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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 October 2009
We didn't purchase our SureFlap through Amazon, but rather directly from the main site.
Both our cats were chipped at an early age and have always used a catflap, however we were having frequent problems with neighbourhood tomcats intruding and spraying during the day and night.
Unfortunately one of our cats was not picked up by the chip scanner. We discussed this over email with the MD of sureflap who was incredibly helpful, going so far as to personally visit us to check the fitted catflap. Although he'd brought a replacement catflap with him in case ours was faulty, we discovered that the chip had slipped position in the cat thus meaning that it was not recognised appropriately by the flap.
Sureflap's MD had brought extra chips with him together with some small containers that would fit on a cat's collar. We now use one of these for the cat with the non-functioning chip and everything works as hoped for.
We would buy another one of these if required without hesitation. Well worth the money - our cats are much more relaxed as they can see neighbourhood cats trying and failing to get in. A genius product made by a company who actually understand the value of customer service.
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on 22 September 2010
Finally we no longer have next doors ginger tom invading our space. This cat flap is brilliant, I was dubious at spending so much money on a cat flap I will admit but my poor cat was being terrified by the neighbours cat so something had to be done. It was delivered quickly, it was very simple to put in place, the tricky part was trying to get my little darling through the flap so it would register her chip, but after 25 minutes and a lots of treats we were there and after lots of sniffing and the occasional jump at the flap clicking shut she is using it like its always been there and no longer do we have uninvited visitors which has made her much more relaxed and a generally much happier cat. One thing I was worried about was that sometimes when she is being chased she does come through the cat flap at quite a speed and I was worried it wouldn't register her chip in time but it does so if that is a fear for you don't worry.
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on 5 September 2011
If you are skim reading reviews and simply want to know what I thought about the SureFlap, here is a break down :

PROS :
- Keeps out unwanted visitors by only recognising your pets (up to 32 of them)
- Easy for the SureFlap to learn your cat's microchip
- Runs on batteries, so it can be installed anywhere, it also includes a 'low battery level' indicator
- This model now has a brush seal for keeping out drafts
- Your cat does not have to wear a collar

CONS :
- Bit pricy, but worth every penny in the end.
- If your cat is fat (sorry, "large"), it may not fit through the cat flap. However a 40% larger flap is due out by the end of 2011 and may be worth the wait if this is your dilemma.
- Your cat may be spooked by the clicking sound of the lock, I would recommend always leaving the lock enabled however, even when the cat flap is taped open during the learning phase, this allows the cat to get used to the sound and to realise that it does not do it any harm.
- It does take time for them to learn to use the cat flap, some have said up to 2 weeks, be patient, don't give up.
- Requires a bit of effort on the cat's part to actually push its way through.
- An intruder cat can follow your cat through the cat trap if it is fast enough
- Slightly tricky to install, a templated cut-out would help with this
- Only reads the microchip one way, there is no option to activate it both ways, this would be a nice addition. Presently it is "By Design" to let anything out, just in case an intruder makes its way in.

TECHNICAL CONS :
- Your cat does need to be chipped to be able to use it, otherwise it is a pointless purchase.
- Certain microchip types are unsupported, however, for this reason they recommend you test the flap out first and return it for a refund, before you knock a hole through the wall.
- Depending where you choose to install it, you may require professional assistance (Although this is most likely the case with any cat flap)
- Can be a bit 'iffy' when installed in a Metal door, however a mounting adapter is available to improve this.

OVERALL, DO I RECOMMEND IT, IF I COULD DO IT OVER, WOULD I PURCHASE IT AGAIN ?
A DEFINITE YES :)

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Attached is a video taken on Sunday morning (4th Sept 2011) once our happy critters gathered how the cat flap worked. They are still learning however and this is evident, but they are gaining confidence all the time. You can audibly hear how long the door takes to unlock for them, as well as how long it takes to lock after they have gone through it.

Customer images also uploaded to accompany this review.

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If you're interested in a bit more of a read, here is my full review : :)
It came to our attention that an unwanted visitor was helping itself to our kitten food, it would come in every night and hoover up whatever was available, from their wet food to their biscuits. Not a crumb was spared.

