Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Troughed Pet Feeder

Eat the food, or leave it in the bowl!
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My two fat kitties have to eat dry food to help them keep from getting fatter and to clean their teeth. However dainty cats may pretend to be, though, mine are PIGS! After one of them visits the food bowl, there are tiny little chunks of cat food on the floor all around. Stepping on the chunks barefoot is mildly painful. In shoes, you just crunch them into a messy powder. I propose a pet food bowl which has two rims with about 2 inches of space between. As the cat sticks it's face in to the food bowl and pushes food over the edge, the food simply falls into the trough between the inner and outer rims. There should be an inlet in the inner rim so that food rolls back into the bowl.
dana_renay, Dec 14 2001

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       A cattle prod would teach them faster.
phoenix, Dec 14 2001
  

       I think you should make this - two nesting bowls, and a cookie cutter or something for the inside one to rest on. (You'll need to shake the food out of the outside bowl, with so simple a prototype, but hey - Science and Housekeeping Need Your Help.)   

       It's a great idea. Tell us if it works.
hello_c, Dec 14 2001
  

       I think maybe the outer rim should be far enough away that the cat's two front feet are well inside the perimeter.  Maybe more like 5 inches, or even more (you could have the entire cat inside the perimeter).  Alternatively, maybe a food dispenser which metes out only 1 piece of food at a time.  As each is picked up by kitty, another is dispensed.
bristolz, Dec 14 2001
  

       Maybe <bristolz's> cat food dispenser would sense when to drop another piece of cat food when the weight of the first is picked up -- but when the food is again dropped on the outside of the cat food bowl (there would be a rectangular censor attached to the bowl that could tell) the dispenser would no longer dispense food.   

       Of course if the food is dropped further away that what lies within the rectangle, this is purposeless. But it would also stop my dog from eating the cat's food?
jimithing, Dec 15 2001
  

       Oh PeterSealy, what's the fun in that simple, practical solution?
bristolz, Dec 15 2001
  

       nose bags for cats, do they still make nose bags?
po, Dec 15 2001
  

       pheonix: Either you don't have any pets, or you have no idea how incredibly daft they are capable of being.
po: while the visual image of a cat wearing a nose-bag is hilarious,for me this would mean being whined at for food four or five times a day, instead of the usual one or two. Plus I would not want to be the one who has to attach it during the first few weeks.
nick_n_uit, Dec 16 2001
  

       why does the image of a nosebag make you laugh pray? I think that as well as keeping the floor clean, it will stop them pinching one another's food. One of my cats eats ten times as fast as the others.
po, Dec 16 2001
  

       Yes one of my cats likes fishing around in the bowl for that special piece of food, spilling the rest of the food out of the bowl in the process. This trough would be a great idea but I'm sure he would still pick those certain pieces out and manage to make a mess.
bluerowan, Dec 17 2001
  

       One of my cats does that too...if they get a type of food they're not used to, one of them will scoop one piece out and eat it from the floor, then do it again. <At least until she gets caught; a loud 'PSST!' will make her jump at least two feet straight up and haul ass...>
StarChaser, Dec 17 2001
  

       Or you could simply put the food bowl inside a large-ish box that requires the cats to enter in order to feed. Any mess they make will be fully contained. Pour the food through the top into the bowl, and dump out the messy bits every now and then.
snarfyguy, Dec 18 2001
  

       I use my dog to clean up after my cat. He'll just sit patiently drooling until the cat has finished then look at me and wait for the word.
Helium, Dec 18 2001
  

       Dogs love to clean up after cats. "Mmmm - tootsie roll with crunchy candy coating!"

I'm currently living in a house with 3 dogs and 5 cats. We're probably violating some municipal ordinance.

One of the dogs has figured out that one of the cats has a tender tummy. Properly scared shortly after eating, the cat will upchuck a warm, wet mass that this particular dog finds quite tasty.
quarterbaker, Dec 18 2001
  

       blissmiss - I am grateful for your generosity. Trichobezoar it is. Well, purinabezoar, actually.

Rods - you can also use a miniature poodle to buff a car, but it's damned difficult to keep their paws strapped to the drill chuck.
quarterbaker, Dec 18 2001
  

       trichobezoar...I always wondered what to call that chunky stuff that wasn't a hairball, but wasn't really vomit, either. I like the one piece at a time dispenser. It would piss the cats off, but maybe they'd lose some weight from having their portions rationed. Then again, maybe they'd sit in fron of the bowl all day eating one piece at a time as it was dispensed. BTW, this was my first half-bakery idea. I'm so proud of my crossaint! Thank you!
dana_renay, Dec 18 2001
  

       1/4b you make me laugh!!!! were you talking upchuck or downchuck or both?
po, Dec 18 2001
  

       Both.

(i think)
quarterbaker, Dec 18 2001
  

       [blissmiss] Still working on that. I'd be happy just to teach them to cover the tootsie rolls when they're done.
dana_renay, Dec 18 2001
  

       a troughed litter tray - yes please
po, Dec 19 2001
  
      
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