How Does a Microchip Cat Feeder Work? (Solved & Explained!)

A microchip feeder is designed to sense a specific RFID chip, which you may hang from your cat’s collar. Whenever this cat approaches, the feeder senses the chip, and opens a door to reveal the cat’s food.

If the cat is pushed away or simply leaves, then the door will automatically close to protect the food until the cat comes back to the feeder to eat. It’s a simple, but effective way to ensure that no one is going hungry because of food-stealing or bullying.

In today’s article, we’ll answer frequently asked questions about cat feeding and watering options, such as automatic, microchip, and gravity feeders. Read on for the information you need to select the perfect automated option for your own kitty!

What are microchip feeders?

Microchip feeders are a type of automatic feeder that not only dispenses the food, but it also protects it. A big problem in multiple pet households is food stealing, whether through bullying or by an animal quickly eating all of the available food.

Microchip feeders solve this problem by opening or closing based on the proximity of an RFID chip housed in a single cat’s collar. So, when the cat with the chip gets close to their feeder, the door opens and they can eat. When that same cat leaves or gets pushed away from their food, the door closes to protect it.

Do microchip feeders work well?

Yes. Microchip feeders are an excellent way to make sure that no cat is being bullied for their food in a multiple-pet household. While a low-end model will last, on average, about 8 months to a year, you can get a higher end one such as a SureFeed that comes with a 3-year warranty to protect your investment.

These feeders will save you time but more importantly, they will only open for the cat that has the right RFID tag and is that cat gets pushed away, the door is going to close and protect their food. This ensures that no cat will be going hungry, and that’s money well spent.

Michelle Henry of recommends the following,

The main tip I would recommend is taking advantage of the training mode on
microchip pet feeders. Most models should come with one of these settings
because using this type of feeder can be nerve-wracking for many animals.

The training involves leaving the gate open for every mealtime so that your
pet can simply get used to eating from the bowl in the product without any
stress. After this, you can then build up their confidence with the
microchip gate by allowing it to close slowly after they have finished
eating, etc.

Are microchip feeders worth it?

If you have more than one pet or even if you’ve befriended a stray and want to make sure that other cats don’t eat their food, then a microchip feeder is an excellent option to do exactly this. They’re fairly inexpensive and the simple open/close function of the feeder can be set up in minutes.

Simply put, microchip feeders are amazingly useful and worth every penny.

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Are automatic feeders good for cats?

Automatic feeders are great for cat and save their owners a lot of time, while also helping to avoid the occasional late feeding. These feeders are designed so that you can program in a feeding schedule and also select the amount of food that is dispensed.

If your cat is on a diet, then this is extra useful, as you can ensure that they are always getting served only the recommended amount of calories in each measured serving that the machine will dispense. As a bonus, once your cat knows that the food always arrives on schedule, they’ll nag you a whole lot less about it!

How long can you leave a cat with an automatic feeder?

While a cat feeder could conceivably feed your cat safely for a few days, it is not recommended that you leave your cat alone for more than 24 hours. Cats are creatures of habit and part of their routine is spending time with their favorite person… you!

When you aren’t there, your cat feels uncomfortable, and starts becoming stressed or even depressed while you are gone. If you need to leave for a long time, a pet sitter or a trusted friend is a much better option for your kitty and for their mental health.

How do I stop my cat from knocking over my automatic feeder?

Put the automatic feeder in a corner, so that the two walls meeting at an angle will prevent the feeder from being pushed in that direction, and you can further fortify it from falling by using some Velcro tape, attaching one strip to the floor and the other to the base of the feeder to hold it fast.

Between these two strategies, the odds are in your favor that a cat fishing their paw inside that feeder will not knock it over.

Can you put wet food in an automatic feeder?

You need to select a model which specifically has a wet food option. These models have either refrigeration capabilities built-in or come with reusable ice packs that can keep cat food fresh for about 6 hours.

Don’t try simply putting wet food into a dry-food only model – you’ll damage it and void your warranty!

Are gravity feeders good for cats?

If your cat self-regulates their diet and doesn’t have a tendency to overeat, then a gravity feeder is a great way to make sure that they always have a full bowl waiting. That said, if your cat overeats regularly, then you do not want to get a gravity feeder for them.

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These feeders work by means of an overturned container attached to the food bowl, so that when your cat eats and the level goes down, more food can simply drop back into the bowl. If your cat is a glutton, they’ll just keep eating, so an automatic feeder to dispense specific portions is a much better idea.

Are there gravity feeders for water?

Yes, there are gravity feeders for water, and the most modern designs will attach to a hose and a faucet so that when your cat drinks water below the fill line, the bowl will automatically refill with water fresh from the tap. It’s basically the same principle that keeps the toilet bowl full in your home.

What’s a good feeding schedule for my cat with an automatic feeder?

For cats, an ideal schedule is going to be twice a day at times which are 12 hours apart. For instance, 8am and 8pm each day is perfectly fine.

As far as portions, your cat will need 20 calories for every pound of weight to maintain their current body weight, so an 8-pound cat needs a minimum of 160 calories divided between two meals.