Caring for your Pet Cat
Domestic pet ownership has exploded in the last 20 years. People attribute the change to many factors, including rising incomes and smaller families. Whatever the reason, we are welcoming animals into our homes, not just for their abilities to help us, but to serve as companions and as part of our families. As pets move into a more significant role in our lives, we must adapt to their needs and personalities. It is the duty of every responsible pet owner to be responsive to the pet’s needs and work to make it as comfortable and happy as possible. A dog owner likely has to tackle this issue very differently than a cat owner. This is because these species are inherently different, with different desires and behaviours. You’ve likely heard differing views of what it takes to welcome a cat versus a dog into your home. Having a cat requires special consideration from its owner.
There are many toys, ramps, and devices to engage and entertain your cat. Consider that it is a curious hunting animal, choosing things that make use of these behaviours can help your cat lead a fulfilling life. Still, many cats feel more comfortable leaving and returning to the home. That way, they are able to explore and wander, but return to a safe space to eat and rest. A cat that has access to the outside, though, can be exposed to danger (in the form of animals, vehicles, weather, and any number of issues). The primary, most important, thing to think about is safety and comfort. Not only can animals lash out when they feel threatened, but they can associate you and your home with negative experiences.
This can manifest in a number of maladaptive behaviours. Hence, you should make your home as comfortable as possible, and certainly free of outside threats. Yet, here lies the conundrum—you want to give your cat unrestricted access, while maintaining the security of your home.
Consider if you have open, free access to your home for your returning pet in the form of an open window. Your cat may be easily able to return home, but other intruding animals would be able to come in just as easily. Besides not wanting unknown animals in your home, this intrusion can create a real or perceived threat to your cat. The alternative is to keep your home secured at all times and only let your cat inside personally. This however, leaves your cat helpless when you are not in the immediate vicinity and aware of its presence. In this scenario, your cat must stay outside and exposed for all the time you’re at work or out of the home. The best solution to this problem, then, is automatic selective permission to enter your home.
Overview Of The Best Microchip Cat Flaps On The Market In 2017
The Best Microchip Cat Flaps On The Market Reviewed
The Cat Mate Microchip Cat Flap is a low-cost solution to selectively allow access by cats and other animals to your home.This particular cat flap is available in two colours: white and brown to match your door colour. The device is easily programmed with a button. Once set-up, the cat flap will only grant entry to your home to cats that you have pre-registered with the device. This cat flap recognises 9, 10, and 15 digit microchips and can be used to register up to 30 cats. There is a four-way adjustable lock that allows you to vary your permission settings for entry and exit from the flap. This cat flap requires 4 AA batteries, which you must buy separately. A set of new batteries is predicted to be functional for about one year.
- It comes in a streamlined design with two different colors to match your décor or personal taste.
- It recognises a variety of microchip types.
- If you’d like to install the cat flap in walls or glass panels, you must purchase a separate adaptor kit.
The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is a best-seller in its category. This brand is also well known and reputed for its “gated” pet doors. This one is available in white. This flap works for cats and even small dogs. You don’t need to subject your cat to anything difficult or possibly traumatic, the cat flap works with the microchip that is already likely to be implanted under your cat’s skin. The SureFlap cat flap is compatible with all microchips used worldwide. In the absence of a microchip, the device will work with a SureFlap RFID collar tag that can be purchased from the manufacturer. This eliminates the need for the microchip implantation if not already done previously. The SureFlap pet door has a unique Curfew Mode which allows you to set time parameters in which to lock/unlock the flap. It runs on four C cell batteries which are estimated to last about a year in the device. The batteries are not included in your purchase.
- This is a best-selling product by a reputable manufacturer.
- Curfew Mode allows you to set time restrictions on entry and exit.
- The cat flap works with all microchips and even a specially designed collar.
- It is one of the more expensive models of cat flaps.
Petsafe'sPetporte Smart Flap Microchip Cat Flap is a popular choice for pet owners. It is available in various colours. The device reads your cat’s implanted microchip which, once recognised, opens the entryway into the home. There is no need for the cat to wear a collar. The system emits a beep whenever your cat enters. It is programmable for up to 25 cats, however they must be under seven kg. This cat flap can be installed in walls & doors and generally fits standard, wooden, PVC, metal, glass, and brick doors/walls. The body is made from easy-to-clean material that can be simply wiped down from time to time. It works with EU and UK 15-digit microchips. Other microchip types are not compatible with the Petporte Cat Flap. You are not able to choose the colour of cat flap that you receive, they are randomly determined.
- It is made of a durable plastic.
- Night mode keeps your cat indoors during the night.
- System is usable for up to 25 cats.
- You are unable to select the desired colour.
- It is incompatible with many microchip types.
- Weight restriction on cats may exclude more corpulent pets.
The SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap is the complementary brown version of the other SureFlap model on this list. Like the other one, this cat flap attempts to keep outsider cats and other small animals out of the home while providing access to your pets. The unit identifies your pet in one of two ways: by reading its under-skin implant or by recognising its matching RFID collar tag. Like its white-coloured counterpart, this microchip cat flap can read all world-wide microchips. You can use this cat flap for up to 32 cats. The flap itself is transparent and not noisy, increasing the chance that fearful or skittish cats will approach it. If you would like to install the cat flap in glass, you should purchase the additional adaptor.
- Installation is not very difficult.
- Cats can acclimate to the process quickly.
- It may or may not accommodate larger cats and small dogs.
- There isn’t protection against a stray cat or animals gaining access by following immediately behind your pet.
