Rating: Strong Recommend*
Our friend and Unplggd contributor Sonia and her good humored husband are planning to come down to our neck of the woods to visit and also attend a wedding in the coming weeks. Sonia is one of the most animal-loving people we know, rescuing animals and writing about pet-related topics over at Pawesome. She just inquired about recommendations about an automatic pet feeder and we had only one we felt fully confident to endorse (with a caveat)... We've had the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe for awhile now and can say it has changed our lives as the owner of two felines. As the name implies, the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe is the Bentley of pet feeders and has proven to be an extremely reliable feeder in a league of its own, when compared to the numerous other feeders we've purchased and had to discard for various reasons (usually build-quality). The review unit we received immediately impressed us upon unpacking with its size and weight; the unit weighs 19 lbs empty with a 10 lbs of food capacity (22h x 12w x 12d). Stainless steel parts with an ABS base makes for a feeder that can withstand the battering ram technique of our hungry felines. There's no mistaking the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe was built with serious consideration of long term durability, but we were still suspicious of it's ability to withstand the kibble criminal of our cat, Eero, whom we often call the "Grey Bandito".
Putting the unit together takes no more than 10 minutes from unpacking to setting the automatic feeding program at the top of the unit. The Perfect Petfeeder Luxe includes three bowls, one large 7" stainless steel bowl for a single larger pet like a dog (or for the porcine appetite of Eero) or two smaller bowl attachments for a two cat/dog household. The automatic feeding schedule is input via a three button LCD display, using "yes" and "no" questions, allowing customization of how many pets are fed, how often throughout the day, at which time and specifically how much is dispensed with each feeding. We set our unit for 2 feedings, one in the early morning at 5:15am, about the hour our cats begin their chorus of "oh-so-hungry" pleas, and at 5:15pm when the same chorus is repeated for an encore presentation.
An optional bell ringer can be set to notify your pets that their meal is about to be dispensed, a sound we've already accustomed ourselves to loving, because it means we can sleep an extra hour without having to get up ourselves. The bell also helps acclimate pets with being fed by their new best friend, as our normally more shy cat, Eames, took a quick liking to the "come and get it" bell ring. And unlike other pet feeders, the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe has proven to be Fort Knox tough; our resident food robber initially tried to open the lid and also reach under where the food is dispensed to no avail. The unit is too large to be tipped over and the parts attached with sturdy assurance that food is dispensed only at allotted times and not when Fido or Trixie has a craving (though our cat Eero tried often and hard to reach into the feeder tube in hopes of manipulating an early feeding to no avail). For this reason alone, we're very pleased with the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe.
The Perfect Petfeeder Luxe operates plugged in or using a battery for cordless operation; the battery will operate for 5-7 days with 5-6 daily meals. The battery pack and how it fits into the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe is one noticeable deficiency, as the pack doesn't always lock into place, thus we kept the unit plugged in. The unit also automatically notifies you when you need to refill the feeder with additional kibble. An impressive three year replacement warranty covers the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe from mechanical failure and is constructed in the USA.
So what's not to love? The Perfect Petfeeder Luxe deservedly has earned the title of the best automatic pet feeder we've ever used. It's a product that rewards owners with the luxury of sleep, a system which accurately doles out controlled portions for your pets (since pet obesity is now as much an issue as a human one) and one constructed with an obvious eye for quality. We can't recommend it enough, as it is a product we recognize benefits owner and pet alike. Well, except for the notable and important issue of price, which cannot be described by anything but "luxe". The $499 price tag is well outside our own budget, but we were able to get a good deal from the manufacturer on a used demo unit ( it still stung our wallet). But for anyone who travels regularly, even for weekends, will quickly realize the initial investment pays back itself very quickly even in everyday use with the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe with the freedom in schedule it provides. Also, we've noted both our cats have lost weight and are both very, very healthy due to the controlled portions of the automatic and spaced out feeding schedule (we've set it to 5 times per day at very small portions, just like recommended for humans looking to stay active but slim). Perhaps we should be on a similar system ourselves!
Pros: Excellent construction, multiple feed time and portion settings, dual bowl option for two pets, amusing and useful chime feature trains pets to make mad dash to bowl, still operating well after year of use
Cons: Prohibitively expensive, battery pack on back could have tighter fit
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.