StyleTails’ Cat Writer Aideen McCanny and her British Shorthair cat Indy try out the new Microchip Pet Feeder Connect from Sure Petcare.
*We have collaborated with our carefully chosen partner Sure Petcare to bring you this review. All opinions are genuine and based on three weeks using the device.
I’ll be the first to admit it; I’m guilty of not really knowing how much my cat Indy eats. Obviously, I can have a guess at how many times I have fed her in a day, but whether or not she is eating too little or too much is a concern I’ve had for a couple of years now.
This worry was further heightened during a recent trip to the vet. Following discovering that Indy had a hernia which needed repairing, the vet told us to ‘watch her weight’. While Indy didn’t seem to take offence at the suggestion, I did! Were we guilty of overfeeding our cat?
After some research online, I discovered that Indy is within the ‘normal’ range for a British Shorthair cat. In hindsight, I don’t think our vet has much experience of this breed, which tend to be a little on the ‘chunky’ side. However, this coupled with the fact that Indy is an indoor cat – who lives somewhat of a sedentary lifestyle – was enough to scare me.
When I was asked to try out the new Microchip Pet Feeder Connect from Sure Petcare, I jumped at the opportunity. It didn’t take much for my technology-crazed husband to get on board too! The Microchip Pet Feeder Connect is a smart pet feeder which allows you to easily track your pet’s eating habits from your phone and detect red flags before they become potential health problems, like obesity.
SIMPLE SET UP
The Microchip Pet Feed Connect was unbelievably easy to set up. It syncs with the Sure Petcare smartphone app, (available for iPhone and Android) via the Hub, which is a small device connected to your home router. You can add up to 10 devices via this hub, including Sure Petcare’s pet doors, which are a great idea for anyone with outdoor cats.
You can add one large bowl or two smaller ones, and with Indy partial to both dry and wet food, the two bowls was a winning feature. To add food, you simply hit the button at the back of the feeder and the lid pops open. When filled, you hit the button again to close the lid back down. I then received a notification to my phone to say that Indy’s bowls had been topped up.
NO MORE GUESSING PORTION SIZES
Indy is somewhat of a grazer, which is typical of an indoor cat. Because of this, we feed her small amounts multiple times a day, so it’s easy to lose track of what exactly she has consumed.
While we have always given Indy one pouch of wet food a day, I was shocked at the amount of dry food we were feeding her. I knew she was allowed around 25g a day, which is what I thought we were giving her (we weren’t using scales to measure it accurately), but according to the feeder’s scales, Indy was being treated to a hefty 50g per day – twice her recommended amount! We realised just how inaccurate our measurements have been. Thankfully, there is an option on the feeder to set the scales to 25g, with the LEDs guiding you to serve food portions within 1g of accuracy. No more supersized portions for Indy!
USING THE DEVICE & APP
Curiosity definitely got the best of the cat, who was instantly fascinated by the device. Indy walked over and up popped the lid, giving her access to her food. As soon as she walked away, the lid closed and my phone emitted a loud ‘meow’ to inform me that Indy had eaten 4g of wet food and 2g of dry.
I received a text message from my doctor husband later that morning to say that while he was on a ward round, his phone ‘meowed’, causing a few raised eyebrows! Thankfully, everyone saw the funny side of it (including me – I am still laughing now thinking about it).
The app itself is super easy to understand and there are even handy charts so that you can analyse your pet’s eating habits for any unusual activity like eating too much too little, which could be a sign of a health problem. On average, Indy makes between 16-17 trips a day to the feeder (I told you she was a grazer!). You can also see when she last ate and how much she has eaten each time.
KEEPING FOOD FRESH & REDUCING WASTE
Indy tends to go between wet and dry food, but if the wet food is left sitting out too long, it goes stale and she won’t eat it. It then ends up in the bin, which is a massive waste. Now we simply fill the Microchip Pet Feeder Connect with her 25g of dry food and half a pouch of wet in the morning and put the rest out in the evening. The feeder works wonders at keeping her food fresh and we haven’t thrown a single bit of wet food out in weeks.
GREAT FOR MULTI-CAT HOUSEHOLDS
Another added bonus is that the feeder is microchip activated so it only opens for Indy. Often, at my parents’ house, their cat ‘Kitty’, can be found devouring Indy’s food. Now, she stares in amazement as the lid opens for Indy and not her.
If we’re both out for most of the day, it’s comforting to receive a notification that Indy has eaten. Plus, we were at a wedding last week and were able to tell when the cat sitter had stopped by to feed her.
The Microchip Pet Feeder Connect is the perfect solution for cat owners with overweight cats, cats with medical conditions that require close monitoring of their food intake, or in a home where one cat is guilty of stealing another’s food.
The Microchip Pet Feeder Connect retails from £119.99. Find out more and purchase your own online at www.surepetcare.com.