There's nothing else quite like the Microchip Cat Flap Connect, and while it's not an essential purchase, it's one of those products that just feels right, and really keeps you informed on your cat's ins and outs.
Great cat flap hardware
Remote administration is very useful
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As our SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap Connect review shows, it does more than just allow convenient feline access to your home. It's a microchip cat flap, which is neither a new or particularly exciting concept at this point, but it does mean that (all being well) neighborhood interlopers won't be granted that access and come in to snaffle any left over dry food or spray all over the curtains – only those cats that you've coded into it will be allowed to get in. You can find more models and options in our round up of the best microchip cat flaps.
That's great, particularly if you have had your curtains targeted in the past. But it's the 'Connect' part of 'Microchip Cat Flap Connect' that's the most interesting and exciting feature here. It means this cat flap connects to Wi-fi: a rather ludicrous notion on the face of it, but it very quickly starts to make sense. It gives you a lot of control over the flap's functions from afar, and also feeds you a lot of interesting data about your cat's comings and goings.
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Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap Connect: Features
By default, this behaves in exactly the same way as Sure's outwardly identical DualScan Microchip Cat Flap, simply allowing cats in and out based on the microchips you program into it. To get the Cat Flap Connect to talk to your phone, you'll need Sure's Hub connected to your router. This does mean an extra expense, although a single Hub can support multiple Cat Flap Connects, as well as things like Sure's Microchip Pet Feeder Connect, so it gets a little cheaper the more you build on it.
The connectivity is simple enough to set up; once you have, you can choose to receive notifications when a cat goes in or out of the cat flap, with details on which specific cat it was. You'll even be able to see when they've poked their head through for a look in without actually entering or exiting. And you'll be able to look back at their activities, working out how long they're typically out and at what times, or if they've even bothered to leave the house at all in the past week.
You can also control the cat flap from your phone, remotely setting it to in-only, out-only, or locking it entirely. If you'd rather your cats stayed in at night, there's a curfew mode to lock things down automatically between your set hours, and it's possible to designate one or more of your cats as indoor-only. This means they won't be able to exit, but will always be allowed back in should they find another way out.
Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap Connect: Performance
While some users have complained of connectivity issues, that has not been the case over the course of this long-term test of the Microchip Cat Flap Connect. In general, the connection tends to be rock solid. Indeed, the little indicator ears on the Sure Hub, which flash green when a cat enters, and turn red when there's no connection, have actually been a rather good indicator of internet outages. The cat flap portion works independently of the network-connected functions anyway, so there's nothing to worry about in terms of. There's a small delay between a cat entering and the push message reaching a phone, but not enough that you won't be able to greet your cat before they saunter into the living room.
If you're used to Sure's lower-level Microchip Cat Flap, you'll be pleased to hear this is a drop-in replacement, and its security matches that of the DualScan cat flap. That means there's security on the flap both inside and out, so it can't be hooked open by particularly escape-happy cats, microchip recognition is very fast, and the door did not once drop so softly that it left itself on the latch – something that is a definite problem on the bottom-end cat flap. Tailgating could still be a problem
The Microchip Cat Flap Connect's smart functions quickly become second nature. Checking the app to see who's in and out when dishing up evening dinner, monitoring the cat flap's remarkably long-lasting AA batteries, locking things down when it's time to apply flea treatment or pack up for a trip to the vet, all are easily accessed through the very well-made app.
Should you buy the Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap Connect?
Yes, you should absolutely buy this. The SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap Connect takes a great cat flap and upgrades it with with some absolutely excellent and often extremely useful smarts. Admittedly, it is rather expensive (particularly if you don't already have the Sure Hub installed at home), so if you're less worried about seeing how often your cat goes outside then you can certainly save a chunk of money by opting for the standard DualScan Cat Flap. That said, once you've plugged yourself in, it's the most natural thing in the world to find out when your cats are coming home or going out, wherever you may be at the time.
Pet Tech Week on PetsRadar
Pet Tech Week is brought to you by PetsRadar.com. Throughout this week we'll be showcasing the new tech that will make your pets happier and healthier. Whether you want a smart cat flap, a canine camera or the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair, we've got you covered.
Alex is a freelance writer, editor and sub editor specialising in entertainment and technology; he is a father of two, and owned by three increasingly grumpy cats. Somehow he has been doing this for 24 years, and it's still fun. He specialises in technology-related subjects, with a focus on smart home and gadgets and is a regular contributor to T3.com, TechRadar, PC Gamer, and more.