! Feels good to have peace of mind.
Never got it to rotate. Used new D cells. They were slightly old batteries but still new in packaging (measured 1.5V with meter). Maybe I needed super fresh ones but I didn't want to go buy D cells only to find it still doesn't work, which makes me realize what as bad idea it is in 2023 to sell a product that only runs on D cells! Why not rechargeable? Why not a power cord? Got a refund thanks to excellent Chewy customer service.
I'm rating the description, not the product. I ordered this because I thought it would be smaller than the cat mate feeder; it is not. The dimensions in the description refer to the feeding bowl size, not overall dimensions, which are 15.5" x 12.3" x 3.4".
This "5-meal automatic feeder" actually only automates four meals. The "fifth" meal is no different than just dumping food on the floor on the way out the door. Of course it's possible to deduce this by looking at the machine, but that's no excuse for the sleazy marketing.
These feeders worked well at first. They were easy to figure out and user friendly. However, after only two months, they both started glitching out. They would rotate repeatedly and wouldn't stop until I got up and manually stopped them. They also started getting inconsistent with the rotations. They would fail to rotate sometimes, but rotate on schedule other times. Ultimately, they failed the purpose I bought the for, which was to help regulate the cats' feeding schedule.
We've used one of these for a few years to feed our cat in the morning (before we get up) and when we're away for short trips. He comes running as soon as he hears it turn. Unfortunately, it is plastic, which can irritate their chin. Wish the bowls were metal.
I bought this to get my cats into a strict routine with food and bought instead of other feeders because it can house wet food. It isn’t realistic to put wet food in for meals. The wet food becomes crusty and stale. It only works to put wet food if you are using the feeder for a daily change of meals (if you put wet food in the empty bowl in the morning and it shifts to dry food after - like breakfast and lunch). But that defeats the purpose of having it shift automatically, because you still need to put it in close to eating time because wet food really should only sit for about 2 hours before it starts being a breeding ground for bacteria and can upset a cats stomach. It wouldn’t work to put wet food in there and leave for multiple days. So consensus - it can’t really be used for other types of food because it doesn’t keep food fresh in a sealed container. Also, my cats are absolutely terrified of it. They still only nibble and then sprint away and I have had for over a week. Kind of disappointed with the slots and how deep they are because my cats don’t seem to like the deep l bowls either (it holds a lot of food though). This definitely isn’t going to be useful for what I bought it for - which is as a feeder for routine and using wet food mixed in.
Works amazing! Just make sure you get four D batteries because that's what it runs on. Make sure to keep instructions in case you need to reprogram it.