I began removing their food at night and figured this would solve the problem.. Around July we bought a new security system and figured we would test it out by setting it up to watch the window that our cats use as their entry and exit point. Lo and behold the big bugger was squeezing through the burglar guards, walking all over our kitchen counter and loafing about the lounge for sometimes an hour at a time. The fact that there was no food available had obviously not deterred him.

As annoying as this was, it only became a real bother once Jack came of age. The presence of our unwanted visitor caused him to start spraying in the house and once Jack became a threat, our intruder started marking right back.

Despite Jack being neutered shortly after, the presence of the other cat unnerved him and still caused him to spray. Reaching a point of desperation, I Googled for all sorts of ways to solve this issue.. and finally read that there was a cat flap that could allow only your cats in. I had ideas about such a thing, but did not know that it actually existed.

I first began looking up all the info I could on magnetic cat flaps, but from experience I know that cats really do not like collars and technically, any cat wearing a magnet collar would still be able to enter your home. Aside from this, many reviews said that their cats often lost the collars or the magnetic `keys' somehow.. I was hoping for an all-in-one solution and then I happened across the SureFlap MicroChip Cat Flap and my prayers were answered !!

I did a lot of research and read a lot of reviews and it all paid off.

Programming in the cats was a doddle, I took the example used in the SureFlap promotional video and popped a biscuit in. Both cats were picked up straight away and Misty just put her head in to see what it was, she didn't even take the time to eat it and the flap picked her up just fine.

My husband and I installed the flap in our wooden kitchen door the very day it arrived, Friday (2nd Sept 2011). The only thing which he thought would prove more helpful was if a cut-out was included, as the instructions state that you need to draw an outline and then jigsaw 3mm outside of the line, which can easily become too much.. If a templated cut-out could be provided that would be the right size once outlined, that would make the wood installation a lot easier.

Our cats had never even seen a cat flap before and although they would go through it if the flap was taped open, once the clear plastic shutter was in place, it was seemingly an invisible force field which they could not pass. Also, as it turns out, our cats do not respond to treats..

We practiced with them whereby I would be on the inside and my husband on the outside and we would call them and try to get them to go from one person to the other, the person on the sending end would provide a helpful push through the flap where required. We also put them on the outside and both called them from the inside. Pushing them through a few times helped to show them it wouldn't hurt them.

The door does make a very loud "click" sound and if you own a skittish cat, it is easy to see how this could spook them. However, our cats still seem to hang around when power tools are in use, so this was not much of a deterrent for them and even when we taped the cat flap open, I left the lock engaged, so it still clicked frequently in order for them to get used to it. With all our practicing over the weekend, it wouldn't have surprised me if the batteries can given out within a week. We would put the cats outside for a bit and we'd be sitting in the lounge and you would just hear the "click" as one of them approached the door and then.. nothing.. and then "click".. This went on for quite some time when they were still trying to figure out how it all worked. Needless to say, in a quiet home, you'll always be able to hear when your cats are coming and going.

Just when I was at the point where I figured that they would never 'get it', on Sunday morning (4th Sept 2011), my husband put them outside after breakfast and soon after, Misty came scampering into the bedroom. After that Jack gathered how it was done and then proceeded to show off how he could easily go in and out. I suppose it had to 'marinade' overnight a bit. Misty is still getting to grips with it, sometimes she battles to get out as she sits there pawing the lock instead of pushing the plastic flap itself.

As you can tell from the video, there is also a bit of effort with regards to your cat having to push its way through, but determination usually wins out in the end.

Other points worth mentioning :
I noticed that there was a concern about the size of the cat flap, but when I measured, it was the same size as the outer burglar guards on our house, and really, if our cats got fatter than that, they would not be able to leave the house anyway. The burglar guards do provide more vertical room however.

I did not encounter any issues however of either of the cats' tails becoming shut in the cat flap, as I had read in one of the reviews.

I'm also pleased to say that this model now includes a brush seal for keeping out drafts which many people had previously mentioned would have been a nice edition.

The door closes very quickly after them (as heard in the video), although also evident here, you can that see if an animal is literally 'right' behind your pet, as Jack was with Misty, it can get through without the flap locking in-between. For this reason, as stated in the instruction manual, the door does not require a microchip to get out, any animal is allowed to exit, as you would not want a panicked intruder trapped inside your home.

