At the end of the day, cats are creatures who have a deep love for exploring. Most of the time they won’t be content with just sitting and lounging about at home – they’re natural wanderers at heart who, depending on the breed, may even require hours of outdoor time to be happy (we’re thinking Manx, Bengal, Cymric).
And hey, even if you have a home-loving cat, most cats still need a lifestyle that balances both adequate outdoor and indoor life. Now here’s the tricky bit: during your cat’s little escapades, they will inevitably interact with countless other creatures: dogs, fellow cats, critters. In the best of cases, once they’re done playing around for the day things are left at that and your cat comes home safe and more importantly, alone.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Having an uninvited guest or two is a routine occurrence any owner will be familiar with if they use a manual cat flap. This can make for a messy, stressful experience if you aren’t always around at home to sort out the situation. This is where microchip cat flaps come in. Linked to your cat’s unique identity microchip, they serve as a type of locked door to which only your cat has the key, keeping everything else securely outside.
If you don’t have one yet and want to put a stop to unwanted intrusions, read on and check out our take on the best microchip cat flaps out there.
Best Microchip Cat Flap in 2021
SureFlap – Sure Petcare Microchip Cat Flap
Serving as an electronic bouncer for any kitty with feral tendencies, the SureFlap Flap uses cutting-edge RFID technology to ensure that only your cat is allowed entry by automatically scanning their microchip implant.
Better yet, if you own multiple cats, you’ll be able to program up to 32 unique cat identities here with just the push of a single button. In terms of the flap’s dimensions, you’ll find it more than suitable for just about any cat no matter how trim or pudgy they are at 25 x 23 x 16 inches. Of course if your cat is a little meatier than average, you might want to take some measurements before making any purchase!
Do note that the flap runs on a set of four AA batteries which aren’t included with your initial purchase. On that note, you can expect your cat flap to last for about 12 months with fresh batteries before needing a quick replacement!
Don’t worry about any surprises, it’ll start blinking red when its low on juice. And before we forget, ensure that you are aware that the SureFlap is only compatible with 9, 10, and 15 digit microchip numbers. This means you should absolutely check with your cat’s records before buying and installing the flap to avoid any disappointment.
SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap
If the relatively high price point of SureFlap’s sibling product above doesn’t scare you then you should consider this high-end quality product as well. Colored out with a slick brown finish that goes well with any wood-colored door, this flap is compatible with up to 32 unique microchip IDs along with RFID collar tags if need be.
It goes without saying that any cat will be given free access in and out with the click of a button here. With its opening flap measuring out at 4.75 x 5.65 inches, any average sized kitty should be able to squeeze on through along with even small dog breeds too. Installation is pretty flexible here – you’ll be able to fit this on any door or even on your walls and windows based on your needs.
Accessories for installation are a separate buy which may or may not be needed depending on where you choose to install. The flap also offers full weatherproofing and will work wonders any day of any season – just don’t forget that batteries for this are a separate buy!
Cat Mate Microchip Cat Flap
Another great pick for those of you looking to safeguard your home and cat is Cat Mate’s take on the microchip flap. Capable of pairing with up to 30 unique cats with their own microchips, this secure flap will keep away any unwanted guest with its large, sturdy construction.
And unlike any other flap on our little list, you’ll have the option to pick between white and brown depending on your aesthetic preferences. The Cate Mate Flap even features a manual override lock as an additional layer of security which you can control with the help of its rotary knob. Better yet, with its tight seals and magnetic clasps, you’ll find it both waterproof and weatherproof as well. We think it’s particularly good for the vast majority of cats, small and large, with its 5.7 x 5.7 inch opening.
That being said we again emphasize the importance of making prior measurements just to be on the safe side. Now if you own a modest-sized dog, we think that this cat flap could double as a dog flap too. Unfortunately, batteries aren’t included here (it runs on four AA batteries like most microchip flaps) so make sure you prepare them in advance to avoid any delays.
PetSafe Interior and Exterior Cat Doors
Promising to entirely live up to its bold brand name, PetSafe’s Cat Door will give your cat all the freedom and security it might ever long for. You’ll be able to give the key to your home (so to speak) to up to 39 pets – both cats and dogs included – though note that this flap is only compatible with 15-digit microchip IDs.
