RFID cat feeder helps with the diet

When faced with having 2 cats with different dietary needs, [Landmanr] had to decide between manually stopping the cat on a diet from eating normal food, or building a dietary robot overlord. [Landmanr] chose the robot route. Using an old cd rom for the opening/closing mechanism, and RFID to distinguish between felines, [Landmanr] no longer has to stand guard while each cat eats. We particularly like the design of the antenna, so that the cat has to stick its head through it to activate the food opening. You don’t see that version in the video, but it is in the instructable.


  1. Animal RN says:

    very cool. you know the rest of us have to go out and buy products like that. Love it!

  2. spyder_21 says:

    very nice feature, little slow at closing the door, but great way of separating the food between cats.

  3. Keith Handy says:

    What if one cat is so smart that he learns to get the other cat to open the door for him?

  4. hmburgers says:

    My two cats are both right there with each other eating–the one who is heavy is like a bulldog when it comes to food, so I can envision the little cat opening the door and then bulldog showing up and letting the CD drive just wack against it’s head while it keeps eating :-P

    But a cool hack/idea none the less :)

  5. biozz says:

    id love to do this to my dog but IDK if they make a material strong enough to keep him away from his food XD

  6. mjrippe says:


    Thanks for the laugh – I can totally envision that! You do bring up a good point though, won’t most CD drives just close again if they hit an obstacle? Maybe that sensor is removed – I didn’t read the entire instructable. Either way it is a great idea and with a sturdier enclosure it could be marketable!

  7. Justin says:

    I could really use this to make sure only the cat eats his food, and not the dogs as well.

    Cool looking cat in the vid.

  8. fabio says:

    my wife thinks this could be modified to become some kind of a chastity device…sounds a bit bulky, though.

  9. Gosh says:

    Really nice! I’d need a sturdier build for my cat tho =/ She’d eat that thing on the way to her food.

  10. Potato says:

    @Animal RN
    when you say “the rest of us” you are not talking about the hacker community, are you?

  11. Mel says:

    where can you get a rfid detector and reader. I need one bad (lost my passport under a pile of documents and boxes I suppose) I want to make sure it is there before digging into the mountain of stuff and thought an rfid detector might help identify the existence of the rfid chip embedded in the passport.

    Where can I get one and how much does this thing cost ? Commercial stuff starts from several hundred dollars which I am not willing to part with.

  12. Steve says:

    I got mine from seeedstudio (they are the ones selling the bus pirate) for like $15

  13. Face says:

    A friend of mine did something similar where he used a pair of PC fans to blow in the face of the wrong cat. Works great. Same principle.

  14. brian4120 says:

    I’m not sure what frequency a passport’s RFID tag operates at.
    The ID-20 module I use operates at 125kHz and supports EM4001 tags. I’m thinking they may be using a different frequency. If I had a passport I would try verifying this for you.

  15. Jake says:

    This is pretty cool. My girlfriend has 3 cats, and I am trying to convince her to chip them so that we can put an RFID reader on the cat door and keep them from going back outside at night. Right now, we have to round them up and latch the door shut every night, it would be cool to just deny them access to the outside after a certain time of day!

    I guess we could just put tags on their collars, but 2 of the cats have problems with getting their collars caught on things, and the collars come of (the safety kind that won’t strangle them!) One of the cats has been through 3 collars in the last 9 months >:-|

  16. Rachel says:


    No need for RFID in this case. Simply use a one way latch with a timer. The cats will be locked in, but anyone caught outside can still enter.

  17. Hirudinea says:

    Some cats are put off by mechanical noises and moving things, so they might not eat from this thing, but besides that a great idea! (Does Weight Watchers know about this?)

  18. Jake says:


    Darn it, that’s too simple!

    I just figured if I were going to go to the trouble of mechanizing it all, I’d use something sexy like RFID, lol

  19. hammy says:

    I’ve been trying to do something similar here:- Pets where I live all have to be microchipped, so I have been trying to make an RFID door reader that can read the implanted microchip on my cat. I modified an arduino-controlled commercial RFID module from 150kHz down to 135.4kHz to read the signal but I’m yet to figure out a way to read her chip without having the coil on top of her! Eventually it will basically be used to control a cat-door, with a set “lock-in” time so she cant go back outside after dark.

  20. hammy says:

    Or rather just a simple light detector that locks the door when ambient light drops below a certain level to indicate night-time/dusk

  21. Kep says:

    Nice invention. Unfortunately, RFID chipping has been shown in studies to cause tumors in a significant percentage of chipped animals. :(

  22. M4CGYV3R says:

    Where’s your information from? Generally RFID tags have nowhere near enough power to cause cellular mutation/tumors.

    Also, I would assume this guy has the RFID on the cat’s collar or something, and not embedded in its head.

  23. Nice post. Devices for easy pet care are always useful.

    @Hirudinea – I bet if the cat got hungry enough, it would eventually find the noise bearable.

  24. wernicke says:

    I’m with M4CGYV3R on this one. In fact, most RFID tags are passive and radiate NO power until excited by a nearby reader/antenna at the right frequency).
    Active tags might be another story (although I haven’t heard of any studies verifying tumors), but I’ve never had to change my dog’s batteries, so I’m pretty sure it’s passive.

  25. Rachel says:


    The health issue of RFID tags has nothing to do with electromagnetic radiation, but rather the implant itself. It sounds like the tissue is reacting to the foreign body, causing scar tissue, rejection, or even tumours. I suspect this is highly dependant on the coating of the capsule, and the injection placement/technique.

  26. Jake says:

    There is a big difference between a foreign body reaction and a tumor. Cite some scientific data or admit to being a PETA wacko.

  27. Robyn says:

    @ Potato
    As an RVT I have a ton of cat parents with the same concern. If they could have this awesome device- it would silence all their objects to changing diets for the cats for their health!

    Love answers to problems- where can I sign up?
    : )
    rest of us means those of us that have to buy it- ’cause we wouldn’t know how to begin to make it.

  28. Susan says:

    You can also use a MeowSpace, which solves the same problem, but doesn’t leave the door open, and also prevents the feeding cat from being bullied away from the food. Check it out. It’s pretty cool. A friend of mine got one. It works really well, looks nice, and she says the company is excellent with support. Also, there is an unconditional 60 day full return/refund policy.

  29. Rubberduck says:

    There is a really nice commercial RFID feeder by Wireless Whiskers. I will handle up to 8 pets and can individually control diet and access for each pet. It is pretty cool. http://www.wirelesswhiskers.com

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