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Every pet parent has experienced it at one point or another…the look. You know, it’s that beseeching, sometimes-reproachful gaze cats and dogs tend to give you when mealtime rolls around and their food bowl is empty.
Or maybe your pet is a little more vocal about their hunger, yowling or howling without rest until you fix the no-food situation…stat.
Even if your pet isn’t fixated on feeding time, consistent, regular meals are a must for all cats and dogs. And, in addition to providing the right food in the right quantity, pet parents must also keep food bowls clean and safe. My own kitty’s bowl sometimes requires several scrubbing sessions a week.
No doubt about it, keeping up with feeding chores can feel like a full-time job for any pet parent. Luckily, the Whisker company has a host of solutions designed to make taking care of our pets easy and automated, including the revolutionary Feeder-Robot.
Shop now and save $25 off your Feeder-Robot or Litter-Robot purchase
Recently, my cats and I had the chance to put the Feeder-Robot to the test. I don’t know who was more excited about that…me or my cats. Here’s what we learned .
What is the Whisker Company?
Over 20 years ago, Brad Baxter was a busy pet parent, struggling (like so many of us) to stay on top of all the chores that came along with the two cats he’d inherited.
But, as an inventor, Baxter didn’t just see a stinky litter box he needed to empty. He saw a challenge. As he cleaned, he started brainstorming ways he could make the process easier on him and better for his cats. Many sketches and prototypes later, the Litter-Robot was born–an automatic, self-cleaning litterbox that handled the most dreaded litterbox duties so cat parents didn’t have to.
While the Litter-Robot wasn’t the first self-cleaning litterbox on the market, it worked a lot better than previous inventions. And, based on that success, Baxter founded the company now called Whisker with one mission: to make life with our pets endlessly better.
To that end, Whisker has continued to innovate, developing many other pet care solutions, including the Feeder-Robot, all designed, manufactured and serviced right here in the USA.
What is the Feeder-Robot and How Does it Work?
Launched in 2020, the Feeder-Robot is a more recent addition to the Whisker product arsenal and the first of the brand’s products designed for both dogs and cats. The Feeder-Robot is an automatic pet feeder that dispenses a pre-set amount of dry or semi-moist kibble at a scheduled time, making feeding your pet a breeze.
While there are a lot of automatic pet feeders on the market, the Feeder-Robot–much like the Litter-Robot before it–stands out from the competition. In addition to its thoughtful design and easy-to-use features, what really sets the Feeder-Robot apart is its user-friendly app. The Feeder-Robot is WiFi-enabled, so you can control it from wherever you are using the Whisker app, which is compatible with both Apple and Android mobile devices.
The Whisker app allows you to program when and how much your cat is fed. Plus, it can notify you when it’s time for a refill and provide insights into your pet’s feeding habits. You can even use it to dispense a “snack” whenever you feel like Fluffy deserves an extra special treat.
The Feeder-Robot can be programmed to feed up to 8 portions per day. And the tamper-proof hopper holds a whopping 32 cups of food, so you don’t have to worry about constantly refilling it.
The Feeder-Robot even features anti-jam technology to ensure your pet doesn’t miss a meal due to unexpected technical difficulties…a big bonus for anyone who doesn’t relish dealing with a hangry pet.
The Feeder-Robot costs $299 and is available in four different color combinations (a black or white feeder with a clear or “smoke” hopper).
Putting the Feeder-Robot to the Test
That all sounds great, doesn’t it? But here’s the true test: I tried out the Feeder-Robot in the real world, introducing it to my crew of hungry, food-motivated felines. Here’s what the kitties and I thought about the Feeder-Robot test run.
I had tried out the Litter-Robot before, so I was familiar with Whisker brand products. However, I found the Litter-Robot a bit trickier to set up than the Litter-Robot. There was some assembly required and I had a little trouble with the instructions. After some trial-and-error, though, I got it up and running.
Though my cats had been slow to warm up to the Litter-Robot, they took to the Feeder-Robot immediately. However, our cats have been eating from an automatic pet feeder for a while, so that probably helped a lot.
For pets who may be hesitant to try new things, Whisker recommends giving them a day or two to get used to the Feeder-Robot before it’s even turned on. You might want to add a small handful of food or a few treats to the bowl to entice your pet. Once they warm up to that, you can try filling the unit and pressing the feed button to get them used to the noise.
Though both my cats and I were accustomed to automatic feeders, it’s safe to say that the Feeder-Robot is an improvement over the previous feeder in almost every way.
For one thing, it’s much quieter—we don’t even notice when it dispenses. It’s also impossible for our kitty to get food out of the feeder when it’s not dispensing (she had figured out a way to knock food out of our previous feeder). I really like the transparent hopper, which allows me to see how much kibble is left and whether I need to buy more.
Then there’s the app. It’s easy to use, which makes the feeder easy to program. I can also check and make sure food was dispensed if the cats are being dramatic and acting as though they’ve never eaten before in their lives.
Things We Like About the Feeder-Robot
- Easy to program from the app or the unit
- Super quiet
- App keeps track of how much food is dispensed and when
- Transparent hopper lets you see when kibble is running low
- Optional battery backup ensures pets are fed even if power goes out
Things to Consider
- Setup was challenging
- App had a bit of a learning curve
- 1-year warranty included; 3-year warranty available for $50
Is the Feeder-Robot Worth It? Our Verdict
When I tell other pet parents about the Litter-Robot, I admit that it may not be for every cat. However, my experience with the Feeder-Robot was so positive, I recommend it to just about everyone I meet with no reservations.
Though some might balk at the price tag, it my opinion the device is worth every penny. It’s quiet, efficient, and helps you keep track of how much your pet is eating. I also love the app functionality and reporting. But what I love most of all is the peace of mind I get knowing that my pets are being fed regularly and in the right amount, without me having to lift a finger.
The Feeder-Robot does offer several add-on accessories for an extra charge, including a glass bowl for $30, a stainless steel bowl for $20, and special Feeder-Robot Cleaner Wipes for $15. I didn’t opt for these extras, so I can’t really say if they’re worth the splurge. But I did find the basic unit very easy to clean, as is. The removable parts can be washed by hand, which Whisker suggests doing at least once a month.
Overall, our Feeder-Robot test was a huge success–for both me and my cats. While this advanced model costs more than other automatic feeders, it’s really not a fair comparison because it’s a much better product than the other automatic feeders I’ve tried in the past. Well worth the investment!
Shop now and save $25 off your Feeder-Robot or Litter-Robot purchase