In closing, our house is finally starting to smell like a home and not a cattery again. Overall, I am extremely happy with my purchase, I definitely recommend it and am chuffed that I no longer have to worry about our uninvited guest anymore.
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on 27 April 2014
I have given this 4 stars for one reason only, and that is, the fixing screws that hold the flap into place are situated on the outdoor side. That means that it would be quite easy for someone to remove the unit from the door and leaving a big enough aperture for the access of burglar 'fishing' equipment.

Other wise I would agree with all the positive comments about this cat flap.
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on 16 February 2010
I purchased my sureflap catflap approximately one year ago and I still love it!!

I deliberated between purchasing this or the competitor at the time and am so glad with my decision. The competitor was not only asthetically displeasing, but ran off the mains, so needed to be plugged into a socket, wouldn't work during a powercut (of which my area suffers from a few) and the sales pitch on the Internet was not only pushy but really weak and really made up my mind for me.

I have three cats in total - two normal size cats (4kg) and one 8kg beast! All of them manage to use the sureflap without any difficulties. I sensibly ensured that all of my cats microchips registered with the unit before fitting it to my door, all of which was really easy to do. That's it really - it's been working perfectly ever since and my cats love it! I have changed the batteries once in this time, when the indicator light came on and have not experienced any wear and tear issues - considering that I have three moggies it does get alot of use. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend or purchase another.

Now I am just waiting for a catflap to be designed that does not allow my cats to bring in mice!
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on 27 August 2010
The idea for this product is brilliant, but unfortunatly I found this didn't work as good as I thought it might. It scanned and memorised my cats ok, but only let one of them in when in the normal mode and in all fairness to Sureflap customer support, they were very helpful in trying to put the problem right, quick on responding and sending me replacement units, ( i'm on my third now ).It seems like the problem is in the scanning area, as I watched my cats trying to get in,it seemed to work ok for the cat who "nosed" its way through the flap and as for my other cat who tended to use its paw to open the flap, it didn't work at all,he gave up trying eventually. Which makes me think that if the scanning range was slightly better over a wider area it would pick up cats who tended to stand slightly one sided to use their paw to try opening the flap and not getting in the range of the scanner. Maybe I've got an odd cat! I'm not sure but I hope that this review may help someone decide on getting one of these units or not, depending on how their cat try's to "nose or paw" their way through normal cat flaps.
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on 7 August 2015
This is my first microchip reading cat flap so can't compare to others,
The cats opening is smaller than a standard cat flap (didn't realise at the time otherwise I would have ordered the larger one!) and my cats are not large.

I'm really pleased with the product but there is one thing you need to know !..
The brush at the top of the clear flap collects cat hair that obscures the optical sensors preventing the reader from activating when the cat is under the flap (one of my cats could not enter due to this causing us both panic!)

Clean once a fortnight and you'll be fine, get the larger one just for easy access. Programming to SO easy even for multiple cats.
I have two flaps, pictures from one of them taken from both sides of the flap.
I am very happy I purchased them, my only regret is I didn't get the larger size.
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on 14 September 2009
We bought our Sureflap about a year ago in response to constant visitors using our normal catflap. I was a bit worried at first because we had a new glass pane fitted for the manual Staywell flap - but the Sureflap also fitted perfectly.
At first we had some small issues which have turned out to be related to the type of Microchip in our cat and metal frame around the glass hole interfering with the signal. But Sureflap have been no end of help, sending us test flaps with increased power, modified tunnels,range testing kits - all sorts to help finally give 100% reliability.
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on 15 December 2011
My girlfriend and I had both tried magnetic catflaps and had decided that they were a marginal solution:

- The cat has to wear a collar and there are stories of cats getting their collars tangled in bushes and being unable to get free.

- Every now and then a cat would come home minus a collar (no idea how it lost it but it did).

- The mechanism of magnetic catflaps is at the margin of what can be operated by the weakish pull of a small magnet. (One would only work properly after I dismantled it, cleaned moulding flash off the parts and then reassembled it - probably not something your granny would find easy to do).

- The cats would sometimes come home with bits of iron - old nails etc - picked up by their magnets. These items would then jam the door.

- A big ownerless tomcat found he could force open the magnetic catlap. He would then terrify my girlfriend's cats, eat all their food, pee around the house and bugger off again.

