I'll be going on vacation for 4 days so I'm looking for a way to feed my cats during this time.

I was considering something like this automatic dry cat feeder, but I'm not going to spend $60+ for just a few days.

Are there ant DIY or cheap alternatives?

Even if there isn't an alternative, anything I order would arrive too late. Finding a cheap alternative qould be great.

  • 1
    it's probably not gonna be the last time you need to leave your cat alone for 4 days, so next time you wont have to buy it again. Dec 27, 2018 at 14:32
  • 2
    Get your neighbor something nice?
    – Berend
    Dec 27, 2018 at 17:21
  • 1
    Depending on behavioural patterns of your cat, getting a new feeder may have detrimental effects. Will your cat like/hate/fear/break it? You have to keep a close eye on your cat in this onboarding process (for like a week or two). So it might not be the best choice in such short notice. Also as a funny as hell anecdote on cats vs feeders: quinndunki.com/blondihacks/?p=3023
    – JuniorDev
    Dec 28, 2018 at 9:20

1 Answer 1


$60 would seem steep to me as well, but it beats the heck out of the comparable cost of boarding your cat. And yes, you would spend about the same for the automatic feeder as you would for a kid to help out... but

If you get the feeder, is your cat going to be freaked out by it? Does it make noise(s)? Is it going to fit in the same spot as her bowl? What about water? Can you be sure she'll have enough water while you are gone?

If you have a friend (and their kid) help you out, they can make sure the litter is freshened up, the water bowl is full, that your cat is eating, and maybe even visit long enough for scritches behind her ears. If this is an adult friend, then there's a good chance that they would do it out of freindship. If so, @Berend's idea of a small thank you gift would be appropriate. If your friend's kid does it, then pay them based on their age. $5/day for a grade schooler, $15/day for a high schooler.

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