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If you want to keep your kitty safe, the best microchip cat flaps are a particularly clever invention. They give your cats free access to the outdoors while preventing any neighbourhood moggies from sneaking in. These cat flaps have a built-in sensor that recognises your cat’s microchip, meaning only they can go in and out of the flap. This puts them at a huge advantage over a normal, non-chipped flap – particularly if your cat is being bullied or you have a greedy, six-dinner Sid living nearby.
Cat flaps in general are a godsend for those of us who are servants to moggies, meaning we don’t have to get up and down every five minutes to let a cat in or out through a window or door. Allowing cats access to the outside world, in a safe environment, gives them the best life possible, so it’s worth investing in a good cat flap to let them come and go as they please.
We’ve put together a buying guide below to answer your questions about microchip cat flaps but if you’re already set on buying one, you can scroll down to view our recommendations.
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Microchipping your cat is one of the easiest ways to keep it safe and works by inserting a tiny chip into your cat. This can then be read by a portable scanner, should your cat ever go missing and end up at a vet practice. It’s not harmful to the cat and takes very little time.
Microchip cat flaps use a similar scanner, inserted into the cat flap itself in the form of a sensor. Set up is extremely easy – you simply introduce your cat’s microchip to the sensor and the cat flap will store its information. Most flaps will also let you register multiple cats.
Do make sure that your cat’s microchip is one that’s recognised by the cat flap you choose. Some older microchips and foreign chips may not work with a microchip cat flap.
Cat flaps can be installed into doors, windows and walls, although not all cat flaps are suitable for all materials. Make sure you check the requirements for your chosen cat flap before buying. Moreover, don’t forget that the size of the hole required for installation will be larger than the size of the opening in your cat flap. Expect to calculate between two to six centimetres more than the stated dimensions and around five centimetres in depth.
If you’re installing a cat flap into glass, you will most likely need a mounting adapter. You can expect to pay around £12 for these. If you’re installing the cat flap into a wall, you might need a tunnel extender (sometimes called a door liner). Each tunnel extender adds five centimetres to the overall length of the tunnel and you can stack them together to create a tunnel of any length. These will generally set you back around £6.
Finally, remember that your cat won’t want to reach up too far to get in and out of the cat flap. Make sure you install it at a suitable height for their legs.
Those of us who are already servants to our feline overlords might be laughing at the idea that you can train a cat to do anything. However, there are some simple tips you can try to make your cat use a new cat flap with ease.
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Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon
The Cat Mate 360W is a simply designed microchip cat flap that doesn’t cost the earth – in microchip cat flap terms, that is. Made by PetMate, which is known for its reasonably priced cat flaps, this model works with either your cat’s implanted microchip or a unique ID disk that you can fit to a collar.
It’s a really simple cat flap to programme, with just the push of a button and an LED indicator that flashes to let you know the microchip has been registered. You’ll need four AA batteries to power the cat flap, but users report that these last for around a year, making the Cat Mate even better value for money.
You can programme up to 30 different microchips into the cat flap, making this a good choice for a multi-cat household. The flap itself is transparent and made from extremely tough polymer, plus there’s also a weatherproof brush seal to help keep out drafts. A rotary four-way lock allows you to control how or if cats can come in and out of the house. What’s more, it can be installed in most doors, as well as walls and glass panels with the relevant adapter. This is a well-made simple design that should give you many years of use.
Key details – Size (cm): 11 x 20 x 25; Weight: 930g; Power: 4 AA batteries; Colours: White, Brown
Price: £110 | Buy now from Amazon
If you’ve got more than one cat, the Dual Scan from Sure Petcare could be just the cat flap you’re looking for. It works with both microchips and the SureFlap RFID collar tag, but allows you to programme it for individual cats. This means you can keep specific cats inside – for instance, if they have a dreaded vet appointment and you don’t want them sneaking off – while the rest of your feline clowder can keep going in and out at will. The cat flap can be programmed for up to 32 cats and is powered by 4 AA batteries that should last up to a year.
There’s one-button programming and a manual four-way lock for security. Moreover, it has a safety mode to allow any cats that escape through a window or door to come back in. It can also be installed in doors, windows and walls, although you may need some accessories such as tunnel extenders. It's not the prettiest cat flap, as it’s quite solid and chunky, but for those living in a multi-cat household, it’s a brilliant invention.
Key details – Size (cm): 14.8 x 21 x 21; Weight: 1kg; Power: 4 AA batteries; Colours: White, Brown
Price: £67 | Buy now from Amazon
If you don’t enjoy the draughts that can often accompany cat flaps, the PetSafe cat flap is the one for you. It’s extremely energy efficient, with two magnetic closing points that increase insulation and act as a draught excluder. There’s also weather stripping to help protect the flap from extreme rain and snow, making it a product that should last through even the most horrible winters.
Setup is easy, with one-button programming. However, this flap is marginally slower to open than some others and this may take your cat a little while to get used to, so be patient. The cat flap has a green light, which appears when a chip is read successfully and the LED light will also indicate when the battery is running low. Powered by 4 AA batteries, battery life is again impressive at around 12 months.
The PetSafe cat flap comes with a cutting template to help with fitting, but you should note that for doors made of metal, glass and PVC, or to put the cat flap in a brick wall, you’ll need to purchase the PetSafe installation adapter and tunnel extension. This is another well-made cat flap and reasonably priced compared to competitors.
Key details – Size (cm): 12.2 x 22 x 23.9; Weight: 744grams; Power: 4 AA batteries; Colours: White, Brown
Price: £200 | Buy now from Pets at Home
Gadget-lovers will adore the SureFlap Microchip Connect, which comes with a hub that connects the cat flap to the accompanying Sure Petcare app. You get all the usual features of a microchip cat flap – it works with one-button programming and has a manual locking system – but there are also lots of extras accessible through the app.
You can lock or unlock the cat flap remotely when you’re not at home, and there’s also a curfew mode to allow you to lock or unlock the cat flap at specific times of the day. The app also lets you check if your cat is at home and will even “meow” when a cat goes in or out. If you’re going to be out, you can share permissions with your friends so that they can keep an eye on your cats and control their comings and goings.
However, you won’t get all these features without the hub and this needs to be plugged into your router with an ethernet cable as well as into the mains. You’ll also need 4 C cell batteries, which you should expect to last a maximum of six months.
If you’d like to learn more about this cat flap, read our full SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap review.
Key details – Size (cm): 12.5 x 26.2 x 28; Weight: 1.3kg; Power: 4 C cell batteries; Colours: White
Buy now from Pets at Home
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