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Smartest feeder tracks appetite change with cat facial recognition! Now Pre-Order at www.42ark.com
Identity Verified
Email Verified
San Mateo, California
United States
8 Team Members

Bistro is named “CatFi” now! 

Our Indiegogo campaign is successfully ended, but you can still get your own CatFi or find more info at www.42ARK.com



Everyone is excited about Bistro...

For too long, humans have been reaping all the rewards of facial recognition software. But no longerThere’s now facial recognition for cats — TIME

There's no need to be a tiger mother to check your feline friend is feeding properly -- all you need is a Bistro smart cat feeder — WIRED

High-tech cat feeder uses facial recognition to save all nine livesEngadget

The Bistro lets cats dine in high-tech style — CNET

The Bistro cat feeder uses 'feline facial recognition' to micro-manage your pet's dietIndependent

Media Inquiries: press@42ark.com

Why not make it even more fun?

Hey cat lovers! Thanks for helping us beating 100% of our goal at $100,000! We've set some stretch goals to make our Indiegogo campaign even more fun! To thank you all for backing Bistro, everyone who pledges will receive the benefits of a better Bistro when certain funding thresholds are reached, so stay tuned!

Top 3 reasons why you should own a Bistro!

The guardian for your cats

As cat parents, we all try our best to keep our little pals happy and healthy. Even we all know that cat's eating and drinking behavior is highly associated with their health, there seems no convenient and reliable way to keep track of it all the time.

That's where the Bistro smart cat feeder comes in. Inspired by Momo, a lovely and brave kitten's true story, Bistro is innovatively designed to monitor the appetite of your furry friend whenever you can’t. Have more than one cat? No problem! Bistro can tell exactly which of your darling little ones is feeding thanks to its advanced cat-facial recognition technology

With Bistro App, you can easily check your cat’s diet history (both food and water intake) or health report and even watch her live while she's having lunch – all from the palm of your hand! Bistro will also notify you immediately if there is any change to any of your pets’ health status that you need to know about.

With Bistro, we’re building a closer relationship between you and your cats, one that not only provides you with a more intelligent, complete and quantified view of their health, but also keeps them happier and healthier than you’ve ever been able to before.

The feeder beyond imagining

Bistro is the world's first smart feeder that implements the "quantified cat" concept – just as Quantified Self products do for humans. Designed for any cat at least six months old, Bistro is both an automatic feeder and a health manager for the four-legged members of your family. With weight sensors (load sensors) beneath feeding tray and waterer, Bistro can track all the food and water your cat takes to further understand your kitty's daily dietary status, which is critical to their health. The convenient weighing scale also allows you to easily keep consistent track of your cat’s weight, and the built-in camera with cat-facial recognition function can always distinguish which cat is eating, making Bistro ideal for cat parents who care for multiple little ones.

Besides, when serving your cat at night or when the room is dark, the built-in LED lighting system will automatically turn on in a gradual and gentle way so that the cat-facial recognition can work perfectly without scaring your cat.

Simply plug-in, power up, and connect Bistro to your home WiFi network to enjoy the many awesome benefits it can bring to both you and your cats. It really is that easy to start caring for your little sweetheart in a smarter way.

How it works

1. When your cat comes and steps on Bistro, the built-in camera will be activated and stream the video to our backend server, which will run the cat-facial recognition algorithm to distinguish which cat it is. If the system has never seen this cat before, it will notify the owner to either create a new cat profile or link with existing one. The algorithm is based on years of research and development of deep learning technology. 

2. When your kitty is having a meal, the weight sensors (load sensors) beneath the feeding tray, waterer, and the weighing scale will measure the weights continuously. After the cat leaves, the system will automatically calculate the amount of food and water your cat took as well as their weight.

3. The measured data is then immediately sent through our cloud service to your smartphone, where you can easily review your cat's diet history and health analysis report with the Bistro App. You can easily check out individual data or the weekly or monthly trend chart. When visiting a vet and being asked about how well they eat and drink, you can show them the app with the most detailed diet and weight history. 

Smart portion control

Obesity is a serious threat to your beloved pets’ lives as over 57% of the one hundred million cats in US are currently overweight. Bistro comes with a complete cat food database and uses a precise weighing scale to determine the exact amount of food your little guys should have based on nutrition facts. If you have one cat, for example, you can simply configure how many meals you want your cat eat per day and Bistro will automatically calculate and dispense the correct amount of food for each meal. You can also set a daily allotment with unlimited times and Bistro will simply replenish the feeding tray as long as your cat hasn't eaten his daily allotment yet.

