Help needed - birds eating all the cat food
I have a small cat who is very much outdoors type of cat. Recently, I bought an automatic feeder so that I can leave food for her when I go away. The feeder is gravity operated so it dispenses food constantly which is not a problem for her because she only eats a little bit at a time. The problem is that no matter where I try to hide the feeder, the magpies that live around always find it, and can finish off half a box of cat food in a day! Which means, the kitty gets left without food, which is bad.
I've been trying to find a cat feeder that can be operated by the cat - for example, something that has lid, and the cat has to pull on something, or press something so the lid will open and she can get at the food. I have found a few that people have made, but they only seem to dispense a few biscuits at a time, which isn't suitable if she's to use it for getting dinner.
I know you can also get automatic feeders that open at certain times of the day. The problem is that because she's outdoorsy, she doesnt always come to eat at the same time. I've never used one before...once they open, how long do they stay open for? Because if she doesn't come when it opens, again,she'll have no food.
I'm at a bit of a loss on what to do...if anyone has any idea/suggestions, please let me know.