Last Updated On November 19th, 2018
Cats are one of the nation’s best-loved pets. Full of personality, cats are also famously independent, preferring to come and go as they please. If you have some beloved kitties at home, you will know how frustrating it can be running to the door to let them out, only for them to meow to come back in 5 minutes later. Moreover, if you have a standard cat flap, you may find other local kitties frequenting your home.
Microchip cat flaps are a great way to give your furry friend the freedom and security they crave. But with so many options available, deciding the best one for you can be difficult. In this article, we take a look at some of the best microchip cat flaps. We will give you our reviews so you can make the best choice for you and your kitty.
Best Microchip Cat Flap Top 10 Comparison
Why Should I Buy a Microchip Cat Flap?
Most cat owners will have experienced the shock of an uninvited feline visitor coming into their home through a cat flap. Sometimes this can be an amusing surprise, but in other cases, it can mean havoc in the home. Not only can these cats fight with your pet and break your valuables, these curious cats can also mess in the house. You’ll need the aid of your handy hoover to tidy up.
Standard cat flaps can also let rats and foxes inside overnight as they forage for a meal. Cat food left out on the kitchen floor proves irresistible to these hungry creatures.
Of course, this is no reason to restrict your beloved cat’s freedom. As a result, many people are choosing microchip activated cat flaps which will only grant access to your kitty, while staying firmly locked shut in the face of potential intruders.
These innovative products allow your kitty to come and go as they wish, giving you and your pet peace of mind. They are very easy to install using a power drill and a jigsaw. It can be fitted in doors, walls, and windows. You can even quickly program them to work with multiple kitties if necessary. They are also very easy to buy online through Amazon.
Why Your Cat Won’t Use Cat Flap
If you find your kitty doesn’t like using cat flaps, this could be for a number of reasons.
Older cats can be less agile and cooperative with age. They may have some aches and pains, or simply not be interested in trying anything new. Kitties are renowned for being stubborn after all.
One of the reasons we love cats so much is because they all have different personalities. Your cat may be particularly timid and therefore wary of this new contraption you have fitted in the door.
Microchip cat flaps will often make clicking sounds as they are activated. Standard cat flaps can catch a breeze and noisily swing on their hinges. All of these new sounds may understandably be a little scary for your cat.
Lastly, it could be that your kitty simply doesn’t understand what to do. Kitties are very clever creatures, but if they are faced with something they have never seen before, they might need to take some time before they can work it out.
Luckily, it is usually quite easy to train your cat to use a cat flap, as we will see in the next section.
How to Train a Cat to Use a Cat Flap
If you are yet to put your new cat flap, there are a few things you can do first to boost your cat’s confidence.
Give your cat the opportunity to check out the cat flap before fitting. Let your cat investigate it and sniff it. If they have seen it before installation, this may ally some of your cat’s concerns.
Make sure you install it at a convenient height for them to use. To find out the best height for your cat, measure the distance from your cat’s belly to the floor. This is the correct height to install their new cat flap for optimum ease of use.
Once you have fitted the cat flap, here are some tips to best train your kitty to use it:
- Hold the flap open at first. This helps your cat to see and smell the outdoors and realise there’s a new exit from the home.
- Go outside and push your hand through the cat flap with some treats. Once your cat smells the food, slowly pull your hand back, leading them through to the other side.
- Adding your cat’s scent to the new cat flap is a clever way to boost their confidence. Take a cloth or hand mitt and wipe it over your cat. Then rub this onto the cat flap.
- No matter how frustrated you get, never force your cat through the cat flap. This will just make them even more scared and they will not trust you again.
Best Microchip Cat Flap Reviews UK
Now we have examined its benefits and how to train your cat to use them; let’s take a look at some of the best electronic cat flaps on Amazon.
1. Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap
The Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap features a clean, sturdy and modern design which is super easy to install. It can be fitted into walls, doors and windows with little effort required.
Pressing the button provided will quickly walk you through the simple process of saving your cat’s microchip details into the database. Almost all microchip numbers are compatible, including 9, 10 and 15 digit numbers. RFID (radio frequency identity tags) can also be used if your cat isn’t yet chipped.
For those owners who have more than one cat, this is a great choice. It allows you to program as many as 32 cats into its memory, which should be more than enough for any circumstances. However, the size is rather small, so it may not be suitable, or appealing, for larger kitties.