Like most other flaps, it also features a manual locking system that’ll ensure your cat stays snugly at home come nighttime and with its tight weatherproofing, you won’t ever have to worry about water or cold drafts from creeping into your clean home.
With a flap dimension of 5.91 x 5.51-inches, even if your kitty is a little chubby, they should be able to squeeze right on in without issue. Installation is a breeze too and will take mere minutes thanks to its detailed instructions though do note that this flap is designed to fit wood and PVC doors primarily.
It can also work with glass and even brick, but you’ll have to do a little extra work for this and use tools that aren’t included by PetSafe.
On a similar note, you’ll have to buy batteries separately as well. It runs on a set of four AA batteries and will be fully operational for about a year at most.
Depets Large Cat Door
Now if you’re especially worried about your cat not being able to squeeze through your flap as a result of their generous, prosperous proportions, we think you should look no further than here. Depets’s Large Cat door is designed specifically for owners like you. With its generous dimensions, it’ll be able to accommodate for just about any cat that has a waist circumference of about 23.6 inches.
We emphasize that this is pretty sizeable so unless your cat is really, really meaty (possibly veering on the unhealthy side of things), you shouldn’t need to worry at all here.
It features a totally transparent flap that’ll allow both you and your pet to see through it and is also entirely waterproof. Beyond this, it possesses little brush strips which are strategically installed around that will ensure that any noise from the opening and closing of the flap is kept to a bare minimum. Again, you’ll even be able to manually lock the flap when needed thanks to its 4 switch modes.
Construction-wise, you’ll find quality ABS-plastic all around, which we think is a steal considering its low price point, so even if you’re looking for an affordable, quality cat flap that can weather both storm and the long years to come, know that the Depets Cat Door will deliver on all ends.
Ani Mate Cat Mate Electromagnetic Cat Flap, White
Simple, elegant, yet totally effective, Ani Mate’s Cat Flap will easily satisfy just about any cat owner no matter how fussy. Fully suitable and designed specifically for the largest of cats and the more modestly sized of dogs, the Ani Mate should be perfectly appropriate for just about anyone (and any pet). Measuring out at 8.3 x 9 inches, your cat shouldn’t ever struggle to squeeze in and out of your home here.
Now looking at the actual door, you’ll find that it locks securely with its fully magnetized closure clasps that ensure rain and snow are kept well outside along with those nasty drafts of cold air during autumn and winter.
It also contains little brushes that’ll keep noise to a minimum when the flap is opened and closed, offering some much needed peace and quiet at home. Installation should be a non-issue here too. We say this with utmost confidence because Ani Mate provides some of the most detailed, and easy-to-follow instructions we’ve seen in any of our microchip cat flap purchases.
But if you do find yourself genuinely confounded after trying, know that there are countless video tutorials online that’ll take you step-by-step through the entire installation process.
Best Microchip Cat Flap Buying Guide
Deciding whether to buy a classic cat flap or a microchip cat flap depends mainly on how you want to use it. In other words, your buying motivation.
Do you need a cat flap, before a weekend departure so that Gaspard, your big cat, can go out for a walk in the garden and come home whenever he wants, in complete autonomy?
Anyhow, there are some things to take into consideration before making your big purchase. Read on!
A flap is only worthwhile if it can actually be used by your cat in the first place! Anything that’s too small will be a waste of money. Period. It doesn’t matter how fancy the flap is or how expensive it is, if your cat can’t fit through it then it might as well be as useful as any other ornamental decoration that adorns your home.
Though cats are remarkably flexible creatures and always manage to squeeze through even the tightest of openings, to really ensure you don’t waste a single cent, we strongly suggest you take some measurements before forking out any money. Think of it like buying a set of clothes – you wouldn’t buy anything before knowing what size to get right?
The general rule of thumb is that the more expensive a microchip flap is, the better it is. This isn’t terribly wrong we think as with the more expensive options on our list, you’ll be given a product that’s far more durable and sturdier in terms of construction and build. That being said, if getting a $100+ flap is beyond your means, opting for a cheaper product shouldn’t be a particular issue. You’ll still get a totally functional product that’ll serve its purpose, though it may not last quite as long as their more expensive counterparts.
