Flashback: VCR Cat Feeder from MAKE Volume 03

Flashback: VCR Cat Feeder from MAKE Volume 03

VCR Cat Feeder

One of the most iconic projects from the pages of MAKE is the VCR Cat Feeder from MAKE Volume 03 (2005). It’s depressing to think of all the discarded VCRs in the world, but author James Larsson gave us a creative and useful way to repurpose this hunk of outdated machinery. Cats are wonderfully independent creatures for the most part, so when you’re leaving on a weekend trip, this programmable cat feeder is the ticket for keeping your feline companion well fed. Basically, you hijack a motor from inside the VCR, slow down its rotation with a gearbox, add an auger system with attached food container, and use the VCR’s timer-recording system to dispense scheduled meals. Some things never get old, like watching people’s facial expressions when you say “VCR Cat Feeder.”

Check out the full project on Make: Projects, and also watch this clip of John Park demoing the feeder on Make: television:
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/2615624 w=600&h=400]

18 thoughts on “Flashback: VCR Cat Feeder from MAKE Volume 03

  1. Mister Biggs says:


    I see what you did there.


  2. Tyler Malloy says:

    lawl 420

  3. Leszek Cyfer says:

     Of course this wheels and ribbons need get covered otherwise you’ll find cat strangled on your arrival

    1. Anonymous says:

       Or a chard blob of burnt hair after chewing on the exposed wires.

  4. Hunter Janssen says:

    you got too much time on your hands 

  5. Robert Curry says:

    This dude is in dire need of a life!!!

    1. tim says:

      he makes money off of our watches and he gets to tinker around wit sh#t would you rather his job or your shitty old job and you have a shitty don’t reply saying your a boob inspector

  6. Reid Kersey says:

    get a dog…

  7. tim says:

    So have a huge gear box plus vcr on my floor that my cat will either destroy or get strangled in or buy a cat feeder online for $20 bucks mmmmmm. cat strangler plz

  8. Deze is van mij says:

    in the whole long history of bad ideas this is the worst i’ve seen.

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at snowgoli@gmail.com or via @snowgoli.

View more articles by Goli Mohammadi


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).