More than half of cat owners have more than one cat.
How do you keep them from eating each other’s food?
How do you put your cat on a diet?
While there are multiple steps you can take to get the results you want, it might very well come down to the type of cat feeder you have in the home.
A collar sensor cat feeder may just be what you’re looking for.
To see what’s available, what features and benefits they offer, and what other essentials you should consider, purr through this guide.
Best Cat Feeders with a Collar Sensor
It’s likely you have multiple cats in the same home, and you know who the dominant one is. It’s the food-motivated, greedy cat that eats more than their fair share while it intimidates the others into a corner.
It’s time to a get a cat feeder for the scrawny one, but not any cat feeder will do.
A collar sensor cat feeder will only open to the registered cat. The dominant one may still try to shove the cat out of its bowl, but the automatic doors will close locking the bully out.
But, it’s not only ideal for multi-cat homes where food fights occur at every meal, it’s also good for providing a specific diet to a specific cat, ensuring medicated food isn’t accessed by other pets, and the feeder may also provide scheduled feedings instead of free-feeding.
Collar sensor and microchip feeders are all different, but they have one thing in common – they’re expensive.
Before you pull the trigger on the first one you find, do your due diligence in researching what’s available and if it provides the features you need.
Best Cat Feeder with Collar Sensor Reviews
1. SureFeed Microchip Connect with Hub
- Connects to the Sure Petcare app via the Hub (HUB INCLUDED AND PACKAGED IN BOX)
Having the ability to connect your smartphone with your cat feeder is a brilliant idea. What information can you acquire and share with your vet? Let’s find out.
- Microchip & collar reader
- App compatibility
- Hub included
- Automatic lid
- 3-year warranty
This Sure Petcare SureFeed pet feeder is one of the only microchip and collar-activated pet feeders in the market. It’s exceptionally expensive, but at least it comes with the device you need to enable a WiFi connection to sync the feeder to the Sure Petcare app on your phone.
With the app, you can track how much your cat has consumed from the portion you set out, when they ate, and how long they spent eating. Because each side of the feeder has integrated, independent scales, you can also keep track of what they ate even when you use the split bowls to separate food types. You can use the app to set a specific portion control amount then fill the bowls where LED indicator lights alert you when you’ve reached the right amount up to an accuracy of 1 gram.
While a rear hood cover is available as a separate purchase to keep other pets out of the bowl while the registered cat is eating, the automatic lid only responds to the registered cat. You can adjust the time of how fast or slow the lid closes after the registered cat leaves the bowl to keep other furry intruders out.
Even though it’s pricey, the app compatibility allows for tracking your cat’s feeding habits. This could be essential information that your vet may need if your lovable pet ever requires medical attention. Backed by a 3-year warranty, your investment is protected.
2. SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder
- Key Benefits: Prevents food stealing and stress at mealtimes in multi-pet homes, keeps your pets...
This SureFeed Automatic Pet Feeder is the basic alternative to the Connect version. It has the microchip and collar reader technology you need to provide food access to the designated cat and restrictions on pets that should stick to their own bowls.
- Microchip & collar reader
- For multi-pet homes
- 400 ml & split bowls
- Automatic lid
- 3-year warranty
- Only battery operation
The SureFeed pet feeder is compatible with both microchipped cats and RFID collars. If you don’t have a chipped kitty or a tag, the feeder comes with a collar in the package. While you can add multiple RFID numbers to the feeder, it’s really designed for one pet. It comes with a 400 ml bowl or two half bowls that provides enough food for a daily feed for a single cat.
The bowls have a neoprene lip that allows for airtight storage when the lid closes. This allows you to use both dry and wet food. They’re also removeable for hand washing but cannot be used in the microwave or dishwasher.
One thing you should know is that this is not a portion control dispenser. It’s a feeder with an automatic lid that allows access to registered RFID numbers. This means, whenever the cat approaches the bowl, it can feed as little or as much as it wants. This would be ideal for established grazers or for restricting pets from eating medicated food specifically prescribed to one pet.
The automatic lid opens upon successful reading of the chip or collar. It will close once the cat moves away from the sensor area, or more likely, once it’s pushed away by another pet. You can set the timing of how fast the lid closes once the registered RFID has left the area to prevent others from freely chowing away.
Unfortunately, there is no option to use an AC adapter with the feeder. It only operates on 4x C batteries. The good news is, one set should last approximately six months.
3. Wireless Whiskers AutoDiet Pet Feeder
- Diet Access Control Feeder Includes 2 Wireless Tags and AC Adapter
The Wireless Whiskers is a collar-sensor pet feeder for pets up to 18” tall – perfectly suited to small dogs and cats.
- Collar sensor
- Food regulator
- One-pet feeding area
- Power supply options
- Timing based
This automatic pet feeder comes with two wireless collar tags that can be programmed with the feeder. What’s great about its design is that it allows you to provide individual timings for multiple cats, so it’s a true multi-cat feeder.