This model offers a 4-way manual lock, which aims to give you maximum control over when your cat can go exploring. This means you can set the flap to ‘out only’, ‘in only’, ‘both ways’ or ‘completely locked’. This is great if you need to keep your cat inside once they return.
The downside to this product is some potential design flaws. Some people have given reviews and said that clever kitties force the flap open by hooking their claws into a groove on the flap. In other cases, the flap doesn’t always close properly, due to the draft excluder. This can be removed if necessary.
2. SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
As the largest one on the market, the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is perfect for bigger cats which may struggle to squeeze through smaller models.
Just like the SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap, this attractive product makes registering your cat’s microchip a walk in the park. Just click the button to add them and up to 31 others to the database. The sensor requires that your cat comes quite close to the door before it is unlocked. Also, the loud click might startle timid kitties.
This model is also the only one in the SureFlap range which has a ‘curfew’ feature. Set the timer to whenever you wish to keep your cat indoors, and the pet door will lock at that time. You can also manually set a 4-way lock to prevent your cat from going back outside once they have come in.
Some customers have complained that this door lets cold air into the house during winter. Therefore, the draught excluder might need improvement.
3. Sureflap Dual Scan
The Sureflap Dual Scan Microchip Cat Flap is a game-changer for multi-cat households, (up to 32 cats). This high tech cat flap allows you to easily pick and choose which of your beloved pets can access the great outdoors.
This level of control is perfect if you have young cats or sick animals that you need to keep indoors, but also own other kitties which you need to let out. The technology works very well, for the most part. Some users have said the sensor can be a little unreliable, refusing exit rights to approved cats on occasion.
Furthermore, this has a built-in safety feature which will allow indoor cats back into the house should they exit by other means. Once they are back inside, the flap will again deny them from returning outdoors.
This product may take a little getting used to, as your cat has to place his neck high against the sensor to activate it. On rare occasions, intelligent kitties can force their way out by pushing on the catch and then pulling the flap towards them.
The Petsafe Microchip Cat Flap is rather similar to the SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap. However, this model is a little larger and can be programmed with up to 40 different microchips. It can accommodate cats up to 8 kg, so isn’t suitable for very large kitties.
By using RFID technology to read your cat’s chip, this eliminates the requirement for tags or special collars to let your furry friend in from the cold.
This product can recognize the most frequently implanted types of microchips but doesn’t work with all possible kinds. For example, microchips which have 10 digits, have letters, or start with ‘977’ or ‘98514’ will not be compatible.
Unlike some others, you don’t need to worry about increased heating bills with this cat flap. This product features extreme draft resistance with double magnetic closing points and a dedicated draft excluder for ultimate energy efficiency.
In line with other products in this review, it allows for manual 4-way locking. This helps you to have total control over when your kitty goes outside to roam, so you can keep them safely inside when required.
5. Cat Mate Elite
The defining feature of the Cat Mate Elite Microchip Cat Flap is its LCD screen. This nifty addition enables you to quickly see which of your cats is currently outside, and which are safely indoors.
You can also see the time they last used the flap, helping you easily estimate when they are likely to return home. However, there is no option to let some kitties out and not others. The flap can be quite noisy too, so some cats may not like it.
Register up to 9 cats with this cat flap. The screen can show you the indoor or outdoor status of three cats at any one time. It is compatible with all widely used microchips.
As well as a super-useful screen, the Cat Mate Elite also has a built-in timer, offering you flexible control over when your cats can go outside. This is great if you get home late from work and want to ensure they are tucked up indoors on your return.
If you are at home and want to quickly prevent your kitties from leaving again, you can use the manual 4-way lock. On some occasions though, the flap can lock too soon and get stuck open.
The Cat Mate Elite also has anti-draft and weather resistant seals for energy efficiency.
6. Ferplast Swing
The Ferplast Swing Microchip Cat Flap has a special built-in antenna that detects your cat’s microchip. Register up to 32 different cats and most common microchips are recognised. If you cat isn’t microchipped, you can use the conveniently included pre-chipped collar.
The main benefit of this is the unique wind stopper which helps keep cold air out. One of the more expensive options, it is a little bulky in appearance which may not be to everyone’s taste.
This product has numerous options to help you control the freedom of your cat. The 4-way lock allows you to set entry & exit, exit only, entry only or completely locked. Furthermore, the plastic ‘last passage indicator’ flag provides an easy way to tell if your cat is currently in or out.
