In this guide we’ll take a look at the best microchip cat flaps for the UK market.
I’ve compared technology, reliability, safety and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Microchip Cat Flap?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Extremely effective cat flap with several programmable settings
This Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap has a lot of smart features. It’s easy to program using your cat’s existing microchip, allowing them the enter when they wish. It can be programmed to stop certain cats from leaving, handy for if they’re unwell. It stops unwanted animals getting in, and can set a ‘curfew’ time to keep cats in at night. It measures 16.5 cm x 17.1 cm and runs off 4 AA batteries.
Things to Know Before Buying a Microchip Cat Flap
Cat flaps are essential for most cat owners as they allow your cat to come and go as they please, entering inside for warmth, shelter, food and cuddles (depending on the cat!), and outside for fresh air and activity.
There’s a huge range of cat flaps on the market, with microchip cat flaps fast becoming one of the most popular options.
These cat flaps are great because they let your feline friend to come and go, without needing you to be on hand to open the door, but offer you flexibility and security too – you can program them to keep certain cats in, not let cats out after a curfew, and stop unwanted neighbouring cats entering your house.
There is some variation between models when it comes to these devices, so if you’re looking for the best cat flap for your home and your pet, the following tips will help you make an informed purchase:
Now then, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with a traditional cat flap – they work perfectly well as a portal to let your cat leave and enter your house as it pleases. However, as with many things, adding a bit more technology into the mix can make these devices so much more useful. Enter: The Microchip Cat Flap.
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of these two different types:
Traditional Cat Flaps
Traditional cat flaps are easy to fit, won’t require programming, and don’t have any batteries to run down. However, at the end of the day, they are simply a flap doorway into your home – not only do they allow your cat easy access to your home, they also allow every cat in the vicinity to swan in whenever!
It can be hard to keep other cats out of your home once they discover a food source, and this can be very stressful for your own cat. Even worse, there have been cases of foxes squeezing through cat flaps at night – I’m not personally very keen on the idea of contending with an irate fox trapped in my kitchen at 7am…!
Microchip Cat Flaps
Microchip cat flaps scan your cat’s existing microchip to allow entry – if the animal trying to enter doesn’t have a relevant programmed microchip or collar tag, it’s not getting in!
These units are simple to fit, only require batteries to run, and allow you peace of mind. They are more expensive than traditional cat flaps, but allow you to really keep an eye on your cats. The best microchip cat flaps will let you set curfews, keep certain cats inside if necessary, and will indicate when their batteries are low.
They can be programmed to recognise several cats if needed, and it’s no problem to add new additions to the family.
Microchip cat flaps can be installed in any kind of door, and it’s easy to replace your traditional cat flap with no mess or fuss. They can usually be fitted through walls and windows as well.
Here is a general guide to help you install a microchip cat flap in a door; however, you should always check the manufacturer’s guide for proper instructions. You should also always use all necessary safety equipment.
- Measure your cat(s) to work out what height the cat flap should be. Measure the height of their tummy from the floor.
- Using this measurement, measure from the bottom of the door, and make a mark. This will be the height of the bottom of the cat flap.
- Stick the cat flap to the door (they often come with double-sided tape attached for this purpose), lining it up with the mark you made on the door.
- Make sure it is straight using a spirit level.
- Draw around the inside of the frame to indicate the area which needs cutting.
- Un-stick the cat flap. You’ll be left with a pencil outline the door.
- In the corners of the outline, drill holes to make the shape easier to cut out.
- Use a jigsaw to cut around the line.
- When cut, knock through.
- Place cat flap in so that the tunnel goes to the outside. On the outside, mark where screws will be needed for external frame.
- Remove cat flap so as not to drill through it by accident. Drill screw holes on outside. Replace cat flat and external frame, screw into place.
Most microchip cat flaps can be programmed for a lot of different cats. This number can range; whilst some may be able to program just a few, others can be programmed for over 30 cats – enough for any cat owner!
