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10 Best Automatic Cat Doors in 2021

 

Automatic cat doors are indispensable when it comes to the delineation of the territory, giving a cat more litter box privacy, and giving a cat calm during feeding times. I personally researched and tested 10 automatic doors that a both easy to install and easy to use.

Automatic cat doors are very helpful in your cat’s daily life.

First, it’s a must-have thing for multi-cat households. You’ll easily feed a lot of cats simultaneously. Just locate them in different rooms with the help of an automatic cat door.

If you have an aggressive cat, you can separate it from the others as well.

Second, this device can help to save the warmth in the house. Such doors are equipped with a safe locking system that can protect your room from insects, neighbouring animals and other “surprises”.

Cats can open automatic cat doors on their own. They may have some problems at first. Still, cats are very clever creatures, and with your help, they will learn to do it very fast. I’ve been living with cats for 30 years, so I know it for sure.

Just like any other product on the market, automatic cat doors come in different sizes, brands, colors and materials. Here is my review of the top 10 best automatic microchip and magnetic cat doors on the market right now.

Types of automatic cat doors available

Before you buy a cat door you should take into account its types and main features. The doors on the market can be:

1) Interior

They are also called cat flaps. You can install such a door inside your house. You can use it to isolate the smelly litter box from your living room, to isolate a litter box of handicapped cat from a healthy cat or a dog or to separate the cats while feeding.

2) Exterior

It is installed outside the house on the outside door or wall. Such models usually stop the neighbouring animals from wandering around and coming into your house.

Cat doors also have different entry systems. They can be:

1) Magnetic

These doors are equipped with a couple of small magnets that identify your cat’s ID microchip. Such doors are easy to install because you don’t have to deal with different wires and other electronic stuff.

2) Electronic

Such doors are based on an RFID (radio frequency identification) system which scans your cat’s RFID collar tag or ID microchip. They are usually more expensive than magnetic ones because of their safer entry system. They can identify the cat more precisely and have more options.

Depending on the place of installation the doors can also be:

    • for walls
    • for doors
    • for windows
    • for sliding doors

Right now the manufacturers compete with each other creating innovative products. You can buy an automatic cat door with facial recognition (it uses a webcam and a motion sensor to identify your cat) or a timer (you can schedule your cat’s outdoor activities this way) and many more.

Why automatic cat doors are a must-have thing in your house

Feeding multiple cats

I know how it feels to feed 2 or more cats at a time. These pets like to eat each other’s food so it can become a disaster. Separating your fluffies from each other will make the process much easier.

Smell and noise isolation

You may be the top cat lover in the world but when it comes to having guests at home, you will feel stressed. Cat litter box is quite a smelly thing. So interior cat doors can help to hide this pretty thing while you are having a party or your children are playing around. Also you can benefit from special food recipes for smelly poop to reduce the smell and self-cleaning litter boxes that effectively isolate the odor.

Safety of your cat

Even if your cat loves to stay outside, it’s not always sunny there. In case of rain, snow, hurricane or other emergencies, your pet can easily walk in and stay safe and relaxed. If you have both a dog and a cat at home, the door can become a salvation plan for your kittie. The entrance door hole will be too small for a big dog.

Cat’s nature

Like all other predators, cats are explorers. They need to develop their hunting skills. It is especially important for kittens who need some extra activity. They feel bored at home. So it will be better for you to let them explore the world outside.

The Best Automatic Cat Doors of 2021

The Cat Mate Elite Microchip Cat Door uses RFID technology to activate the system. The device scans your cat’s microchipped ID when it approaches. You can also buy an RFID collar tag.

The system remains locked when the neighbouring animals approach.

It has a 4-way lock control: 2-way, only-in, only-out, locked. The LCD display indicates the active mode. The door is also equipped with a timer that controls the access of your pets. For instance, you can choose the mode that prevents exit at night. The flap has weather-resistant brush seals.

The door can store up to 9 pet modifications. It uses 4 AA batteries that can work up to 12 months or even more.

Pros:

  • 4-way lock control
  • timer
  • weather-resistant brush seals

Cons:

  • 4 AA batteries are not included in the set
specification
  • Type: electronic entry system
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 5.7 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds

The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door uses RFID (radio frequency identification) to scan your cat’s ID microchip. If you don’t have a chip, you can use an RFID collar instead. This cat door tops all the reviews of the best microchip models because it can store up to 32 cat specifications.

