The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door was spawned from the incredibly popular SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap, the cat flap that has topped the pet door sales charts for years. A lot of people send in emails asking what the differences are between the Sureflap Microchip Pet Door and the Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap. Surely the only difference is in size, right? Wrong!
As well as being larger, the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is a much upgraded version of it’s older sister model. The differences include:
- Size (obviously)
- Control Panel
- No manual 4-way lock (replaced by digital control)
- Curfew mode
The short story is, this is the best pet door/ cat flap on the market by some margin. Make sure you purchase it from this store as it’s much cheaper than SureFlap’s own website.
Our SureFlap Microchip Pet Door review continues below.
|Ease Of Use|
Appearance & Fitting
The good news is that while the unit has expanded to allow for a larger animal to fit, the sleekness of the design has not been lost. In fact this version looks even better thanks to SureFlap getting rid of the manual 4-way lock (more on that later). The white plastic of the SureFlap models been proven to resist staining well over time.
You can also get the pet door in brown, which doesn’t look as tacky as you’d expect (see pictures here). For some wooden doors this colour would certainly blend in better than the white version. You’d expect it to resist staining much better than the white version too.
The opening is 178mm wide x 170mm high versus 142mm x 120mm for the cat flap version, so it’s large enough for small dog breeds, such as Jack Russells, Minature Dachshunds and smaller Terriers. It’s the perfect size for the large cat breeds too, e.g. Maine Coons, Ragdolls and Bengals. If you’re concerned whether your pet will fit, just cut a 178mm x 170mm hole in a piece of cardboard and see if you can coax your pet through it. SureFlap also say that the animal’s belly must not be greater than 518mm at its widest point.
Unfortunately the pet door will not fit into an existing hole for a cat flap, as it requires a hole of 207mm wide by 234mm high (versus 170mm x 170mm), but extending an original hole is generally easier than cutting a new one. There are easy to follow fitting instructions included in the box. Thankfully because SureFlap is stocked so widely, sourcing the glass mounting adaptor or tunnel extenders isn’t difficult.
This model takes four C-cell batteries, whereas the smaller competitors take four AAs. So it’s more expensive to power initially, although these batteries are supposed to last much longer than the batteries on the cat flap version. We haven’t had this model long enough to comment on the battery life, but SureFlap suggest that the batteries should last well beyond a year.
Interestingly, you can also use rechargeable batteries with this model. We discuss how to do this later in this article.
The batteries are also loaded differently. Two C-cell batteries are fitted in compartments either side of the pet door, because the space at the top is taken by the LCD screen for the control panel.
You can check the current battery level at any time as it’s shown on the LCD display. There’s also a red indicator light that illuminates when the battery is low.
Ease Of Use
OK, so I’ve been dying to talk about the unique control panel of the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door. Working in conjunction with the easy to read LCD display it really feels like SureFlap has advanced the technology behind pet doors even further. Moving from left to right, the button with the two arrows replaces the manual 4-way lock. So you can select open both ways, closed both ways, in only and out only. The arrows on the LCD display clearly show you what has been selected.
The next three buttons control the so-called ‘curfew mode’. The first button with the clock icon above it sets the current time. The next button sets the lock time. This is the time when the pet door will stop letting your pets go outside, but of course it will still let them in (provided their microchip is it its database). The next button sets the time that the pet door will allow your pets to go back outside.
The last button with the cat icon is the memory button. When you press this button the scanner will search for nearby microchips and the LCD display will flash as it is doing so. Coax your pet into the door with some treats and the unit should read and store your pets unique microchip ID, which you’ll know because the LCD display will stop flashing and you’ll also hear the lock move.
The only button that I haven’t mentioned is the custom function button, which reads ‘Fn’ above it. The pet door comes with six custom modes to deal with special situations like if you have a very timid animal that needs more time to come through the door. The most notable function lowers the voltage drawn from the batteries, which allows you to use rechargeable batteries in the pet door.
Moving on from the control panel, the microchip database of the pet door can store up to 32 animals, which can be wiped if you eventually require the space. You also get an impressive 3-year warranty.
SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Review – Concluding Thoughts & Price
This is the best pet door on the market, both for cats as well as dogs. The control panel is unique to this model and the curfew mode is very useful. Due to this, even if you have a cat that can fit through a normal sized flap, it may still be worth considering this model.
This is the most expensive pet door on the market, but we’d expect that given all of the extra features. Ignore the RRP and don’t pay it, it’s seemingly permanently on sale at this store, and for that price we’d not hesitate to highly recommend this model.