I needed a self feeder for my cat, so he would stop waking me up. After looking around on the Net (and instructables) I did find one that I based this feeder on, in a book called (Snowball Launchers, Giant-Pumpkin Growers, and Other Cool Contraptions by Tom Fox) I take no credit for it. Just didn’t like the idea of using cardboard. I also wasted a lot of time trying to use electric motors and timers. This was a much better idea and has been working well so far.
Step 1: Tools and Parts
Tools Needed: Something to make holes (knife, scissors, drill)
Parts: Clamp type paper clip, rubber bands, golf ball, wire (bread) tie, round food container, 2 liters pop bottle (not shown) and at least one screw for mounting. ((PVC pipe see update on Step 5))
Cut a small hole in the lid of the food container, big enough for the rubber band to go through. In the bottom of the container cut a hole just big enough to thread the pop bottle into.
Take the bottle and cut it down to make a funnel that will fit tight inside the food container.
Cut the hole in the clear cup just big enough so the bottle can be threaded through it, (were the cap was) This will keep it in place.
Run the wire through the ball, this will keep the cat from chewing on the rubber band. Add rubber bands until it will reach the top of the container.
That’s it, now just thread the bottle into the inside of the container, run the rubber band with the ball into the bottle and pull it up to the hole in the lid clipping it with the paper clip. Update.... the top turned out to be to thin, so the clip was replaced with a PVC pipe.
Use the screws to mount it to something solid, and high enough to remove the lid. The edge of his play tower worked out well. If you need to I’m sure you could mount it to the wall with a block of wood.
Training was pretty easy. Show your cat that food will fall each time the ball is pushed or pulled down. With Apollo, it took one time. One problem I did find is he will pull the clip off the top dropping the ball, but only when he runs out of food.