The microchip cat flap is quickly becoming a must-buy, especially if you live in a cat-crowded neighborhood. Regular cat flaps may be convenient, but they can also serve as an open invitation for every local moggie. While this isn't always an issue, it is if they get territorial or make a mess.
More than anything, you want to keep your house a safe environment for your cat, somewhere they can come and go as they please. This is where microchip systems come in handy.
Microchip cat flaps work by reading a unique chip the size of a grain of rice that’s injected under the skin of a cat between the shoulder blades. Once this has been fitted, they will have a permanent form of identification without the worry of a collar or tag becoming detached.
The microchip is computer-readable and lasts indefinitely, as it doesn't need a battery to operate it, which means your cat is able to come and go through the cat flap as they please.
If you would like to make sure that your cat can get in and out safely, but want to prevent neighborhood cats from doing the same thing at their expense - and in doing so, help themselves to the best dry cat foods – a microchip cat flap system is the way to go.
- Best cat toys: Keep your feline friend occupied with these great toys
- The best wet cat food: From daily dishes to tasty treats
- The best cat food: Budget buys and premium picks
1. Cat Mate 360W Microchip Cat Flap: Best overall microchip cat flap
A good all-rounder to suit most homes
Flap dimensions: 5.7" (w) x 5.7" (h) | Security: Magnetic plus rotary lock | Multi-cat: Up to 30 | Battery life: Up to 6 months
A popular product by PetMate (known for its competitively priced cat flaps), the Microchip Cat Mate 360 cat flap works with an implanted microchip, or a unique ID disk that can be fixed to a collar. It requires four AA batteries to read the chip, but these typically last for around a year, making it a rather cost-effective option.
The design of the cat flap allows for plenty of space for your cat to pass through. User reviews describe this as being easy to program, as an LED indicator flashes when a cat passes through. There is capacity for up to 30 cats can use the same door, making it ideal for houses with lots of kitties.
The flap itself is transparent, which can be handy if your cat waits on the doorstep to be let in the old-fashioned way. It’s made of a super-tough polymer, so is built to last, and is capable of withstanding the repeated headbutts of the toughest tomcats.
There’s a weatherproof brush, allowing you to keep out unwanted drafts (not to mention wildlife), and the flap itself can be sealed with a magnetic closure. There is also a rotary four-way lock for times when you want to keep pet inside or outside – like when you're going away on holiday, for example.
This isn't easy to fit (which seems to be the norm with cat flaps in general), but the Cat Mate is self-lining to 80mm thick, and can be installed in most doors, as well as walls and glass panels if users are willing to buy the accompanying 361 adapter kit. Of course, this adds to the cost, but may offer a solution that other cat flaps simply don't have.
Although the Microchip Cat Mate 360 cat flap isn't the prettiest or most high-tech model out there, it performs its job well and with minimal fuss, offering great value for money.
2. SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap: Best value
A less-expensive cat flap that offers lots of features
Security: 4-way manual lock | Multi-cat: Up to 32 | Flap dimensions: 5.6" (w) x 4.7" (h) | Battery life: 12 months
If you’re looking for a no-frills microchip cat flap from a trusted brand that gets the job done, the SureFlap Microchip may be for you. Like all microchip models, it only lets your pets in and out, while preventing intruders from stealing food or messing up your home. Of course, your pet will need to be microchipped – and the cat flap works with any of them – or wear a SureFlap RFID collar tag, which costs extra.
As far as cat flaps go, customers say that this one is pretty easy to install, and it can be fitted in doors, windows and walls, although accessories may be needed, which cost extra. One user even said that she replaced a SureFlap cat flap made more than 10 years ago easily as the screws were in the same place.
Compared with some other models this one has a long battery life and is powered by four AA batteries, which are much easier to get hold of than the cell ones, although they make the casing is a little bulkier.
There’s a four-way manual lock to keep your pets in or out and lock up securely when you go on holiday, and for households with plenty of pets, this flap can cater for up to 32 cats by programming in their unique microchip numbers.
Customers have praised the quality and ease of use of the SureFlap microchip cat flap. Its simplicity and price makes it the perfect first microchip cat flap. It’s also great for people who aren’t fussed by having extra features, because why pay for Wi-Fi and tracking features if you don’t need them?
A hi-tech option that connects to an app via Wi-Fi
Includes: Cat flap and hub | Connection: Wi-Fi | Battery life: Up to 6 months | Flap dimensions: 5.6" (w) x 4.7" (h)
The SureFlap Microchip Connect with Hub is a gadget-lover’s dream. The set comprises a generously sized cat flap and a hub that connects the door to the accompanying Sure Petcare app.
The kit offers all the usual benefits of a microchip cat flap in keeping unwanted guests at bay, plus a whole load of extras to connect you to your cat.
For example, the Sure Petcare app enables you to lock or unlock the per door remotely even when you’re not at home. There’s a ‘curfew mode’ that can be set up via the app so that the door is locked or unlocked at specified times of the day, meaning the end of that sinking feeling when you realize you’ll have to get out of bed to check that the cat flap is closed at night – if you keep your cat inside, obviously.
The app also lets you check if your pet is at home, which is particularly great if you work late, and you receive a notification when your pet goes in or out via the pet door. You can even share access with friends and manage their permissions so they can help out when you can’t.
The package includes the hub, which has cute cat ears, but some customers have said it’s annoying as it has to be plugged in nearby, and sockets tend to be in high demand in the kitchen and utility rooms where cat flaps are often placed. The flap does work without Wi-Fi, but obviously you lose all the extra features you have paid for.
