Installing a cat door is a great way for your cat to have the freedom to explore outside and come home when they’re ready. You don’t even have to get up to let them in! But if your cat can come home anytime, so can any other small critters in the vicinity.
Raccoons and other cats are probably the most common intruders, but even snakes, coyotes, and squirrels have been known to come looking for food through a cat door. So, it’s quite important that only your cat has access to your home. One of the best methods to accomplish this is a microchip cat flap. This technology gives your cat the freedom to come and go, but no other animal will be able to find its way into your house.
We developed reviews of six of the best microchip cat flaps available to Canadians, so you don’t have to waste time sifting through all the options. We hope that this list will help you narrow your search down to the perfect cat door that will work best for your cat and your home.
A Quick Glance at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Cat Mate 360 Microchip Cat Flap||
|Best Value||PetSafe Deluxe Selective Entry Cat Flap||
|Premium Choice||SureFlap Microchip Pet Door||
|PetSafe Interior and Exterior Pet Door||
|PetSafe SmartDoor With SmartKey||
The 6 Best Microchip Cat Flaps in Canada
1. Cat Mate 360 Microchip Cat Flap – Best Overall
|Dimensions:||8” x 9.5”|
|Batteries:||4 x AA batteries (not included)|
Cat Mate’s 360 Microchip Cat Flap is the best overall microchip cat flap in Canada. It has the ability to read your cat’s implanted microchip but can also read a Cat Mate ID disc. Once it’s installed, it needs four AA batteries. It has an LED battery indicator that notifies you when it’s time to replace the batteries and when you’ve successfully registered the microchip. The flap is transparent and quite sturdy, with a magnetic catch closure. It also gives you four-way locking options, and programming can be easy: If you have multiple animals, you can program it to only let certain animals in and out.
But we found that one of the issues is that smarter cats (and other animals) might still be able to find a way in, so some models might not always be reliable. Also, it’s relatively small and might only work for small cats, so be sure to check the measurements against the size of your cat.
2. PetSafe Deluxe Selective Entry Cat Flap – Best Value
|Dimensions:||9.5” x 9.9”|
PetSafe’s Deluxe Selective Entry Cat Flap is the best microchip cat flap in Canada for the money. Now, this one isn’t exactly a microchip reader, but it does read a “key,” which is a fob that your cat wears on a collar (which is also included). It has an “internal draught excluder,” which is just a fancy way of saying that it’s an extra flap designed to keep drafts and cold air out. It has a four-way locking system that can help control when your cat can and can’t go out, and it comes with templates to help with installation.
However, it only comes with one key and collar, so if you have multiple cats, you’ll need to purchase them separately, and these aren’t cheap. Also, the flap is only installed on the inside of the door, so when outside, it’s just a gaping hole.
3. SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap Connect With Hub – Premium Choice
|Dimensions:||4.9” x 10.3” x 11”|
|Batteries:||4 x C cell batteries (not included)|
SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Connect with Hub gives you convenience with its app and hub. You can control the flap even when you’re not at home by using the app, which gives you information on when your cat is using it. It reads your cat’s microchip, or there are RFID collar tags available separately if your cat isn’t microchipped. It’s capable of recognizing up to 32 cats with a microchip, and the app enables you to lock or unlock the flap wherever you are. A flashing LED light lets you know when it’s running low on batteries, and there’s a 3-year warranty.
However, the price is high for this bundle. You can purchase the cat flap by itself, which is about half the price, but you won’t have the app or the hub. Also, it’s quite small, even for average-sized cats.
4. PetSafe Interior & Exterior Microchip 4-Way Locking Cat Flap
|Dimensions:||8.46” x 9.33”|
|Batteries:||4 x AA batteries (not included)|
The PetSafe Interior and Exterior Microchip 4-Way Locking Cat Door can learn up to 40 identities with microchips or RFID keys worn on collars. It has a four-way locking system, weather stripping, and two magnetic locking points to help keep out drafts. It can be installed on wood, PVC, brick, glass, and metal and has a 3-year warranty.
But the cat flap can be slow to react, and some cats might give up using it when the door doesn’t open for them in a timely fashion. Additionally, it tends to close with a loud click. For nervous cats, this might put them off using the door.
