Pi-powered cat feeder

Mooncake, the Official Raspberry Pi Cat, is fed biscuits twice a day by an off-the-shelf cat-feeding robo-hopper that we bought before Raspberry Pi was a reality. (She also gets that horrible-smelling cat food in gravy from a packet, served up by real live humans.) I’ve just found out what to replace the robot with when it breaks.

Mooncake, well-nourished, “helping” us to dispatch fund-raising stickers

Dave at Twin Cities Maker has made a Pi-powered cat-feeding robot which dispenses two sorts of biscuits, so your fickle pet has a choice of different liver-flavoured kibbles throughout the day.

Dave’s cat feeder, with toaster for scale

It’s much more functional than the one I bought from the pet shop years ago; for a start, it’s wi-fi enabled, so it can be sent instructions remotely. And Dave has plans for making it even whizzier, with sound clips (Cat from Red Dwarf), a camera and a mobile webUI.

Work in progress: this is an Adafruit PermaProto with a couple of solder bridges at the top left. Instructions are on Dave’s blog.

There are full build details, code and a parts list over at Twin Cities Maker. Here’s the feeder in action:

We’re looking forward to see what additions Dave develops for the feeder. Seriously; if you can make this thing self-cleaning, Dave, you can sit back and never have to work again. Cat owners the world over will be banging your door down.


davef21370 avatar

That cat’s eyes are way too big, don’t trust it, have you never watched Shrek ??

George Witherspoon avatar

Cats are obligate carnivores. Feeding them grain products is very unhealthy for them, and inevitably leads to degenerative diseases. Nothing but meat for my two furry monsters !

jesse avatar

that cat looks very angry

liz avatar

Good spot.

RMW5 avatar

No sloppy meat in jelly from sachets? Our cats wouldn’t stand for this.

Sparky (aka Sparks) avatar

I only could wish to post a jpg that of a floor mat at the door (escape hatch)

“The Cat, Day 751: My captors contine to torment me with bizarre dangling objects. They eat lavish meals in my presence while I am forced to subsist on dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of evetual escape…. that,and the satisfaction I get from occasionally ruining some piece of furniture. I fear I mae be going insane……..” but wait, now there is a COMPUTER that is going to dispense my dinner .. where or where……

.p.s. I forgive the spelling.. I used “google translate” and thay don’t do that good.

yakko TDI avatar

Mooncake is such a great looking cat. As for the look on her face I am thinking someone is going to lose a hand for daring to put a sticker on her head.

Jim Manley avatar

I always wondered about how cats could lick their fur so much as to generate hairballs, and then I realized what rodents are covered with, that the Tom and Jerry cartoons may have not been based on a true story, and that hairballs may actually contain … EWWWWW!!!

Perhaps the upgraded dispenser could incorporate a HabiTrail rodent exercise enclosure … hey, don’t blame me, I didn’t give felines canine teeth!  Wait, does anyone else think it’s weird that felines have canine teeth?  If carnivores are supposed to really be vegetarians, then why does BBQ meat taste so good?  So many imponderables, so little time … :D

Kyle Gordon avatar

Because cat food manufacturers never thought about that, and fail to include all the necessary nutrients in cat kibble… Sure.

Peter Green avatar


If cats really dislike being with humans so much then why would they keep coming back? When our cat was young we would usually leave the catflap on “out only” at night and every morning you could practically gaurantee he’d be at the door after his breakfast. He also never showed much interest in our food.

AndyT avatar

You can get grain free cat food these days, so just ‘cos they are “biscuits” doesn’t necessarily mean they contain wheat, corn, soy etc. Some are just meat/veg 80/20.

George Witherspoon avatar

Last time I checked, veg wasn’t meat…..

Max avatar

Mooncake is so darn beautiful! What classification of feline is she?

liz avatar

She’s a Singapura.

Andrew Scheller avatar
Dave Akerman avatar

Just need one with 5 outlets :)

Curtis Parfitt-Ford avatar

If cats could speak that cat would say “Honestly, update your Python!”.

tzj avatar

How can a kitty be soooooo cute!?

Tom avatar

Our cat seems to be satisfied with a simple gravity-driven feeder and a similar water supply. But then she wears a tuxedo to every meal. This is a nice project to give a cat more food choices.

David Bryan avatar

Yep, that’s why it’s 100% grain free food that goes in the food hopper.

Peter Felgate avatar

Not such a stupid request. We have two cats, one of which is greedy. If we had two dispensers, one would eat the other cat’s share before the second cat got there. What we need is a raspberry pi dispenser that triggered only with the presence of a particular cat……Perhaps an RFID collar……

Kari avatar

Pleas make that cat feeder hose longer so that cats paw wouldn’t stuck to mechanism when it starts spinning. I know that those little furballs will try to break in to get some advance.

Per avatar

The clip is now “private” and not viewable?!?

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