They say necessity is the mother of invention. Feeding multi-pet households has always been a big problem especially when one pet tends to eat more than its fair share. Even more of an issue is when pets in the household are on various prescription diets to deal with medical issues or weight management problems. It’s impossible to control unless each pet only has access to one designated food bowl.
Solving this problem was the impetus leading to the creation of SureFlap’s® SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder. I have, with the help of my cats Fudge and Ziggy tested several automatic feeders and while the market place is offering a growing number of options with a variety of different functions, in my opinion, the SureFeed leads the field for a number of reasons primarily because it is very easy to use – I am very technically challenged!
Here are the key features:
- There are three buttons. One to program the pet into the feeder via its existing microchip or using the RFID collar tag provided with the feeder. The second button sets the 3-step training program to get the pet used to the sliding motion of the lid. And once the pet is programmed, and used to the motion of the lid, there is no need to use these two buttons again. That just leaves the button to open the feeder to add food and clean the bowl. That Simple!
- The opening and closing operation of the lid is completely silent. No noisy whirring noises (as with some other feeders) to scare timid cats or nervous small dogs.
- Further the lid opens away from the pet – not upwards toward the pet. Excellent feature.
- The lid seals when closed, making the bowl ant-proof — this is huge — and maintaining freshness. Further, it is the only feeder I know of that caters for both wet and dry food.
- The feeder is operated by a pet’s existing microchip. However each feeder comes with an easy to program disc as well. Its extremely light weight an your pet won’t even know its on the collar.
- The design is sleek, very modern and doesn’t take up space. The feeders can be color coded for different pets by purchasing additional bowls and mats in pink, blue and green.
- The bowls are oval-shaped — the best shape to avoid whisker stress.
- They are battery-operated so you are not bound by electrical cords.
When I set up Ziggy’s feeder, it registered his microchip instantly. When it came to Fudge, although the chip registered, I found it slow in opening the bowl. With the help of Surefeed’s customer service we worked out that Fudge’s microchip may be a bit old ( she is 17 after all) and it may have migrated from its original positioning. (This does happen and I plan to check this with my veterinarian on our next visit.) So I added the tag to Fudge’s collar and soon both feeders were functioning the moment the cats stepped into the range of the beam that reads the chip or the tag. In fact, on a side note, checking that a pet’s microchip is working is something that all pet parents should do from time to time whether you are using such a feeder or not.
Surefeed has excellent customer service. Their response time was phenomenal. I put it to the test with questions. Not only did they help with Fudge’s microchip issue but they also suggested separating the feeders for better performance so that they didn’t interfere with one another. Also the booklet that comes with the feeder is very well written and illustrated. The value of a good manual is something that is often overlooked by manufacturers.
During the training phase, because the lid was open in varying amounts, both cats had access to each other’s food. I didn’t rush the training process and didn’t move onto the next training phase until both cats were comfortable with the existing phase. And my advice to anyone training a cautious pet is take is slow. It will be worth it.
The moment the lids were completely closed on both feeders, it didn’t take Ziggy long to work out that only one feeder was going to open for him and that he was locked out of the other. He did try though — see video below. I positioned Fudge’s feeder is her favorite eating spot and she has never even bothered to check out Ziggy’s feeder …
It was American nutritionist Adelle Davis who said “you are what you eat.” This most certainly applies to our pets too. Pet parents take their pets’ diets very seriously. So do many pet food manufacturers. A lot of science and research goes into different diets for different life stages and various medical conditions.What is the point of purchasing a specific food if you can’t ensure that the right pet is eating it?
Both my cats eat different diets. I am now in a position to control exactly what they eat and how much they eat. As already mentioned, I have tested various products on the market. But the Surefeed feeders are going to be my fur kids’ default feeders from now on.
Fudge and Ziggy were the testers for the Surefeed feeders. The Surefeed Microchip Pet Feeder gets my Must Have Stamp of Approval.