Tips for choosing the best microchip cat flap
How does a microchip cat flap work?
For cat owners who have their cats microchipped (and if you’ve not, please look into it!), microchip cat flaps are configured to your individual cat (or cats), allowing them access to your house or to leave when they want to.
Most microchip cat flaps have a range of options available so you can define when your cats are allowed out and about.
Automated cat flaps can keep your neighbour’s pets out!
One of the main drawbacks of manual cat flaps is that they allow other pets in your home. This can be an inconvenience at best, or at worst can cause trauma or distress for your own cats if the invading pet is aggressive.
By using a microchip cat flap, you can ensure that only your cats are allowed in your house, so you won’t come home from work to find uninvited guests. Unless of course your cat brings you a “present”, but unfortunately we don’t have a solution for that!
These cat flaps are compatible with most microchipped cats
It’s worth carefully researching each model of cat flap to ensure it is in fact compatible with your cat’s microchip. Some models only support newer microchips, but many do support all microchipped cats.
RFID collar tags are sold separately
If you don’t have your cat microchipped (and again, please reconsider because there are lots of benefits from doing so), then you can purchase a RFID tag which fits on your cat’s collar. Remember these are brand specific, so not all tags will work with all cat flaps.
Check with the manufacturer to find out which one to use.
1. SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap
The SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap is one of the most popular models on the market just now. It’s simple and affordable, doing everything you need your microchip cat flap to do.
This is a basic model, operated by 4 x AA batteries and can be installed in virtually any door, wall or window (although it should be noted that tunnel extensions may be required for thicker walls and these can be purchased separately). The batteries last up to a year, so there’s very little you need to do to maintain the system.
It’s one of the more affordable models on the market as it doesn’t come with more advanced features like timer or app controls, but it does have a 4 way manual lock system to allow you to adjust whether or not your cat can use it. This cat flap allows up to 32 pets to be authorised users and allows any cat to leave your use, but only your cats to enter.
As with any new item in your house, your cats may take a little while getting used to it but most cats should get to grips with how to leave and enter via the cat flap pretty quickly.
Simplicity is often key when it comes to these things and that’s why so many people have opted for SureFlap cat flaps. They’re a great brand that produces fantastic products. This particular model is at the lower end, making it affordable while still delivering a great microchip activated cat flap. Highly recommended!
2. Cat Mate 360W Microchip Cat Flap
The Cat Mate 360w Microchip Cat Flap is another contender for a fantastic budget microchip cat flap. Like its SureFlap counterpart (above), it’s a basic model intended that comes in at a lower price, but does everything you need it to do.
The 4 way lock system allows you to control your cat’s access to the flap which is useful for times when you might not want your cat heading out (for example, during thunderstorms or if there are fireworks being set off nearby). The combination of manual control and automation gives you the peace of mind that your cat has the freedom it needs, but that you can sure it is safe.
Compatible with all microchips, this model is suitable for all cat owners and for those who don’t have their cat chipped, you can purchase a Cat Mate ID Disc which can be attached to your cats collar.
This model also runs on 4 x AA batteries, with an expected lifespan of around a year.
The brush sealed flap with magnetic closure means that the cat flap is secure and draught proof, so your home retains its heat (which I’m sure both you and your cat will be please to hear!).
The Cat Mate Microchip Cat Flap is a solid, budget cat flap. It’s slightly larger than the SureFlap model, but there’s not much in it. Pick the one that you find most aesthetically compatible with your home as the quality and features in both are very similar.
3. SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap Connect with Hub Bundle
Now we’re getting into the premier league of microchip cat flaps. As I said earlier, SureFlap are a great brand when it comes to cat flaps – the model we looked at above is the most basic one they make. This model however, is at the other end of the scale and comes with all bells and whistles you might want from your cat flap.
So let’s start with the obvious downside – more features means a higher cost and this model comes in at almost three times the basic model. It’s still pretty affordable for what you get, but the higher price might put off some cat owners.
But, the features you get with this cat flap are great…
The cat flap comes with a “hub” which is basically a bit of kit that connects the microchip cat flap to your home wifi. From there, you can use the app on your smartphone to control the settings of cat flap.
For example, for owners of multiple cats you can use the app to decide which of your feline friends can leave the house and which can’t. This is a great feature if you have a young kitten or a cat that’s just back from the vet or feeling ill. You can still let your other cats out, but ensure more vulnerable cats stay inside.
The app will send you notifications when each cat leaves or enters the house. Of course, you don’t need to be constantly monitoring your cat’s activity (let’s face it, you probably will at first!) because you can configure different settings for each cat. Over time, you will get a great insight into your cat’s behaviour and gain a better understanding of how they live.
As with other models, this one runs on 4 x AA batteries. The more advanced features means the average lifetime of the batteries is around 6 months (compared to 12 for more basic models), but you are getting a lot in return for that trade off.
SureFlap promote this cat flap as “the most advanced microchip cat flap ever” and you can see why. It gives you full control over how your cats enter and leave your house, right from the palm of your hand. Definitely one for the tech aficionados!
4. PetSafe Petporte Microchip Cat Door
The Petporte Smart Flap Cat Door is another fantastic model from PetSafe. It sits in the mid-market range in terms of price and features, so it’s good for people who are looking for a few more options but don’t want to go with the more technical premium model.
Unlike the more basic microchip cat flaps, the Petporte comes with a range of more advanced features. For example, the programmable timer allows you to configure when your cat can get in and out of the house and this can be set for up to 25 different cats. The cat flap comes with a “vet mode” setting to allow only entry to the house – this ensures your cats stay in when you need them to.
Another great feature is “night mode”. The cat flap comes with a light sensor and it can be configured to lock the flap in the evening and then open again at dusk. This is ideal for cat owners who are concerned about their cat going out at night and gives you the peace of mind that they are safely at home.
Unlike other models, the Petporte is mains powered rather than taking batteries.
This is definitely a cat flap for cat owners who need to have a good degree of control over when their cat can leave the house. Its smart features save you having to adjust the settings all the time and the extra control gives you the peace of mind that your cats are safe.
5. Cat Mate Elite Microchip Cat Flap with Timer Control
The Cat Mate Elite Microchip Cat Flap is another higher end product, coming in at a similar price as the SureFlap with Hub – so definitely one for cat owners who want to spend a bit more on their cat flap.
Unlike the other models covered in this guide, this one has a LCD screen which indicates when the cat flap was last used and by which cat. This can be useful for owners of cats who like to hide away! How many times have you had to run around the house, late for work, while playing an inconvenient game of hide n’ seek with your feline friend? With this cat flap, you’ll know if your cat’s already home or not.
As a more advanced model, it does come with timer control to allow you to manage when your cats can come and go. Again, this feature might not be useful for all cat owners but for those who are concerned about their cat going out at certain times, it’s definitely a worthwhile addition to your cat flap.
It has all the basic features of other cat flaps – 4 way locks to manually control the cat flap and it also runs on 4 x AA batteries with a lifespan of around 12 months.
This is a good model for cat owners who might want a few more features, but don’t particularly won’t to have to deal with the technical side of setting up a home hub and using an app. It gives a good deal of control over when your cats come and go, and gives you peace of mind as a result.
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