However, the portion control setup with multiple cats can be a little trickier because every now and then, one cat might occasionally steal kibbles another cat left on the feeding tray. While this can make the portion control function less accurate, Bistro can help you try to outsmart the cat by letting you adjust the maximum amount of food to be left on the feeding tray to ensure as little as possible is available to be stolen by another cat. Even these precautions won’t always be able to stop a super hungry eater who tends to grab everything in sight. Therefore, to be as helpful as possible in creating solutions that work with particularly stubborn cats, we will fully open up the feeder APIs so cat-loving programmers and hackers can create new, sharable feeding strategies that the entire Bistro community can enjoy via the powerful Bistro app. 


Stay tuned to your little ones

Bistro's Story

Bistro began with a true story of Mu-Chi, the founder of Zillians, and one of his cats, Momo.

Mu-Chi is a father of 3 cats, and they're all like family to him. One day, he found his cat daughter, Momo, weirdly paralyzed on the floor and groaning with pain. He was frightened and immediately took her to the vet. Momo was found to have serious dehydration and jaundice which was later diagnosed as pancreatitis – something that had caused her to stop her normal eating habits for days without him ever noticing. Combined with her congenital heart disease, the blood clots were formed and, in the end, paralyzed her.

In the next two weeks, no matter what Mu-Chi tried to save Momo, she showed no signs of improvement. Finally, he sadly said to himself, "It's too painful, and maybe the vet is right – it's time to say goodbye."

Right before putting her to sleep, he decided to serve her last meal despite the fact she hadn't eat much during that time. He opened up a canned fish and suddenly, a miracle happened. Momo started eating like crazy as if she knew it was the last time she’d be fed – Mu-Chi realized that she didn't want to die. 

So he made up his mind to do anything possible to save her, including the surgery to amputate her hind legs. Fortunately, she finally recovered a month after and can walk by herself with two legs which is a wonder itself.

However, Mu-Chi was left wondering how much suffering he could have saved Momo from if he’d been able to notice the change in her appetite at the very first time. This inspired him to form and lead a team to build Bistro with the simple goal of preventing such sorrow from ever happening again by providing an intelligent health management tool to help cat parents monitor their sweetheart's health in a smarter and better way.

...cause LOVE is worth it

Imagine having a full-time nanny for your lovely kitties. Imagine one who could care for them and make sure they eat and drink well 24/7 and that you could do so easily, with the press of a few buttons, no matter how far from home you might be. Imagine the freedom you’d experience knowing that you didn’t need to worry or feel guilty about the four-legged members of your family when you are away for days. Now stop imagining – that’s exactly what Bistro can do for you! 

Designing and testing out Bistro prototype has been a blast, but now we need your help scaling our vision and moving forward into the manufacturing stage. Our ultimate goal is to build a community for quantified cats and happy owners around the world. As soon as the funding from Indiegogo is secured, we will use these funds to move directly into the production stage. 

With an expected retail launch price of $249, we're offering our Indiegogo supporters the one-time opportunity to own Bistro saving up to 40% off. Depending on the level of support you are able to pledge, we are happy to offer a variety of bonuses and exclusives.  Please see below for more details! 

Get Your Bistro for FREE!

Yeah, we know you're totally cat-crazy and care about cats as much as we do. To celebrate our mutual love of cats, we'd like to give you a Bistro for FREE, just for helping us spread the word! For each person you refer that pledges for a Bistro, we'll give you a $15 refund at the end of our successful campaign!

For example: If you pledge for the Early Bird Limited ($149) perk and refer 10 people who pledge for a Bistro ($149+) on our campaign, we will credit you for $15 for each of them, making your Bistro FREE.  Likewise, if you pledge for the Pet Lover Package ($219) perk and refer 15 people to pledge a Bistro, your Bistro will be FREE as well.

How it works: 

The more you share, the more you get! So be creative – use Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Stumble Upon, BuzzFeed, forums, blogs, or any other websites you regularly meet other cat parents to share your URL!

Production Timeline

Risks and Challenges

While any innovation involves risk, we’ve made every effort to minimize the risks for you, our supporters. We’ve been lucky to have experts in different fields and at different companies working with and on our team to bring these risks down. To this end, we’ve both completed a working prototype and have secured a supply chain in preparation for mass production. 

And guess what – YOU can help us! By pledging for a Bistro and sharing this amazing product with your friends, we’ll be able to quickly demonstrate the demand for Bistro, which will make working with suppliers easier and even help us better plan for future generations of amazing and innovative products for your cats. 

So please join us in making Bistro a reality! May all the lovely kitties in the world live happily and healthily ever after! Thank you so much for your time and your support! Meow!

Meet our AWESOME team

CatFi is created by Zillians, the company made up of a bunch of specialists from different fields like hardware & software engineering, product & UX/UI design, marketing that came together because of our common love for cats. This passion shapes our vision to deliver smarter pet products that improve all of our pets' lives by making them happier and healthier. We truly believe Bistro’s innovative approach can help cat parents stay more connected to and create more treasured memories with their furry little loved ones.