Microchips come as either a 9, 10, or 15 digit code and are usually implanted into cats from a young age. Microchip flaps rely on these as a way to identify who to let in and keep out. Unfortunately, not all flaps recognize all 3 code variants! Keep this in mind when shopping for a flap and ensure that you check your cats records at the store or shelter you got them from to avoid any annoying issues down the line.
All About Microchip Cat Flaps – How do they work?
The microchip cat flap is a more elaborate cat door model. The microchip cat flaps operate using battery power or electrical or even 2. Beware of autonomy during your purchase!
They are ideal for filtering the entries and exits of your cat or dog but also to prevent intrusions by cats in your neighborhood – and this function is its main advantage.
This cat flap is equipped with a device that identifies the chip number of your pets. The door opening at the entrance only (for basic models) will be triggered after this recognition. The squatters of your pet’s bed or bowl will therefore stay at the door! No more untimely intrusions and fights, most often at night in your living room!
Microchip pet doors are generally compatible with all types of 9 to 15 digit chips. Some also work with the most recent chip formats, that is, with a code made up of numbers and letters.
Concretely, 2 cases exist:
1. Your companion has been chipped: in this case, all he has to do is move his head forward in the exit tunnel for the chip to be read and his unique code recorded. Some cat flaps offer up to 32 identifications!
2. Your cat does not have an electronic chip implanted by your veterinarian: your smart cat flap also works with radio frequency identification medallions. They contain a chip. You will only have to attach them to the collar of your tomcats. Then, the approach is the same as for a microchipped animal. When your twink is presented in the exit tunnel, the chip of the medallion is scanned and memorized.
Please note: the unique code identification tags are sold separately in sets of 2. If you have more than two animals or your somewhat rowdy kitten regularly loses his collar, be sure to buy 2 sets. Additional budget to plan any time! Count around 12 € for a set of 2 chip medallions.
Particularity: learning time
For this model of the cat flap, you must take into consideration that your kitty or doggie will have to enter a tunnel to exit and wait a few seconds for the door to unlock with a slight “click”. Some animals, more fearful than others, may take longer to adapt to this model than to classic models. You will then have to be patient and provide a large package of treats. Rest assured, it is exceptional that an animal categorically and definitively refuses to take this path to freedom!
2-way filtered microchip cat flap
There are models that offer so-called “dual scan” input and output filtering. Indeed, imagine the following case: you have several cats and wish to restrict the outward movements of some of them: a sick twink or a cat in heat not yet sterilized, etc…. Nothing’s easier! You can set your cat flap so that it unlocks on exit only for certain of your companions.
The higher-end models of microchip cat flaps generally have the option “two-way filtering: entry and exit”.
Another criterion that will allow you to choose the model suited to your expectations!
You are already won over by smart cat flaps! Do you want more? Take a look at our top 4 pet doors and discover the Rolls-Royce of electronic pet doors: multiple options and smartphone app!
On what criteria to choose?
To decide on your purchase, carefully analyze the 4 selection criteria that I have selected. They will certainly guide you towards the best purchase, the one perfectly suited to your needs. The main thing is you and your cat satisfaction!
The descriptive sheets of the products offered or the photos of the many models of cat doors for sale are not always very precise. It is very easy to misguide your choice. I, therefore, draw your attention to the following selection criteria:
- Closing system
- Convenience of use
- Ease of installation
The first criterion is obviously the size of the opening of the cat flap. It seems obvious, but it is often a major source of purchasing errors.
Read the descriptive sheets of the different products you are viewing. The exterior dimensions of the cat flap, useful for its installation as well as those of its opening are generally indicated there.
External dimensions: they relate to the size of the frame. They will determine the dimensions of the cutout of the support on which you want to install your cat flap: door, wall, bay window, patio door, etc. Some cat doors are sold with a cutout template. Very useful not to miss it!
Internal dimensions: they represent the size of the space reserved for the passage of your pet.
Your big cat might find himself a little cramped when taking the path to the exit!
Some suppliers also indicate what weights, sizes, and even leg height of your companions correspond to the interior dimensions of their cat flaps. This is very useful information to aim for the right size. By choosing the passage size perfectly suited to your cat or doggie, you will avoid many disappointments: obligation of return and exchange, loss of time with deferred use, etc. .
The worst being the cutting of a hole in your door or your window for a cat flap unusable by your 4-legged friend! Be careful! Make the right choice of passage size!
