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Let me sumarise first - Unreliable, expensive, quite noisey and difficult to reset! Since installation just over 12 months ago, I had noticed a few random problems, but nothing I could really get to the bottom of. Firstly, sometimes it would just lock, and not allow the cats out or even in, but would eventually resolve itself after I randomly pressed the buttons, and removed the batteries (this is not impossible, but really quite a struggle!). But now, it has gone completely berserk. It randomly unlocks, and locks throught the day, and night. The cats play russian rullette when either approaching, or even passing it, as there is no saying when its going to make that rather load scratching noise of the locking mechanism. As it now unlocks randomly troughout the night, we have had to resort to locking our internal doors in the evening, to prevent the cats from getting out after their curfew! I made the mistake initally of deciding to install the catflap in the brick wall of my extension, which I thought was an excellent idea, however the tunnel extensions actually cost nearly £10 each, so once I had bought 7 of them (yes, they only come in one short length) I had actually spent about the same as the catflap, and thats just on little bits of plastic! I am also baffled as to why there is no option for a second catflap at the other end of the tunnel. I have douple glazing, and insulation in every wall, and yet where the catflap sits, I have a 3mm piece of plastic dangling surrounded by gaps that allow the gale from outside straight in. So with approx £150 invested, I am desperately working out what my options are!
If you've got a cat that likes to go out at 4am in the morning and you don't want a daily alarm, this is the cat flap for you and is worth every penny, but is hard to learn to program.
Our new cat has a habit of starting his day early and previously would move heaven and earth (and whatever else we had in front of the previous cat flap) to let himself out, even breaking the plastic panel on the Petsafe door at one point. This cat flap is very good and sturdy and in the month I've had it our cat has not broken the flap panel or managed to unlock the flap outside the allowed times.
This catflap however has a larger tunnel than the previous Petmate and is very fiddly to set up with one person, be prepared to grab a saw and someone else to help you have an easier time with installation.
I will say the catflap is very unintuitive to use at first. The manual has everything smooshed together without any clear bullet points or clear indication what does what so it can be quite confusing at first even for someone that works with a lot of electronics. That said programming in a cat's microchip into the system (before installing into the door/wall) is very easy, so easy that I didn't realise it was done (and was afraid it wasn't registered correctly as there's no real indication that you've done it). I suspect you'd have an easier time if your animal wears and keeps on the compatable ID disc option. If you cat has kitty friends (or if one of them sneaks into the house by another entry method) they can go outside (as long as the flap is set to allow out) without needing to be programmed into the cat flap system. Also the flap has a rather cute icon to say which programmed cat is in, and when they last used the cat flap.
The timer programming is very awkward to set up (as is almost all the programming on the cat flap) and is set for all cats on the system. Personally I've got mine set to 8pm Cat In Only to 4am Cat Out and In, I'm almost certain that you can only set one timer program. It would be nice to be able to set multiple programs or be able to set a different program to a different cat.
If you've got a nervous or shy cat expect them to be scared of the sounds of the lock system on this door, they locks make a noise when the registered animal is close to the sensor. Give them some time to get adjusted and they'll have no problem.
The flap is very clear and even after a month's usage (and kitty wanting to go out and scratching it), the panel is still crystal clear. Our cat also liked to attacked the previous cat flap from all sides to get it to open, but this one is like a mini Fort Knox, not even Houdini himself could get out this cat flap when it is locked.
I have given this product 4/5 stars only because the main selling point (the timer programming) is very fiddly to work. You hold one button and then press and hold a second one, but get the presses wrong and it's a different command or nothing happens. Also the buttons were very firm to press. Perhaps this is down to stopping a cat pressing buttons randomly however it does make it very difficult to use. I do recommend this cat flap to anyone considering it, but bear in mind it will take you a few days to get the hang of the programming (heck after a month I've still got the manual nearby in case I need to change something on the hoof)
We had a normal cat flap before purchasing this one. Unfortunately our cat is quite a clever little chap, and figured out if he hooked one of the little clips with his claw he could open the flap and manage to escape. We already lost 1 cat after being run over by a car, so didnt want to lose another.
This catflap locks in place, and boy does it stay locked! The master escape artist has tried his best to get out whilst its locked, but theres no way he is getting out. Even Houdini would have struggled with this cat flap (ok maybe not).
It has a timer built in, so we set it to lock at 7pm and unlock at 6am. So once set, it just locks and unlocks automatically, we dont have to do anything. It has a little screen on the top plate which will tell you if the cat is in or out, and if he's out we can find out what time he went out.
Yes, it is a tad pricey, but offers a lot of peace of mind, so worth it in the end I think.
I have owned this catflap for a year now and it works perfectly. I love the ability to check if my cat is in or out. It is also great to know how long he has been in or out for too. Gives me an indication if he is avoiding going out due to a bully neighbour cat. Very clever idea. My boyfriend loves checking if he is in before he comes upstairs. My cat uses it all the time and has never had a problem. The only negative point is the noise that the motor makes when it recognises the microchip as it is very loud. My cat is not bothered by it but I can hear it at the other end of my flat and it is especially noisy at night. I can see why timid cats would be a bit scared. This is the reason I gave 4 stars. It was easy to fit into a double glazed door. It took my brother 40 mins in total.
