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‘I am the cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me.’
The Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling.
It’s a pleasing thought, the independently wandering cat, and it speaks to what feels like their fundamental nature – going here, going there, unhindered by the world, and in control of their own destiny.
Except of course, doors are usually designed for use by humans, with their opposable thumbs and vertical spines. In the modern world, where most people work, the cat trying to walk by himself faces a straightforward challenge in the common-or-garden door.
‘I am the cat who walks by himself, and I’m going to scratch the living daylights out of that idiot ape when they get home…’ might be more appropriate these days.
The cat flap then is any cat-level gap that allows the cat to have control over their inside/outside destiny.
But of course, it’s not that simple. Where cats can go, other things can follow. Rats. Smaller dogs. Neighbouring or even feral cats. The ball of sound and fury that is an urban fox. All of them could bring pests and chaos into your living space if you had just a standard cat-sized hole carved into your door.
Clearly, there has to be a better solution.
And now there is.
Proving there’s no problem so mundane that humans won’t tech it up, the microchip cat flap has become more and more a reality over the last couple of decades. Cat flaps more or less controlled uniquely by your cat, the cat you want coming and going, with access denied to everything else on the basis that they lack the right bit of kit.
There are, though, now a multitude of microchip-controlled cat flaps on the market – partly because anyone who knows cats understands they’re discriminating creatures who like a choice, and partly because the number of functions that can be built into a microchip cat flap is enough to keep research engineers happy for years.
So how do you find the one that’s right for you and your cat?
Step this way and mind your head – we’ve collected the best microchip cat flaps on the market for your – and your cat’s – consideration.
In a hurry? Here’s our top pick.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Microchip Cat Flaps – Comparison Table
Best Microchip Cat Flaps – Reviews
Best Microchip Cat Flaps – Buyer’s Guide
When buying a microchip cat flap, it pays to keep a couple of things in mind before you buy.
What Kind Of Cat-Slave Are You?
How many cats do you have? Just the one? A handful? 30? 40?
That will actually be a factor because flaps exist that cater best to various numbers and types of cats. If you just have the one, you don’t need to overspend on the cat flap because it doesn’t need to do anything extra clever. If you have more than one and they’re at different ages or stages of investigation, be aware of the cleverness in things like the Dual Scan, which can cater for multiple levels of investigative development. If you’re joyously overrun with furry assassins, you’re going to want to go for a cat flap with a higher number of chip-ID recognitions. Assess your needs, and let those needs drive your purchasing decisions.
To Chip Or Not To Chip
Honestly, probably, it’s wise to get your cat chipped – it’s not law yet that you have to, but it looks like it’s on the horizon for cats to be mandatorily chipped, so why wait? This should also guide your decisions – some flaps don’t work for non-chipped cats, and some aren’t compatible with different kinds of chips. Check out your chips before you splash out on a flap.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I want a microchip cat flap, rather than a manual one?
Mostly because it’s far less hassle for you, and far more instinctive for your cat, to make use of the available technological options. It’s also worth remembering that with less high-tech cat flaps, you’re far more open to system fallibility, meaning unwanted guests can use the flap, steal food from your cat, and bring pests and/or disease into your living space. With a microchip cat flap, you control the direction of travel, and you control which animals are able to use the flap.
What features are best to have in a microchip cat flap?
Ultimately that’ll depend on your lifestyle, how many cats you have and the like. But you want something that will only allow the cats you want through the flap. You want something that allows you to set and control direction of travel – exit-only, entrance-only, both or neither. Ideally you want a guard against breezes coming through the cat flap. And you want something appropriate to the number and age of cats you have, and that won’t break the bank. Whether you then choose to go super high-tech with app technology and the like will depend on what such elements genuinely bring to your cat-owning life.