Introduction: Pet Feedster - Automatically Split Food for 2 Pets in Separate Bowls - Version 2.0 - Hurricane Proof
Necessity is the mother of invention. Without this project, my girl cat would eat all of the food. Boy cat wasn't happy so I came up with this solution.
If you have a Pet Feedster and want to split the food fairly evenly between pets, here are the supplies you'll need and the steps needed to reproduce mine.
**** Note for "version 2.0 - Hurricane Proof" ****
Over time, my cats would play around the feeder or jump onto it and knock everything out of alignment. Food would go onto the floor, so I added an optional piece of wood that the legs of the platform and bowls fit into (along with a rumba virtual gate) to keep everything in alignment. I started with a very thick piece of cardboard as a proof of concept / template to make adjustments easy. That was the funnest part for me for some reason. Through this project, I discovered that working with wood is something I love.
Step 1: Equipment List
- Pet Feedster USA PF-10 CAT Pet Feedster Automated Pet Feeder For Cats (can be purchased from Amazon)
- Base to elevate the feeder. I made mine out of spare 2 x 4. measurements are approximately 14" x 14" x 10.5"
- Hopkins 10703 FloTool Spill Saver Radiator Funnel (wide funnel base - can be purchased from Amazon)
- 120 degree PVC Y adapter (https://www.plumbingsupply.com/pvc.html, search for 475-21131T)
You can also make the Y adapter with a 3D printer at your local library if they have the equipment. You'd need the design information for the printing. Google and ye' shall find. Not information I can provide.
- appx 20" long 1" PVC pipe (I purchased mine from Home Depot)
- 6 wood screws (2 to secure base to platform, and 4 to support PVC pipe - 2 center and 1 per side)
- 2 zip ties to secure PVC and funnel to base
- 1 drill bit to make holes for zip ties
- Hacksaw or pipe cutter (to cut 1" PVC pipe in half)
- Hot glue gun for attaching modified funnel to PVC Y adapter
- Raised Cat Feeder food bowl (can be purchased from Amazon)
- 2 (3 x 5) standard index cards. Hot glued to bowl and folded over (for food backstops)
*** Please Note that if you use different equipment, you may need to make adjustments to things such as the base height ***
Step 2: Build Base
Dimensions for the base are 14" x 14" by 10.5" for the one I built.
Step 3: Modify Funnel and Hot Glue to Y Adapter
- Trim the funnel to sit inside of the Y adapter so it doesn't block the path.
- Don't put the hot glue gun away. You'll need it for the next step.
Step 4: Hot Glue the Index Cards to the Elevated Bowls
- Do not fold the index cards right away so you get a good feel of where the food is hitting.
- You can fold them later, after you know exactly where the kibbles hit.
Step 5: Cut PVC Pipe in Half
- I cut mine so both pieces were approximately 10".
Step 6: Attach PVC Pipes
- I did not hot glue the PVC pipes on purpose, so I could remove everything from the wire circle. Friction holds them in place very well.
Step 7: Wood Screw Petfeedster to Wood Base, and Insert Wood Screws to Hold PVC With Funnel
- 4 wood screws - Drill pilot holes into the wood platform based upon where the funnel will be placed. Take best guess as I had to experiment a bit to get things properly aligned.
- I started with the 2 center screws first, then the right and best guess at the left one. I had to adjust the left up slightly.
- Once you are comfortable with the positioning of the PVC with funnel, drill holes for the zip ties, and zip it into place. Other material can be used to secure the PVC with funnel in place if you so desire. zip ties were an easy solution for me.
- Now, when my cats are wresting around the food, those pieces stay in place.
Step 8: Optional Step - Base and Bowl Positioning Board
- Start with a thick piece of cardboard. If needed, hot glue several pieces to form a thick (1/2 inch ) piece that you can cut.
- Trace the front legs, and bowl location ensuring that food is going into the bowls correctly.
- If you have a rumba, you can add a slot for the virtual gate (middle piece), if so desired.
- Test it out for a few days at a minimum to make sure everything is groovy (pun intended).
- Now you have a kick butt template to start your piece of wood with.
- I bought a cheap $100 all in 1 saw that does jig cuts from Lowes. Worked pretty good, but I don't need a pro saw at this point.
- I drilled the starter holes for each location, and awkwardly maneuvered the board best I could to make the cuts.
- The circles were the toughest for me. I had to flip the board to get them some what circular. The squares aren't exactly square either, but the cuts were good enough.
- Sanding, then confirming everything was good was the most satisfying part.
Step 9: Test and Adjust Over Time
- I found that I needed adjust how close my dishes were located to the ends of the PVC pipes.
- See the video for the final result.
- Not too shabby. The food distribution is surprisingly even on mine. I hope you have similar results.