One of the first microchip cat flaps on the market, it is beginning to show its age.
A little temperamental and slow, it is an OK choice, but we would look elsewhere.
- Compatible with 9, 10 and 15-digit microchips for 9 cats
- Clear LCD screen showing status of up to 3 cats
- Timer function and 4-Way lock allows full access control
- slightly larger opening than most – good for chunky cats!
- Quite noisy and slow to open which can put nervous cats off using it
- Cat needs their chip very close to the sensor to operate it
- It does not have the greatest reliability record
Full Pet Mate Elite Microchip Cat Flap Review
Introduced in 2012, Pet Mate’s Elite Microchip Cat Flap is an automated cat flap designed for the ease of cat owners. The device is programmable and has plenty of unique features. It helps cat owners control the movement of their feline friends and keep away unwanted intruders.
But the Elite Microchip Cat Flap was released in 2012, so can it keep up with the more modern pet doors on the market? Read on to find out whether the product is still worth buying.
- 4- Way Locking System – Works through an electronic ID disc with an implanted microchip.
- Universal Fitting – can be installed any surface, from metal, wooden doors to walls, with the help of different adapters.
- Transparent glaze – a see-through glass panel which makes it easier for cats to get used to the device, as they can see where they are going.
- Individual control – allows users to control entry/exit of each cat individually.
- Timer control– users can set time when the device allows entry or exit of cats, helps to keep cats inside the house at night.
- Programmable – can change settings according to the time and need.
- Access Control – bars the entry of stray animals (also other pets) from your home.
- Cat location display – shows the location of your cat.
- Training mode – allows the cat to get used to the device.
- Energy-saving mode – efficient use of energy, batteries run longer.
Design-wise, the Elite Microchip Cat Flap is quite similar to any other cat flap available in the market, with a transparent window, and AA battery power, although the design is beginning to look old.
The door flap has been lined with smooth brushes on its edges. These brushes allow cats to walk through the device without any difficulty. The boundary of the door flap is surrounded by thicker plastic than its LCD screen, controls, and battery compartment.
The Elite Microchip Cat Flap uses 4 x AA batteries to power itself. These batteries can last up to 12 months, depending on the amount of use it gets. The device will notify you that the batteries are low through the low battery indicator on the panel, which is not as easy to spot as the red light that others use..
Inside the device, there is a lock that closes the door flap with the help of magnetic closure. Because the device doesn’t use a physical catch, there’s no chance that the cat will get pricked while it tries to sneak through the flap.
As soon as you unbox the device, you can start thinking about the best place to install the device. While deciding where it will be installed, you can consider the access points that are safe for your cats (i.e., away from possible car traffic).
One of the best things about this device is that it doesn’t limit users for installation options. The device is adept for universal fitting, which means that you can install it in metal or wooden doors, sliding glass doors to walls.
To install the device on metal or wooden doors, you have to cut a hole in the door while considering the dimensions of the device (24.6 x 11 x 19.7 cm). However, installation on walls and glass surfaces need additional components, such as wall liners and adapters.
After installation, you can start registering your feline friends one by one. To do so, remove the battery compartment cover, press and hold the red program button located at the underside of the circuit board.
Hold the button until you see the search button the display panel. After you see the search icon, release the button, and entice your cat to go through the device tunnel. When the device detects the implanted microchip on your cat, simply press the “select” button to save your settings.
Registering all your cats can be a difficult process if your cats are not willing to walk through the new device. Alternatively, you can complete the registration process before installing the device on a door or wall. If you do this, you can simply hold the device tunnel over the cat’s head, until it detects the implanted microchip.
The device has a number of unique features, which can help you to monitor your cat’s behaviour or limit its movement.
The Elite Microchip Cat Flap uses implanted chips on your cat to register them for entry. Therefore, if any other animal tries to enter your home, the device hatch will not open for them, regardless of how hard they try.
This feature is great for cat owners who want to protect their young kittens from stray animals. Other cats, especially stray male cats, are known to attack and injure kittens. The Elite Microchip Cat Flap ensures that your beloved felines stay safe and protected all the time.
The device allows its users to set a specific time to bar/allow their cat’s movement outside the house. Cat owners can disallow entry/exit when there’s a risk that their furry friends could get hurt. For instance, you can set a timer to stop movement during high-traffic hours or to stop your cat’s habit of nocturnal hunting.
4-Way Locking System
The Elite Microchip Cat Flap has a 4-Way lock that allows users to choose from four different access options. The device works by scanning the microchip on a cat and then grants access according to the settings programmed on the device.
As a user, you can opt to keep the device on open, locked, exit-only, or entry-only settings, depending on your current need. The open setting allows cats to enter or exit, according to their will, whereas, the locked mode deters them from doing either of the two. These operations allow users to control the movement of their cats and ensure their safety.
During the daytime, you can allow your cats to roam freely by setting the device on open. Other times, when you are busy, sleeping, or at work, you can set the device on locked mode to deter them from leaving the house.
At times, you might want to keep your cat outside the house, don’t worry; you can do that by setting it to exit-only mode. You can also decide to keep the cat inside your house, especially when it’s going to get dark soon. To do this, just change the device settings to entry-only.
The Elite Microchip Cat Flap allows users to configure the device differently for each of their cats. For instance, if you have a kitten that needs to be kept at home, you can choose to keep the door locked for her at all times. However, doing so will not affect the entry or exit control for other cats that can take care of themselves outside your home.
Cat Location Display
The device tells its users whether a registered cat is inside the house or not. Moreover, it also tells us how much time has passed since a certain cat has gone through the device. You can see this information on the display for up to three registered cats in total.
If your cat ever goes missing, the device can give a rough estimate about where your cat might be. However, this is not accurate as a Cat GPS Locater, which works with a smart-phone application and tells you the exact location of your cat.
In a nutshell, the Pet Mate Elite Microchip Cat Flap is a step up on some basic microchip cat flaps, but it is beginning to show its age. The sensor is not as sensitive as some others and it seems to have some reliability issues.
The real nail in the coffin is that it is not even that cheap. So while it does the job, we feel there are better microchip cat flaps for the money.