10 Best Electronic And Automatic Cat Doors – 2023 Reviews & Top Picks
By Oliver Jones
Cat doors are designed to provide your cat with a convenient way to get in and out of the house. They are usually installed on the rear entrance of the property, at the bottom of the door, although there are some automatic cat doors that are made for installation into an exterior wall. However, while a standard cat flap does grant easy access to your cats, it also allows other animals in and out. It can cause problems with neighborhood animals eating your cat’s food and can even let wild animals like raccoons in and out. Below, you will find reviews of 10 of the best electronic and automatic cat doors that allow your cat in and out but prevent other animals from enjoying the same access.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2023 Update)
|Best Overall||Cat Mate I.D. Disc Cat Flap||
|Best Value||Cat Mate Microchip Cat Door||
|Premium Choice||High Tech Pet Products Door||
|Sureflap Microchip Cat Door||
|Petsafe Electronic Pet SmartDoor||
The 10 Best Electronic and Automatic Cat Doors
1. Cat Mate Elite Super Selective I.D. Disc Cat Flap – Best Overall
- Decent price
- Four-way lock, timer, and RFID enabled
- Prevents unwanted visitors
- Cat has to get very close to operate the door
- Controls are fiddly
2. Cat Mate Microchip Cat Door – Best Value
The Cat Mate Microchip Cat Door is another automatic cat door that uses RFIC microchips to allow entry and exit for those cats that have permission and prevents unwanted visitors from getting through the door. It works with up to 30 cats, all of which will need their own unique RFID chip and is relatively easy to install in most doors. It lacks the timer of the Super Selective model above, but it has the same four locking functions: unlocked, locked, in only, and out only. It does require a lot of button-pressing and holding to change functions but because there are fewer features, it is simpler to operate and costs less. The Cat Microchip Cat Door is the best electric and automatic cat door for the money. The chip reader recognizes the RFIC microchip from over 6 inches away, although it doesn’t unlock until your cat touches the flap. This is designed to ensure that other cats cannot get in when yours is simply sitting within a couple of inches, but it means that your feline friend must get right up to the door before it registers.
- Fairly easy to operate
- Four locking options
- Limited functions
- Cat needs to be very close
3. High Tech Pet Products PX2 Cat Door – Premium Choice
|Power:||Plug-in Or Battery|
- Secure kick-proof design
- Large enough for dogs and cats
- Dual sensor and four-way control
- Very expensive
- A complicated array of control buttons
4. Sureflap Microchip Cat Door
- 4-way locking controls
- Modest price
- Smaller and more convenient than other pet flaps
- Doesn’t unlock until the cat touches the flap
- Very loud unlocking mechanism
5. Petsafe Electronic Pet SmartDoor
- Insulated cat door
- UV protection
- Small size is suitable for cats
- Only works with 5 chips
- Very loud
- Fewer operation choices than other doors
6. High Tech Pet Products Wifi Automatic Dog & Cat Door
|Power:||AC or Battery|
- App control is easier than buttons
- Extensive timer and usage settings
- Very expensive
- More than most people need
7. PetSafe 4-Way Locking Microchip Entry Cat Door
- 4-way locking features
- Works with existing microchips
- Very small flap
- Cat has to get very close to register
- Doesn’t work with all microchips
8. Cat Mate Elite Super Selective Microchip & I.D. Disc Cat Flap
|ID:||RFID Microcip and I.D. Disc|
- Claims to have 4-way locking
- Works with microchips and I.D. discs
- Allows any cat or dog to get out
- Doesn’t include any I.D. discs
9. Cat Mate Electromagnetic Cat Flap
- Magnet is fairly unobtrusive
- Four-way locking
- Any cat and small dog can exit, without a magnet
- Loud on entry
- Not very sensitive
10. SureFlap Microchip Small Dog & Cat Door
- Works with RFID and microchips
- Has a timed curfew mode
- Cat has to get very close
- Allows any cat out but not back in
Buyer’s Guide: Finding The Best Electronic & Automatic Cat Door
A cat flap allows your cat independence by enabling it to get in and out of the house. However, one of the big drawbacks of a manual cat flap is that, as well as allowing your own cat to come and go as it pleases, it also opens up your home to other cats. Some owners find that cats from local houses, as well as strays, get into their home and help themselves to cat food. As well as being a nuisance, it can lead to stress and fear in your cat. The best electronic cat door offers the same benefits as a manual cat door: it allows your cat to come and go as it pleases and according to your schedule. But, because the automatic door only works for cats with a recognized disc, microchip, or electromagnet, it prevents other animals from getting into your home.
