I love snooping on my cat with Petkit’s camera-enabled automatic feeder


YumShare Dual-hopper with Camera

I was blessed in this life with a cat that is perfect. Colby Jack free feeds dry food (don’t worry, I give him wet food periodically for that good good gut health). He is chatty, he has personality, he loves to play, he likes to cuddle, and, perhaps most importantly, he is one of the least demanding animals of all time. He just wants to hang out, and he doesn’t eat on a schedule.

But just because he doesn’t eat on a strict schedule doesn’t mean I don’t want to see him all the time and keep him well fed — even when I’m not at home. Enter the Petkit YumShare Dual-hopper with Camera feeder.

It’s more than an automatic pet feeder. It comes equipped with a HD camera and powered by AI algorithms and it’s pretty easy to use. You can put treats in one side and food in the other, set up automatic feeding times, feed remotely, and watch your cat each time they take a bite. It is very cute and useful, but comes in at $159. Is it worth more than the extra bowl you have in your cupboard?

Setup and initial thoughts

Setting it up was incredibly simple. You take it out of the box, clean the bowl (which comes right out and is pretty easy to clean), and start pouring food. My cat is usually suspicious and cautiously curious of anything that changes his regular routine, but didn’t have a very difficult time getting used to this feeder. It’s not as large and encumbering as many of the other automatic feeders on the market, and it looks pretty sleek — all the while, it’s big enough to get the job done. Dare I say the size is perfect?

Day-to-day use

After you’re set up, you can download the app and connect the feeder to WiFi and to your app by following the instructions on your phone. Then, you can choose to schedule a feeding (mine feeds Colby Jack at 3 p.m. every day) or to feed by demand. Setting up a schedule was incredibly easy, and you can schedule multiple feedings in a day. The feeder announces when food is released from the schedule. If you’re not feeling the app anymore, you can also push a button on the side of the machine to release some chow.

You can put different foods in the two different compartments for feeding, but keep in mind that they’ll all end up mixing together in the bowl. I like to have some treats on one side and some regular food on the other — that way, when I’m feeling particularly gratuitous (read: guilty) I’ll feed him some treats. I don’t schedule the treat feeding, though. The feeder holds a significant amount of food, and I only had to refill mine about once a month.

This really isn’t the automatic feeder for you if your cat needs to eat wet food or if you have two cats with specific dietary restrictions. I do not have either of those issues, though, so feeding worked great for me.

Eye spy…

Now for the fun part: The camera. 

YumShare Dual-hopper with Camera

It’s Colby Jack, everyone say hello!
Credit: YumShare Dual-hopper with Camera / Mashable

The Petkit YumShare Dual-hopper with Camera uses AI to recognize when your cat is in front of the camera, and sends you a notification on your phone. Sometimes it thought my feet was a cat but, usually, it ignores me and only notifies me if it’s actually my cat eating from the feeder.

When you get the alert, you can watch your cat eat in real time. The camera is a bit of a fish lens, which makes the entire experience funny and very cute. It also has infrared night vision so you can see your cat eating even when the house is dark. 

You can also speak to your cat through it when you’re away. This had literally no impact on my cat, but the tech worked.

The paid features

There are, of course, paid versions of the app that offer more video storage. If you pay for Pet Care + through the app, which starts at $1.99 per month, you can playback the video later, watch a highlight video of your cat eating, and enjoy HD vlogs put together by the app.

The unpaid version offers real-time viewing and highlight images, but if you don’t catch your cat when they’re active, you can’t watch them eat after the fact. That kind of stinks, and it makes the paid option much more attractive than the unpaid version—and the pricing is pretty reasonable.

Is the Petkit YumShare Dual-hopper with Camera worth it?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re like me and you have a pretty chill cat but you like to be able to check in on him during feed time, this is the perfect automatic feeder for you. The price range is reasonable, the specs are great, and overall it’s a reliable machine.

Petkit YumShare Dual-hopper with Camera

at Amazon

Save $80.00

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