Our software team has spent years of research and development on GPU computing cloud as well as artificial intelligence. The cat facial recognition is based on our most cutting-edge development of the deep learning platform named JARVIS.AI with image recognition technologies. 

Special thanks to...

Also thanks to our copywriting hero, Clark Waggoner. You rock!

Still have some questions?

  • Is Bistro suitable for any type of cat? 
    ➙ Bistro is recommended for use with cats at least six months old. 

  • Is Bistro also an auto feeder?
    ➙ Bistro is much more than an auto feeder. It's a smart feeder that provides several options on managing feeding for different demands. For example, you can set up reservation feeding or simply replenish what is available at certain times. 

  • What is the suggested retail price?
    ➙ Bistro's retail price will be $249 USD.  However, we're offering a one-time promotional price saving up to 40% off to supports who pledge on Indiegogo!

  • Which mobile operating system is Bistro compatible with? 
    ➙ We currently have an iOS and Android version in development. We will also have web app for mobile/desktop!

  • Does Bistro support Ethernet and WiFi?
    ➙ Bistro is compatible with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi standards but doesn't support a direct Ethernet connection. However, if there are many backers who need this feature, we'll add it for you. 

  • Are there any extra fees associated with using the Bistro App?
    ➙ All features on the Bistro App will be FREE for every Bistro owner. We hope all cat parents can easily and freely enjoy a more intelligent way to hold your beloved ones in your hand when away from home. 

  • Will Bistro offer worldwide delivery? 
    ➙ Absolutely! We are all about sharing this amazing cat health management product, Bistro, with every cat parent across the globe. However, additional shipping fees may apply to locations outside the US, Taiwan, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong.

  • How much water fits in the waterer
    ➙ Cats, like all animals, need to have access to freely available fresh, clean water at all times. According to veterinarians, cats should drink 1 oz of water for every pound of body weight each day. So, if you have 2 adult cats each weighing 6 lbs, Bistro, which holds about 0.3 gallon (38 oz.) of water, would hold enough to last them for around 3 days. However, as water gets dirty over time, we recommend refilling the waterer at least every two days with once a day being the optimal choice for your cat's health. Bistro will also automatically warn you when the waterer level gets low.

  • How much food does it hold
    ➙ Bistro can hold around 0.85 US gallons of food, or 13.6 cups. When the feeder runs low, the Bistro App will alert you to refill it in advance.

  • Can Bistro use canned (wet) food to feed my cats?
    ➙ Bistro doesn’t support canned (wet) food because it’s too hard to keep it fresh and the nozzle can be easily jammed by the wet food if it’s not cleaned up properly.

  • Does Bistro work for dogs
    ➙ Due to both the differences in size and facial features between the average cat and the average dog, Bistro is not recommended to be used for dogs. Although the facial recognition algorithm does work for dogs, the entire experience is not optimized for that. However, if enough dog lovers are interested, we’re very open to the idea of building a new Bistro for dogs.
  • What country is Bistro made in
    ➙ Bistro is carefully constructed in Taiwan to ensure the highest quality.
  • What's the maximum number of cats Bistro can support
    ➙ Although the cat-facial recognition could apply to any number of cats, one Bistro may run out of food too soon if there are too many. Therefore, we recommend using Bistro with up to 3 cats for ideal results.
  • I have more than 3 cats. Can I have multiple Bistros and connect them together
    ➙ No problem at all! The Bistro App can connect to multiple Bistros and make them function as one. One of our dreams is to bring the fabulous benefits of Bistro to cat shelters around the world, so optimizing multiple Bistro units to work together has always been our development priority.
  • Is there a noisy motor that might scare my cat?
    ➙ Bistro uses a super quiet stepper motor for controlling the feeder nozzle to ensure it neither moves suddenly nor makes high frequency noise. It's built with the highest standard of quality to meet the concerns of cat lovers everywhere.
  • What if my cats’ faces are so similar that even I can't distinguish them from one another? 
    ➙ Bistro uses not only cat face traits but also the measured weight of the cat to determine which little sweetheart is using it at any given time. If they are, in fact, so identical that they might as well be clones, simply place a different collar on them. Thanks to our deep learning technology used to develop Bistro, our algorithm can tell the difference between your identical cats as long as a collar is observable from the camera. However, if your kitties don't want to wear a collar, we apologize, but, as advanced as it is, Bistro does not have the ability to read your cat’s minds to determine who is who. So, without at least some distinguishing physical characteristics, there's nothing we can do in this situation except hope for telepathic advances in future versions of Bistro......

