Overall this is a good catflap that will do the job.
However, for a few pounds more you can upgrade to the Dualscan, which is where I’d put my money
- Works with both microchip and RFID collar tags
- Easily programmable.
- Sealed door is weather-proof
- Solid build and construction and 3 year warranty
- Not suitable for tall, heavy or overweight cats
- Click noise can be unnerving for some cats
- With the magnet, cats have to push a little harder
- Not compatible with microchips starting from 020, 010 and 00
Full Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap Review
The Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap is the cheapest of the SureFlap range and one of the biggest sellers, but how does it fare against the best microchip cat flaps?
Like all of these microchip pet doors it works by identifying a microchip implanted under a cat’s skin. However, this also offers the ability to use an RFID tag attached to your cat’s collar too.
Once programmed, it will only open the door if it recognises the identification number. As a result, other cats and stray animals cannot enter through it.
The unit provides dependable assistance to households with multiple cats. You can program it to register up to 32 identification numbers in its memory.
A central magnet firmly holds the flap in place and prevents it from swinging with the breeze. This arrangement prevents draughts from entering the house and also bolsters security.
This pet door works equally well with microchips and collar tags. If you do not want your cat to get microchipped, you can also use a collar tag. But collar tags can get lost. Also, some cats do not like to wear collar tags. So, a microchip can be an advantage in some cases.
As long as it does not go too deep under the cat skin, the SureFlap Microchip Cat Door will scan it with reliable consistency. But if you prefer collar tags for your cat, then you can purchase them separately from the company.
How the Device Operates
The interior frame of the cat door is equipped with two sensors; a radio frequency detector and a motion sensor. When a microchipped cat approaches the SureFlap Microchip Cat Door, the scanner detects the chip and will only open for cat’s whose chip has already been registered.
If the number is recognized and the lock settings permit, then the door will be unlocked for your cat to pass through easily.
The SureFlap Microchip Cat Door is based on radio frequency identification technology (RFID). This mechanism is passive in nature. The chip itself does not generate any signal. Instead, the scanner reads the microchip to retrieve its number.
When your cat approaches the cat door, the motions sensor detects its presence and immediately activates the radiofrequency detector. The radiofrequency detector scans the microchip and the number is compared with stored IDs in the memory.
This configuration helps the device operate efficiently and save energy. The radiofrequency detector is only activated when your cat is in proximity to the scanner. It is switched off at all other times to conserve energy. You can expect a battery life of 6 to 12 months with a good set of AA batteries for the average home with 2 cats.
You can also program the SureFlap Microchip Cat Door to close after a certain time period has elapsed. This feature is very handy, particularly when you are training your cat to use the device.
Some cats are unnerved by the click sound produced as the lock is electronically turned on. This click sound is characteristic of all electronic-locking mechanisms, so, unfortunately, it does not matter which microchip cat flap you get, this will be an issue!
So when you are training a new cat to use the SureFlap Microchip Cat Door, you can increase the time period for the lock to be activated. This will improve your chances of success. The shortest time period is just 2 seconds. This means that the lock is activated two seconds after the scanner reads the microchip.
Selective Entry Control
The microchip’s ID can be stored within the memory by passing the microchip through the tunnel after pressing the program button. This can be done by putting the catflap on the ground prior to installing it and tempting your cat to put their head in the tunnel with a few treats!
You can use the 4-way lock mechanism to set the rules for entrance and exit. The SureFlap Microchip Cat Door can keep your cats safe from other aggressive cats and animals. As long as your cats are home, you won’t have to worry about your pets getting bullied by fierce alley cats. Other intruder animals like raccoons will also be kept out because the SureFlap Microchip Cat Door lets in only those cats that are programmed to enter. The cat door is large enough for small and medium-sized felines.