This cat flap can be installed in wooden or glass doors and walls. Some customers have commented that the instructions are not particularly detailed.
In line with other cat flaps in this review, it is battery operated and features a handy low power indicator. Users have complained that the battery life isn’t as good as other cat flaps.
However, should the batteries run out, the microchip data isn’t deleted, so you don’t have to worry about registering your cat again.
7. Petsafe Staywell Infra Red 4-Way
Not strictly a microchip cat flap, the Petsafe Staywell Infra Red Cat Flap still helps keep unwanted visitors out. One infrared collar key is included, which your cat must wear to be granted access for entry and exit. Multiple cats can use this flap, but extra collars must be purchased separately.
The Petsafe Staywell Infra Red Cat Flap is easy to install and set-up. All you need to do is hold the colour coded collar key near the flap, and click the ‘learn’ button. The key is registered immediately and the cat with this colour key can now use the flap.
However, because this flap relies on a collar key, there is the potential that your cat could get stuck in or out if they lose the key. Also, the Petsafe Staywell Infra Red Cat Flap doesn’t allow control over which kitties can get in or out; it’s everyone or no one.
If you need to, there is a manual 4-way lock option. This is helpful if you are busy and want to automatically keep your kitties in upon their return.
Some customers say the clicking sound when the flap unlocks frightens their cat. So, if you have a scaredy-cat this might be an issue.
8. Pet Mate Elite RF Super Selective
The Pet Mate Elite RF Cat Flap is very similar to the Cat Mate Elite Microchip Cat Flap, but it uses RFID collar tags instead of microchips. Two programmable RFID collar tags are included. If you have a large furry family, it can be used with up to 9 cats in total.
Unlike some other RFID cat flaps, this one allows the user to choose which cats can exit and which cannot. You can also set the timer so your cats can only go outside during certain times of the day. In addition, this flap has a 4-way manual lock for ultimate control.
One of our favourite features of this model is the LCD screen. Here, you can easily see which of your cats is indoors, and which one is out on an adventure. It will also display the time that they used the flap, so you can make a guess when they are likely to return home.
However, some customers have noticed an occasional delay in re-locking after a cat has used the flap. So, if you have a clever indoor cat, they may escape on the heels of another.
9. SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Connect Plus Hub
The Sureflap Microchip Pet Door Connect Plus Hub is a wonderfully high-tech way to stay in touch with your cat’s movements. Using the built-in sensor, this cat flap reads either your cat’s microchip or the RFID tag included. It can work with all commonly used microchips and up to 32 cats.
All details about the usage of the door are sent through the ‘SureFlap Hub”, a small receiver and transmitter shaped like a cat’s head. This hub must be connected to your router in order to work. It can then send live notifications of your cat’s movements to your phone via an app, and allow you to remotely lock and unlock the door when you are not home. The locking mechanism can be quite loud, so your cat may not be keen at first.
Unfortunately, you are not able to control the access and exit rights of any particular cat with this cat flap. There is a 4-way locking option, which can be controlled either manually or via the app. The design is rather chunky, so it may not blend into the home well.
The battery charge level is displayed both on the flap itself, as well as in the app.
10. Pet Mate Cat Mate
The Cat Mate Microchip Cat Flap by Pet Mate is an attractive and feature filled product which is compatible with all 15, 9 or 6 microchip codes and up to 30 cats. If your cat doesn’t have a microchip, it can be used with an ID disk if necessary.
This cat flap has a comfortable size to give your cat plenty of room to move in and out. This is particularly good for larger kitties. It can be easily fitted into glass panels and even walls with the use of the separate adaptor kit but can be a little draughty once installed.
Unlike some other electronic cat flaps, this model doesn’t allow you to control the movements of individual cats. It does offer the standard 4-way lock so you can manually control the movements of all your cats.
This model is battery powered and should last around 12 months before replacement batteries are required. When power is running low, a light will flash every 30 seconds to remind you to replace them.
Now that we have taken in-depth reviews of the best microchip cat flaps, which one is the winner?
While all these cat flaps are great options, but in our opinion, the winner has to be the SureFlap Dual Scan Microchip Cat Flap which you can buy at Amazon.
The reason we prefer this model is the amount of control it offers to multi-cat households, while also being perfect for those who only have one kitty at home.
This ability to choose which cats can go outside is fantastic if you have an upcoming trip to the vet or a sickly kitty. Furthermore, the built-in safety feature which will allow pets entry should they escape truly sealed the deal for us.