Feeding the right amount of food to several cats can pose to be a real challenge. It is never a good idea to always have the food bowls to your cat full since this can lead to obesity. Micromanaging your cats food supply can be a daunting task when owning multiple cats. Thus making it almost impossible that your cat gets fed exaclty the right amount of food. However there is a solution to this problem. The solution to all of this and more is installing one or multiple automatic cat feeders, such as the microchip cat feeder by SureFeed. That way your cat gets exactly the right amount of food and the cat owners won’t be stressed out. Happy cat and happy slaves.
Microchip Cat Feeder by SureFeed
There are many automatic cat feeders on the market and the microchip cat feeder by SureFeed is definitely one of the better concepts. Where most other microchip cat feeders make solely use of an ID tag that has to be worn on the cat’s collar, the SureFeed microchip cat feeder can also read out the Pet ID chip that usually is inserted under the skin for a lot of cats.
This design makes it easier for those that have a picky cat that doesn’t like to wear things around their necks and utilizes something that is already a part of most cats.
Who Should Have This?
We have 6 cats in our house, which is certainly a lot of mouths to feed. Not all of our cats come in at the same time, so we usually had to free-range or semi-free-range feed our kitties. The oldest cat in our cat family is a big eater, because he is very much outside actively hunting or playing. Being the oldest also means he has a different food need than the others, so he is on a special type of food to protect his kidneys. He however kept stealing the food from the others, because hungry he is anyway.
We also saw our cats getting obese because of it and so we installed several cat feeders in our house. It instantly solved all our problems. Now the feeder with the special kidney food only opens for the cat that needs it and not for the others. In the same time the other feeders for all other cats opens for each of those cats but not for our oldest cat.
With the microchip cat feeder from SureFeed, it is probably best to buy one feeder for every cat. In that way you can measure the exact amounts of food for each cat and they could have all different types of dry and wet food.
Even if you have only one cat, the microchip cat feeder is a useful system to restrict the amount of food your cat gets access to in a day.
What Is A Microchip?
To make it easier to identify runaway cats, you can put a microchip underneath the skin of your cat with a unique Radio Frequency Identification Number (RFID). The veterinary charges you for the job and the chip. I cannot say a price here, as it is different per country. I believe we pay about a 100 USD in Norway for it. Veterinaries around the country, police stations and most cat protection organisations have a microchip reader readily available to identify a cat. The ID number read out from the chip corresponds with a database and it will give the name of the pet and the name and full address details of the owners of the pet.
What If My Pet Has No Microchip?
The Microchip cat feeder by SureFeed also comes with a tag that you can pair with the device. The tag has a microchip in it. You can put the tag on a collar on your cat, so that they can use the microchip cat feeder.
Especially for those already owning a SureFlap Microchip automatic cat flap, this is a handy feature. It means that you can also program those same tags that your cats use for the cat flap can be used for the feeder.
The SureFeed Microchip Cat Feeder comes with 1 RFID collar tag, 1 grey feeding bowl, 1 grey split compartment bowl and 1 grey pet feeding mat. It does not come with batteries, but 4 C-batteries are required for it to function.
Impossible To Steal Food
We got one very hungry cat that continuously tries to steal food. Even when you give him a bowl of his own, he will try to also go for the food in the other cat’s bowl. With the SureFeed microchip feeder, this is a thing of the past as the cover comes automatically on when the other cat leaves. Only one cat can access the feeding area at a time, so no other cats can access the feeding bowl while one cat is eating.
As soon as your cat leaves the feeder, the feeder will close its lid. Our cat cannot access the feeding bowl from the sides or the opposite side either.
Those having a dog and a cat will also love this system, because the dog will no longer have access to the cat food.
Many cat feeders on the market require you to be connected to a power source outlet, because they are pretty heavy on functionality.
The SureFeed microchip cat feeder is perhaps a little simpler in functionality which allowed them to produce a device that can be battery driven entirely.
This means that the device can be placed anywhere you like in your house. You are not bound to a nearby power outlet. The downside is that they need replacement at some point, but with an operation time of about 6 months, this is not a problem at all. The device operates with 4 C-batteries which are not included when you buy the device, so be sure that you add that to your cart. The 4 C batteries should be of good quality alkaline non-rechargable batteries of 1.5V each.
Although it won’t work for multiple days being away, for the days that you are at home you can fill the bowl up with as much food as that particular cat is allowed to eat in one day. The feeder will only be opening for the cat that you programmed it towards. The cat won’t ever eat more than is allowed this way.
It however doesn’t limit food per day, so you cannot leave in a bunch of food for three days and leave for the weekend as the cat can still access it at any moment of those days and eat it empty.
It will neither divide the food equally between several cats, so you cannot control who will get how much food if you use multiple cats on one feeder. The feeder will just open or close the food bowl.
>To restrict how much a cat gets per day, check out our review on the Automatic Pet Feeder by Wireless Whiskers.
Keeps Food Longer Fresh
Cat food, in particular wet cat food, exposed over a long time to air dries out and becomes less attractive to your cats to eat up. As the feeding cup is closed off after feeding the cat, wet food or dry kibble stays longer fresh. Both the bowl and the lid come with a seal, that make sure that no flies can enter and food stays longer fresh.
