Internet enabled cat feeder

When travelling, it can always be a pain to have your cats cared for. There are some commercial automated solutions out there, but they tend to be pricey, especially when there are two required. These two cats don’t need to worry though. They have an internet enabled monster of a system.

The system used is pretty unique. They wanted internet connected relays, but didn’t want to put an entire computer in line just for the cat feeder. Instead, a Cisco router was hacked to run relays hooked to the status lights on the ports. Not only can it be controlled over the internet, there is also a live feed so you can see the cats as the binge. These are some pretty lucky cats. They also have an automatic cat door.

[via Hackedgadgets]


  1. Rich says:

    That’s a switch, not a router.

  2. Spunkmeyer says:

    What about water? ;-)

  3. LuciusMare says:

    I’d like to see something like that with an arduino and ethernet shield.Anyone gonna do that?

  4. ino says:

    that’s one good video presentation!!
    no shaking, no electrocrappy dance music.
    thumbs up …. nd for the project too :)

  5. anon says:

    Now if there was just a good litterbox cleaning solution, I’d feel good leaving my two for longer than two days.

  6. K says:

    makezine just did a great article on a DIY cat potty training project. Cheap and simple.

  7. Concino says:

    Unless the switch was laying around and was free, i think this is overkill. Same could be accomplished with an arduino and ethernet shield, no need the “Custom relay board that gets the signal from leds” either.

  8. Odin84gk says:

    Use what you have. Not everyone has an arduino lying around. Plus, if you are more comfortable with networking code than microcontrollers, then you are good to go.

    Arduino + ethernet shield = $60+.
    Switch that you aren’t using = Free!

  9. This is a great hack. The web interface is also awesome makes me think I really need to work on a web UI for my computerized grow box.

    I agree with the comments that arduino and ethernet shield would have been easier, but many times doing something the easy way is much less fun. With my grow box hooking up a timer to a cardboard box to light timer with a couple of CFLs would have been easier (and a bigger fire hazard) though way less fun…

  10. Aerospace says:

    I feed my cat by leaving an open bag of food. Works okay for a few weeks til she gets down to the bottom which gets microbial from kitty slobber. Then she occasionally gets an upset stomach and throws up on the carpet.

    Haven’t tried it with my new kittens yet, but there’s two mostly-full bowls of food out right now so I think that they’ll be fine for the same system eventually.

  11. Voxar says:

    More like a cat feeder enabled router imho =)

  12. peter says:

    Does anyone know where to find out more on how to control the leds on the switch?

  13. zoidberg says:


    The switch is a Cisco CATalyst 1900!


  14. Andres says:

    As a fellow internet-enabled cat food feeder (, i salute you! :)

    I specially like the presentation and the way you used the dispenser. It probably allows for a better and more consistent portion distribution than my solution. I also liked your video editing.

    Again, congrats and way to go using the equipment you had.

  15. Roy says:

    What about water? ;-)

    Posted at 10:48 am on Dec 3rd, 2009 by Spunkmeyer

    That’s what the toilet is for.

  16. Roy says:

    I’m just kidding…

  17. mars says:

    The switch hack was a bit over the top.. but if it does the job!

  18. Patrick says:

    WOW !!!

    That was some really Gay Music.

  19. Vonskippy says:

    Yeah, but now you need to watch out for the script kitties.

  20. Pedant says:

    see the cats as they binge


  21. Patrick says:

    I once had a home/internet web camera.

    But I got rid of it after seeing my dogs getting on.

    Seeing that on the internet really creeped me out.

  22. Kyle says:

    Now _THAT_ is a hack. :)

  23. zerosys says:

    (digs Catalyst 1900 out of the garbage)

  24. Nitori says:

    Now this is a clever a hack.
    I would have ended up using a rabbit micro controller to implement this and spending a lot more.

  25. dan says:

    That’s just silly, and inspirational.

  26. neb says:

    Brilliant! I especially love the detailing on the chutes and the clear tube.

  27. SIKDIDIT says:

    I would like to see a CAT FOOD DENIAL OF SERVICE HACK! Lousy fur balls!

  28. NNM says:

    So if your internet gets cut, your cat dies..?
    Very nice anyway..!

  29. Jason says:

    Haha, well done, love it ! I might try making something similar with an extra x10 relay I have hanging around. Thanks for the great idea !

  30. Hitek146 says:


    I did this once before…

    I was reprogramming WGT-634u routers with OpenWRT to be wireless clients en-masse, so I built a custom one to auto program the others. Since the programming process took several minutes and four phases, I wanted some sort of indicator to show the progress in case one of the units to be programmed failed during the process. Since I needed four indicators, and didn’t need the four switch ports on the programmer, I used the switch port status LEDs. To do this, I jumpered each port on the bottom of the circuit board into a loopback type arrangement, so each port would show a link, and then I used my programming script to toggle the duplex of each port to turn the duplex LEDs off and on. Worked great…

  31. Hitek146 says:

    Also @ Peter:

    If you were asking how you would toggle the LEDs specifically on this switch, my IOS is a little rusty, but I think the commands would be something like:

    ip int conf [Interface/Port Name] duplex full &
    ip int conf [Interface/Port Name] duplex half

  32. Hitek146 says:


    After reading his script, I see he is turning the ports off and on instead of toggling the duplex, using the shutdown/no shutdown commands instead of the duplex full/duplex half commands. I used duplex in my project because the unit used bi-color leds, and I wanted to switch from green to yellow instead of just turning the green color off and on…

  33. rob says:

    Shame he used IOS, it would be far more apropriate for him to have used a Cisco switch running CAT-OS!

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