Automatic Cat Care

Picture of Sammy, the cat, eating at the automatic food dispenser and the automatic waterer.

We’ve gotten fancy. Or lazy. You decide. We have purchased an automatic food dispenser for our cat, Sammy. The food is loaded in from the top, and the unit is programmed to dispense whatever amount is set. The amount set is determined by selecting a number from 1 to 40. We have it set at 4. The unit can also be programmed to play a 30 second recorded message. So, every morning at 8 am, Sammy hears me say, “Good morning, Sammy. I hope you have a good cat day.” My message repeats three times. I don’t know why it repeats, and I don’t believe I can record three different messages. All I know is that when the unit starts to dispense, Sammy, from wherever she is, runs like a race horse over to her food dish. The “Vremi Automatic Pet Feeder for Cats and Dogs” costs $69.98.

We also bought “The Automatic Replenish Pet Waterer” to take care of her drinking water. This cost $32.90.

Self-cleaning cat litter box.

All you pet owners know though, that feeding your pet is the easy part. It’s the other end where things aren’t so much fun. So, for this, we bought “The PetSafe ScoopFree Smart Self Cleaning Litter Box – Smart Phone App Connected Automatic System.” A smart litter box? Yep! This smart litter box costs $199.95.

We’re so smart we bought the value pack of “PetSafe ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box Tray Refills – Non-Clumping Crystal Cat Litter – 3-Pack.” This cost $48.95. A tray is supposed to last 25 days.

So, in case you haven’t been adding up these purchases (69.98+32.90+199.95) adds up to $302.83, not including the cost of the tray refills.

While having these systems just about eliminates the daily chores of cat care, the real reason we purchased all this is because these systems allow us to leave our cat alone at home while we are on some of our travel trips. Boarding our cat costs $28 a day. We could spend less if we want to take a chance and give someone our house key.

We used these systems while we were gone on our last trip to Rend Lake for five days. Everything worked great. So, with just that one trip, we’ve covered almost half the cost of our initial investment.

Once we decide these systems work well enough to keep long term, we will likely move the litter box to a less conspicuous location. However, we will need to have an additional outlet installed. Another cost. I do have to say, though, since we started using all this, everything has worked beautifully.

We also purchased a “Wyze Cam” with “WiFi Smart Home Camera With Night Vision, 2-Way Audio…” which we used to check on Sammy while we were gone. Even though the camera has night vision, we purchased a night light with auto on/off, so we could check on Sammy after dark. This night light cost about $11. She could hear us when we talked to her over the camera, and we heard her meow back. She asked when we were coming back home. At least, that’s what I think she said.

Lastly, our neighbors kindly agreed to take our house key in case Sammy needed anything. Even with all these “systems” for Sammy, we were happy to have a human back up, if needed. That didn’t cost anything because you just can’t buy good neighbors. You just have to be lucky, and that’s what I’d call the cat’s meow!

Close up of Sammy.
Because I’m Worth It!

17 comments

  1. I was shocked, at first, at the $200 litter box. “This does not sound frugal, Betty,” I said to no one in particular. But then you explained the long term savings of your automatic cat sanctuary. You are such a planner!

    Let’s just hope Sammy doesn’t throw any wild parties while your gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. I almost put in a sentence about the frugality aspect. You’ll notice I referred to all these purchases as an “investment” later in the post. Now regarding the wild parties – that’s why we have the camera! Thanks for reading, David, and enjoy your Saturday!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds expense. My husband made wooden automatic dog and cat feeders years ago for very little cost and they worked perfectly. Anyway – guess peace of mind when you are away from your pets is important.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That sounds like a great system, and worth it in the long run (assuming it does not malfunction). We don’t have any cats now, but in the past we had 2. One was wonderful, the other one was….well….more challenging. She made such a mess of her litter box. We had a huge litter box, but she still missed the side when she peed, got litter scattered all over, and pooped elsewhere in the house. We think she had some health problems. I did care and felt bad for her, but it was a relief when she finally passed on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would be hard to deal with! I would bet that cat did have health issues. At least, you gave her a good home. I adopted Sammy from the community college where I worked. They had a Vet Tech program. They took rescued strays and performed all the procedures on them. She has been a good cat – very affectionate. So, we’ve been lucky with her, and she has blessed us; although, that might get an eye roll from Dan! Enjoy your Saturday!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We never had cats as pets but always had poodle cross dogs, which seem to be less independent and more needy. Traveling was a challenge. We were eventually fortunate to find an excellent kennel that spoiled our little fur babies by taking them into their home instead of leaving them in the kennels. It was a great relief to go away and know they were cared for. Your cat care system sounds well thought out, right down to your voice recording!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks like you have it all figured out. Ever thought of just bringing Sammy with you? I see cats on a leash in almost every park we go to. We had friends who always traveled with both of their cats. Have a great week coming up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have thought about it. Ours is a “couples” trailer, and there is no good place for her litter box, except the shower. I have read warnings against doing that. At home, we sleep with our bedroom door closed; otherwise, she tries to sleep with us – on my head. If we put her in the trailer’s bathroom (the only other “room”), she would meow all night. She is happier at home, and we are, too. Enjoy the coming week!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the great product info! We recently adopted 2 kittens (6 months old) from the local shelter and we weren’t quite sure what to do with them when we travel… We have wonderful neighbors who looked after them once but it seems a burden to ask them too frequently. I may consider these high tech investment pieces!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We have a pet sitter come in and care for our cats when we’re gone. She does a great job but it gets expensive for longer trips. I’ll have to check out the automated feeder you mentioned; something like this would be nice for our outdoor kitties. Thanks for the info!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve had pet sitters come, too. We’ve had two different ones, and they were both great. One even sent a couple pictures of our cat each morning. The pictures looked like glamour picture. 🙂 But each moved away. So far, so good with this system, but time will tell. Safe travels!

      Like

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