Automatic Cat Flap Benefits
- Your cat can enjoy greater independence. It doesn’t have to get your attention to be let in or out of the house and can head to the garden whenever it wants.
- It also gives you greater independence. You don’t have to worry whether the noise you heard was your cat meowing to be let in. Once you’ve trained your cat to use a pet door, which will usually take one to two weeks, you can sit back and let the door do the work.
- It stops unwanted visitors. Whether next door’s cat enjoys coming in for a midnight snack, or your cat is attracting unwanted attention from local wildlife, an automatic door stops all but your own cats from entering. Not only does this protect your cat, its food, and even your home, but it can give your cat greater confidence when going out because it will know it always has an escape.
- You can set your cat’s schedule. Most automatic doors come with a four-way locking feature so the door is either locked or unlocked or only allows entry or exit. Some also include a timer. A programmable timer means that you can stop your cat from getting out at night while allowing it to go in the garden during the day, without having to remember to manually change the lock setting.
Choosing The Best Automatic Cat Door
When choosing an automatic cat door, there are several functions and features to note.
Automatic doors recognize your cats and unlock so that they can be pushed open. Once your cat is in, they lock again, thereby preventing any unwanted visitors while offering feline freedom.
- Electromagnet – This is the simplest automatic cat flap technology. Your cat wears a collar with a small magnet, and when your cat approaches the magnet in the door itself, it unlocks to allow entry. Although simple, magnets cannot be programmed. Any magnet will work to unlock the door, which makes it more affordable to buy replacement collars: you can even make them yourself. However, it means that other cats with magnetic collars will be able to get in. This technology usually requires that the collar is very close to the flap itself and it may take some time for your cat to get used to waiting.
- ID Discs – ID discs contain microchips that are already registered with the flap. Put the collar on your cat, and it will unlock the door as it approaches. This technique is more secure and precise than the electromagnetic collar, but it does mean that your cat has to wear a collar with a disc and you will have to buy replacement discs that specifically work with your cat flap.
- Microchips – Most pet cats have been microchipped, enabling their owners to be located if the cat goes missing or gets injured while out. Each chip is unique, and microchip cat flaps allow owners to register the unique ID of their cat’s microchip to the cat flap. This way, only your cats can enter through the cat flap. This has become a common technology in modern cat flaps, but they do tend to be more expensive than others.
Automatic cat flaps will often be described as having four-way locking. This allows you to set the flap to locked or unlocked, as with a manual cat flap but also has in-only and out-only settings. In-only means your cats will not be able to get out but can get in, which is a useful setting approaching night time. Out-only prevents your cats from getting in but lets them out when they want to go out.
Automatic cat flaps need some form of controls that let you register chops and collars and to determine the lock setting you want. Some have a simple dial; others have touch buttons. A select few cat flaps offer a cell phone app. Apps tend to offer much greater customization and include additional features such as alerts to let you know when a cat is approaching or has entered or exited; multiple timer programs that control your cats’ movements; and reports that show how often the flap has been used and by which cats. These automatic cat flaps are expensive, but they let you control precisely how your cat uses its pet door.
Automatic cat flaps offer greater control over your pet door and your cat’s activities. They are more convenient, and they help prevent unwanted visitors, protect your cat’s food, and give greater confidence. Options include the type of ID that is used to recognize cats, the range of locking options, and the type of control that is used to manage your cat IDs and the door itself. Hopefully, our reviews have helped you choose the best automatic cat door for your home. The Cat Mate Elite Super Selective ID Disc cat flap has four-way locking and uses an RFID reader to identify your cat’s microchip. While it is reasonably priced, if you’re looking to spend a little less, the Cat Mate Microchip Cat Door also works with your cat’s microchip and is cheaper, although it can be fiddly to operate.
Featured Image Credit: JMoreira93, Shutterstock