Although microchip cat flaps are fairly easy to use, some people may experience technical issues. It is imperative that you know what to do if you ever face microchip cat flap problems.
Microchip Cat Flap Stops Working
One of the most common microchip cat flap problems is that the flap stops working or it won’t open. Your microchip cat flap may not work due to several reasons. It may fail to work when your pet uses it or it may not record the collar tag or microchip number.
You should first check if the microchip cat flap’s batteries are aligned correctly. Look at the polarities of the connections. Ensure that your batteries are aligned according to the indicated polarities.
Another common issue is low battery life. Also, make sure that they are not running out of charge.
If not, you can reverse the direction of the misaligned battery for proper connection. If the batteries are connected correctly, then you should check the brand. They should also be high-quality alkaline batteries. Duracell and Energizer are the most reliable brands.
Microchip Cat Flap Won’t Open
Ensure that the microchip number learning process was carried out properly. For instance, when the unit is in learning mode for your second pet, do not allow your first pet to pass through it (if the microchip number has already been recorded). If you have any doubts about the learning process, then you should repeat it correctly.
Press the learn/memory button. The red light should flash and the grey catch should also drop down. If none of these things happen, then you should note the serial number and contact customer service. You will find the serial number below the battery lid.
But if the grey catch drops down, take note of how the unit behaves when your cat uses it. If it continues to flash normally, then there may be an issue with the microchip. Sometimes, the range of the microchip can be limited, which is one of the causes of the malfunction. You should note the microchip number and submit it to the company.
Check Fitting and Mounting
Check that the unit is installed in a metal door. If it is, then you should make sure that you have followed the correct procedures for reliable mounting. Problems can occur with normal operations if the device is not installed correctly on the metal door.
You should also ensure that there are no causes of electrical disturbances nearby. Make sure that the area is clear from flickering lights and other sources of electrical interference.
You should also check the area for sources of electrical disturbance. Are there other microchip readers, flickering lights or any other cause of electrical noise? The unit comes with a sensitive signal receiver, which scans your pet’s collar tag or microchip for its ID. Electrical interference can disturb the system and reduce its scanning range considerably.
Do not operate the unit close to other microchip readers or low-frequency generating equipment. Such devices are the most common cause of performance deterioration and can prevent the unit from functioning normally.
If there are flickering faulty light bulbs nearby, then fix the cause of electrical interference. Also, keep the unit away from DC mains adaptors and mains cables as they generate powerful electric fields, which may interfere with the unit’s operation.
Correct Learning Procedure
Sometimes, the locks may take a long time to close. The sensor, which scans your pet’s microchip, might need a reset. This can take up to 10 seconds. If it happens occasionally, then it should not be a cause for concern. But if it starts happening frequently, then you should inspect the tunnel to ensure that the tunnel and lenses are free from dirt.
Dirt and Grime
If the battery life is less than 6 months, then take a close look at the draught excluder. Fur build-up can cause problems. Wipe this area clean if you notice any accumulation of fur.
Also take note of the sensor lenses and the tunnel. Ensure that they are free of grime. After inserting the batteries properly, you should give the unit some time before allowing your pet inside. If your pet has used the unit immediately, then take out the batteries for about two minutes. This step will allow the unit to reset.
The sensors should be kept in good working condition for the device to function properly. Optical sensors have been installed in the tunnel to detect the presence of a pet. These sensors are near the flap inside the tunnel’s roof. If dirt accumulates on these lenses, then it can lead to short battery life and/or some other malfunction. Use a damp cloth to clean these lenses once every few months. This will prevent your lenses from getting obscured by the build-up of dirt.
Also, look into the tunnel to check for the reflective sticker. If it is present, make sure that it is free from grime. If the sticker is not in place, then contact customer service and inform them about it.
Reflections produced by the base of the tunnel help the sensor to work reliably. These reflections can be obscured by the accumulation of dirt in the tunnel. The silver sticker has high reflectivity and it should also be kept clean. In case the sticker is missing, contact customer service and inform them since the device cannot operate properly without it.
While you are cleaning the tunnel and the door flap, you should be particularly careful about the draught excluder located on top of the door. Remove pet hair from this area. Accumulation of pet hair does not only obstruct the lens view, but it also keeps the lenses in scanning mode continuously. Due to prolonged operation, the batteries will then drain rapidly.
After you have completed cleaning the unit, give it at least 10 seconds to reset itself and revert to the normal operation mode.
You can also try the factory reset so that you can bring the device to its correct working state. For this, you will have to erase your pet’s ID number from the unit’s memory.
Press down the memory button for a minimum of ten seconds. After the memory is erased, the locks will first open and then close.
At this stage, the memory is clear and it can be programmed again with your pet’s microchip ID. This process can also take the unit out of the custom mode (if it was in this state).
Take out the batteries for a minimum of two minutes to reset the unit.
Typical Problems by Make/Model
Given above are some of the common problems faced by units of different makes and models and the solutions to these problems. If you cannot fix the issue yourself, you should contact customer service and avail the warranty.