on April 2, 2013
This is the best thing I've ever bought. There are so many reasons it's amazing, not to mention the so far *10 month* battery life (and still going strong). The programs are really easy to set and change, the functions make sense when you're using them, it's hands-off 99% of the time (unless you want to change the time), the 4 D-cell batteries have lasted so long now I can't even remember when I bought the unit off the top of my head. The tray turns perfectly every time.
Be aware that the motor sound is pretty loud when it does turn (only when it's turning), but we actually find this beneficial since it's like a bell telling the cat that food is ready. She's associated the sound with food so she stops bugging us all the time. Greatest invention ever and amazing implementation!!!
UPDATE: 1.5 years on and the batteries still haven't been changed, the door still hasn't been broken or chewed through and everything is running just as perfectly as the day I bought it.
on January 11, 2016
Works great, I have 2 cats that require different diets and this works great. I can sleep through the night without getting pestered for food, and don't have to rush home from work to feed them. Also great for sleepovers, I don't have to worry about the cats starving. The dish is very easy to clean, super easy to program. The cats haven't outsmarted it yet, and it's been a few weeks so I think this will work in the long term as well! Definitely worth the money.
on May 25, 2016
I purchased this product so my cat wouldn't starve when I was working 24+ hour shifts. I recommend playing with the settings and doing a trial run prior to first use to ensure it is actually working as you want it to and giving feedings at the times you desire. I have two times set, 7am and 7pm, so at each of those times the feeding tray rotates. Which this schedule, this tray could feed my cat for 2.5 days.
The bad: annoyingly, the feeding tray sometimes only half rotates. I can't predict when this happens. However I haven't been able to find a better feeder on the market. I'll keep using this product and provide another update in the coming months.
on December 13, 2012
I read tons of online reviews on different websites for several different automatic pet feeders before finally deciding on this one. This one seemed to get the best reviews and I have not been disappointed at all since receiving it. I bought this for a planned 2 week vacation when I would have someone cat-sitting, but my 2 cats need measured amounts of food 3x a day or else they gorge and then puke all over my house while I'm gone. I didn't want the cat sitter to have to come over 3x a day, so I figured with the automatic feeder then she would only have to come over once a day or could even come over every second day depending on her schedule and when the feeder would be empty. I wanted to test the feeder out though before I left on vacation and so I've been using it for a month and it's been working perfectly.
-super easy to figure out how to set with the enclosed instructions. Mine didn't come with instructions stuck on the lid so I never had an issue with the tray getting stuck like some other reviewers mentioned.
-has a digital timer so it is very accurate with when it goes off
-has a lot of flexibility with how you set it (ex. at first I had it set to go off for 7am, 12noon, and 5pm, but now I have it set off to just go off for morning and lunch and I give the cats their supper feeding each night)
-It is very sturdy/well-built. It doesn't feel cheap and flimsy at all
-The feeding trays move, not the top, so you can put it up against a wall or in a corner area without any issues
-The top snaps shut and since the tray moves and not the top, it closes very firmly and I haven't had any issues with my cats breaking it open to get to the food
-trays are big enough for me to give a serving size for 2 cats when their meals are split up into 3 meals per day (half-cup per serving)
-It takes D batteries, which is a pain, but they seem to be lasting well thus far and as long as it doesn't suck the batteries dry quickly then that won't be a big issue.
-if you have cats that fight over their food then you may need two feeders because the wells for the food are only big enough for one cat to eat out of at a time. My cats take turns (they are sometimes pushy, but they aren't aggressive with each other and they always both get enough to eat).
-no place/room for ice packs if you want food to stay cold but maybe you could freeze wet food overnight and then put it in the compartment to thaw by the next feeding?
-I wish it had more compartments so that it could go for two days. Right now it can go for two days if I do two feedings per day, but if I do 3 per day then it will run out before the last feeding on the second day.
I am very pleased with this purchase overall. The feeder isn't really loud, but my cats were afraid of it the first couple days. It was funny to watch because they both freaked out (puffly tails and hunched backs) at first when it turned, and then they very slowly and cautiously walked up to it at first and were afraid to put their head in the food well to get the food. After a couple days they were running to the feeder as soon as they heard it turn though, so it didn't take them long to get used to it at all. I am so happy to finally get to sleep in on the weekends again and it's nice to know that whenever I'm away on vacation I won't have to worry about the cat-sitter or myself having to clean up puke all around the house like what used to happen when I had to leave a bowl of open bowl food out for them to make sure they had enough for the day.
on July 16, 2016
Before we get started, let me tell you that one of our cats is very smart (for a cat). I know everyone says that, but seriously, he's diabolically clever. But not clever enough to defeat the PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder!
This cat, let's call him Mr. B, used to wake me up every single morning to feed him somewhere between 1am and 4am. There was simply no ignoring him. Locking him out of the bedroom results in an early morning wake up call. Ignoring the nudging leads to walking on your face. Ignoring that leads to nibbling. Ignoring that leads to biting. You get the idea...
He cannot self-regulate his eating (he simply eats and eats until he's too full to move) and has a history of solving automatic cat feeders. We used to own one of those gravity-assisted devices that has a clear tub full of dry cat food. It's on a timer similar to this unit. The time comes, the unit turns on and the food falls into the bowl. Mr. B figured out he could simply paw at the flap where the food comes out and the feeder would reward him with a piece or two for every few flicks. He'd be at it all day, flick, flick, flick, reward, munch, munch, until all of the food was gone. So, I was a little apprehensive about buying another automatic feeder. The last one cost me a couple hundred bucks.
