Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

Our Chippies

014 
Remember I told you I went to the vets with Mini and Bonus a few weeks ago? Aside from getting their yearly shots I also had them micro chipped.

Both cats already have number tattoos in their ears and the reason for the micro chips was only so we could get a micro chip cat flap. We’d been having an unwanted visitor for a few months who ate the cat food in the kitchen but worst of all marked his territory on the furniture and the walls.

013 
I was a little nervous to get a cat flap of this kind. Would the installation be complicated? Would it be really big and tech looking? Would it even work?

I did an online search and found two brands and one of which needed wiring which I immediately had to rule out because the cat flap is sitting in a door that need to be opened and how in the world would I wire that? Then I found the SureFlap which only requires batteries. Yay! I also like the design of it, all white and clean looking. It ticked all my boxes. I was also lucky to be able to use the existing hole we cut for the old flap so it was pretty easy to install.

109 
How this works is the there are four AA batteries that operate the flap. There are two sensors inside the tunnel at the top and when your cat sticks his head inside the tunnel the sensors read the micro chip that’s in their neck.

Wille and I were a little worried that we wouldn’t know how soon to change the batteries and feared they might run out one day and not let Mini or Bonus in. Turns out the flap emits a signal telling you when the batteries need to be replaced. Apparently the batteries last about six months so it’s not something that needs replacing very often.

003 
So how does the flap recognize Mini and Bonus in particular? It needs to learn their individual micro chips and you do that by pressing the little button next to the batteries which leaves the flap in an open position (and there’s a little flashing red light telling you it’s in “learning” mode. The first time your cat passes through the flap it registers the chip and the next time it’s all set for letting that particular cat inside. You repeat the process with the rest of your felines (up to 32 of them…).

020 
It took a little coaxing to get Bonus to hop through the first time. I used his favorite food to lure him inside and after a little while he went through. Then I set the flap on learning mode for Mini and went downstairs to do some laundry and while I was there she’d gone through on her own.

It’s taken about a week for them both to get used to the new flap. They were a little apprehensive for a while, the reasons being 1) that the tunnel is a little deeper than before so they need to do a bigger jump, 2) the flap is clear where as the previous flap had a frosted stripe pattern and I think they were unsure if there was indeed a flap there at all until it got some nose prints and some dirt and 3) the flap makes a little click noise when the sensors have read the chip and the flap is unlocked. 

111
I’m really happy about the flap. It looks nice, it works and we don’t need to worry about that other cat ever getting inside again.

So how much did all this cost? Having the cats micro chipped came at about 400 kronor / $50 per cat. The flap was about 1500 kronor / $200. So all in all it came to quite a lot of money but I’m really happy we did it.

I’d like to warn Swedish readers though not to get the flap from the place I got it. They dispatched the package quickly enough but there were no instructions inside, I had to get those via the SureFlap website, and the screws and white screw covers for the outside were missing and are still missing. I’ve tried to contact the Swedish web shop ever since the flap arrived over two weeks ago and they’re just not returning my calls. Non existent customer service!

EDIT: The Swedish web shop finally got in touch via e-mail. They're sending the screw hole covers. Still no explanation as to why they haven't returned my phone calls. Seems they do their customer service via e-mail. If I were them I'd remove the customer service phone number from their site and their invoices…

25 Comments

  • Jo says:

    How adorable.!! Luckily it seems the cats have taken to it relatively easily..
    I’d like to be a fly on the wall the first time your unwanted visitor tries to get back in and gives himself/herself a nasty head bump. ;o)
    Shame the customer service was so crappy. Maybe your local DIY depot can help you with the screws and caps ??
    Jo xx

  • Luckily I had some screws that I could use at home, they weren’t perfect (a little to fat so ui was a little worried I’d crack the plastic) but did the job in the end. As for the covers they look like they need to be special for this flap as they’re an odd shape… I taped over the holes for the time being so dirt won’t get trapped in there but I hate stuff that’s not finished.

  • Hxx says:

    Your cats will feel like VIPs with their own invisible doorman! Good work Benita!

  • Rattling On says:

    We bought a similar thing for a similar reason. It worked well for a while but then the other cat learned to stand right behind ours and follow them through while it was open.

  • Agnes says:

    Thank you for this inspiration Benita! I’m thinking about this for my two furry babies. Today they have a similar flap but it run by a magnet attached to their collar! It’s a bit heavy and sometimes they loose the collars. This way it’s always open for them!
    I think that the price was good, have seen much more expensive and the design is very nice. To bad they don’t meet your complains about missing parts! They don’t know how many readers you have! Shame on them : )
    Agneta

  • Mini and Bonus don’t like the other cat so I doubt they would allow it. At least I hope they won’t…

  • I considered the magnet version too but Bonus doesn’t like wearing a collar and although Mini didn’t mind so much she kept loosing hers every month or so. Now she wears an elastic band with her bell so as to scare any birds away.

