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I highly recommend one of these. We have been using them for 5 years and set them to go at around 2 am. It seems to be the optimal time, and it makes almost no noise! Plus the cats can’t figure out how to get into it.
We use this one:
Pros: doesn't jam, hides 4 meals so it lasts us 2 days when filled, clock etc. are pretty good, they haven't figured out how to break in.
Cons: the cats haven't disconnected us from the act of the food rotating so they think they need to tell us when it's almost food time.
Copying from above. We use this one:
Not OP, but for my cat I use an automatic feeder (one of the ones with 5 compartments where only one is exposed at a time - this one specifically(Amazon link)) and split one can of wet food into four portions across a whole day, so he eats every 6 hours. When reloading it, I make sure to take a little bit from the first portion and put it in the compartment that will be immediately exposed to get him off my back (since he comes to beg when I open the can). Also if he gets hungry early, or if he throws up and will have to wait with an empty stomach for a long time, I split the next portion and give him 1/3 to 1/2 of it immediately and that will tide him over until it cycles again.
It took a little while for him to get used to the schedule, but after a while he got used to the amount and the timing and seems to be content without being overfed. I still get suckered into giving him treats though, so he's a tiny bit overweight, but otherwise I'm happy with the solution.
You can get expensive ones. We had one (it had a flippin' webcam to watch the cat eat), but it broke.
Then we bought this cheap battery-operated model for CAD $60. It's been 100% reliable for three years.
no particular brand, but one with rotating cups like this is what we use
We got This for my mom a few years ago. It works great, but programming it can be kind of tricky at first. A little more in the mid-range for price to but it's sturdy and can take being kicked around a few times
It’s called pet safe I think? I’ll try and find a link. It holds 4 portions and rotates. My cat is smart and he can only figure it out when the battery is dying. Lol but I replace the battery and there’s no problems. I had one that was supposed to dispense but he just stuck his little paw in there and ate when he wanted. Returned that one and got this 60$ (CAN) one.
Edit. Here’s the link. I didn’t pay that much tho. PetSafe
I use this one for dry food, works great :) I've had it for 2-3 years now! It holds five meals.
I put wet foot in my automatic feeder. I set it up to feed the cats three times a night (10pm, 4am, 6am). The canned food shouldn't go bad within the 7-8 hours it sits out.
Obviously the solution is to just take your baby with you on your trip! :D
lol no I'm just kidding. I would recommend this one, or a style like it:
Since you'll have someone coming over every other day, they'll be able to refill the bowls. I like it because it works with wet food! But if your cat is too curious they might be able to pry open the door...Best of luck! And enjoy your vacation!
After a lot of debating, we got this one. It's a bit bigger than I wanted but it was the only one that would hold wet food that had decent reviews
PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder [link]
I have used a Petsafe feeder to feed cats while away. You can feed them once or twice a day for a total of 4 feedings without refilling.
I recommend the spinning type of feeder if you have a cat that's figured out the weaknesses of the overhead hopper-type feeder: this one from amazon has worked well for us. There are a few reviews about small dogs figuring out how to turn the feeder to get to the next portion but it's not that easy to turn so it should be OK unless you have a bobcat or something.
I ponied up and just bought this thing....made my life not-hell at 4am.
Pet Safe 5-meal feeder
Check out this product (gonna link it, hope it doesn't get deleted by mods). You could portion out a days food, and freeze it, then put it into the trays in the morning.
It's this one on amazon! We chose it over this style because we were worried she'd figure out how to reach her greedy little paws up in there!
Also yay for chubby black cats ♡♡
There are timed automatic feeders for both dry and wet food. Here's a link to one on Amazon: [link]
This is what I got! They recommend Amazon Basics batteries with it and they recommend the wrong size so make sure you get the right ones lol
This one looks like it may work. As long as that plastic part pops out to wash.
Timed feeder. You control the amount and program exact feeding times. You could also look into a satiety or calming food Rx from your vet (which you may then need to order directly from the brand’s website). You can put wet food in the feeder with ice in surrounding trays, or just put dry in it and give wet in a separate dish in the morning/night.
Clomicalm Rx. I get it in a cream formulation for $20/pen monthly, which I rub into my cat’s eats. It works for anxiety/aggression.
Feliway diffusers. Get the multicat type. Hopefully, it will help stop the misdirected aggression at your other kitty.
