first off, I don't make it a regular practice to leave my cat(s) unattended if I am gone for a weekend. Normally I have my neighbor check on them or my parents come by. Buuuuut, the neighbor moved to another state and it just so happens that my parents will also be gone part of the weekend I will be out of town. They have Havoc now and will have their neighbor come tend to him, even though they'll only be gone less than 2 days. I will be leaving on a Thursday morning and not returning until Sunday afternoon/evening. My parents will tend to Toby Thursday and Friday, plus Saturday morning (probaby). I can NOT just leave a bowl of food out- I tried that the last time I was gone and he ate the whole bowl in 2 days- it was a BIG bowl and I swear he looked like a fuzzy little football when I got back!

Toby turns into a major thug when he's around other cats so I don't think he would do well if I tried to board him at the local vets. Plus they are closed on Sunday so I wouldn't get to take him home until Monday afternoon

I am looking into the programmable "portion control" feeders that release a measured amount of food at pre-set times. I have seen THIS ONE in stores but one of the reviews said that their cat learned to reach into the machine and pull the trap door open so many times that it wore out and just dumped the food out like a gravity feeder. Plus it looks a little top-heavy and I am concerned that my piggy-boy would just try to knock it over and break the food out, since he can see it's in there. Granted, I could cover the hopper portion if needed.

But then I found THIS ONE which seems a bit sturdier and holds more food.

Does anyone have any experience with these types of feeders? I would start using them a week or so ahead of time, just to make sure they fed at proper times and that Toby wouldn't try to break them open to get the food out. He's a very smart boy. Too smart for his own good, but I think I could come up with some sort of box to cover the hopper portion so he couldn't see the food.