Top critical review
Lacks app functions
18 May 2019
I’ve had the dual chip cat flap fitted for a few weeks now. Easy enough to fit and replaced a previous SureFlap. So we bought this because we now have 3 cats and wanted to know whether they were in or out.
Programming the cats was easy. Press the button once and feed your cat from the outside into the flap.
Setting up the Wi-fi hub was fairly easy. Took a couple of attempts but we got there. The receiver needs to be connected via an Ethernet cable to your router. So make sure you have a spare port. Ours is in the lounge and the signal gets through a brick wall to the cat flap in the kitchen.
Firstly it’s not 100% accurate. One morning our cat was shown as being out all night and hadn’t returned. She was actually snuggled up in her bed in the kitchen so was definitely inside. If the cat puts their head to the window, the app shows that your cat looked through the cat flap. If your cat pushes their head through to look outside, the cat flap records an exit when actually the cat hasn’t.
Our new cat wasn’t allowed out yet but that didn’t stop her tailgating our other cat out. The lock has a slight delay, so while the flap goes back and forth after an exit, our other cat also managed to exit before it had locked.
So I decided to set the cat flap so our new cat can’t exit but could get back inside if this happened again. This can’t be done via the app. There is no option to control one pet. You can set a curfew, or lock the flap so it only allows entry but this applies to all pets using the cat flap. The only way to single out one pet to have entry only with no exit, is to re-programme their chip. This time you press the button twice, then take your cat outside and feed them through the flap. To change it to entry and exit permission, you have to reprogramme the flap again by pressing the button once and feeding your cat through the flap.
All in all it’s nice to know if your cat is in or out but beware it’s not always accurate and when I consider the number of times the cats use it, the error probably represents 5% of their use. The app also shows the stats on number of entries/exits and time spent outside.
My biggest complaint is lack of functions on the app. The only control you have over the flap via the app is the curfew that locks exit at a certain time but this applies to all pets. The app mostly just shows you stats. I’d like to see the app updated to let you control individual pets rather than having to re-programme via the cat flap. If you get a new cat that isn’t allowed out, or an ill cat that isn’t allowed out temporarily for any reason, why have a system whereby you have to take your cat outside to feed it through the flap to programme it for no exit. You could not bother doing this one way programming but if your new cat/ill cat tailgates out your other cat, it can’t get back in.