The Perfect Petfeeder Luxe in the Test Lab

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One of the dilemmas for pet owners while vacationing or traveling is arranging for your cats, dogs, chinchillas or whatever pet friend you may have, to be fed regularly while you're away. We're fortunate to have some good friends who live in close proximity to care for our animals while we're away, but we've also invested in automatic pet feeders in the past for short weekend jaunts. The problem is many of these feeders are constructed so poorly, our ever hungry feline Eero has proven herself adept at breaking open any feeder and gorging herself into a tub of lard while we're away. Recently we were fortunate to have Eero meet her match: the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe...

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As the name implies, the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe is the Bentley of pet feeders. 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. For this reason alone, we're very pleased with the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe.

During our recent trip to visit family in Texas, the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe worked flawlessly, keeping both cats happily fed (perhaps too happily, as we set one of the feeding amounts a bit too high). Our friends just made sure the unit was dispensing correctly every other day, while checking/replacing water and cleaning out the litterbox, but otherwise making our absence a lot less worrisome.

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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, which makes us a bit sad because we'll have to soon return our new best friend after the review period to return to doling out kibbles the old fashioned way, with sticky eyes and groggy heads. This is one of those cases where the price may be justified in construction and features, and we're convinced with the product itself, but our own wallets cannot comply. We hope to see a smaller feline unit at a more modest price be released by Perfect Petfeeder in the future, as believe we'd undoubtedly be customers ourselves, but also hope some of our more affluent pet owning readers find themselves enjoying the Perfect Petfeeder Luxe in their homes. You'll love that bell.

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