  • Nina says:

    Haha, it is fantastic, isn’t it? We have one of the wired ones which works like a charm. Before we installed it we also had a unwelcome visitor who peed all over the place and ate all the food and who also made the cats very jumpy and insecure. Nowadays there is also a web cam registering every move in the cat flap and it is quite funny to see how the other cat still hasn’t given up hope of getting inside.

  • Isa says:

    Thats just so distgusting. There is nothing worse than catpee..
    hope the htch will solve the problem.
    http://www.isabsson.se
    Ciao
    Isa

  • Iiris says:

    I need one of those! I’m fed up acting as a cat flap for my two cats, who think it’s ok to wake me up at ungodly hours, just cos they fancy an early stroll round the neighbourhood!
    In our previous house we first had just a normal cat flap but after coming home and finding no less than five cats in out kitchen (none of them ours..) we got the one one with magnets. Well, every now and then us and all our neighbours used to search through our backgardens for the lost collars, and I lost count how many I had to replace.
    I think the reason we haven’t got a cat flap yet is, that my other half wouldn’t wake up in the night even if a bomb hit the house, so he doesn’t know what a pain it is to be woken up on a cold and dark morning by two restless felines. He says it’s because we need to replace the whole back panel (present one has stupid mouldings) and he hasn’t had time yet..
    Ps. I like the towel over the doormat, good idea.

  • jja says:

    I told my friend about this idea, since she has a house too and have to get up every single night to get her cat in. But her cat brought with also some dead mices and started to eat inside, so the friend had to give up this door idea. My cats have microchip just for case they get lost, since the finder won’t know if the cat has something like this or not but the vet can check that and see my contact information also.
    Some people find cute cats and want to keep them, don’t visit vet because of the tattoo and so on. But without tattoo they don’t know that vet can identify cats owner. My vet had cases like this in the past, asking new cat owner where this cat is coming from – regular question actually and heared some wierd story and used her microchip reader just to find out this was the cat of my good friend and the cat was missing for over a month.

  • Gül says:

    aaww! I adore Mini’s look through the flap!

  • Monnah says:

    Vilken smidig kattlucka! För övrigt kan jag tala om att ditt organiserande inspirerade mig att ta tag i saker och ting i köket. Tack!
    http://monnahs.blogspot.com/2010/09/koksorganisation.html

  • devil says:

    Hiya Benita – I’m still enjoying your blog and hope you’re doing great!
    Um, up to 32 cats? Wouldn’t 32 cats be considered excessive?!?
    Great job with this. 🙂

  • gmcarver@eastlink.ca says:

    I have the same cat flap door just waiting to be installed so it’s great to read your review and I’m happy you like it!!! I have more cats than you and wondered if getting them all programmed in might be a pain but it seems not.

  • The sureflap was one of the best things I have ever bought! It’s money well spent. Before the sureflap, I had all sorts of cats coming in uninvited. Not anymore thankfully as there is nothing worse than your cat “competing with others”, in your own house, if you get my drift.

  • Messy says:

    Ha, great photo.
    Your cats are smarter than mine… Never got used to it, just sat there with the dumbest look ever. Endearing, in a way.

  • Amanda says:

    This is so cool! I love this idea. That would freak me out knowing that another cat was inside my house. Eek! Although it may freak me out knowing that my kitty has a chip in her neck … haha.
    PS, love the first picture. And I also like that mat at the door. What’s the white fabric on it?

  • Amanda says:

    PSS … again. I wonder how tough it would be to pick if you had 33 cats 😉 (that would be totally gross though)

  • Jamie says:

    Wow! What a great idea. I’ve never heard of these before.

  • Towe says:

    Cool, almost like I want to have one for myself so I don’t have to bring the key everyday! towe.

  • I cover the mat with a bath towel so Mini and Bonus wipe their feet before going further into the house :). During the wet and dirty months there’s one on the outside wrapped around that mat too. Keeps quite a lot of the dirt out.

  • Brilliant idea! I had the magnetic version before we removed the back door. My puss did however manage to get her front paw trapped through her collar and couldn’t walk properly. We had to cut it off, her collar not her paw, and just never got around to replacing it. That just meant I took the batteries out and never got around to getting her a new collar. She has a microchip so the one you have purchased would have been a better option. My dilemma now is, we will be getting a new back door which is mainly glass, how do we, if we do, put a catflap in the new door? Think it may just be a case of out at night and let in in the morning? Hmmmmm

  • You can actually install this flap in a glass door. I’ve always wondered how that’s done because I’ve read that about other cat doors. Turns out you get a glazier to cut a round hole and insert the tunnel through there with some extra. Check out the instructions and needed extras in the manual that can be found on the SureFlap website!