The device has a 4-way lock mechanism. With its help, you can set different variants to open the door. You can install the door in any wall, door or even window.

The SureFlap model is battery operated. The 4 AA batteries can work for 12 months. The pointer will be red when the batteries are low.

Pros:

  • works with all microchips and RFID collars
  • low battery pointer
  • 4-way lock mechanism

Cons:

  • 4 AA batteries are not included in the original set
  • sensors don’t work well on a big distance
specification
  • Type: electronic entry system
  • Dimensions: 11.1 x 10.3 x 4.7 inches
  • Weight: 4.5 pounds

The PERFECT PET Electronic E-Cat Door has a weatherproof design. It is equipped with a transparent durable flap and a 4-way locking system.

The model can be installed in the doors which are from 1-1/4″ to 1-3/4″ in thickness.

The PERFECT PET Electronic E-Cat Door has a 7-inch by 9-inch opening size. It can be used for cats up to 25 pounds.

The E-sensor collar is included in the set so you can test how it works before the installation.

This door works with a 9-volt battery. It is also included in the box.

Pros:

  • magnetic collar and 9-volt battery are included in the original set
  • can be used for cats up to 25 pounds

Cons:

  • manufacturer’s warranty can’t be activated if you purchased the door through Amazon Warehouse Deals
specification
  • Type: electronic entry system
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 9.4 x 4.4 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds

This door uses RFID technology. The sensor scans the pre-programmed code to let your pet in and out. Moreover, the door uses modern microchips that are light and waterproof.

It is absolutely universal and can be used for cats of all sizes. The parts of the model are constructed especially to fit a standard exterior door. Each unit has an aluminum tunnel that connects the interior and exterior setting. The tunnel is very durable. It won’t rust due to the material it is made of.

The PlexiDor Electronic Dog Door can also be installed into stud, brick, block or cement walls. The thickness of the walls can be up to 12 inches.

Pros:

  • can be used for cats of all sizes
  • can be installed into all types of walls
  • 5-year warranty
  • easy-to-clean tunnel

Cons:

  • overall construction
specification
  • Type: electronic entry system
  • Dimensions: 17.1 x 12 x 54.6 inches
  • Weight: 36.7 pounds

The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door for Sliding Glass Door can be programmed for microchips or RFID collar tags.

Any pet can exit the house but only those which are microchipped or have a corresponding collar key can enter. This door has a standard 4-way locking system with the corresponding modes I described earlier in the article.

This model has a 7 x 7 inches flap which makes it the largest cat door on the market. That’s why it can be used for cats of all sizes.

The SureFlap Microchip Pet Door has a durable aluminium frame which is perfect for severe weather conditions.

The system can program up to 32 pets which is perfect for multi-cat households.

Pros:

  • 4-way locking system
  • can be used for cats of all sizes
  • durable aluminium frame

Cons:

  • overall construction
specification
  • Type: electronic entry system
  • Dimensions: 17.1 x 12 x 54.6 inches
  • Weight: 36.7 pounds

The High Tech Pet Power Electronic Pet Door is a motor-driven vertically-sliding door that can be activated by MS-4 ultrasonic collar.

The door opens only when your cat approaches it. It won’t open when your pet is just wandering around. It minimizes the chances of other animals or insects coming through the door.

The system also allows you to control when the door will open.

When closed, the device forms an airtight seal. It is equipped with an automatic deadbolt locking which adds the highest level of security.

The High Tech Pet Power Electronic Pet Door comes in 2 sizes: medium (for pets up to 30 pounds) and large (for pets up to 100 pounds).

Pros:

  • automatic deadbolt locking
  • comes in 2 sizes

Cons:

  • is preferable for cats and dogs up to 30-pound
specification
  • Type: electronic entry system
  • Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 36 inches
  • Weight: 10.5 pounds

The OWNPETS Pet Screen Door can be easily installed in a patio, a window, a sliding or screen door. The manufacturer provided the set with screws. You just need to fix them to let the installation happen.

This door is equipped with a simple magnetic lock allowing your cat to go in and out any time it wants to.The mesh yarn is made of expensive materials and is very durable.

