I wanted to be able to see how much food is left in the feral cats’ dish overnight, to help prevent attracting raccoons and such. Ideally, there would be just enough food for all of the cats to eat in the evening, and no leftovers to attract unwelcome visitors.
So, naturally I decided to add a cheap camera in the feeding area, so I could monitor that. Plus, it’s fun to watch the cats coming in to eat. I do love my cams; I now have 13 of them around the property, watching the driveway, dog, chickens, and cats.
Here I’m testing the positioning, looking at the view on my iPhone:
Before I mounted it, I put it in the storage area above the feeder, and captured this view of a cat outside, lazing below the outdoor camera:
Below is the new camera installed. I considered building an enclosure to protect it, but decided not to bother. The cats haven’t shown any interest in messing with it (and raccoons haven’t visited in a while; I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t so considerate). You can also see the feeder tube, that carries the food from the automatic dispenser above, along with the metal food dish, and the water dispenser:
The first cat that evening did briefly glance at the camera, but most totally ignore it:
One cat eating, two queued (a more clear picture in infrared night mode):
One of the queued ones pushed their way in:
The next evening, one cat waiting outside:
While another eats; they’re so polite how they usually take turns:
Seeing two crowded together, I decided to remove the curved end of the pipe, to give them a bit more room:
This morning, two rushed up when they heard the food dispensing:
It’s not ideal that the tube deposits the food at the back of the dish; they don’t mind stepping into it to eat, but a smaller dish would be better. Perhaps 10×5 inches. I haven’t found one yet, but haven’t looked very hard.
Or I could build a divider to reduce the size of the dish. Something to consider.