Note: some models exist in different sizes. For a few euros more, you can benefit from the larger size and sometimes additional options.
Do not hesitate to ask for more detailed information if you have any doubts. For an online merchant site, simply send your questions via the dialog box to the seller. The response is usually quick. Do not forget to consult the opinions of previous customers. They are a significant source of useful information!
You need to differentiate the locking systems to regulate the entries and exits from those which eliminate the repeated flapping of the leaf of your cat flap, in the event of bad weather and wind. These cause noise pollution that over time is likely to become unbearable, not to mention prolonged exposure to unpleasant drafts.
Closure against drafts and “valve effect”
The different models of cat flaps are generally equipped with magnetic latches (magnets) effective to avoid the flapper effect in high wind or stormy situations!
Which locking system to choose to control entry/exit movements?
Classic models have manual or electronic locking systems.
For classic models, this manual system allows closing in 2 positions (open / closed) or 4 (open / closed / closed on exit / closed on entry). You can therefore authorize or block the opening of the cat flap, but you will not be able to filter incoming or outgoing animals.
Electronic chip door models: thanks to a very simple configuration to set up: a press of a button and the scan of the chip are enough, you operate a selective access control either in 1 direction: the entrance, or in both entry/exit directions.
With the two-way locking option, you manage the access of some of your pets to the outdoors.
Thus, you put an end to unwanted intrusions from other neighborhood animals or unwanted outings! No more turf wars with brawls in your house, squandering your cat’s bowls and smelly urine markings. No more stress for you and your favorite companion!
For smart cat flap models, you can control all the movements of your pets and intruders at any time and immediately.
Convenience of use
Several points must be taken into consideration, whether the cat flap is classic or electronic.
No noise disturbance: opening or closing click or door beating. These 2 sound sources can initially frighten your most fearful twinks and therefore lengthen the adaptation phase. Not to mention that they can be unpleasant for you too.
The quality of the material of the door: it will guarantee its efficiency and longevity, in the event of significant stress or a turbulent 4-legged companion.
The opacity or transparency of the leaf as well as its flexibility. It’s about your pet being reassured. Confidently, he will quickly use this exit or entry door. A transparent door facilitates adaptation to the cat flap.
Some peculiarities relate only to the electronic chip model. Indeed, it is about the autonomy of the power supply. Clearly, for optimal performance, this type of cat flap needs a constant and reliable power source.
Whether the cat flap works on batteries (4 batteries or electricity), if the door control no longer works for lack of power, it will be useless to you. In addition, if you find yourself having to change the batteries every week because they drain very quickly, you multiply the risk of breakdown and your budget.
Also, ensure the autonomy data provided by the seller and a thorough cleaning of the battery receptacle as well as its protection against water and dust infiltration.
Ease of installation
The pet doors are all designed for quick and easy 3-step installation. However, a cutting jig can be of great help to the less confident DIYer!
You need to be sure that your cat flap is in the right place. Indeed, the opening must be at a good distance from the ground and adapted to the measurement: height belly of your tomcat / ground. Your darling must be able to access the passage very easily.
If your cat flap is delivered with a cutting template, this operation will be easy. Otherwise, apply yourself in taking the measurements and identifying the dimensions of your cat flap. Mark the measurement points and connect them using a felt-tip pen to draw your cutting frame on your support.
Jigsaw or drill, you will need depending on the nature of the support of your cat flap. On a glass surface, if you do not have the right tool, call a specialist.
Once you have verified the positioning of the cat flap in the correct direction, secure it securely. For this use screw and screwdriver. In no time, your cat flap will be installed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I really need a fancy microchip flap? What’s wrong with my sturdy, normal flap?
Absolutely! Even if your cat is well behaved outdoors and doesn’t attract any unwanted guests, having a microchip flap will give any owner a huge breath of relief. For instance, say you’re working late at the office and aren’t home when your cat returns. Knowing that your cat is safely home and has not attracted some pesky critter or fellow feline will be a huge relief for anyone. Nobody likes entertaining the thought of a stray creature prowling about their homes, right?
Since these microchip flaps are powered electronically, how long will they last?
The good news is that microchip flaps are extremely power efficient. This means that constantly replacing their batteries will never be an issue. Most flaps and certainly all on our list, will be able to last for a total of 12 months before needing a fresh set of batteries!