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The Vincent family

Mealtimes made easier in busy cat household

Dr Alyssa Vincent is a veterinarian who has recently started her own blog on environmental enrichment for the indoor cat. She has fostered tiny kittens over the years and she has raised four cats of her own. Her cats Oliver, Orange, Fiona and Owen each have a Microchip Pet Feeder to ensure they have exclusive access to their food. We got in touch with her to find out more about her cats and how the feeders are helping at mealtimes in her busy household.

Please could you give a bit of background information about your cats and their personalities?

Oliver was found when he was a few weeks old along with the rest of his litter. He was bottle fed by a veterinary technician and I adopted him when he was about 5 weeks old.  He is smart, laid back, and LOVES food. He also enjoys watching cat TV and goes crazy over every interactive toy I've introduced. Oliver is the resident fly catcher.

Orange is petite, dainty, and my personal shadow. She came to me with 6 other kittens from a rescue in New York when she was about two weeks old. The rescue was inundated with kittens and needed foster help. I bottle fed every one and adopted the kittens out in pairs. Orange bonded with me and decided she didn’t want to leave, which was fine by me! She hasn’t left my side since.

Fifi was found wandering in a backyard when she was about 8 weeks old. Fiona is quite the diva, as many torti cats are. She demands head scratches, but then gives you finger nibbles when she's had enough. She loves biting and bunny kicking her favorite toys. She is the only cat that will sit patiently and wait for her food.

Owen was an extremely sick kitten when he rescued by a vet tech. He was nursed back to health and I adopted him when he was about 5 weeks old. Owen is my goofball of a cat. He is not graceful, but doesn’t mind when he falls off of the couch. He talks to me animatedly throughout the day. He is the slowest, messiest eater I have ever encountered.

Do your cats have any particular feeding habits?

Orange will vomit if she eats larger meals, so everyone is fed four times a day. None of them are grazers, so they will eat their full meal in one sitting, but at different speeds.

Why did you choose the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder?

Feeding four cats can be chaotic. Oliver eats the fastest, then wants to help everyone else finish their meal. Oliver is also on a joint supplement, which is a powder mixed in with his food, so I don’t want anyone else getting into his meal. Owen takes about 15 minutes to finish a meal. He also has sensitive whiskers and doesn’t like it when they touch the bowl. The feeder is wide enough for that not to be a problem. Orange would walk away if one of her siblings pushed their way to her bowl. So, it was a bit of a feeding frenzy before we got the feeders. I ended up sitting on the floor with them all and placed their bowls around me so I could monitor as they ate. Doing this multiple times a day was time consuming and I could tell there was some stress and competition involved for the cats, which I didn’t like.

How has the Microchip Pet Feeder helped in your situation?

The feeder has been a lifesaver. I line everyone up at their designated feeders, place the food in the bowls, and we are good to go. Everyone has learned which feeder is theirs (I never change orientation) and they know they can’t get into each other’s dishes. Owen can eat for as long as he wants and his whiskers don’t touch the sides of the feeder and Orange isn’t pushed away, while Oliver gets his full dose of his joint supplement. I can keep an eye on them while in the kitchen, but they don’t need to be supervised anymore.

How well did your cats take to the Microchip Pet Feeder?

All four cats are food oriented, so we didn’t have any trouble acclimating them to the feeders. I placed the feeders in a line and never switched up the order, so they learned their places very quickly. They are always fed in the same order as well. We started feeding with the sensors off, then I introduced the moving lid and motor sound with treats, and they caught on quickly. None of them were intimidated by the movement or noise.

Would you recommend the Microchip Pet Feeder to other pet-owning people?

I would recommend the Microchip Pet Feeder to anyone with multiple cats. Weight management is extremely important, so being able to regulate caloric intake is key. With the feeders, I know how much each cat eats and I can be assured that there is no food stealing going on. It is also extremely helpful for cats on different diets or receiving various medications. It gives you control and peace of mind and reduces inter-cat competition during mealtimes.

In the Vincent home...

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