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I travel a lot. You may have noticed this. I also have cats. The cats like to be fed. Sometimes I’m traveling when the cats are home expecting to be fed. You can see where the problem lies. Over the years I’ve had any number of friends help out with the cat feeding duties and I’m happy to say I’ve never had a single cat starve to death in my absence. However, always asking people for favors and the cats having to put up with different schedules is kind of lame, so I decided I needed to hire a robot to feed my cats for me. I didn’t find one of those, but I got the next best thing.

Cat FeederIf you look around you’ll find no shortage of automatic pet feeders. Most of them are variations on circular compartments with a moving cover that holds measured portions for 3-5 days theme. I thought those kind of sucked and the reviews I read online tended to agree. Plus I wanted something I could use all the time so the cats would be used to it, not something I’d just throw out when I was gone. I found the Petmate Le Bistro and it seemed like exactly what I needed so I dove in and bought one. It worked so well I bought a second one so they wouldn’t have to share.

It hold about 5lbs of dry food, and you program in how much food you want it to kick out up to three times a day. I have it set to give out a cup in the morning and again at night and it works flawlessly. The thing is, it’s got a bunch of secondary benefits I didn’t even expect. The first is that my fat cats trimed up. I was always trying to measure how much food I was giving them and was often giving them too much. The automagicness of this isn’t swayed by their cute little kitty eyes and gives them exactly what they should have every time no matter what. Additionally, the cats have all realized that their food comes from this machine instead of me now so when they are hungry they go over and hang out next to it thinking they can talk it into feeding them early, instead of climbing on my face or laying down on my keyboard whilst I type to get my attention. It’s amazing, it’s defected all their annoying leaving me to only focus on their snuggles. I’m a big fan. Plus, it does what it was supposed to do and if filled with a new bag can easily feed them while I’m out of town for pretty much anything. They still need fresh water and clean litter boxes, but one thing at a time…

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