Product: SureFeed Microchip Feeder
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder Product Overview
The SureFeed Microchip Feeder is a product that is designed to serve two basic purposes:
- To only allow certain animals to access the food inside it.
- To keep the food inside the feeder fresh/sealed.
The feeder works on a simple premise. Any cat that has a microchip can be ‘keyed’ to the feeder and then when that cat gets nearby the feeder it will pop open to allow them access. When that cat steps away the feeder will close up again blocking access to other pets. Note that the feeder can hold up to 32 microchip IDs at the same time, so even if you have a boatload of cats you should still be able to grant all of them access to a single feeder if that is your desire.
Why Would I Need That?
The first time I saw this online I had just gotten my first cat Beast. I thought to myself ‘What would you ever need something like that for?’ and that ‘Only people who spoil their pets beyond belief would get something like this.’ Apparently I was wrong on the latter and I quickly realized why I might need it.
There are a couple of reasons you might want this, but the primary reason is to control which pets can get to which food so you can easily manage the amount they eat on a daily basis. In my house we have two cats, Lexi and Beast. Lexi is super food motivated and acts like a Hoover when food gets set down. Not only did this cause her to quickly gain weight, over two pounds in about six months, it also caused our other cat Beast to get far less food because Lexi kept eating it all!
Beast on the other hand exacerbated the issue because Beast is a grazer, she eats a bunch of micro meals through out the day. She stops in for a few crunches, walks away, stops back in an hour later, walks away. We couldn’t just put them in separate rooms for 30 minutes to eat and then let them go free the rest of the day. Beast would barely eat anything this way because we’d have to pick up her food when we let her out so Lexi wouldn’t eat it.
There’s a small button on the back of the feeder that let’s you quickly ‘Add’ a cat to the feeder (see the cat with the + sign). Essentially you push this button and then put food in the feeder. When your cat comes to the feeder and eats from it the feeder will ‘learn’ the microchip ID and log it to memory for all time, even if the batteries get pulled out. Pretty cool right?
Now every time that cat comes back to the feeder it will pop open and if they step away it will close back up. Only that cat can open the feeder until/unless you add another. If you want to add additional cats you can just go through the same process again with another cat, up to 32 cats. Super easy, it only takes a few seconds!
How Do You Train Your Cat To Use the Feeder?
Once the microchip ID has been learned you can very easily start the training process for your cat. Training process?!? What training process? Some cats don’t require the training process at all, but some are a little bit skittish because the feeder makes a little bit of noise when it opens and closes.
My cat Beast is a giant wimp and runs from most things that make noise, but it only ended up taking her about 2 days of the training process to learn how to use the feeder. The training process basically modifies how much the lid the moves when your cat gets near the feeder. The first step moves it only a tiny bit so it makes only a little noise. As your cat progresses through training the lid will move more and more close to closing and opening completely.
This was incredibly easy for me with a very skittish little furball, so I imagine even if your cat is quite easily startled you shouldn’t have much problem at all. Once training is done, you’re done. You just fill the feeder like you would your cats regular bowl and set it down!
My General Take:
I give it a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. I’m very happy with the purchase despite initially thinking it was quite expensive. The simple fact of the matter is, if my food motivated cat Lexi gets overweight and then sick because of it…the cost of treating her will far outweigh the investment in a decent feeder that stops her from stealing food from Beast.
- It is super easy to setup & train your cat to use, even a skittish cat.
- It works beautifully and keeps my grazer’s food safe and fresh.
- My food motivated cat Lexi has lost the bulk of the weight she gained.
- There is zero material difference in the time required to feed my cats.
Room for Improvement
- Wet food tends to stick to the moving lid which is more of an annoyance than anything. It is easily cleaned off with a damp cloth.
- The bowls are plastic and not dishwasher or microwave safe, though many people put them through the dishwasher anyway with no issue.
- The SureFeed Microchip Feeder
- 2 bowls custom fit to the feeder
- One bowl is split down the middle and one is not
- Each bowl holds about 2 cups of food
- A small removable mat to make cleaning up easier
- 1 MicroChip Tag to attach to a cat collar to use if your cat doesn’t have a chip already (not pictured)
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many cats can you associate?
- 32 cat microchips can be associated.
- What batteries does it take?
- 4 C Batteries, they aren’t included.
- How long do the batteries last?
- Mine have lasted over six months without issue and it is used daily.
- What if I have lots of cats and my cats aren’t Microchipped?
- You can buy additional SureFlap Collar Microchips and key them to the feeder.
- What if I have a big cat?
- If you have a large cat like a Maine Coon, you might need to set it on top of something to raise it off the floor. Otherwise your cat might have difficulty leaning down under the arch that identifies the microchip to open the feeder.
- Does this product control the release of food?
- No, it just controls which pets can access the food. If you need a feeder that controls the amount of food released because your cat gorges itself then you’ll need to look into an auto feeder.
- Can I buy more bowls?
- Yes, you can buy more of the fitted bowls. You can also easily buy small stainless steel bowls that fit under the lid and are dishwasher safe.
- How loud is it?
- If you can avoid it I would definitely not keep it in your bedroom or any room you sleep in. While it isn’t horribly loud, it would definitely wake a light sleeper up in the same room as it opens and closes.
If you have any other thoughts on the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder please leave a comment below or send me an email at Craig@StuffCatsWant.com so I can update this article.
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