This is extremely useful as it means that you can program the cat flap to react differently depending on the requirements for each cat. For example, if you have a cat that recently had an operation and isn’t supposed to be going outside, you can programme the cat flat to keep only this cat in whilst others can leave freely.
Unbeknownst to a most of us, there are actually different types of microchips. In general, their unique code identification is made up of either 9, 10, or 15 digits.
Unless you’re sure which type of microchip your cat has, you’ll want to get a microchip cat flap that is compatible with all types of microchip (luckily this is pretty common).
If, for whatever reason, your cat’s microchip isn’t compatible the cat flap, you can look for a model which comes with a collar tag as well. The collar tag works in the same way as a microchip – your cat will be allowed entry and you can programme its exits.
Microchip cat flaps are usually battery powered which makes them very low maintenance and easy to use.
In most cases, the batteries will last up to a year and can simply be replaced when they run out.
The majority of microchip cat flaps use AA batteries; however, there are models which require C-cell batteries. Depending on which batteries you’re more likely to have around the house, you might want to pick the model accordingly (it can be annoying to notice that the cat-flap batteries are running low but not be able to change them straight away).
Look for a microchip cat flap with a battery-level indicator: many models will show you when the batteries need changing. This gives you a bit of warning and makes sure they don’t run flat when little Tabby is wanting to be let in.
Everything We Recommend
More Detailed Microchip Cat Flat Reviews
Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap Review
This Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap works with your cats existing microchip to allow them access to your home whenever they want to come back in.
This product definitely wins the gold medal for best microchip cat flap on the market right now!
This microchip cat flap will let all animals out, but only cats that have been programmed by the cat flap are able use it to enter. It is compatible with 9-, 10- and 15-digit microchips.
Running off 4 AA batteries, which the instructions state can last up to a year with normal use, you can rest assured your cat won’t get locked out.
There is an indicator light on the unit to let you know when the batteries are low – something I consider to be an essential feature so that your cat doesn’t get stuck outside by accident.
I found the cat flap very simple to programme by following the included instructions. I programmed it before installation as recommended in the product video.
For each cat, put a treat on the cat flap to bring them nearby, and press the button. When the cat comes close to the cat flap it will automatically programme the flap to recognise this cat. Repeat this for any other cats in the family. It was really that simple.
The cat flap can also be programmed to not let a cat out, if you wish. This is handy if your cat is sick or injured and you want to keep them in.
There is also a safety feature that means if a cat that was supposed to be kept in does somehow manage to get out (they are artful creatures after all!), the cat flap will still allow it back in. This is an essential feature which definitely sets apart the best cat flap products on the market.
The microchip cat flap was easy to fit as it went into the same hole as my previous Sureflap cat flap. The hole dimensions required to fit the cat flap are 16.5 cm (W) x 17.1 cm (H).
It took my cats a little while to be coaxed through the new, strange smelling cat flap. But a few more treats soon did the job. It might take longer if your cat is not used to a cat flap at all.
My cats were soon using the cat flap without any problems and it did the job of keeping neighbouring cats outs despite them attempting to batter it down. It can also be manually set so that cats can come in but not get out again; useful if you prefer to keep your cats in at night.
This is a wonderful microchip cat flap that gives you peace of mind and may well reduce your cat food bill by barring unwanted guests. It comes at a reasonable price too, making it the best microchip cat flap for the money.
SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Review
This SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is another great cat flap with some fantastic features. I particularly like the ‘curfew mode’ which means you can programme the door to lock and unlock at certain times. I found this useful as I like to keep my little cat in at night.
This product also comes with a collar tag which would be useful for anyone who has a cat without a microchip.
This microchip cat flap can be programmed to keep certain cats indoors, which is useful if you have an upcoming vet appointment or one of your cats is injured or sick. This functionality really makes this one of the best microchip cat flap products on the market.
It requires 4 C-cell batteries which will last for up to a year. These are a little more expensive than the AA batteries required for some other microchip cat flaps, but this does not add up to much more expense over the course of a year.