Now that it's installed it seems to be working well. I thought i was going to have issues at first because having managed to get my cat to go through and it registering his microchip - I then tried to encourage him on several occasions to come back through so I could check it was working before I installed it but on each occasion I couldn't get it to work. I was also concerned that I seemed to be able to open it. I rang the supplier with my concerns and they explained that it wasn't a case of the cat just having his head in the entrance but also pushing against the door (on this particular cat flap), so the false situation didn't really allow a proper test. It turned out also that you can open it yourself from the inside but not the outside, this is so that should an unwanted visitor manage to somehow get in, they can at least get out again. In the end I decided to bite the bullet and install it (cutting into the panel of a relatively new UPVC door!!) - anyway, within half an hour the cat was coming and going as he pleased, so very happy and relieved. The only other concern is that after a couple of weeks use the battery indicator is already down to one bar, which doesn't seem long. It would be good if the manufacturers instructions had told me the things that the supplier told me over the phone. Over all though - so far so good.
I bought this as I needed a flap with a timer function and microchip reader. It's not fit for purpose and heres why. I replaced my Sure Cat Flap with this one and it's major failing is unless the cat puts his head completely in the tunnel the mechanism won't unlock and when it does it takes a further second. On top of that the flap does not move freely and needs a fair shove meaning for 3 nights on the trott I've come home to find my cat outside. I also set up blink camera to see if hes able to get in and quite upsetting to watch my cat failing to get in. I called the company today and they confirmed that they know its an issue for some owners that the cats head needs to be fully in the tunnel to work. In addition it's loud very loud and this has added to my cats anxiety. Avoid this product. I see Sure Cat Flap has an expensive solution which allows you to control via an app I'm going to bite the bullet and try that. Oh one last thing...the control buttons to this product need a hard press to work very fiddley. Avoid avoid avoid
I bought this for my as then un chipped rescue cat. He was duly chipped but the flap would not recognise said chip. As it hapoened, the chip disappeared so poor cat had to suffer the process again. Unsurprisingly the flap then recognised him coming in and out. I did go down the route of doing a factory reset as I think it got bogged down with all the comings and goings. I had it on training mode for a few days as he struggled with it. Now he is a happy bunny (cat) and so far so am I. A very good buy. One last point...customer service department are very helpful and patient. Definitely recommend the cat flap.
--Unreliable electronics & locking mechanism-- review after 2 months use. -Had to reset it multiple times when i first installed the batteries, just to get it to work correctly. -Once working! registering my cats chip was straight forward and worked on 1st attempt. -Fitting was easy! just had to make old hole in door slightly bigger, outer cover has a little to much flex for only 2 side screws, so i sealed inner tunnel to door gap, just in case it leaked over time.
Verdict - Just had to change the batteries after only 2-months use, and I often find my cat is either locked out or can't even get out as the catflap refuses to do anything, just stays locked!! For £70 it's inners are total rubbish! as the electronics & locking mechanism are trash and have multiple faults, just opening/closing the door sometimes makes the catflap go mental.
We had two cats, both getting on in years, and we'd moved to a new area. We installed a non-microchipped cat flap and neighborhood cats would come in for their breakfast, lunch, tea and midnight snacks and use the night time litter tray, and sometimes even get stuck in when we had locked the cat flap for the night. As you can imagine this was getting a bit stressful for us and for our cats so we tried this.
First the good bits.... One of our cats is an extreme escape artist, he has previously broken cat flap doors, finding ways around the programmers and locks (usually by clawing under the edge of the flap and then breaking the door itself), but to date (1 month in) it's still perfect! I'm a little surprised to be honest and our cats seem so much more relaxed, so completely worth the money. I really like the little pictures on the display which show which cats are in and which are out (if you can remember which cat is which number). The programmer, whilst a bit simplistic is useful, allowing us to set a time for the cats to come in/out. So we allow the cats to come in at any time and out only between 5am and 9pm (they do their worst fighting with other cats over night).
Now the bad bits.. As mentioned by some other reviews the programmer is a bit of a joke (designed by someone with no experience of a UI or is very organised to know where all their manuals are at all times as ...) you will need the manual to set the clock, set the timer, set up the cats microchips etc. It's not obvious. Once working it's fine and you'll probably never need the manual again (the unit retains the info of the microchips and clock if you switch out the battery quick enough). The instructions are weird, saying you should push your cat through the cat flap before installing. I completely didn't understand why you would do this step, I just did it once installed.
Our cats seem more confident to go out and do seem to get better sleep, I assume because they don't expect another animal to appear in their space.
This is simply fantastic. I moved into my grandma's old house and needed a way for my little cat to get in and out. She has never used a flap before, previous landlady refused to allow a flap to be installed. Installation was pretty simple, 10 mins with a drill and a jigsaw. Programming was fairly simple too, activated the chip scanner, grabbed the cat and posted her from the outside back into the house and it was all done. Set the timer, which works perfectly. It did take her a few days to get used to it because every time she touched it the noise of the solenoid motor made her jump and run away! With some persistence I showed her that it was safe and she now uses it without any issues at all. I was worried about how quickly the reader would work from the outside and make her think it had locked her out, however I was pleased to see that when she was running back in to escape another cat it opened instantly and shut her new friend outside for them to howl at each other through the cat flap. I also find the indicator very handy, when I get home from work I can very quickly see if she's in or out. In summary, excellent. I'm sure that there will be people who don't have a similar experience. My cat is a bit of a wuss so she doesn't really try very hard to defeat the locking mechanism when it won't let her out, she just accepts that it's locked and walks away. If you've got a cat who can open doors etc then they might be able to unlock the flap. It bolts with the solenoid on 2 plastic pins in the center bottom of the flap. Really the 2 plastic pins should be further apart, as it allows the bottom corners to be pulled.