7 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Microchip Cat Flap (+ Sureflap Review)
Did you know that your cat flap might be one of the biggest causes of stress in your cats life? Well in this post, I'm going to discuss 7 reasons why you should think about buying a microchip cat flap, and give a long-term review of my Sureflap microchip cat flap.
I've discussed before the most common causes of stress in cats and how common it is for our pet cats to be under some degree of stress no matter how calm and relaxed they appear.
A microchip activated cat flap (check out a basic model on amazon here) can solve this, as well as a number of other problems you might be having so lets get started on the 7 benefits of having a microchip cat flap and why you should buy one.
Microchip Cat Flap Benefits
1 - Prevent strange cats coming into your house
At number one like I've already said is it will completely stop strange cats coming into your house. The way it works is that there is a scanner on the top of the flap and whenever a cat puts its head through that tube it will read or look for the cat's microchip. If that microchip is there but not programmed into the cat flap, or if a cat doesn't have a microchip, they can't get in. Simple.
Only the cats that you program to come through will be able to get into the house. The cat door can store a huge number of microchips (I think my model can store 50 different microchips). You're not going to have too many cats for this to work and it's an ideal way to stop strange cats coming into your house.
2 - Eliminate the need for bulky magnets with microchip cat flaps
There is of course another way we can control access and that is to use a collar with a magnet. This obviously means that your cat would need to wear a collar and they need to have a bulky magnet around their neck. It also means that another cat with a magnet could get through your magnet activaited cat door. It is not quite as secure.
Another clear benefit then of having a microchip cat door is that it removes the need to have a bulky magnet around your cats neck.
If you don't have a microchip in your cat then you can use a little tag but in my mind that does defeat some of the purpose of having a microchip cat flap.
3 - Pre-program the times your cat is allowed out - consistent routine
One fantastic benefit of having a more advanced microchip cat flap is you can actually pre-program the times that your cat is allowed out. This can help with routine and consistency, and that's something I discussed as well in my causes of stress and how to reduce stress in cats articles.
So to have a consistent routine it's really great to be able to program the cat flap. It means that you don't necessarily need to be around. You might be caught late at work or having a night away over the weekend. Whatever reason, you can ensure that your cat has access to the outside and inside whenever you program that cat flap to let them through.
Having a set routine is another great way of reducing stress in your cat and a microchip cat flap can really help you achieve this.
4 - Allow different cats out at different times
Next is that a microchip cat door can allow you to let different cats in and out at different times. It might be that you've got a vet appointment for one cat. You can let your other cat out but program the cat door not to let your cat with the appointment through.
It might be that you need to give one of your cats some medication. This is one way to ensure they are still in the house when otherwise they might have gone out, but at the same time not disrupting your other cats routine.
5 - Allow remote changes to cat access
The next benefit at number five is that you can actually get remote access to your cat flap through an app on your smartphone. If there's any unforeseen event, for example if there's a big thunderstorm coming, you can be at work and you can program your cat flap to lock and keep your cats inside. Keeping them safe.
Another example would be you can program it there are fireworks. You can change the program to only let your cat out later, in the early hours of the morning, rather than being outside when fireworks are going off. Both of these examples can result in panic and injury if a cat is caught outside.
6 - Monitor your cats activity and routine
As well as remote programming, you can also monitor your cat's activity. This is a great way to know if they're unwell. You can see how many times your cat is coming and going, what times they're most active, and get a picture of their regular routine.
If you know that every day your cat comes and goes 5 or 6 times, but over the last couple of days they've not really been using their cat flap then that might be a sign that they're unwell. So a microchip activated cat door can help you pick up problems with your cats health at an earlier time than maybe you would otherwise.
7 - Encourage you to get your cat microchipped
My last benefit of having a microchip pet door is it actually will encourage you (if they don't have one already) to get your cat microchipped. I believe that any cat going outside really should have a microchip.
It's really great for peace of mind. If your cat goes missing, if they've been hit on the road, if they got into trouble for any other reason, than having a microchip and being on your national database just means that you can be contacted as soon as they are take to any animal treatment center or shelter.
Let me tell you how frustrating it is when we have a stray cat brought in by a member of the public and there's just no identification. There's no microchip. There's no way for us to get in touch with the owner straight away and in some cases early contact can make all the difference to a cats longterm outcome.
Sureflap Cat Flap review
I've had my Sureflap microchip cat flap for about six or seven years now. And I got it for the very reason that we had strange cats coming in to the house and eating our cats food. Installing a microchip cat door solved the problem overnight and my cats became visibly calmer as a result.
After all this time it's still going strong and working well.
The plastic has become a little bit yellow, rather than white, from exposure to the sun over the years. The screw covers have become brittle and chipped when it was removed and reinstalled after a house move but really that is just a cosmetic issue.
Being an older model too means that I don't have remote access or an ability to program access times. Despite this I would still recommend even the most basic microchip cat door. The other features are really nice to have but simply controlling who can come into your house will make a huge benefit to your cat.
My cat flap has really good battery life, lasting about six months or so before the batteries need to be replaced. There is a warning light that flashes when they are running low, so that is something to be aware of. Without batteries your cat could end up being stuck outside (which has happened only once after the first set of batteries ran out). If you have a lot of cats using the flap all the time, or connecting to the internet then the battery life may not be so long.
Some monitor chip companies have also said that if a microchip is being scanned incredibly frequently then the microchip may fail. This is not something that I've ever come across but again is something to bear in mind. If a chip does fail then implanting another one is a simple job that only takes a couple of seconds.
Overall, I would definitely recommend my Sureflap microchip cat flap to anyone with cats. It can reduce their stress and help you look after them better!
Our Pets Health: because they're family