But, wanting sleep, I thought I would give it another try. Am I ever glad I did!
I got the PetSafe feeder in November 2015. The instructions for programming the unit were straightforward and easy to follow. It's similar to programming your Christmas lights with a digital timer. The five compartments allowed me to set four times evenly spaced throughout the day (4am, 10am, 4pm, 10pm). The feeder shows one compartment at a time and keeps the other four hidden. You simply fill the four hidden compartments once a day and the feeder takes care of the rest. It works very well for our two cats. Our other cat is the boss in our household. She eats until she's full then let's Mr. B finish what's there.
The only drawback I can think of is that the four D batteries are not included. But it's a small additional price to pay and I am still using the same batteries eight months later.
Overall, I highly recommend this feeder for your cat(s) or small dog(s) if they cannot self-regulate. It's exactly as advertised and has given me back my mornings! Thank you PetSafe!
on June 26, 2016
Had some trouble with cat trying to figure out how to turn without the timer, he used his paws to manually turn it (there is 0.5cm gap that doesnt close properly) Annoyed us at night for a few days but has since stopped. Or cat didn't know food was there. Was easy to set time but only can do one day worth if you are going away since only 5 slots. But have 9 timer so I don't know how that works. if you want a feeder that can continuously feed without # restriction, the feeder with an upside down 'gum-ball' machine format works better. (but I advise you not to leave your bed at home alone for that long as they still need water change!!)
the build is very solid... the opening is rather small even for my cat, imagine a dog with a bigger head might not fit
the turning noise is very loud, so midnight feeding woke me up a few times but have since gotten used to it.
cleaning is easy as it is dishwasher safe. a general down side not specific to this product is since the base is very large, it is hard to put it on a surface to elevate it so pets have a better neck posture.
the price was a bit expensive but worth it since it gave me better sleep without my pet bothering me.
on December 28, 2010
I was excited and nevous at the same time while I placed the order because I heard good and bad things about automatic feeders. Now I have to say it is one of the greatest invention for busy pet owners.
My 'slightly overweight' cat has to be on a strict feeding schedule, and he is very timing about when he gets the food. I can sleep in on the weekends now and go out for grocery shopping guiltlessly, knowing that he will get his food on time no matter how late I sleep in or how long I am out. The instructions are very straight foward to follow. It does need a couple DD batteries to operate, which did not come in with the product. I got them easily from electronic store with on sale price. With such a great product, what can you ask for more?
on November 6, 2012
I've been using this feeder for about a month now and so far am very pleased with it. My cat very quickly learned to recognize the noise it makes when it advances a food-filled section to the opening (he still insists on waking me up early for his breakfast, but that's not the fault of the feeder!). It wasn't very hard to set up, and it doesn't make a lot of noise. It's also dishwasher safe, but I don't find it difficult to clean by hand, either. I do use wet food in it so wouldn't want to set it for feeding my cat over a weekend, but I find it handy to load it with his nighttime snack and his breakfast before I go to bed, and then in the morning before I leave for work, I load it with his daytime snack and his dinner. It doesn't come with ice packs to help keep food fresh, so I just put one of my frozen reusable ice-cubes (plastic water-filled fruit-shaped pieces)in with the food, and it seems to work fine. It was also much less expensive than the one I saw in the pet store, and it arrived very quickly, too.
April 2014: the feeder up and died on me - instead of rotating to the next compartment, it moves only about a third of the way. Replacing the batteries did not help. The price of the feeder has gone way up from what I initially paid for it, too. It was good while it lasted, but for the sake of my own sanity and to keep my cat happy, I decided to keep things simple and bout a bought a 2-compartment feeder elsewhere.
on July 20, 2016
This feeder has really impressed me so far in the quality of the build, the design and the ease of set-up. I've only had it for a little while, but is working as intended so far. Straight out of the box, it does seem much larger than what I anticipated, being about a foot wide and about a foot and a quarter in length. However, this isn't really an issue as this provides large feeding portions that accommodate both large and smaller pets. The plastic covering is pretty solid and unless your pet has a thumb, will unlikely be able to pop it open. My cat has tried to punch it a few times, but has only left a couple scratches on the top lid.
The set-up was simple, underneath the lid is a spot for 4 D-size batteries and a little area to set the feeding times. I've read that 4 D batteries seemed a little much, but that they last years and years. The feeder comes with instructions that were simple to understand, so set up was straight forward. I like the way you can set 4 different turning times as opposed to intervals. I have mine set for 6AM and 7:30PM and the machine has always turned right on time.
Underneath the portion platter, which I should add is dishwasher safe material so its easy to clean, there is the mount for the food tray and a little pocket which I believe would fit a regular sized ice pack if your food needs it. Simple but effective design.
The only concern I've had so far is that my food platter did not perfectly line up with the opening on the lid. If by chance it turned a little bit further, and my cat got one of his claws in to turn the platter, I'm sure he would eat both portions and just cause a bunch of trouble afterward. On top of that, my cat once punched it at the perfect angle so it did turn a little further as well, but this has only happened once.
Overall, a very good purchase so far and I would recommend this to anyone I know. Price is fair, especially on sale. Batteries are a little heavy duty, but seem to last a while. Look for this item if you need a pet feeder that let's you leave for a weekend!
on May 9, 2016
This is the best thing I have ever bought for my cats. No more harassing me for early morning feedings, they get their dinner before I get home from work, everyone is happy. It only took a couple of days before they realized that the sound of thr motor turning means it's time to eat! Would highly recommend.