A friend gifted me with a Pet Feedster Pet Feedster USA PF-10 CAT Pet Feedster Automated Pet Feeder For Cats
and I was highly disappointed. I returned it and ordered this as a replacement and I'm so glad I did.
My oldest cat has the beginnings of IBD so she's on Prescription I/D and prednisolone. She also needs small amounts of food every 3-4 hours or she gets acid build-up in her tummy which sets off regurgitation and/or vomiting. So I thought an automatic pet feeder would help while I'm at work. I can't free-feed because she doesn't know when to stop eating!
First off, READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL. It's written in easy-to-understand English and has diagrams. It's not hard to program if you follow the manual the first couple times. They've also included a small sheet with the programming icons as well as the flaps of the box have programming directions, too.
Some complain it doesn't dispense correctly, if at all. You have to PRIME THE PUMP, so to speak. Which means look on Page 14 about filling the conveyor with food the first time. You also have to keep watch on the hopper being filled with food; otherwise if you let it run too low, you will need to "prime" the conveyor again.
Setting up the first time, there are pre-programmed modes for both dogs and cats which are two (2) meals per day at 8 AM and 5 PM. But if you're like me and want either more feedings, different cup amounts, go to the USR setting (user option). There you can program up to 12 feedings and any amount between 1/8 cup up to 4 cups dispensed per feeding.
The first day I was at work, I had this set up so I could watch it with my security camera. It dispensed exactly on time! :) And a few times right after I got home from work, I let it dispense so I could measure accuracy of the 1/8 cup amount and it was exactly 1/8 cup in my measuring cup also.
With the Pet Feedster that I returned for a refund, it had no PAUSE button. This PetSafe does. I like to feed my cat myself on my days off, so I press pause on my days off and when I'm going back to work I "unpress" the pause button and the PetSafe resumes dispensing food at the next time I have programmed.
The Pet Feedster (Ugh!) was limited to 5 feedings per day. This feeder lets you program up to 12 feedings if you choose.
There is also a slow dispense mode on the feedings, but it can't work if you choose the smallest setting which is 1/8 cup. Once you see how the conveyor works, you'll understand why it can't work on the smallest setting.
The motor is VERY quiet.
My cat was afraid to approach this the first time it dispensed her meal; she didn't like the clanging noise of the food hitting the stainless steel bowl which is included, so I removed the bowl and bowl holder and I'm using an old Corningware casserole dish 9" in diameter and about 1-1/2" high. No problems now, she goes right up to it.
PetSafe's customer service is also top-notch. When I decided to remove the bowl and bowl holder, I couldn't get the bowl holder off the machine no matter how hard I tried. I called CS where Americans answer the phone and the woman had my problem solved in no time. In fact, she took the same machine apart on her end so she could guide me step-by-step on taking the holder off. While she had me on the phone, she also registered my feeder for warranty.
I couldn't be happier with this and I highly recommend this over the other popular feeder.