The SureFlap Microchip Cat Door is compatible with these microchip numbers:
- 15-digit microchips (these FDX-B ISO compliant chips are standard in Europe)
- 10-digit microchips (these FDX-A ISO standard compliant devices are mainly used in the US)
- 9-digit microchips, which are also called Avid encrypted/secure microchips
It is not compatible with microchips starting from 020, 010 and 00
Even if you have forgotten your cat’s implanted microchip ID number, you can still program the device to recognize it. You just have to push the program button and pass the cat through the SureFlap Microchip Cat Door. The scanner will detect the ID number and save it within its memory.
But before implanting the microchip, it is a good idea to pass it through the unit to ensure that the scanner can detect it properly. Not only is this an important precautionary step, but it is also convenient. When your cat is implanted with the microchip, it will be able to use the cat door right away. The microchip number can be stored inside the unit’s memory before your cat even uses the device.
The lock can be configured by 4 distinct modes:
Locked: In this state, the door will be fully closed. Under this option, cats cannot enter or exit the door even if their microchips are recognized. This mode is very useful for night-time since it will prevent your cats from leaving. At the same time, it will prevent intruder animals like raccoons from forcing entry and ransacking the kitchen. This mode is also useful when you go on a trip with your cat.
Only-out: With this mode, your cats can go outside. But they cannot come back in. You can also activate this mode by manually turning the dial situated on the flap. This mode works well when you want to keep your cats out for a certain time period. For instance, you may have invited guests who are allergic to cats. Or perhaps you may not want to be disturbed by your cats.
Only-in: With this configuration, your cats can come inside. But they cannot go back outside. You can activate this mode with the help of a dial, which will set the lock for this purpose. This option is useful for allowing your cats to return while preventing them from leaving the house at night time. It may also help if you have scheduled a session with the vet.
2-way: All of your cats can enter and exit as they please. But since the SureFlap Microchip Cat Door features a selective control mechanism, your programmed cats will only be able to enter. All other cats without microchips or those with microchip ID numbers not recognized by your device will be restricted from entering. However, all pets with or without microchips are allowed to leave via the cat door.
You should take note of the fact that the SureFlap Microchip Cat Door does not stop cats without chips from leaving the house through the cat door.
The four-way lock setting is a reliable way of setting curfew times for your cats. It can be done simply by turning the dial located on the flap.
The battery life depends on a number of factors, such as the number of cats in your household, how many unwanted animals frequent the cat door and how often you clean the cat flap. In most cases, you can expect a battery life of 6 to 12 months. Using rechargeable batteries is not recommended as device performance is not completely reliable with these power sources.
If the device fails due to dead batteries, your cats can be locked outside while you are away. So one very useful feature of the SureFlap Microchip Cat Door is the battery indicator.
This feature will warn you when the battery power is getting low. When the batteries start losing power, the LED located on the top of the flap will start blinking red. Since it is highly visible, you will not fail to notice when the batteries are running out of power.
Practical Hints and Tricks
Some cats may find the click sound scary. This sound is produced by all electronic lock systems. So installing another system won’t make a difference.
It might help to keep the door taped in the beginning so that it remains open. Your cat will be encouraged to use it. When you finally close the flap, there is less likelihood that your cat will be disturbed by the click sound. This technique can allow your cats to become accustomed more quickly.
Some cats can take a few days to get used to the cat door while others get accustomed almost immediately. The most nervous ones can even take up to 3 weeks. But with a little persistence, they will all eventually start using the cat door comfortably.
You can also use a microchip without implanting it on your cat. Simply purchase the microchip separately and fasten it to the collar. Using this technique, you can also use this collar on another cat. Since these microchips are fairly inexpensive, you can buy some spares to use them immediately if they ever get lost.
Sometimes, the scanner fails to detect an implanted microchip even if the device is working properly. You should consult a vet to determine if the microchip has traveled too deep inside.
Overall this is a good catflap that will do the job. It is well made, with a good warranty and it all works well and is pretty easy to install.
However for a few pounds more you can upgrade to the Dualscan, which is much more secure and will allow you to set different rules for different cats…an invaluable additional piece of functionality!