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.
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.
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.
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…).
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.
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...