Recommendations for RFID cat door
June 2, 2015 11:30 PM   Subscribe

No longer renting, now I can cut holes in the wall!

My sweetheart and I have finally purchased our purr-fect home. Now that we are not renting, we are looking at solutions to allow the doofuses (Bugsy and Capone) to come and go mostly as they please without either of us being door bitch, or just leaving doors open all of the time.

I did some initial binging to determine what I was looking for (that's a lie, nobody 'bings'), and so far the Sure Flap has had the best review I have seen. We really like that it uses RFID to read the kitties' existing microchips as means of access control. Lost collars won't cause trouble.

Has anyone here used the Sure Flap? Would you use it again? Is there a better one that I may have missed?
posted by drfu to Pets & Animals (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We have that exact door!

A few observations that might help you make a decision:

The way the door is built, there's kind of a tunnel on the inside-the-house side of it. While there is a flap, your cat will have to go through the tunnel to get to it. At least a month after we had it installed, the door still seems to give our cat some trouble. It's not something she can just walk through.

That's another thing to consider. The door doesn't open magically when your cat approaches wearing the collar tag. All the tag (or chip, if your cat is chipped) will do is disarm the lock if you have the lock set. It took at least a week of showing our cat she could push the door open herself if she would... just... come on, kitty, yeah, push it open WHO'S A GOOD KITTY? We turned off the sensor during training just so there would be no question she could get in and out if she wanted.

Now that Oona is a pro, we've locked the door from the inside a few times to make sure she won't get outside for one reason or another, but we've actually left the lock turned off most of the time. All that expense for the door that has a built-in sensor, and we still haven't really been using the sensor.
posted by emelenjr at 11:51 PM on June 2, 2015

Best answer: We've had the sure flap for about four years. The cat figured it out right away, which is great. The battery life is great and it works as advertised. A couple of caveats.

Another cat can follow yours inside if it is fast enough. It has happened to ours twice that she's been fleeing a fight and the other has chased her closely enough behind to get through the door before it closes.

Also, it is very small. Our cat is tiny (3.5kg) and it looks like it's a tight squeeze for her. Most fat cats would struggle, I think.

Finally, because it is small, it picks up fur at the top as she squeezes past the rubber seal there, and the fur accumulates to where it eventually stops the door from swinging as smoothly, and then it sometimes sits slightly open unless the cat has gone through fast enough to give it momentum enough to swing shut. This has only started happening the past six months or so, so maybe something has rusted or needs oiling as well as the fur issue, but cleaning the fur out makes it swing more smoothly again for a while.
posted by lollusc at 2:32 AM on June 3, 2015

About cat's reluctance to go through the tunnel and then push up the flap, we trained ours by just taping the flap up, putting some that's on the other side, and getting them used to just the tunnel that way. Then we taped the flap in a slightly lower position so the had to nudge it up just a little, and then progressively lowered it until they were comfortable with opening it from a shut position.
posted by beagle at 5:04 AM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

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