The built-in magnetic can keep the door closed tight as soon as your pet leaves.

The frame is made of high-quality durable ABS material.

The frame size is 8 x 10.2 inches so it won’t be suitable for big cats. However, the manufacturers created another model for dogs which can be ok for your big cat with its 14 x 12.2 inches.

Pros:

  • easy-to-install
  • suitable for all doors

Cons:

  • not good for big cats
specification
  • Type: magnetic entry system
  • Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 0.8 pounds

This door has an electromagnetic system which identifies your cat allowing it to go in or out as many times as it wants.

The Cat Mate Electromagnetic Door is equipped with a small magnet that scans your cat’s ID collar. So neighbours’ cats won’t be able to walk through it. This product has a 4-way locking system: 2-way, only-in, only-out, locked. The device panel uses a 9-volt battery.

This door is easy to install. You will need only a screwdriver and a drill. The instruction is included in the set.

The Cat Mate Electromagnetic Door has a flap with a brush weather-proof seal. It is not loud and has a good price compared to other doors on the market.

Pros:

  • 4-way locking system
  • easy-to-install
  • good price

Cons:

  • the 9-volt battery is not included in the original set
  • is preferable for cats up to 13 pounds
specification
  • Type: electromagnetic entry system
  • Dimensions: 8 x 4.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds

The PetSafe Smart Door is always in the top 10 of all electronic cat door reviews because of its great installation options. You can place it even in the wall doors with 1.5 to 2-inch thickness.

This door uses 4 D-Cell batteries which can work up to 12 month.

It is perfect for multi-cat households. You can easily set up to 5 different smart keys for each of your cats.

The PetSafe door is designed for large pets up to 100 pounds. This door can fit into standard-size panelled, wood, metal and PVC doors.

Pros:

  • 4-way locking system
  • a programmed smart key, screws and other instruments are included in the original set
  • designed for large pets up to 100 pounds

Cons:

  • 4 D-Cell batteries are not included in the original set
  • the smart key is a little bit larger for kittens
specification
  • Type: electronic entry system
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 3.2 x 27.1 inches
  • Weight: 8.7 pounds

The Solo Automatic Pet Door is one of the best products on the market right now. It comes in 10 sizes. So you will easily find the right variant both for Maine Coon and lambkin.

This cat door is equipped with the magnetic entry system. No electronics means no batteries needed. It is a very practical system which makes installation easier. Moreover, you can install this pet door anywhere you want, because you won’t have to connect it with different wires and other electronic stuff. Before you install the door, check the wall thickness. If the distance from the inside wall to the outside is 6″ to 8″, a 2″ tunnel extension is required. If it is 8″, a 4″ tunnel extension will be ok.

Pros:

  • magnetic entry system
  • the magnetic transmitter is included in the original set
  • comes with a free pet tag

Cons:

  • you’ll have to buy a couple of additional magnetic transmitters
specification
  • Type: magnetic entry system
  • Weight: 15.2 pounds

How to choose the right automatic cat door? 

Step 1: Measure your cat

Before buying a cat door you should measure your cat. Your cat should fit into the flap. As a rule of a thumb all the doors will fit unless your cat is overweight but it’s better to make sure you picked the right product prior to purchasing it.

First, measure the width of your pet and add an inch. That’s how you can get the minimum width of the door.

Then measure your cat’s chest (from the shoulder to the lower part of the tummy). Add an inch to the result, and you will get the height of the door.

Step 2: Check how easy the installation process is

The installation process is usually included in the description of the product on shopping sites. Check how easy it is to prepare everything needed for placing a cat door in your house. Are the supporting instruments included in the original set? Is there a written manual provided by the manufacturer? Find out if you cope with the process yourself.

Step 3: Check the type of access

Cat doors have different types of security systems. Many of them are equipped with 4-way locking systems that have corresponding entrance modes: 2-way, only-in, only-out, locked. The others may have a 2-way lock (in and out options). There are also doors that are freely open to cats. So choosing the right variant depends on your needs.

Step 4: Pay attention to flap color and shape

Is your cat calm? Does it get nervous when it doesn’t see what’s inside the darkroom? In such a case it is better to choose a cat door with almost transparent flaps. That’s how your cat’s predatory instinct will be satisfied. Your fluffy friend will see what’s going on outside before coming in. It will make your pet feel more relaxed.

