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I absolutely love this cat flap with microchip! Of all the cat doors I have checked this is the best one and below you will see why.
Cats can be very annoying with their wish to go out, then go back in after 2 minutes and then out again. This cycle can repeat several times a day, every day. At least it is so with my cat.
So I started looking for solutions for letting a cat go in and out as it pleases, without the need of a human to open and close the door. Apparently, this problem was so big that people have invented cat doors.
I, as a cat owner, think that a cat door is one of the best inventions in the world :), it saves you so much nerves, and probably saves some cats from being kicked out of the house for being too annoying.
As we progress technologically so do cat doors. They just get better and better!
So here is the review of the best microchip cat door: the Sureflap dualscan microchip cat flap.
What Is A Dualscan Cat Flap?
As the name itself suggests the dual scan cat door is a cat door that has a double antenna which can recognize a cat from both sides of the cat door. The easiest way to make the door recognize your cat is by scanning its microchip.
In case you haven’t microchipped your cat, don’t worry: you can still use this door by getting a special RFID tag, sold separately, that can be put on the cat’s collar.
Once you have this door you need to program it to recognize your cat’s microchip or tag, but that is very easy to do, as you’ll find explained in the programming section below.
There are no cables included (yay), you just need to install the door, put batteries in (they last up to 1 year), program the door and then you simply enjoy your cat without the annoying begging for going in and out. You’ll also have a peace of mind knowing that your cat can always come back from outside or go outside whenever it wants.
Sureflap Microchip Dualscan Cat Flap Dimensions
There are several dimensions you need to know about this chip cat flap:
- The flap dimensions or smallest area/opening that your cat will pass through: 142mm (W) x 120mm (H)
- Dimensions of the hole you will have to make for the installation: 165mm (W) x 171mm (H)
- The biggest dimension or the dimension of the exterior cat flap frame: 210mm (W) x 210mm (H)
- Dimensions of the circular hole that must be cut if you want to install the cat flap in glass: 212mm is the optimum size but it can go up to 260 mm
- Dimensions of the cat flap tunnel: 70mm
Is It Easy To Program The DualScan Cat Flap?
When I buy something with many buttons and options I always kind of fear if I will be able to manage them. Maybe I am a bit lazy too.
But we have to remember that these products are made for humans and are intended to be used by a wide range of consumers, so the designers are always careful to make the product as easy to use as possible. Such is the case with this chip enabled cat flap.
You can memorize up to 32 cats and they are remembered permanently even when batteries are removed. There is a possibility of memory wipe in case you ever need it. You can also change your cat’s access permissions anytime you need to, like when an outdoor cat gets sick and is not allowed to leave the house.
There are 2 main ways to program the dualscan cat flap to read microchips:
Standard Learn Mode (for outdoor cats)
To program this mode you need access to the memory button on the top of the cat door, under the battery cover. Since there is also a manual lock setting this needs to be set both ways open or free manual access.
To start the programming all you need to do is press the memory button and hold it until the let light on the front starts blinking green. At the same time the catch at the bottom of the cat flap will open, which means the cat door is ready for programming your first (or only) cat.
At this point, your cat needs to pass through the door on either side, or put its head in the tunnel with the nose up to the door. This position will allow the cat door to memorize its microchip. Then you repeat the same process with your next cat, in case you have more than one.
To finish the process you don’t have to do anything: a short time after a cat is distanced from the cat door and there are no more chips to be remembered, the led light will stop flashing green and the catch on the bottom will close.
Safety Learn Mode (for indoor only cats)
This mode allows indoor cats to come back inside in case they got out by mistake. This is truly an awesome function as you absolutely don’t have to worry if your indoor cat will be able to enter the house anytime she needs it – and once she gets in she will be kept inside.
So this mode restricts programmed cats to go outside but allows them access from the outside.
The way of programming is this:
The memory button needs to be pressed, then wait for the catch on the bottom to open, and then you need to press the memory button again. The indicator lamp will start flashing red light which means the cat door is ready to be programmed.
After the red light starts flashing you just need to follow the same programming routine as for standard mode: the cat needs to go through the door or get close enough for the microchip to be read.
This mode allows you to use this cat door like a normal cat door with no ability to read microchip.
I imagine this mode will be helpful if you forget to change batteries by accident or for double locking cases. For whatever reason it will be used, it is good to know that you have it.
You can see the manual lock at the bottom left of the cat flap. You can turn it around the circle to position it for one of the 4 modes:
- Position 1 or the default, standard position: this is a fully open mode, so cats are allowed to enter and exit freely the cat door
- Position 2, switch to the right of the default position: this is exit only mode, which means cats can leave the home but not come back inside. I would advise this mode to be used during daytime only – if used at all.
- Position 3, switch opposite from the default position: this is enter only mode, which means your cat can enter from outside but not go outside again. This can be useful if you want to keep your cat inside during nighttime or you need to trap it for a veterinary check.
- Position 4, switch to the left of the default position: this is a fully locked mode, so no cat is allowed in or out.
