Having multiple cats, I am always looking for ways to make my daily caretaking habits a little easier on myself. One of the necessary daily chores of having pets is making sure there is available food and water – how could I make that easier?

I found the Petmate Le Bistro feeding system which comes with 2 containers; one for food and one for water. Both containers have Microban, a chemical treatment that prevents the growth of bacteria.

Food System

The food container claims to hold 5 pounds worth of food at a time. I feed my cats Iams Complete Cat food and get maybe 4 pounds in the container so it really just depends on the size of the food. To fill it you first load the feeding dish where they eat. Then, you take the top off the holding container and pack more food in to fill it. The feeding system is based on gravity pulling the food towards the dish when emptied.

If you pack the food in the holding container too tightly, the food will not fall when it should, deleting the whole purpose of the system. You have to fill it completely, but not necessarily pack it in tightly.

However, even when loosely filled, some food still occasionally gets stuck in the holding area and doesn’t fall to the feeding dish. My cats quickly learned if they paw at the opening then they can get some food to fall through. I usually have to fill the holding container once a week for my six cats.

Cleaning

Cleaning the container is really easy. The holding container separates from the feeding dish and the whole thing is dishwasher safe. I usually clean it out once every other month since it never gets wet and the only danger is dust.

I would highly recommend this feeding dish and storage system for any cat owner. It is easy, sturdy and safe for any dry food. My cats love it and I appreciate the fact that I only have to fill it once a week.

Water System

The water system is similar to the feeder in that there is a drinking dish and a holding container. The holding container comes out of the water dish to be filled, then replaced by turning it upside down into the holder. Any air moves to the top of the holding container and the water comes out a small hole in the dish, filling it. When the water level in the dish reaches the hole, the water stops filling and stays at the designated level until it needs to be refilled.

The storage container holds a gallon of water but I found this to be too much for my cats compared to the time it takes to dirty the water. I found myself having to empty and replace the water every day from fur, dirt and other things that found their way into the drinking dish.

The water in the drinking dish was not moving, and after time, started to look stale and collected random dirt particles leading the cats to not want to drink from it. It was a great place to play and drop off toys for a bath but not to drink. Even on the hottest summer day, they did not come close to finishing the gallon of water in a day.

Cleaning

To clean the water container, it also came apart and was dishwasher safe, but it developed a film on the drinking dish within the first few weeks that had to be hand cleaned. After a month of changing the water every day, a type of mold started to grow in the hole where water traveled – even though I was diligent about cleaning it.

My cats just did not need such a large drinking reservoir per day. I would not recommend this water system to cat owners. Cats seem to prefer moving water such as a water fountain to the standing water in this system.

You can get the Petmate Le Bistro system for the best price here: http://amzn.to/9s14S4

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