This is a solidly built cat flap that should resist the attacks of the boldest of neighbourhood cats. The locks themselves are only plastic, but there are two and they seem robust. The unit makes quite a loud clunking noise when the opening which could spook some nervous cats until they got used to it. But this should be easily overcome with the liberal use of treats.
This is a larger size cat flap and would be suitable for the biggest cats and even some small dogs. The cut-out size required is 20.7 cm x 23.4 cm and it comes with clear fitting instructions.
If you are looking for the best microchip cat flap at a premium price then this might just be the ticket!
Sureflap Dual Scan Microchip Cat Flap Review
This Sureflap Dual Scan Microchip Cat Flap can be programmed for up to 32 cats – even if you’re running a cat hotel, you can still keep tabs on your tabbies.
It’s another model which works by identifying the microchip number of your cats’ existing microchips, but it can also be used with a collar tag giving you a bit more flexibility.
It uses dual-scan technology which allows you to programme the flap to keep specific cats indoors and permit others to leave if necessary. This is a really smart feature, especially useful if one of your cats needs to be temporarily housebound, for example.
The cat flap requires 4 AA batteries and has a display to indicate when the battery power is low. Again, this is great because it means there’s no danger of it failing without you noticing.
A mounting adaptor is available that makes it suitable for glass doors as well. The cut-out opening required is 14. 2 cm x 12 cm.
This is a really sturdy cat flap that has the benefit of being able to be fitted into glass and double-glazed doors.
Cat Mate Microchip Cat Flap Review
This Cat Mate Microchip Cat Flap is very easy to programme and is compatible with 9, 10 and 15-digit microchips.
Up to 30 cats can be programmed at a time, so likelihood is it’s more than suitable for your household!
It requires 4 AA batteries which are not included and should last for approximately one year before running out. There is a battery-indicator light though, so you’ll know exactly when to switch new ones in.
As with the previous item, it works with your cat’s microchip and is easy to programme at the push of a button. If you have a cat that does not have a microchip you can order a Cat Mate I.D. disc that can be attached to your cat’s collar which will work with the flap instead. You can programme this disc by simply placing it close to the cat flap.
The cat flat has a four-way locking system, giving you the option to change it between: locked, open, in-only and out-only.
It’s large enough for most cats and is made from made from super tough polymer. The magnetic closure and brush seal make it both draft proof and weather proof. It will require a cut out size of 17. 3 cm x 19.8 cm.
The flap was slighter bigger than the previous CatMate flap I had, so I needed to make a few adjustments to fit it – something to bear in mind when looking at this model.
This is a super strong cat flap which is very durable and won’t cause drafts in your home. It’s one of the best microchip cat flaps for larger cats.
Microchip Cat Flap FAQs
Whilst it’s true that someone could break the cat flap, the hole is so small that no one could squeeze through. However, if the cat flap is positioned on a door, it’s good practise to never leave the key in the lock. Someone could potentially reach up and get hold of the key.
Microchip cat flaps work by identifying your cat’s unique microchip number, either using a collar or your cat’s own microchip. As your pet approaches, the cat flap recognises your cat and unlocks so that they can open as usual.
To get your cat used to your new cat flap, patience is key. Cats all have different personalities, and while some understand cat flaps straight away, others may need a little more time.
The first step is to teach the cat that they can get in and out of the cat flap. Hold the cat flap open and entice them towards it with treats. When they’re close, hold the treats on the opposite side of the cat flap to encourage them to walk through it. Reward your cat as they go through the cat flap.
Once your cat knows they can go through it both ways, teach your cat to push through by propping the flap open slightly.
This depends on each cat and you may find that microchip cat flaps take a little longer to get used to, as they can click as the cat approaches.
Some cats will get used to their cat flap straight away, while others may need a few weeks. Try not to give in and open the door for them, instead encourage them through the cat flap when they want to go outside.