You can’t dispense individual food portions with this feeder because it does not have built-in scales. How it regulates food is based on preset timings. You can set specific collars with individual timings which means the collar reader will detect which pet is at the bowl. The lid will open and will stay open for a set time before it closes and locks the cat out. You can also schedule when their food can be accessible by the registered cat or cats.
Because of its design, you can load up the hopper to hold approximately 5 lbs of dry food. You won’t have to refill the hopper for several days depending on how many pets are registered for the feeder. While you can program the feeder for up to 8 tags, it’s also a great option to keep medicated food specifically for the prescribed cat that requires a special, expensive diet.
One of its greatest features is its one-pet feeding trough. Both the feeding and sensor area is small and fits only one pet at a time. If the registered cat is pushed out of the way, the doors will immediately close.
Although it’s not “smart” in the way that you can gather tracking information from the feeder, it does allow and restrict access to specific pets. It also allows you to put your pet on a feeding schedule. It’s a fantastic feeder for human owners with busy schedules.
1. Felines Only The Purrrfect Cat Dish
- KEEPS DOGS OUT: The Purrrfect Cat Dish was created by a veterinarian just for felines and is...
If you don’t have microchipped cats or RFID collars, you can always opt for a selective cat feeder. The Purrrfect Cat Dish was specially designed by a veterinarian specifically for cats.
- Two bowls
- Cat-specific design
- Dishwasher safe
- Wet & dry food
- No sealing lids
The Purrrfect Cat Dish features two feeding bowls within a see-through plastic hood that caters to the specific way cats feed. This design helps to keep dogs from getting into cat food.
It’s shaped with small access holes that’s large enough for overweight and big kitties to fit their heads into while larger dog snouts won’t be able shimmy their way in.
It keeps cats from being sloppy and messy, it’s dishwasher safe, and each bowl holds up to one cup each of kibble. You can also use wet food, but it won’t stay fresh if it goes uneaten as there is no airtight lid and securing mechanism.
The Cat Dish also comes with hardware to secure the feeder down so that gung-ho pets can’t knock it over to gain access to spilled food. While it can be placed outside, heavy rain can enter the food bowls through the feeding holes.
Designed for cats, the Purrrfect Cat Dish is a selectable and restricted-access cat feeder. Unless other pets and animals get crafty, there is no breaking into this feeder unless they’re especially small.
2. SureFeed Motion-Activated Sealed Pet Bowl
- MOTION ACTIVATED: The Motion-Activated lid opens when any pet approaches (Not Microchip Activated)....
If you’re in a single-pet or cat-only home, an appropriate alternative to a microchip-activated feeder is a motion-activated cat feeder. Keep food fresh, the odor concealed, and your cats happy as they free-feed.
- Automatic lid
- Removable bowl
- Non-skid base
- 2-year warranty
- Free-feeding bowl
The SureFeed pet bowl comes with a 400 ml removable bowl that is easy to clean by hand. With its neoprene lipped edge and automatic sealing lid, food stays fresher longer, and you can serve wet food while keeping flies out and the odor at bay. There are split bowls and other colored bowls that are available for purchase separately.
Although this isn’t a microchip or collar sensor feeder, it is motion-activated. The primary benefits of this design is to keep food fresh, bugs from getting into the food, and to prevent mess and spills.
Since it’s motion-activated, the lid will open anytime a pet approaches the bowl, so it’s not pet specific. If your cat is already an established grazer, the free-feeding design of the feeder may suit your cat’s lifestyle. If they’re a gorger and you’re trying to set a diet, you’ll need to portion size meals yourself and add it to the bowl as often as necessary to promote weight loss.
The SureFeed bowl is powered by 4x C batteries, opens for any pet, and with non-skidding silicon toe pads, the cat bowl isn’t going anywhere. Accessible, fresh food equals a happy cat. Less mess with less whining for feeds equals a happy cat owner.
What to Look for in a Cat Feeder with Collar Sensor
Collar sensor and microchip pet feeders are not common purchases even though the demand seems to be there.
If you’re considering allowing and restricting access to food for specific pets in the house, here’s what you need to know about the limited products.
There isn’t a widely available market of collar sensor and microchip pet feeders. In fact, there only seems to be a handful of available models at any given time. Neither do such cat feeders have the same technologies, quality, or features.
Sure Petcare has an established inventory of collar sensor cat feeders, and there are other brands that bring a similar product from time to time that comes and goes. This obviously restricts what is available at any given time.
Unfortunately, there are design and tech improvements needed in this type of product. Many of us look forward to seeing such a product come to market.
The RFID reader is expensive technology to put into a cat feeder, hence the expensive price tag of such a feeder. They tend to range in price from $150-$200.
You may need to pay more for additional accessories for the cat feeder that can include additional RFID collar tags, hood covers, multiple bowls, batteries, and more. You very well could spend hundreds of dollars at the end of the day for multiple feeders.
