Eat Some Pringles, Feed the Cat

You know the saying: “Dogs have people, cats have servants.” This is especially true when your feline overlord loses track of time and insists on being fed at oh-dark-thirty. You’re tempted to stay in bed feigning death, but that’s a tall order with the cat sitting on your chest and staring into your soul.

An automatic cat feeder would be nice at moments like these, but off-the-shelf units are pricey. [Mom Will Be Proud] decided to roll his own cat feeder, and the results are pretty impressive for what amounts to a trash can build. Two old food cans form the body — a Pringles can on top to hold the food and a nut can below for the servo. The metal ends of the cans nest together nicely, and with a large section removed from each, an aperture opens every time the hopper rotates, dropping food down a chute. A BeagleBone Black controls the servo, but anything with PWM outputs should do the trick. We’d lean toward the ESP8266 ecosystem for WiFi support for remotely controlling feedings, and we’d probably beef up the structure with PVC tube to prevent unauthorized access. But it’s a simple concept, and simple is a good place to start.

You shall not want for pet feeder builds around these parts. Take your pick — snazzy Steampunk, super cheap, or with an Archimedean twist.

14 thoughts on “Eat Some Pringles, Feed the Cat

      1. The red looks like treats and the foot pedal dispenses food from the other. There was a link to a “Play with this feeder” so I’d imagine that hole will be a little tight till the internet gets bored and they don’t get their treats

    1. That’s exactly what I do and I my cat is not overweight at all, nor do I ever have an insect problem. I feed him wet food 2 times/day but he has the dry food available to him 24/7 in a very large dish. Wet food dispensing would be very messy no? I think it would be great if there was one though.

      1. Same here. That’s how my grandmother did it my entire life and none of her animals (cats and dogs) were even remotely fat. Except the dog she fed people food..he looked like a barrel with legs.

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