Because I only have indoor pets, I gave this item to my good friend, and neighbor, Jodi. Product was received for review purposes and this post may contain affiliate links. Here is her review:
The SureFlap Electronic Cat Door Is Truly Awesome!
The SureFlap Microchip Cat Door reads a cat’s vet-inserted microchip and it will allow up to 32 different cat microchips to enter. This will prevent any strays, raccoons, opossums and all other unwanted animals from entering your home. Let me just say when I was given the opportunity to review this item for Sweep Tight I jumped at the chance.
Let me explain life before SureFlap… We received two kittens from a friend down south that were used to the outdoors. We started keeping them inside only, but every time the door opened one of them would try to escape. Shortly after we got them I realized that my son, five-years-old at the time, was allergic to cats. So, I started to welcome the thought that they enjoyed being outside and they became outdoor cats.
I would always keep the garage door open for them from early morning until bedtime. Well, that was a mistake at times. I once shut the door when there was raccoon hiding in there only to wake up to the thing sitting on my newly scratched car that was covered in diarrhea from him discovering cookies. So I started closing the door just before dusk. I have had them in the garage time and time again during daylight hours but managed to chase them out. Recently I have had my share of stray cats coming in to eat my cats’ food and starting fights with my cats. I try to chase them away but it’s really an uphill battle. UNTIL… I was offered the opportunity to review SureFlap.
Here is a brief description I took from SureFlap’s Manual:
This cat flap has been designed to recognize the ID chip already implanted in your cat, allowing access to your pet and keeping out marauding intruders. Your home becomes a secure environment for your pet, leading to a happier, more relaxed animal.
Operation of SureFlap® couldn’t be simpler. Once the unit is installed and the batteries put in place, the flap can be put into learn mode. The next time your cat passes through the flap, the unique ID code of its chip is put into memory. Now SureFlap® unlocks whenever your cat wants to come into the house.
SureFlap® has all the features you would expect from a high quality cat flap, including:
- Robust and elegant design
- Learn mode for programming multiple cats
- 4-way manual lock
- Low battery indicator
- Typical battery lifetime at least 6 months
Instructions are provided for installation in all door types, including wooden, plastic, glass, and metal.
Nowhere in the instructions did it say that it could be installed in a garage door. However, that was really my only option. I did all the proper measurements and I didn’t have to modify anything. So we installed it on our garage door on the bottom panel. The SureFlap was narrow enough so it did not interfere with the door completely opening or closing. The installation was a snap. The most difficult thing was taking a jigsaw and cutting the hole. It was that simple. It was installed in under 15 minutes.
Okay, so now the door is in and I go to hit the button to program our 2 cats. Well, I thought I had paid for them to be chipped but apparently I was told that sometimes when the cats are injected with the chip and it is not held properly, the chip could come right out–usually on the ride home. Both my cats are chip-less. So off to the Vet’s we go. Of course, they only had one chip available. I picked the scared-ee cat of the two so that he would not have to make yet another trip to the vet. (Getting him in the crate and the car ride was enough for him to not come near anyone for 3 days.) I am to return in a week to have the other cat micro-chipped.
It was as simple as 1-2-3 for the SureFlap to “learn” our cat’s microchip. This was done with the simple pushing of a button and having my cat walk through the door. I will just repeat this step when my other cat is chipped. I am elated to have read that even if the batteries are dead or removed the door remembers the microchips, so there is no need to reprogram, ever!
Now, onto the cats’ reaction to the door. As expected, the recently traumatized cat is again freaking out about the door. He stayed away another day after I tried to help him through the it. Hunger and putting food on the other side of the door helped him OUT of the garage after only one day. He is seen in my video playing with the door lock instead of coming back into the garage. It is a harder thing for him to enter from the outside because it has a clicking noise and he actually has to stick his neck in farther to enter than he does to leave. We have had it a week and he has yet to come inside using the door. He usually sneaks in when we have the garage door open. I’m confident at some point soon he will have the mechanics of the SureFlap and it will be no problem for him. The SureFlap also gives you a standard 4-way locking dial (in only, out only, neither in or out, free movement) just as you would on other cat flaps.
I’ve only had one issue with the SureFlap… The diameter is a little on the small size for my larger cat. He is a lean 11 lbs, as he proceeds to exit his back legs go “stiff” as he wedges his body the rest of the way out… kinda like squeezing the last bit of toothpaste out of a tube. LOL I would have made the opening a tad bigger since many cats are on the plump side.
I had to remove the batteries so that the other cat could enter until she receives the chip–one week and counting, Yeah! Otherwise, when my chipped cat enters the door it automatically locks so that another animal is not able to enter; temporarily locking in/out my other cat. I know this defeats the main purpose of this door. However, in doing this, I found it easier for the cats to push through the flap with the feature turned off allowing them to get used to the door without the door making noise. If your cat is having trouble adjusting like mine, this may also be an option for you.
My final step will be the reinsertion of the batteries. So it will open the door when the microchips are both active. I think the door does a great job on locating the microchip in a timely fashion but I do see my one cat struggling with the fact that it has to push the flap open, but it’s only been a week. I would recommend having food or treats on the other side of the door to get the cats accustomed to the transition. This seems to work for him, and I’m confident that he will eventually use it without my help.
The door lock is strong enough that I feel no other animal can enter. It is located in the middle of the door, giving it added strength. I also read on the website that it now comes in brown. Kudos! They have thought of everything.
My verdict is in… I absolutely love this door! 5 stars! While the price might seem a bit steep, the money I will be saving on food (as I will only be feeding MY pets,) car washes, vehicle scratch removal, and not having that loss of heat/air will add up continuously. Plus, I have peace of mind that my family and cars are safe from unwanted predators. That is priceless!
Please check SureFlap’s video on YouTube as well as my video of both cat’s early experiences with the door.