Kitty Poo Club. You should have 3 litter boxes, all in separate places, all open on top. Your cat may not like the litter, location, box type, or cleanliness. I like disposable boxes with silica litter. You still need to scoop morning and night. This service will mail them to you with a choice of litter.
And in case any of the attacks are from play aggression, try a fishing pole toy lightly enhanced with some catnip spray, I also like the kitnip box subscription service. I also queue up cat tv videos via YouTube or Amazon to keep my cat engaged. She’s happier and her aggression has gone down.
Have you considered placing him in another room for mealtimes? That way, your other cats can eat in peace.
You may want to consider portioning his meals using a timed feeder. I own a similar one, with an ice pack built in for wet food, available on Amazon as well. You can set it to dispense food up to 5 times per day. I’ve also heard that these are good for cats that eat too fast, as they have to “hunt” for their food little by little (alternatively, you can also hide his food in small portions around whatever room he eats in, inside puzzle feeders, etc). I think the food dispenser is probably easiest. The version I linked to above is $36, but I’m sure you can find it cheaper on OfferUp or eBay.
As for fighting, Jackson Galaxy and Pam Johnson-Bennett have some great suggestions. Pam has a great reintroduction guide here. They also stress the importance of playing with your cat to get any excess energy or aggression out.
My guess for why he attacks the other cat may be some insecurity on his part about his status in the home. Do you have any cat trees, or high perches where he can sit? That may help him feel secure. Does he get to spend adequate time with you? I know it sounds silly, but some studies now show that cats view their owners in the same way that children view their parents, in contrast to dogs, who view their owners as pack leaders. Maybe your cat feels like the child who is always getting disciplined (however well-deserved it may be). In either case, reintroduction would likely be the first thing to try. It can take weeks, but it may be worth it for some peace in the home.
Another option is Feliway Multicat . It is a diffuser system (and I believe they have a spray version) designed for homes with multiple cats. The diffuser contains artificial pheromones designed to mimic the ones produced by a mother cat to calm her kittens. A friend of mine volunteers at a local shelter that utilizes these extensively to help keep the peace among their cats, and I know they’re quite popular in households with cats that don’t get along. It’s a pricey product and you may need multiple diffusers throughout your home for adequate reach, but again, you may find them cheaper elsewhere. Additionally, you can try placing them specifically where the two cats fight.
Good luck with everything. If you do choose to re-home your cat, the best thing would be to find him a loving home yourself, or at the very least, be sure you are looking at no-kill shelters (they often have waiting lists, by the way, so you’ll likely have to wait a bit - but it would save his life!) Be transparent about his issues and his need to be an only cat (in probably an adults-only home) so he can be placed where he’d be a good fit.
I hope it all works out for you and you can all live peacefully together!
I've had this one for 3 years and the cats haven't cracked the code yet (fingers crossed)
Y'all need ~Jesus~ an automated carousel feeder.
This is the one that I use for my cat. It holds either wet or dry food. My only complaint is that the clock is a little off.
She's attempted to get into it many times but has only managed to scratch the lid a bit.
Listen. I have a Bengal cat who tried me like this...but then I went and bought this: [link]
He is now conditioned to the automatic feeder at 5am!
Deal link: Amazon
^^Note: ^^The ^^deal ^^may ^^have ^^expired ^^by ^^the ^^time ^^you ^^see ^^this ^^post.
You can use this for wet and dry food. Just wash it well and fill it up the night before.
Get one of these and you'll be able to sleep in peace again.
My cat left me alone once he realized the food was automatic.
I've used this one for the past year and it's not bad. I'm still waiting for the day my cat bugs the feeder for food instead of me though..
Here you go
Here's a list of the protein/fat/carb content of most commercially available wet foods for reference: [link]
Shoot for a carb content under 10%. It doesn't have to be super expensive--Fancy Feast classics (and kitten feast) are low carb. The calorie column of the chart could also help you find something that has more calories for their growing bodies without too much volume in their stomachs.
I bought an autofeeder that works with wet food, and it has been a lifesaver for making sure my cat gets smaller, more frequent meals even when I'm at work or sleeping. She tends to get sick if she eats too much at once or goes too long without eating. Here's a link: [link]
Good luck; hope the little ones feel better soon!