If you have a slow-eating cat like Pierre, you may leave food down for him all the time just to be sure that there’s food waiting when he decides to eat a few more bites. Unfortunately, most people who leave food out for hours on end opt to use dry food because they think it doesn’t go bad as fast. The problem is that dry food isn’t good for your cat.
When our friends at SureFlap offered to let us test their sealed pet bowl that closes over the contents of the bowl to keep it fresh, we thought this could be the answer to the dilemma of keeping food fresh for slow eaters, so we had to check it out.
Why is Moist Food Important?
First, let’s talk moisture. Your cat needs it to keep from getting dehydrated, and the older your cat is, the more likely your cat needs even more of it.
Here’s part of the contents label from a bag of dry food. Check out the moisture content:
Now here’s the moisture content of a can of cat food I had on the shelf of Pierre’s canned food. That’s a lot more moisture!
A cat eating dry food has to drink a lot of water to offset the lack of moisture content in his food, and a lot of them don’t keep up with the necessary water intake. Cats eating canned food are getting it as part of their dinner!
So… why do so many people feed kibble? In a lot of cases, it comes down to convenience, and I get that, believe me! When I first tried feeding canned food to my cats, it sat around a long time, and it ended up looking like this.
Did you say yuck when you saw the brownish dried-out parts? Me too! Cats aren’t big fans of it, either. If your cat is a slow eater and prefers to eat a little now and a little later (I’m looking at you, Pierre), this can be a real problem, and it’s part of the reason that a lot of people abandon the idea of feeding canned food and go back to dehydrating kibble.
Keeping Moist Food Fresh with the SureFeed Sealed Pet Bowl
What if you had a butler who would stand next to your cat’s bowl and put some cling wrap over it when your cat walked away and then took it back off so that the food was nice and moist when your cat was hungry for another bite or two in a little while?
I’m totally not going to tell you about that, because I have never had a butler, and if I ever do, I have some other tasks for him first. But even better than a butler is a bowl that will do the same thing for you 24 hours a day. That’s what I found with the SureFeed sealed pet bowl when Pierre tried it out. It comes with a bowl that has a silicone lip around the top and then a battery-powered bowl with motion sensors on three sides.
It’s pretty neat because it opens up when it sees your cat approach, and it closes tight again. Just watch. (If the video below doesn’t display for you, view directly on YouTube)
As you can see, this bowl doesn’t limit access to only one cat, so you would want to use it in a situation where all of your cats are eating the same diet. (SureFeed does make a bowl that limits access to a single cat. More about that here.)
The bowl has a training mode where the door only has limited motion so that you can gradually get your cat accustomed to something on their bowl moving like that. Since Pierre has been eating from a SureFeed microchip bowl for about eight months, we didn’t have to go through the introduction process for this bowl, but he learned in less than a week with his previous bowl using the same gradual process.
I did notice that this bowl is very quiet. When Pierre finishes eating and steps away from his usual bowl, I’m accustomed to hearing it from all the way at my desk in the next room, but the SureFeed sealed pet bowl is so quiet I couldn’t hear it from a room away.
SureFeed Sealed Pet Bowl Really Does Keep Moist Food Fresher
I was kind of skeptical about how well the SureFeed sealed pet bowl worked to keep food fresh. I mean, how sealed could that hinged top really be? So I put half a can of cat food on a saucer and the other half in the SureFeed bowl, then I left it in my spare bathroom.
You may remember we wrote before about Newton and Pierre objecting to a closed door in the house, and some of you wondered what was behind the door. Those photos were of frustrated kitties who could smell the food in the open saucer for nine hours while it was sitting in the bathroom for this test. Cats have an amazing sense of smell, so maybe the two of them could smell the food inside the sealed SureFeed bowl, too, but I can’t smell it when the bowl is closed. That led keeps in smells and keeps flying insects out when it is shut since it sits snugly over the bowl against the silicone lip of the bowl.
So how did the SureFeed bowl do for keeping the food fresh? You can see that the food left on the plate for hours had dark, crusty parts from exposure to the air, while the food that spent that time closed in the SureFeed sealed feeder still looked moist and fresh.
I was surprised at how fresh the food looked, since I expected it to look a little worse for wear, but the bowl sealed it up really well.
Fresher food has to be healthier for slow-eating cats, so that’s a paws-up win for everyone.
FTC Disclosure: We were compensated to review the SureFeed sealed pet bowl. The opinions in this review are our own and not influenced by any outsider. We receive no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.