A year or so ago, I bought a Sureflap catflap for my microchipped cat. She quickly learned to use it and it has been completely trouble free since then. Batteries seem to last forever - I have not kept a record but my guess is perhaps six months. I replace them when the voltage falls to 1.4 volts (rather than wait for the low-voltage warning to flash).

Its reliability means I can now leave my cat at home when I go away for the weekend and have no worries about her being trapped inside or shut out. (She much prefers staying at home to making a 1 hour trip to a place where there are other cats that don't like her.) It seems more robust than the magnetic catflap - no problems with other cats barging in.

Not wanting to cut a hole in an expensive and handsome new oak door, I cut a hole through my exterior wall at its thinnest point (18 inches). I lined the hole using an aluminium tube but, if I were doing it again, I'd use a section of PVC drainpipe.

A newly acquired young cat learned to use it very quickly, having watched her co-cat coming and going.

My only criticism of the catflap is that it has a 1.5mm gap between the flap and the frame. Although (according to my calculation) this amounts only to about 1/2 a square inch of area, a cold draught is noticable when a strong cold wind is blowing.

MY SUGGESTION TO SUREFLAP: ADD A PLASTIC FIBRE SEAL AROUND THE FLAP LIKE SOME NON-ELECTRONIC CATFLAPS USE.
[ Note added 22 December 2011: My suggestion to Sureflap is too late - they now have a fibre seal as standard. So my sole criticism no longer applies. ]

I recommend this catflap highly. It's worth having your cat chipped in any case and the reliability of the flap means that the cats can come and go as they wish. I too can come and go as I wish without leaving the cats either shut in or shut out. And no problems with unwelcome stranger cats coming in.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note added 22 December 2011

Changing the Front Frame
------------------------

If you look below, you'll see that Sureflap responded to my review and offered to supply their latest front door, which incorporates fibre sealing against draughts. I phoned them and, less than a week later, a kit "Mark 5 Front Frame Replacement" arrived here in Normandy. It included a large sheet with colour pictures showing how to replace the existing front with the new one. (No words, just a sequence of colour pictures.)

You do the following:
- Undo four cross-head screws and remove the cover, having removed the batteries.
- Pull out the printed circuit board with electronics and sensors.
- Lift out the actuating motor.
- Pull off the old actuating cam from the motor with pliers and push the new cam into place.
- Replace the motor and the electronics board in the new front frame, not forgetting the transparent covers for the sensors.
- Replace the cover (being careful the motor wires are in their correct place and are not trapped)
- Replace the batteries and check with a test cat.

There are white wires between the cover and the printed circuit board that seemed rather short and looked easy to break but nothing untoward happened. As soon as I replaced the batteries, there was a reassuring clunk from the actuating motor.

After I had put the catflap back in to operation, I realised that I could probably have simply changed the door, rather than the complete front frame. (I can't guarantee this is possible as I did not try it.) This would have avoided needing to manipulate delicate wiring. Replacing the front frame should only be done by someone who is reasonably dextrous.

Final result: The cat flap works fine with its new door and the knife-like jet of cold air has disappeared.

A FINAL COMMENT
I have been impressed with the reponsiveness of Sureflap. In addition to replacing the front frame, they responded quickly to an entirely different question I had asked them via their website. Their reply was all I needed but they also told me to get back in contact if I needed more help.

(I remember some years back trying to ask a question via the website of the maker of a non-electronic catflap. After I had typed in my question, their site responded "only questions from UK accepted". I am in France and I was left unimpressed by that maker.)

Note added 21 November 2013
The flap is still working perfectly nearly two years after installation. Batteries last seven to eight months.
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on 25 July 2009
When I decided to get a cat flap for my timid cat I did my research and came up with Sure Flap.
It works like a dream - my timid cat enjoys coming and going when he chooses and is much happier and more confident. I have the peace of mind to know he has a safe haven to come back to.

He used it (in non-microchip) mode immediately with no problem, but took about a week to get used to it being switched on as it clicks when it scans the cat and releases the security latch to let the cat flap open. He jumped a few times at first but soon got used to it. He is now much more independent and it's so sweet the way announces his departures and arrivals with a meow! He loves it.
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