Also flies and ants do not get access to the food while the lid is closed. It is however important to remember that wet cat food cannot stay in there for more than a couple of hours before it goes off.
Who doesn’t like colours?! There is a reason to have a colour option on these feeders, as it is impossible to know which cat feeder belongs to which cat (in multi-cat environment). Having a colour coding means you will know what to put in which bowl.
The SureFeed microchip feeder comes standard with one colour mat and bowl (grey), but you can buy multiple different coloured and shaped bowls and mats to further customize both the look and the functionality of the feeder.
Different Bowl Designs
There are two different bowl designs, one of them being a single compartment and the other a double split compartment. With a double compartment bowl you can either put wet and dry food in the different compartments of the bowl or use the other one for water.
The bowls come in four different colours, namely white/grey (standard), green, blue and pink. This is very useful when you got multiple cats and multiple cat feeders with different needs.
How To Install
First of all you have to unpack the feeder from the packaging material it comes with. Be very careful with the automatic lid part of the feeder, as it is a sensitive part.
You might want to clean the individual parts of the feeder, especially those that will come in contact with your cat such as the bowl and feeder mat. The feeding bowl and mat should only be washed manually with some soapy water. The other parts of the feeder should just be cleaned with a damp cloth.
Add Batteries To The Device
The device takes 4 x 1.5V Alkaline (non-rechargable) C-batteries. You need to open the two latches on both sides of the bottom of the device (remove the mat first). Be careful with turning the device around. Two batteries on one side, two on the other side.
When the batteries run out of energy, a red light will flash on the back of the device.
Programming The Device
To program, you have to use the “Add Pet+” button on the device. This will enter the pet learning mode functionality and it will open the lid to the feeding bowl. A green flashing light on the back of the device should come on.
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to add some food (or treats) to the feeding bowl.
Trick your cat into eating from the bowl with their neck underneath the reader-bar. Your cat needs to stay there for at least 5 seconds for the reading to be completed. When your cat leaves the bowl and the lid closes automatically, the learning was successful. The green flashing light on the back should also go off.
Note: If you are using the tag, you can do the programming bit without a cat being present, but it will still be easier to train your cat in the same time so they know where to get the food, while also programming the device.
You can add up to 32 pets / cats to the device. If you accidentally added the wrong cat to the device, there is a factory reset button on the device and you will then unfortunately have to start all over again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it recognize all chips?
It will most likely recognize them all, as it just reads out a RFID.
It has proven to work with 9-digit and 15-digit RFID’s.
My Cat Is Nervous from the sliding lid. What can I do?
There is a delay switch on the bottom of the device. Standard it is at II (normal), when you put it at III (delayed), the lid will close some time after your cat leaves, so it will not be afraid.
Other Pets Are Stealing After One Left. What can I do?
There are two solutions here:
First of all you can set the delay switch on the bottom of the device to I. The lid will close faster as soon as your cat is done eating.
There is also a piggy cat intruder mode
To prevent piggy cats from stealing food from another cat eating, you can initiate Intruder Custom Mode.
Put your SureFeed into our Intruder Custom Mode by following the instructions below:
1. Please put the Slide Switch into position II (Slide Switch setting II).
2. Press the Fn and the ‘Add Pet’ buttons together until the red LED illuminates (approx. 10 seconds)
3. Press the Fn button repeatedly until the LED shows orange (not flashing).*
4. Once the LED shows orange, press the Open / Close button to select Intruder Custom Mode.
*If you go past Orange keep pressing Fn to cycle through all the Custom Modes until the correct Custom Mode is reached again.
Please note – if you do not complete the steps above in time, the unit will time out and return to normal operation after 60 seconds.
When one cat is eating, another cat puts its paw from the back of the device to steal. What can I do?
Apparently it is possible for a cat to put a paw in between the protection lid and the feeding bowl to steal some food with a paw. This is a flaw in the design. Here it is best to tape off the sides and back to the feeder bowl.
Can You Timeframe The Feeding?
No, this device has no timer function. The cats that have access to the device, can go to the feeder and eat anytime.
Pros & Cons
- Fully battery driven, place it where you want it
- Colour coding with different bowls and mats
- Cats can access by both RFID collar tags and RFID microchips
- Delay slider for nervous cats
- Cat intruder mode
- Multiple Colours
- piggy cats can still get access to it when another is eating (from the back)
- doesn’t do weight control for several days
- while it can support up to 32 pets, food storage is never more than a day or less
I really like the concept of this device in that you can use both the RFID collar tags but also the RFID chip that we chipped all our cats with. It means that our cats do not need an additional collar which they anyway hate to wear. Being battery driven entirely, means it can operate anywhere and even when we are gone and we do not need to worry about yet another device in an outlet.
Perhaps the main negative of this device is that while it is meant for up to 32 pets, it is probably best suited for 1 cat only at a time, so that they get the right amount of food for optimal weight control. It works great for those cats that have special prescription food because of health issues, as the other cats in the family cannot gain access to the special food.
Got a prescription diet cat in your household? Then the microchip cat feeder by SureFeed is definitely the way to go! The other cats in the household will not gain access to it and you can portion exactly the right amount of cat food for the day in the bowl and your cat can eat in peace.