How To Train Your Cat To Use The Dualscan Automatic Opening Cat Flap
Training your cat to use a coded cat flap depends really on the type of personality your cat is. Some owners have had very easy training while others were struggling for weeks. The main point is not to give up, be persistent and eventually your cat will start using and loving its little automatic home entrance.
Here are the best tips on making your cat learn the cat door as fast as possible:
- It is recommended that the cat door is at the height of your cat’s belly so that it can feel as natural as possible, which will make the learning process easier. If you put your cat flap in some strange position it will be a bit harder to teach your cat how to use the auto cat flap.
- One of the greatest obstacles is the catch at the bottom and the sound that it makes. This sound may scare the cat at first. Some smart consumers were taping the door open in the beginning so that the cat can get used to pass through it and then gradually move to the final stage.
- Use your cat’s favorite treat by placing it on the cat door at first so it can get comfortable around the door
- Throw your favorite cat toy through the door so it will have to pass through to get it
- Call your cat from the other side to encourage it to pass through
- When it’s time to feed your cat place the food on the other side of the door so that it will have to pass through to get it (I find this little cruel so I wouldn’t use it too often)
Patience and persistence is crucial in this process. Your cat will eventually learn to use the microchip cat flap – in its own pace.
Installation Of Your Dualscan Cat Flap With Microchip Reader
The best part of this auto cat door is that it can be installed almost everywhere, you can install it in:
- Doors: wooden, plastic, glass and metal
- Windows/Glass, this cat door can be used for single or double-glazed glass
Ideally, the position of the cat flap should be so that the base of the cat door is in the same height as your cat’s belly.
I would personally hire a professional for the installation, but if you are handy with tools there are plenty of videos online for each type of installation and as mentioned, the manual instructions are very good.
What you need to know is that for some types of installation you will need some additional parts, they are explained below.
Door Installation Of This Chip Controlled Cat Flap
There are no additional accessories required for this type of installation.
A mounting adaptor (listed in cat flap accessories at the end of this post) is required for this type of installation. This particular adaptor can be used with the SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap, the DualScan Microchip Cat Flap or the Microchip Cat Flap Connect.
You can see the this mounting adaptor as a white circle surrounding the cat door as shown on this image on the left.
This adaptor allows mounting in circular holes with a diameter of 212mm (min) to 260mm (max). These are the exact allowed dimensions of the hole for the dualscan cat door. The total dimesion of the adaptor is 285mm.
The following accessories are recommended:
- Cat Flap Mounting adaptor (listed in cat flap accessories at the end of this post)
- Cat Flap Tunnel Extender (listed in cat flap accessories at the end of this post)
Unless you know what you are doing I strongly recommend getting a professional to do this job. Check videos online and read the manual that comes with the cat door.
Batteries For This Programmable Cat Flap
The batteries required for this product are four AA batteries which you must buy separately. They last up to a year for a normal frequency of using the cat door.
When the batteries are about to expire there is a low battery indicator that will start flashing to let you know that the batteries need to be changed.
I personally would always keep a spare batteries pack in my home, to lower any possibility of having the cat door run out of batteries. If the weather outside is extreme no batteries can mean the death of your pet, especially if you have gone on a vacation or a trip.
Before you buy this chip controlled cat flap you would normally want to know what kind of microchips is it compatible with?
What Size Of Cats Can Use This Cat Door?
As the name itself suggests this microchip cat door is created especially for our feline friends. This means most of the cats will be comfortable using it. The only problem may be large or big cats, for which I recommend getting the bigger microchip pet door from the same manufacturer.
To test if your cat will fit in the cat door you can cut a hole in cardboard with the same dimensions of the cat door and see if your cat will pass through comfortably.
Can A Raccoon Come In Through This Cat Door?
From my research, the Sureflap dualscan cat door is the best raccoon proof cat door I have found (please check this post for better information on raccoon protection).
What makes it so good in keeping raccoons out of your home is the fact that the access is controlled by a microchip from both sides. The biggest flaw of cat doors, from raccoon proof aspect, is solved with the dual scanning of a microchip both on the entry and exit points. This way a raccoon can’t open the cat door by simply pulling the flap towards itself, as they have been notorious of doing.
- Dual scan from both sides of the door (both entry and exit points are controlled)
- Each cat can have separate permissions set
- Special programming for indoor cats (no exit outside is allowed but if the cat gets out by accident the entry back is allowed)
- Individual cat access permissions can be changed at any time
- Up to 32 cats can be memorized (best cat door for multicat household)
- Memory remains even when batteries are taken out
- Best raccoon proof cat door (or any other wildlife)
- Easy to program (a single button to be pressed)
- Manual lock mechanism (fully locked, fully unlocked, in only, out only)
- Low battery indicator light starts flashing when batteries are low
- 4 AA batteries last up to one year
- All common identification microchips are recognized
- If your cat is not chipped you can get SureFlap RFID collar tags
- Not suitable for large cats
- The latch release can be too noisy for shy cats or if you want to use the cat door in your bedroom