The Ferplast Swing Microchip Cat Flap is available for purchase in white and black versions. This is one of the more expensive, yet poorly-rated models of cat flaps. It has a special inbuilt antenna that detects the animal’s microchip. It is able to recognise many different microchip types. Alternatively, if your cat is not microchipped, you can use the included nylon collar that has a microchip installed within. This cat flap allows you to record up to 32 cat ID’s. It is easy and intuitive to use, requiring only initial installation, yearly replenishment of the batteries, and periodic/as needed settings adjustments. A wind-stopper system, 4-way locking, and a patented last direction indicator are convenient extra features.
- A nylon microchipped collar is included.
- This cat flap is compatible with most microchips.
- It has a last direction indicator that helps you keep track of your pet.
- Users report frequent malfunction.
- It looks bulky and intimidating for a cat.
A microchip cat flap makes your home more secure and safe by eliminating the chance that stray animals would be able to take advantage of a cat flap installed to give your pet freedom and comfort. There are several options, but SureFlap stands out as a clear leader in this area. The white and brown models differ only in colour; so you should purchase the one that matches better with your home. The SureFlap Cat Flap is secure, reliable, and easy to install/use. The assurance that your cat’s implanted microchip (microchips are extremely common in pets, especially if they come from an official or rescue organisation) will be compatible with the door assures you that you won’t be wasting your money on a purchase that won’t work at all. If a cat doesn’t have a microchip, SureFlap provides a specially-designed collar that will allow your pet to still use the device. Once installed, you have entry and exit options, including a Curfew Mode that keeps your pet indoors during the night, arguably the most dangerous time for your pet to be outdoors and exposed to the elements. While the cost is significant, it is likely that the SureFlap will solve an important problem for you and stand up to wear and tear for some time.
A Mini Guide To Microchip Cat Flaps
What Are Microchip Cat Flaps?
Microchip cat flaps are an ingenuous solution to the problem of neighbourhood cats and other animals entering your home through the use of your pet cat’s exterior flap door. It’s common for pet cats to saunter outside and return home after some time. It is preferable that the cat(s) can reenter the home without your constant vigilance in watching for them to come. A pet door, a small window in the door sealed with a plastic or rubberised flap, can allow your pet to come and go as they please. While being accommodating to your pet, you likely do not want stray cats and other animals using the same mode of entry into your home. Outsider cats and other small animals can disturb your pet, create messes, and bring in diseases. Your family and pets will feel more secure without the danger of possibly aggressive animals entering the home, your pets’ place of rest.
The Use of Microchip Cat Flaps
Microchip cat flaps solve the issue of unwanted cats by evaluating your cat’s identity, pre-programmed by you, before opening the incoming flap. Stranger cats simply would not be allowed entry because the sensor wouldn’t recognise them. For this system to work, your cat must have a microchip. Fortunately, most domesticated cats have been microchipped for identification.
To use, you simply install the frame in the desired door, put in the required batteries, and turn it on to “Learn Mode.” Here, you prompt your cat to pass through the frame where the device recognises and stores your cat’s unique identity via its microchip. If you have multiple cats, repeat this process with each one. Most microchip cat flaps can keep track of several cats, usually more than what is required by most cat-owners.
There are several types of microchips, varying in the number of digits. Microchip cat flaps are quite comprehensive, however there are some microchip types that are not recognisable by the flap. In this case, the cat flap will act as a non-microchip version without discrimination between cats. To make sure your cat will be recognised, you can attempt to test it before permanent installation in the door.
Installation of Microchip Cat Flaps
Installation varies by door type/material. Wooden, plastic, glass, and metal are all suitable for installation of the microchip cat flap. Some doors have a metal plate within a wooden shell. To test for the presence of metal, it may be necessary to try sticking a magnet to the door and/or drilling a small hole into the door. For installation in wood, plastic, or plasterboard walls, you should temporarily stick the frame on the desired position on the door, make an outline of the area to cut, drill screw holes, and then work to remove the interior space with a jigsaw. There is a tunnel that you should never drill through because this is where the microchip sits. Tampering with this can cause the device to malfunction. Installation in glass is similar but requires that an expert cut the glass. Putting the cat flap in a metal door can sometimes cause improper functioning of the gated feature. To position the cat flap properly, aim to install the frame so that the bottom edge is level with your cat’s stomach. Door features may cause some variation, but try to keep it close to or lower than that benchmark.
Once installed, a microchip cat flap will allow access to your cat when it puts its head in the tunnel to push the flap open. An inbuilt sensor reads and recognises the cat before opening the latch. If an unknown animal approaches, the sensor will not disengage the lock. These devices often have manual locks (with various settings) and options that allow indiscriminate exit from the home. The manual lock is useful in scenarios when you want to allow your cat inside, but do not want it to re-exit the house. On the other hand, you can also set it to allow exit, but no re-entry; or entry and exit; or no entry and no exit. There is very little maintenance beyond keeping working batteries in the device and occasionally wiping clean the optical sensor of dirt and grime.
What to Consider Before Buying a Microchip Cat Flaps
When buying a microchip cat flap, look for a model that strikes a good balance between value and efficacy. You should also ascertain that the location you intend to install is suitable for the microchip cat flap as stated by the manufacturer. More importantly, you’ll want to make sure there’s congruence between your cat’s microchip type and those that the cat flap can read. This is not likely to be a problem, but taking the extra step to finding out first can possibly save you a lot of effort. Next, consider a model that accommodates the number of pets you have and their sizes. Most microchip cat flaps have a capacity far greater than what would be required. You should keep in mind your cat’s behaviour and its willingness to approach the cat flap in the way required for scanning. Some cats would rather just wait outside until someone is available to open the door. Finally, having a manual lock can be very useful in certain scenarios. For example, if you want your cat to be able to come in, but need to stop it from leaving again because of things like medication administration or vet visits, the manual lock options can be invaluable.