The cat flap requires four C cell batteries every six months or so, which are not always easy to find. Some users have also complained that it’s not the easiest to set up, but it certainly offers many more features than the vast majority of cat flaps.
4. SureFlap Dualscan: Best for multi-cat households
A cat flap that helps you manage each cat’s needs
Battery life: Up to 12 months | Flap dimensions : 5.6" (w) x 4.7" (h) | Security: Four-way manual lock | Multi-pet: Up to 32
As all cat owners know, our feline friends have unique personalities, preferences and needs. So, while one adventurous pet may be a menace out hunting, another more timid moggy may prefer to stick to its own territory and rarely bring in any animal it has caught.
Designed for multi-cat households, the SureFlap DualScan microchip cat flap is designed to help you manage your cats’ needs individually, despite them sharing a single cat flap.
The gadget reads a pet’s microchip or SureFlap RFID collar tag every time they go in and out of the flap, and lets you program it to keep certain cats inside, while allowing others out. In this way, you could keep any troublemakers inside at night, while allowing more chilled-out felines outside for a moonlit stroll. The cat flap can be programmed for up to 32 cats, although this would make it as busy as Clapham Junction.
While the gadget isn’t particularly attractive, it is simple to set up with one-button programming, and offers incredible flexibility for multi-cat homes, making life a little easier so that there’s more time to play with your pets. It can be installed in doors, windows and walls (with the aid of accessory kits sold separately) and is powered by four AA batteries which last up to 12 months – although probably not if it is being used by 32 cats!
The cat flap has a manual four-way lock for security, which can be used to keep programmed pets in or out, and is handy for when you go on holiday and want to lock up your home. There’s also a safety mode that allows kitties breaking their curfew to get back inside if they manage to escape through an open door or window.
5. SureFlap Microchip Pet Door: Best for bigger cats
A generous-sized flap for pets that like their food
USP: Extra-large flap | Flap dimensions: 7" (w) x 6.7" (h) | Security: Manual four-way lock | Battery life: Up to 12 months
If you’re the proud owner of a Maine coon / American longhair – the biggest domestic cat – you’ll know that not all cat flaps cut the mustard. The breed is big-boned and muscular, measuring over three feet long. But this is where the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door for Large Cats comes into its own.
The cat flap works like any other microchip offering to keep intruders out, but its flap is bigger, measuring seven inches across and 6.7 inches high. This means it’s suitable for bigger breeds of cat (and those that really appreciate a good tin of Whiskas, or five), as well as smaller dogs.
The gadget boasts a curfew mode that enables you to set the door to lock and unlock at specified times, which might be especially helpful for dog owners who let their dogs outside for a quick toilet trip, or for cat owners who prefer to keep their pet indoors at certain times of the day or night.
The pet door unlocks only for a registered pet's microchip when they return home, and can store up to 32 pet identities in its memory – although you would probably need a mansion to house 32 Maine coons!
For non-microchipped pets, the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is also compatible with the SureFlap RFID Collar Tag, and there’s one included in the box so you can get up and running straight away.
The pet door runs on four C-cell batteries, which typically last for up to 12 months but are not the easiest to find. There’s a four-way manual lock to secure the flap and override the microchip-operated lock if you need to.
6. Cat Mate Elite Microchip Cat Flap with timer control: Best for a little tech
A standard microchip flap with a handy screen
USP: Built-in screen | Battery life: Up to 12 months | Multi-cat: Up to 9 | Flap dimensions: 5.7" (w) x 5.9" (h)
If you’re not keen on using an app with your cat flap, and think connecting it via Wi-Fi is a little over-the-top for your needs, the Cat Mate Elite Microchip Cat Flap with Timer Control offers you a little bit of extra information about your cats, but isn’t overwhelmingly hi-tech. In short, it bridges the gap between a standard microchip cat flap and one of the all-singing, all-dancing models.
Like all the cat flaps on our list, this one is operated by your cat’s implanted microchip to keep local feline friends and foes outside. It’s compatible with 9, 10 and 15-digit microchips and can be used by up to nine cats, although there are better options if you’re specifically looking for a multi-cat option.
The gadget has a timer function and four-way lock to help you keep your cats in at night, for example. But the cat flap’s USP is its little built-in screen that shows, at a glance, whether you cat is in or out and the last time your cat used it. In fact, this data can be shown for up to three cats, which is incredibly handy if you’re trying to call them all for dinner.
The screen is placed on the top of the gadget, meaning you can see the data without bending down, but it does make the overall flap a little bulkier than competitors. Neither does it collect or display as much data as one of the hi-tech versions that details all sorts of feline habits. But if you don’t fancy yet another app on your phone and want a little bit of info at a glance, then this cat flap might be for you.
How to choose the best
Many cat owners find that switching to a microchip cat flap makes their lives (and their cat’s) much easier, as it puts a stop to intruders, the bullying of pets, and unwanted wildlife being brought into the home, but you’ll still want to pick the best product for you.
One important thing to consider is the dimensions of the cat flap itself and whether it is suitable to be installed in your home. Some require extra accessories to be fitted in walls and windows, for example, and some models are easier to set up than others.
Another practicality that could narrow the choice is whether a brand supports a microchip, if your cat already has one. This is really important.
Of course, budget dictates how many features your cat flap is likely to have, and if you want one that links to an app, you’ll have to pay more than double the amount of a basic microchip offering.
However, many models include the ability to use timers and set curfews, making them great value for money, and most can be used in multi-cat households. However, if you have lots of moggies with different needs, you’ll want to plump for the SureFlap Dualscan.
Get the best advice, tips and top tech for your beloved Pets
Thank you for signing up to Petsradar. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.