5. PetSafe Large Electronic SmartDoor Activated With SmartKey
|Dimensions:||8.6” x 3.2” x 27”|
|Batteries:||4 x D cell batteries (not included)|
The PetSafe Large Electronic SmartDoor Activated With SmartKey is a cat door that doesn’t work with microchips but instead uses a key on a collar. You can program up to five SmartKeys. It has three programmable modes, which include locked, unlocked, or automatic, with corresponding LED lights, so you know what mode it’s on with a glance. The range can be up to 3 feet away, so as your cat approaches the door, it will automatically unlock and then automatically lock once your cat has passed through.
But the SmartKey needs batteries, which tend to drain quickly. It is also expensive. The door itself doesn’t always keep out the cold air, depending on where you live.
6. Cat Mate Elite Microchip Cat Flap With Timer Control
|Dimensions:||9.8” x 5.7 x 10.5”|
|Batteries:||4 x AA batteries (not included)|
Cat Mate’s Elite Microchip Cat Flap With Timer Control is smart enough to scan on the way in but doesn’t scan when your cat goes out, which does make sense, as it could be considered unnecessary to scan your pet leaving. It uses an LCD display to let you know the location of your cat and when the flap was last used. The flap is weatherproof and will keep out drafts, and it can be used for up to nine cats. Finally, it has a time-control feature, so you can set it to automatically lock at night, for example.
But this cat flap can be unreliable at times, and some people might have difficulty programming it. Also, it tends to be noisy when closing and might startle some cats. This can mean they won’t want to use it.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Microchip Cat Flap
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with these microchip cat flaps, here are a few pointers that can help you make the best choice.
Your Cat’s Microchip
Check with your vet or local animal rescue about what kind of microchip your cat has and what its number is. You’ll need this information before buying a microchip cat flap in order to determine if it’s compatible with your cat’s microchip. For this reason, it might be best to invest in a key/fob door flap.
Cat doors typically come with everything that you need to install it. That said, not only do you need to check the exterior measurements for where you want to place the cat flap, but you also need the inner dimensions to ensure that your cat will fit through it.
The outer measurements are even more important if you’re trying to fill a hole that you already have in your door. Don’t go by what the manufacturer says, as this can be incorrect. Basically, if it states that it’s suitable for cats up to 15 pounds, double-check it.
Start by seeing if the inner dimensions are available, and then measure your cat. Measure them from the top of their shoulders to the bottom of their belly, and add 1 or 2 inches.
You can also try cutting a hole in a cardboard box that’s about the size of the cat flap that you’re interested in. Since cats love going into boxes, see if they can go through the opening easily or not. This should help you figure out the best size door for your cat.
If you live in a location where the winters are especially frigid, look for a cat flap that is good at keeping the cold out of your home. You might also want to consider putting the cat flap in a door that isn’t a part of a common space, like the living room. Most cat flaps do come with a kind of draft protection, but every time it’s used, cold air will find its way in.
Most cat flaps have magnetic closures, but this means that every time your cat uses it, it will likely make a loud clicking noise. Some cats won’t care, but more timid cats might be put off by this noise and avoid using the door altogether. Be sure to introduce your cat to the new door, and try opening and closing it multiple times so your cat will hear the noise and learn to ignore it over time.
If you have multiple cats coming and going, you’ll want to invest in a flap that enables selective entry, especially if some cats aren’t supposed to go outside. A selective entry-and-exit flap means you can program it for each microchip or key that’s assigned to each cat. Some cats can come and go as they please, while others must stay inside.
Key vs. Microchip
The key of a cat flap is basically something that we know as a fob. It looks similar to an ID tag but is bigger and typically heavier if it has batteries. The key uses RFID technology, and you can usually buy more separately if you have more than one cat. If your cat isn’t microchipped, this is a good option. Some cat flaps only read RFID keys, while others read both microchips and keys.
Most cat flaps run on batteries, so you need to stock up before it arrives, especially since most do not include batteries. Keep in mind that many cat flaps need resetting when it runs out of batteries or even when you’re just switching them out. If the cat flap is difficult to program, try to find one that is easy to use. You can find out this information by reading customer reviews.
Cat Mate’s 360 Microchip Cat Flap is our favourite because it gives you the option to read your cat’s implanted microchip or a Cat Mate ID disc. We liked the price of PetSafe’s Deluxe Selective Entry Cat Flap for its key reader and ability to keep drafts out of the home. Finally, our premium choice is SureFlap’s Microchip Pet Door Connect With Hub for its use of a convenient app and hub that can control the cat flap remotely.
We hope that these reviews have helped you find a cat flap that will suit both your cat’s and your own needs.
Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock