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How to Choose the Best Cat Flap, Cat Door, or Portal For Your Home

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best cat flap

There are many different types of cat flaps on the market. This article will look at the main kinds and discuss their benefits and disadvantages. 

Cat flaps come in various shapes and sizes and allow your pet to venture outside whenever they want. There are many things you’ll need to consider before choosing a cat flap.

Before having a cat flap installed in your home, consider the benefits and potential problems of letting your cat outside without supervision. It’s best to get your pet microchipped, and a collar and id tag is also recommended.
If you live near a busy main road, it may not be safe for your pet to go outside. Also, consider whether your cat is likely to wander. Cats that have been neutered or spayed are less likely to roam.

Let’s look at the most common types of cat flaps on the market, so you can decide which type is best for you and your cat.

Fit a cat flap in a wooden door

Types of Cat Flaps and Cat Doors

There are many cat flaps available; these generally come in four main types; manual, microchip, infra-red and magnetic. 

Interior cat doors are also popular and allow your cat to have the freedom to move between rooms. Some cat flaps are very high-tech, while others are pretty basic. Here are the pros and cons of each type: 

Manual Cat Flaps

Basic cat flaps have a plastic flap that your cat can push from the inside and out. Manual cat flaps are relatively cheap and are very easy for your cat to use. Most cats quickly learn to use a cat flap. 

Basic cat flaps are also available in a variety of different sizes, and some can be locked from the inside if you want to keep your pet indoors. 

The major drawback to a manual cat flap is that other cats and even wildlife will be able to access your home. 

Pros

  • The cheapest cat flap available
  • Easy for cats to use
  • Available in different sizes
  • Some manual cat flaps can be locked

Cons

  • Allows other cats to enter your home

Microchip Cat Flaps

Microchipped cat flaps are slightly more sophisticated and can read your pet’s microchip with a built-in scanner. They stop unwanted guests from visiting your home and can be programmed to recognize more than one microchip number if you have multiple cats. 

You can also pre-program microchip cat flaps to let your pet out at certain times. Many modern cat flaps come with an app that allows you to lock the cat flap from a distance. You’ll be able to stop your pet from going out if there’s heavy rain, a thunderstorm, or fireworks. 

Apps also allow you to monitor your pet’s activity when you’re not at home. You’ll be able to see how often your cat goes in and out. This is beneficial as a change in routine may indicate that your pets are unwell. 

Pros 

  • Prevents neighbours or stray cats from entering your house
  • The most secure cat flap available. 
  • Can be programmed to control when your cats are allowed outside
  • Can be controlled by an app
  • Allows you to monitor your cat’s behaviour

Cons

  • More expensive than basic cat flaps, but most pet owners agree that the price is worth it. 

Magnetic or infra-red Cat Flaps

Simply attach a magnet or infrared device to your pet’s collar, and he’ll be able to enter and exit your home. Magnetic cat flaps are very easy to use and stop unwelcome wildlife or stray cats from entering your home. 

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Stops other people’s cats and wildlife from entering your home
  • Easy to use, just attach a magnet to your cats’ collar
  • Great value for money
  • Also available with infrared sensors to detect your cat

Cons 

  • More expensive than a basic cat flap

Interior cat door

Housecats like to move from room to room, and installing an interior cat door will allow your pet to do so with ease. You’ll no longer have to act as a doorman. Interior doors generally don’t have flaps and are a portal through which your cat can pass. 

Pros

  • Available in unique designs (cat-shaped, picture frame, fairy door)
  • Allows cats to pass through the homes easily without the need to open the door.
  • Easy to use and install
  • Some products also have built-in brushes to groom your cat

Cons

  • Quite expensive for what is basically a hole in the door, but most look great and do the job well. 

Balcony net

If you don’t have a garden but live in a home with a balcony, you may decide to install a cat flap, so your pet can go out for some fresh air. Installing a net around the balcony will make it safer for your cat. 

 Pros

  • Great for indoor cats
  • Allows cats who have been ill to get some fresh air without being let out. 

 Cons

  • Most cats are good at climbing and may escape from an enclosed area even if you use a balcony net or cat fence. 

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