Microchip VS Collar
While both have RFID numbers, not every collar sensor cat feeder is compatible with a microchip. It all depends on where the microchip is placed and how large the detection area is to consistently read the chip.
Because the sensor area is generally small, a collar tag may still need to be used on a cat that has a microchip.
Single VS Multiple Pet Compatibility
Most collar sensor cat feeders available allow programming of multiple RFID numbers. However, just because it can allow for multiple IDs, it doesn’t mean it’s compatible for use by multiple pets.
The feeder design is usually only large enough for one pet to feed at a time. The microchip or collar access also allows you to feed a specific cat a calorie-restricted, special, or medicated diet.
If you have a cat or two out of multiple cats or pets on the same diet, it can likely serve as a multi-cat feeder. However, the idea is to keep other pets out while allowing access to a specific cat or cats.
Not every automatic cat feeder is the same. Some are designed to provide access to food whenever the cat approaches the bowl while others will restrict access based on timed schedules.
More often than not, complaints about this type of cat feeder is usually due to a lack of understanding of the product when it was purchased. To prevent buyer’s remorse, here are some features you may want to look for in a collar sensor cat feeder before you buy.
- Portion control – You can hand serve portion sizes per meal or if the feeder offers portion control, is it based on weight or automatic timings?
- Dispenser – does it dispense portion amounts or does it hold several pounds of food dispensed intermittently?
- Wet and dry food – is it only for dry food or can it keep wet food fresh?
- Easy to clean – can the bowl be removed, used in the microwave, or is it dishwasher safe?
- Power supply – is it battery operated, does it allow for plugging into an outlet, or does it have both?
- App compatibility – does it have WiFi or Bluetooth? Is a separate device needed to establish a WiFi connection?
- Integrated scales – allows accurate measurements of food for portion control.
Not Pet Proof
Let’s face it, we’re still dealing with a plastic contraption that is not pet proof to the abuse that overzealous cats and aggressive dogs can dish out.
While collar sensor cat feeders can provide technology to help keep out unregistered or greedy pets, they’re smart in figuring out ways to trick the system. Whether it’s breaking into the compartment to paw out food or a large dog attacking the feeder to commit the crime of unlawful breaking and entering, a cat feeder can fail and break.
The responsibility lies on you to help train your pets on how the feeder works and who it’s designed for. Corrective training methods may need to be enforced to minimize and prevent pets from damaging the feeder.
Automatic cat feeders are a great idea for many reasons. It’s a great way to establish individual feeding areas, a customized way to provide a special or medicated diet to a specific cat, and some feeders allow you to track specifics that can keep you on top of your cat’s feeding habits.
The RFID number is programmed with the cat feeder. The sensor in the feeder can detect and read the number through RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology.
Successful detection depends on the quality of the sensor technology and its detection range. Some feeders require the microchip or an RFID collar to be as close to the sensor as possible or will require continuous reading of the tag to allow access to food via an automatic self-opening lid. It will restrict access with an automatic self- closing lid locking out unregistered pets when the registered cat leaves the sensor detection range.
Resetting a microchip or collar sensor feeder will be different for every model between manufacturers.
Usually, a designated button has a dual function feature to perform resets back to factory settings if it can’t be accessed by a menu in the settings. Holding down the button for a period of time stated in the manual should clear the memory back to a blank slate.
Check the manual for factory reset instructions.
If you’ve tried providing the same diet, separating your cats, separate rooms, and feeding schedules to no avail, you may need a collar sensor cat feeder or microchip cat feeder.
While automatic cat feeders can provide portion control and scheduled feedings, they’re not target specific, so any cat can chow down when it’s available.
Collar and microchip-activated cat feeders will only open to the registered RFID number supplied to that cat. Other cats or pets may still be motivated to dive into the cat feeder, but when the doors close on them, their opportunistic behavior will prove fruitless.
The Smart Way to Feeding Your Cats
When cat separation efforts aren’t working, if your cat is consistently overgorging, or if you need to keep specific food inaccessible to other pets, you should seriously consider a collar sensor cat feeder.
It’s a smart way to ensure the right cat is getting what they need when they need it. The other cats may get jealous or will have to learn to wait their turn, but it provides peace of mind to the owner that feeding time is regulated to the right pet. But collar sensor cat feeders are not equal…
Because it’s an emerging and expensive product, it’s essential to do your research before you buy. If you can determine what it does and doesn’t do from the get-go, you’ll know if it will be a successful cat feeder for your multi-pet household.
- 5 Best Cat Feeders With a Collar Sensor in 2023
- Wireless Whiskers AutoDiet Automatic Pet Feeder Review
- SureFeed Motion Activated Sealed Pet Bowl Review
- SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder Review
- SureFeed Microchip Connect Pet Feeder Review
A lover of animals, peace and quiet, and reading. When Fern is not working she will be engrossed in a Fiction book or drooling over the idea of going out for dinner.
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