[UPDATED#1 @ 07/16 9AM PST]

  • Is Bistro indestructible? My cat can smash any pet feeder? 
    ➙ Bistro is designed to be very sturdy and heavy compared to other automatic pet feeders on the market. The feeder weighs 13 to 17 lbs or 5.9 to 7.7 kg (with food and water), and the semi-transparent shell is a single piece of strong plastic, so it's pretty hard to tear that down. Also, the food dispenser is completely redesigned so your cat needs to learn gripping the dispenser cap and twist it to release the food with *both* hands, which is physically impossible.

  • What are the dimensions of the product? How large is the hole? 
    ➙ It's 184.5 x 190 x 424 mm (or 7.26 x 7.48 x 16.6 inches) for the feeder itself, and 283 x 545 x 18.5 mm (or 11.1 x 21.4 x 0.72 inches) for the platform (the weighing scale). The capsule-shaped hole is 110 x 200 mm (or 4.33 x 7.8 inches) (width by height)..
  • What's the material of the feeding tray and waterer? My cat gets pimples on her chin when using a plastic bowl? 
    ➙ We set out to build Bistro with the highest standards for cat lovers, so we built the feeding tray and waterer with ceramic material to minimize the problem. Although the ceramic material costs more than plastic, we believe it's the right thing to do, and we hope you find Bistro the most amazing smart feeder on the planet..
  • Are there any consumable Items included with Bistro? Is there a filter in the water tank?? 
    ➙  Yes we do have activated carbon filter in the water tank which is a consumable item and replacement filters will be available for purchase on our website.
  • Does Bistro support wet food? 
    ➙ No, you can't put wet food in the food hopper. The feeding tray is not designed for cats fed primarily with wet food. We'd strongly suggest you to have only dry food for Bistro.
  • How exactly does portion control work? My cats have a history of defeating all automated systems with respect to portion control, so I’d like to know if this is a system they’ll be able to work around? 
    ➙ You select on your smartphone the number of meals per day that your cat eats. Bistro knows your cat's weight and calculates the size of a meal. You can adjust the size of the meal your cat is given on your smartphone. Bistro knows how many meals have been served and the time of your cat's next meal. Bistro does not allow your cat to release more food by force or to outsmart it into releasing another meal. You always know what your cat is trying because Bistro updates your smartphone in real time..

  • Is there a warranty for Bistro? 
    ➙ Yes! Bistro comes with a one-year warranty when you receive the product.

  • Is cat facial recognition real? Is it a hoax?? 
    ➙ It's 100% real, and we are making not just a video but also a secret initiative to showcase our technology. Stay tuned! It will be super fun.


Please feel free to email us for any question!


Press Kit

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raised by 1,420 people in 1 month
241% funded
No time left
$100,000 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on August 14, 2014
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Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Thanks for Your Support

    To say a heartfelt THANK YOU for supporting us, we will send you an e-card and Bistro HD digital wallpaper pack for iPhone, Android, Mac and PC. You can also receive our exclusive updates with all our love.

    18 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $25USD
    Raise Your Cat Better

    Raising cats is both an art and science. We will send you an eBook with professional guidance from a real veterinarian on how to properly raise and what to feed your cat. You’ll also receive the HD digital wallpaper pack and exclusive updates.

    8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $40USD
    International Shipping

    For those who forgot to add $40 international shipping when making contribution to Bistro perk, please get this perk to add it. Thanks!

    75 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2015

    Early Bird Limited

    Only for the fastest and the most devoted supporters. Be the FIRST to get your very own Bistro and save 40% off from the expected retail price of $249! Besides, you'll have your name on our website and get the digital wallpaper pack as well as our exclusive updates. *Please add $40 to ship outside the US/Taiwan.

    250 out of 250 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2015
  • $159USD
    Indiegogo Single-Cat Special

    Single-cat owners without the need of facial recognition, this special version of Bistro is for you at a lower price! Single-cat owners can still enjoy all its great features, keeping track of your cat's weight and appetite change, and everything Bistro offers. This version can be upgraded to serve multiple cats with $30 in the future. Grab yours while it lasts! *Please add $40 to ship outside the US/Taiwan.

    116 out of 750 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2015

    Indiegogo Special

    Only for the dear Indiegogo crowd. Get a Bistro and save $70 off from the expected retail price of $249! Besides, you'll have your name on our website and get the digital wallpaper pack as well as our exclusive updates. *Please add $40 to ship outside the US/Taiwan.

    750 out of 750 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2015
  • $219USD
    Super Fan Package

    Your warmness shelter us all! Get a Bistro that comes with a cozy Bistro cat tent to bring a peaceful place to your sweethearts. Besides, you'll have your name on our website and get the digital wallpaper pack as well as our exclusive updates. *Please add $40 to ship outside the US/Taiwan.

    54 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2015
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