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Cat-Powered Automatic Cat Feeder

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Picture of Cat-Powered Automatic Cat Feeder
Problem: Yoshi was gorging himself on cat food from his gravity-powered feeder, gaining a lot of weight even on weight-loss formula food, and even vomiting from overconsumption (yeuagh).

Solution: An automatic feeder that takes 5 minutes to make, and requires no soldering, no motors, and no batteries. Your cat's own clever paws knock just a few pellets out at a time, so this dispenser is self-regulating according to a simple algorithm: while your cat's hunger exceeds his laziness, he shakes the feeder, eats the pellets, repeats.

In addition to pulling the feeder by the lip of its base, Yoshi has also learned to lift and drop the feeder, pull it forward and drop it back, and even knock it on its side and then lift it upright again if nothing else works. He almost always gets a few pellets out each time, and can even run through a nearly full 8 oz cup in a day if he's really hungry. The idea isn't to deny your cat food -- just to slow him down so he notices that he's full.


 
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Step 1: Eat at Baja Fresh

Picture of Eat at Baja Fresh
step1-positioning.jpg
step1-fit.jpg
Yes, eating at Baja Fresh is the first step. I like their grilled vegetarian burrito.

Well, okay, you don't *have* to eat at Baja Fresh. Anyway, their grilled vegetarian burrito does not come in an 8oz tub, so you'll have to buy their salsa or guacamole if you want this particular part. You'll probably find that your local deli sells cream cheese or chopped liver in a tub like this, and they probably have better matzo ball soup than Baja Fresh, too.

The key thing is that you find a tub that has a flat lip along the top edge, and fits into the top of your cat food dispenser, resting on that lip, so that the lid of the dispenser will close over it.

You'll also need a cat food dispenser with a circular, flexible pop top that snaps down over the tub from Baja or your deli. This sounds like a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, but I got it right on my first try, so hopefully you will too.

Finally, you'll need some cat food, and a pair of scissors. Without these, any attempts your cat may make to obtain food from your Yoshimatic Cat Feeder will be frustrated.
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eh anyway i rephrase-ing my question sir.

what could attract a cat to push the board?
i have a question, if there's a pedal for the cat, let just say 20x20 woodboard for the cat to press, is it possible for the to press on it ?? so the system i working on could work??

i'm just wanted to know does the cat able to press the board.

thanks it's for my 2nd design project class
:D
Rob K6 years ago
Kind of the same but more noise.

Makes the cat work for a treat or food one piece at a time.
gtrachel Rob K2 years ago
This cat is beautiful!
my cat is so fat its not funny. look at this! im sad she might get diabetes. this is perfect!
FAT CAT 001.jpgFAT CAT 002.jpg
My cat's bigger, and has diabetes... I have to give him insulin twice a day.
Your cat looks like my cat Jade.  I have 3 and one is fat, one is normal, and one is small and they ALL do the same thing=lay around and sleep, eat, and poop!  My small one eats canned AND dry food and she never gains weight and theyre all healthy as far as her being sick or anything.
It just proves that not everyone was made to be big or small, even animals are different sizes in the same environment!
wow. look out garfield! how much do you feed this poor cat? no offense meant to you... but wow.
we feed her less than the bag of cat food tells us to. she's perfectly fine. she doesnt actually eat all of it anyway. but she got fat because when we had another cat we used to put out her special food and she would eat it all. shes losing weight :)
she really likes the special food
 thats evil
_kira_ Rob K4 years ago
ima make one too!
Art Nut Rob K4 years ago
The sound would get tiring after a few days.  But what a way tosolve the energy crisis!  Cats seems to always want to eat. Now if we could do the same for some overweight people.  I'd workfor peanuts!
Legutki Rob K4 years ago
Yoshi is so cute!
aseaheru Rob K4 years ago
CAT WEEL!!!!
rob k, that's too much work for plain ol food, but for treats it's perfect.
Funny I have convinced my cats that a kibble of food from the "treat" closet is just as good as a treat and they will do tricks for it, but if I give them alot of kibbles from the "food" closet it is just there dinner.
Sweet. Just hook up a small electric motor and we have another green energy source to help combat global warming! We'll need a lot of cats though.
epic.
lol
i don't have a cat but i want one! make an instructable on it!
Pick a stray off the streets. Seriously there everywhere. Then make sure to get them fixed right away and up to date on shots. Or else two cats suddenly becomes 8 suddenly becomes 11 and one gets lost for 10 months before the cold season then is found at a company when summer starts and your back to having 11 living breathing walking fur making machines which by the way make very soft rugs.
Lol all that work for one piece of kibble.
Rob K Rob K5 years ago
I never made this this was just something I found on Youtube.
Chard Rob K5 years ago
definately awesome. so many people overfeed their cats, i know its hard not too cos their manipulative and cute, a lethal combination as anyone knows. this would be a brilliant way to keep a healthy cat :)
I hope that cat is doing something useful like charging your ipod
Heyarnold Rob K6 years ago
lol, that's great!
This needs hooking up to a 13a socket, then I can charge my gadgetry whilst my cat loses weight and feeds itself, truly genius. I want one.
Swert Rob K6 years ago
YES! That is way too cool. Make an instructable on it!
Cracknel Rob K6 years ago
OMG :))
leebryuk Rob K6 years ago
My cat could of definitely used this machine. Very cool. He would of ran like the wind to eat.
labelreader (author)  Rob K6 years ago
That's awesome! The Rube Goldberg version!
 my cats are a little lazey and i dont think they will want to take the time to learn about it! lol
Soon as he's hungry enough he'd learn.
That's a great idea with dogs, not so much with cats. Cats can easily go into liver failure from not eating (though there's no hard and fast rule, you should generally take the cat to the vet if he hasn't eaten anything in 24 hours). But you CAN make it into a game to get your cat to learn, and that also carries an added bonus f a great bonding experience with your cat.
Foaly73 years ago
This is cool. I don't have a cat, but I might get one someday, and I'll build this for him/her. Also, Yoshi is a good name for a cat.
Ann14 years ago
after reading this. I made a feeder for my cat. I used a small water bottle and cat a few holes in it and put normal cat food in it. My cat started to use it at once. It looks like he is having fun :-)
That was fast and very easy to make so now my little friend has a new toy :-)
klee27x5 years ago
My cats appear to be a little slow. I copied your design but added a vibration motor to the feed-tub. I'm trying to teach them to activate it with a touch pad.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1835133/pavlovs_cat_automatic_catfeeder/
labelreader (author)  klee27x5 years ago
Neat idea! I think the problem is probably overstimulation -- would you notice the plink of a few pellets dropping into your bowl after being dazzled by a laser pointer and then having your ears blasted by the buzz of the vibration motor rattling the food tub? I'd try running the motor more slowly, and with a larger cam on it, to produce less noise and more motion. You might also want to put some other attractor (moving LEDs? some fake fur?) into the switch instead of using the all-too-exciting laser. The added value of your project is the education you're giving them about switches -- let us know when they can turn the bedroom lights on and off for you on command. ;o)
Another idea might be to attach a lever with a paddle that will open a hole in the food container when the kitty paws it.  The lever would have a spring to pull it back into place, requiring more pawing to get more food. Out drops a few pellets of food when the lever is pressed.

I'm thinking about something like this for my kitty, Doozi - she already opens cupboards and drawers and is very persistent until she gets what she wants. Oh yes, she also turns my living room and kitchen lights on and off if she thinks I am ignoring her - she can jump up and toggle the light switches.

Doozi is also not shy about letting me know when she needs more fresh food.
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