You might remember our review of Sure Petcares Smart Cat Flap? Well this is their latest product in their growing range of smart pet products.
What does the Microchip Pet Feeder Connect do?
This is the smartest pet feeder we have ever encountered. The feeder is completely closed, only opening for the designated pet. This is done by reading the microchip in your pet, if you pet does not have a chip it also works on RFID collar tags. They even provide one in the box.
That is not all it does, it also monitors the amount of food the pet has eaten. Great for keeping an eye on when they have eaten and exactly how much.
It works with both wet and dry food and comes with a handy split bowl option allowing for a mix of two types of food. Allowing you to set portions for each type of food.
If like us you have no idea, have a look on your pet food packet and it gives you a good idea. If unsure ask your vet.
Once setup it has LED lights indicating the portion, ideal for making sure you are not over feeding. The food capacity is 400ml.
The feeder uses the same app as the Sure Petcare Microchip Cat Flap Connect. Creating a Smart Pet eco-system!
If you do not have the cat flap the feeder works just as well standalone.
One thing to note is the feeder cannot be shared with other animals, you need one per pet. However it is great for multi-pet households as it prevents stealing of food, a big issue with cats. You know which pet is eating which food and how much they have eaten.
How easy is it to setup?
Setup is easy, the feeder connects to your WiFi via the hub. If you already have the Cat Flap Connect you can use the same hub.
You do need batteries (4 x C) but these last up to 6 months on normal usage. This is handy as not everywhere you want to put the feeder has a spare plug.
We also spoke to Sure Petcare’s customer service team for additional tips and hints and they gave some brilliant advice. For example who knew bigger cats might find a flat bowl harder to use and putting a book under makes it easier for them!?
What does it connect to?
Like the other Sure Petcare products they only connect to each other, at present there is no 3rd party support. This is a shame as it would be good to ask Alexa whats going on with Ronnie or Roxie – our cats.
How much does it cost?
£119.99 (with no hub) – yes it is not cheap but then it does keep food fresher, preventing flies landing in the food. It also, like their smart cat flap connect, provides peace of mind.
You can also choose from 4 different colours for the mat and bows, a cute touch.
If you need the hub this is £49.99 and sold seperatly.
What is it like living with it?
It took 2 weeks for our cat to get used to using it, at first he was scared of the arch and the movement.
Sure Petcare have obviously thought about this a lot during development and testing and the feeder has a training mode. This slowly but surely moves the lid over a period of time, allowing the pet to get used to it.
One thing to note is do not rush this! We tried training mode over 7 days and it did not work, we tried again over 2 weeks and our cat slowly did get used to it.
The app is great – you can quickly see exactly when your pet last ate and if you have the Sure Petcare smart cat flap, where they are.
The feeder comes apart, allowing easy cleaning – a lot of it is even dishwasher safe.
The reporting is helpful as allows you to see if it is normal or not for you pet to have eaten.
One important thing to understand is you can’t simply put the feeder down and expect them to immediately accept it. Some pets will take to it immediately but ours did not, this resulted in a lot of time and care to help him adjust.
After all when introducing anything to a pet it can take time for them to adjust to it. Now we have it all setup it is a brilliant addition to our smart pet echo system!
What are our final thoughts?
This is next level pet tech! The insight you get into your pets eating behaviour is unbelievable.
However, we can’t help but think this could go further, for example alerts if you pet has not eaten or is suddenly eating a lot more.
That said this is impressive and what it does do, it does very well!