Pet-Mate is an established manufacturer of pet-related products, which gives them a leg up, at least in name recognition, over other makers of automated pet feeders. If you'd like a robotic feeder along the lines of the higher-end Feed and Go Smart Pet Feeder, but without the Wi-Fi connectivity and webcam, Pet-Mate's Cat Mate C50 is worth looking at.
Like the Smart Pet Feeder it has a rotating carousel with multiple compartments (five, as compared to the Smart Pet Feeder's six), each of which can contain a different food. The carousel can be set by the owner to deliver meals at intervals, though there's a minimum of six hours between the first and second meals, which might be a problem for owners of more than two cats. The Cat Mate C50 even has some advantages over the Smart Pet Feeder. It can keep wet food cold (using ice packs, which are a relatively limited refrigeration solution) and it's battery powered, so none of your feline friends will starve if the electricity goes off. It's not airtight, so unlike simple kibble dispensers like the Pet Feedster Automated Feeder, it can't keep bugs out of the food.
The low-tech Cat Mate C50 has been around for a long time and, if Internet reviews are to be believed, has a number of users who have stuck with it for as long as it's been around. You still might want to splurge on something higher tech that you can control with a smartphone app (consider the mid-priced Petnet SmartFeeder), but the Cat Mate C50 promises analog reliability if not necessarily digital brains.
The trays can be removed to allow for cleaning, and the rest of the feeder can be wiped down with a wet cloth; pretty simple upkeep.
They hold a lot of food and do dispense at the correct times and are easy to use.
I love this feeder, great quality! I like the fact that canned food will stay cold because there are two ice packs that fit in the bottom. You can also use it for dry food.
I recommend chilling wet cat food in the fridge before filling the Cat Mate, just to help the ice packs. Effective product for short trips.
Works great. Bowls are nice size. Timer can be set up to 48 hours. Easy to use and operate. Cat hasn't been able to break into it. Sturdy construction and material.
The setup is a bit more complex than some of the simpler feeders we were looking at, so you should actually read the instructions. Once you do, though, it's easy enough.
Our cat gets controlled portions 4 times a day. The feeder works great for that, but can only do that one day at a time. The feedings must be at least 4-5 hours apart.
A good battery, the correct time set , correct feeding times selected, and remembering to wind the cover to the starting position should give you good results.
While the timer took a little bit of time to figure out how to set it up, the whole unit worked perfectly and dependably. We froze the food and ice packs before leaving.
After realizing that I had to rotate the lid anticlockwise first to set the lid, all went very well. I did familiarize the cat with it by using it for a few days before hand.
The timer is a little difficult to use, although the food bowl works and the instructions are simple and straightforward. It is also tamper proof.