SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder Review
Feeding multiple pets with different diets can be difficult. Add in pets who tend to gobble up all their food, then steal what’s left out of their neighbor’s dish and mealtime can become quite stressful.
We like to make sure our fur babies have access to their food whenever they want but it can be difficult to tell if the dog is the one who has eaten all of the cat food or to figure out if my cat is eating his assigned portion and still begging for more.
Luckily, there is a great solution to this problem: A microchip feeder that only allows the pet with the chip on their collar to access the food dish. This way, the cat can eat all the food that is in his dish and neither pet ends up eating for two.
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
The SureFeed pet feeder can be programmed to a SureFlap RFID tag on your cat’s collar or their internal microchip and the lid will only open for the cat (or dog) that has been assigned to that feeder.
This makes it a great addition for multi-pet households where one pet tends to eat much more than their fair share, leaving them overweight and the other pets hungry.
If the designated cat isn’t at the dish, the lid stays closed, preventing any other pets from accessing the dish. This lid also seals the bowl so that the food inside stays fresh longer and prevents pests such as ants and flies from getting into your pet’s food.
Each feeder includes two removable polypropylene bowls (one with a divider and one without) that are compatible with wet or dry food and that can hold up to 13.5 fluid ounce of wet or 2.4 cups of dry food each.
The dishes come in a range of colors to make it easy for multi-cat households to be sure which feeder has been assigned to which cat and each unit features a silicone mat to place underneath the feeder to help keep your living space tidy. Powered by 4-C batteries, the battery life varies depending on use, so be sure to watch for the low-battery light to make sure your pet never misses a feeding.
- These pet feeders are designed for multi-pet households to keep pets from stealing food, making sure that prescription food is being eaten by the pet it was prescribed to, and ensuring that pets that have been put on a diet are only able to access their food, thereby ensuring that they are eating the proper amount of food. It can also be useful for pet owners who have busy lives to ensure that their pets have access to food throughout the day, even if they are away from home and unable to monitor them for food-stealing behaviors.
- The units work with all internal microchips worldwide and SureFlap RFID collar tags (one tag is included with each unit). Each unit can store up to 32 pet identities in its memory and does not need to be re-programmed when batteries are removed. Their chips are also used in their microchip cat doors.
- A 3-year warranty is included with each feeder.
To ensure the optimal performance of your feeder, you will need to make sure that the four black dots on the hoop are kept clean. The unit isn’t waterproof or dishwasher safe, so you’ll want to wipe it down with a damp cloth rather than dunking the whole thing in the sink.
Training Your Cat to Use the Feeder
Some cats are sensitive to the noise and sudden motion of the feeder, so I recommend introducing your pet to it slowly. I let my cat try eating out of the dish for about a week without turning on any of the features so that he could get used to the unique style of the unit in a risk-free way.
When I could tell that he was comfortable with the unit in general, I introduced him to the lid movement using the hand Training Function button. While in training mode, the dish won’t close until after your pet is done eating. It took my cat about a week to get comfortable with the movement. As he got used to the movements and noises, I added movement to the lid according to the instructions in my user manual. There are 3 stages of lid movements in training mode and I gave my cat a week to get used to each setting before moving on to the next.
My feline companion was ready for the full movement of the dish after about 5 weeks of training, but each animal is different so your cat may need more or less training time than mine did. Patience is key here: You’ll want to be sure your pet is ready for the next step before moving on so you don’t accidentally scare them into not wanting to use the dish.
What if My Cat Doesn’t Like the Feeder?
If you take your time with the training process and your cat still won’t use the feeder, there are a few things you can investigate to see if you can make your cat feel more comfortable:
- You can try backing up to the beginning of the training process and taking it more slowly. Remember, this is a new experience for your cat and the noise and movement can make even the boldest pet feel a bit nervous.
- If the lid is closing too quickly for your cat to move away from the dish after eating, you can give them more time to get away from the dish by delaying the slider to its slowest setting.
- Make sure the feeder is in a good location for your cat. If you put the feeder in a different place from their old food dish, that change could be adding to your cat’s skittishness towards the unit.
This microchip feeder has been a game changer for me, but occasionally things do go wrong. If you can’t get your feeder to work, or if it stops working, here are a few tips to get it functioning properly:
- Check the 4 black sensors on the hood to make sure they’re clean.
- Make sure you’ve put your batteries in the right way and that they haven’t corroded.
- Move the feeder away from any metal or electrical appliances to avoid interference with the sensors.
- Re-connect your pet’s chip to the feeder with the Add Pet button.
- Do a factory reset on the feeder by holding the Add Pet button for 10 seconds; you’ll know you did it right if the light flashes red and green and the lid opens and closes. If you need to use this option, you will have to re-connect your pet’s chip to the feeder.
- If none of these options work and you have the feeder connected to your pet’s internal microchip, it’s possible that the chip has stopped working or is too far from the feeder to register. You may want to call your vet and ask where the chip was inserted and if it is functioning properly. If your pet’s internal chip has malfunctioned or isn’t in a location that can be read by the feeder, you can just the collar tag that comes with the unit.
- This feeder is easy to use and has clear setup instructions for adding authorized pets to the units.
- Unlike many other microchip feeders, the shape of the SureFeed unit ensures that the collar tag is in contact with the sensors for the entire time that your cat eats. This means that the lid will not close if your cat turns their head.
- It is compatible with every microchip on the market and includes an RFID collar tag for pets that aren’t microchipped or for those whose chip is located too far towards the back of the body to register with the sensors.
- The lid closes whenever the authorized pet is away from its dish, which keeps the food safe from dogs, children, and other cats.
- The lid also seals to prevent unwanted food odors from wafting through your home throughout the day.
- A safety feature in the lid keeps it from closing if something is in the way ensuring that paws and fingers won’t get pinched.
- The unit is not dishwasher safe, therefore the bowls must be washed by hand.
- It does not feature an AC adapter and cannot be used with rechargeable batteries.
- Due to its shape, particularly stubborn pets may be able to squeeze in between the side and the lid to steal food. You can prevent this behavior by purchasing the SureFeed Feeder Rear Cover.
Like so many other pet owners, feeding time was always a stressful time in our home. We had to keep an eye on our dog constantly to keep him away from the cat’s food during meals and we had to put the cat’s food away between meals to keep the dog from stealing from the dish.
Thanks to the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder, we no longer have to worry that our cats go hungry between feedings or that the dog gorges himself on cat food while our backs are turned.
If you have pets that steal food from one another in your home, we recommend trying this microchip feeder to take the stress out of mealtime for your furry friends. The feeder goes well together with a good water fountain, so check these out if you don’t have one yet.
There are other products that try to do what this one does but they get ripped to shreds by customer reviews and often become unavailable because of quality issues.
It doesn’t happen often but the SureFeed option is still the only one of its kind right now that is actually great.
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