Step 5: Check the durability of the material

Read the description attentively and find out which material the door is made of. It’s not cool to change it every now and then because it is installed in the wall/door/window. So you’ll have to cut it out of the surface. It’ll be much better to make sure the door is made of durable material.

How do you train a cat to use an automatic cat door?

Step 1: Introduce your cat to the new device before you install it

Your fluffy has to get used to the smell and the sight of the new device. It is dangerous to install the door without showing it to your cat because there is a chance it refuses to use that door in future.

Step 2: Install the door in the right place

Choosing the right place for the door is a guarantee that your cat will feel safe while going through it. It has to be a sheltered area. Cats feel very nervous and vulnerable when coming into a large room, they are introverts by nature. 

Step 3: Use some treats

Choose your cat’s favorite treat and place it on the other side of the cat door to make it go through. Practice it 3-5 times with your fluffy friend, and you’ll get a great result!

Change the treats from time to time as your pet may get used to it and won’t react as vividly as in the beginning. So prepare some deliciousness beforehand to make sure it will be enough for 2-3 weeks.

Step 4: Add your cat’s scent

Don’t be surprised! It really works. If your cat doesn’t want to use the door, you should add its scent to make it feel more relaxed. Cats are predators so they need to feel it is 100% their territory. To get a scent you’ll have to wipe your pet’s face with a rag and then wipe the rag around the newly installed door.

Step 5: Keep the flap open

It is better to keep the flap open at first. This can be a great welcoming gesture for your cat to come in. Use a piece of tape for the purpose. Do not remove the prop while your fluffy tests the new door going in and out. It may take some time, but it is really worth it. Once the cat gets used to the door this way, it will never have any problems with entering or leaving the room. Automatic cat doors are 100% safe because your cat will either enter them or won’t. But she will never have her collar vibrating in contrast to using electronic fences for cats.

FAQ’s

frequent questions about automatic cat doors

How do microchip cat doors work? 

Such cat doors are equipped with a special electronic system that scans your cat’s ID microchip to let it in. It remains locked when the neighbouring cat approaches. You can also use an RFID ( radio frequency identification) tag collar instead. Some models can remember up to 32 cat modifications so it is perfect for big pet households. 

How hard is it to install an automatic cat door?

In 90% cases, it is very easy to install a cat door because manufacturers usually provide the original set with the detailed manual. However, it is very important to measure the wall, window or other location you want to place the door in. Precise calculations guarantee the installation will go well.

Can you put an automatic cat door in a wall or window?

There are different types of cat doors on the market right now. As I mentioned in the chapter describing the main types of cat doors, there are products made especially for walls and windows. Models designed for walls are mostly similar to the ones for doors. But they also have tunnels that connect both sides of the door.

Cat doors for windows have a slide-siding design. They are made of safety glass and durable aluminum.

Conclusion

Automatic cat doors can provide your cat with a safe way to access the house. There is a variety of different types and designs on the market right now created for all your needs.

You can install a cat door anywhere in the house. Cats usually have a binding character so it’s cool that you can choose the door that will match the perfect place of your cat in the house. It can be a front door, an inner door, a wall or even a window.

Cat doors also have different systems to open and shut. You can choose electronic or magnetic ones. Take into account the installation peculiarities and the existence of a microchip ID. If your cat is not microchipped, you’ll have to buy an RFID collar tag to make it work with an electronic device.

Automatic cat doors guarantee safety to your cat. It is a good way to put everything in order in your house. You can place a litter box inside. That’s how you can get rid of the smell and another cat’s “surprises”.

Cat doors are also salvation if you have 2 or more cats. Are you tired of one cat eating others’ food? An automatic internal door is an efficient solution that will help you to isolate one cat from another: while one of your cats is eating the food for weight loss, another one can be effectively fattened up.

Also if you don’t have enough rooms, a cat feeding box might be a good option for you. And if you are frequently away, you can actually communicate, train, and feed your cat remotely using the specialized pet cameras.

Choose the best automatic cat door that corresponds to all your cat’s needs, and this device will become irreplaceable in your house.

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