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10 Best Electronic And Automatic Cat Doors – 2022 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.
The Cat Mate Elite Super Selective I.D. Disc Cat Flap is a modestly priced cat flap that automatically opens for your cat and prevents unwanted animals from getting in. It comes complete with two unique discs and will work with up to nine cats and unique tags. If you need more than two, you will have to buy them separately. The flap also has a four-way lock and a timer. The lock enables the choice of open, locked, in only, and out only, while the timer enables you to prevent your cats from getting out at night, for example. The door is relatively easy to fit, and its numerous options mean that you can grant access of any type to any cats you want. However, it doesn’t use an app which means that controlling it via the little buttons at the top is challenging. It is also very selective about which cats it lets in, and the RFID has to get close to the door so your cat will be on top of the flap before it registers and activates. Overall, though, this is the best overall electronic and automatic cat doors thanks to its modest price and extensive functions.
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
Cat needs to be very close
3. High Tech Pet Products PX2 Cat Door – Premium Choice
The High Tech Pet Products PX2 is a high-quality, premium automatic pet door. It fixes many of the problems that other, cheaper cat doors have. It is a large door, suitable for households that have cats and dogs that need access. As your pet approaches, the door slides up into its housing, allowing easy access and preventing you from having to teach nervous kitties how to do it themselves. You can also set the sensitivity of the RFID reader, which means that you can have the door open sooner so that it is open as they arrive. If you are installing the flap to prevent other animals from getting in, you should ensure that you do not leave too much time between the door opening and your cat walking in, or you increase the likelihood of strays. The door is kick-proof, made from toughened resin. It also has four-way control and a dual-range sensor so that you can allow more time and space for a cat to exit, and less when they want to come in. The door is secure, but it is larger than required just for cats, and its extra security features do make it expensive. The RFID collars are also quite large, and some cats will not want to wear them.
The Sureflap Microchip Cat Door is designed specifically for use by cats, which means that it is smaller than the pet flaps and dog flaps that are available. It enables access to cats via an RFID microchip and has four-way controls: unlocked, locked, in-only, and out-only. It is modestly priced and Sureflap claims that it can be installed in any door, window, or wall, as required. This battery-operated flap does not need to be plugged in and does not have any annoying and potentially hazardous wires. The lock only opens when the cat gets really close, and although it isn’t too loud when exiting, it does give a loud click as your cat tries to enter. For confident cats that are used to a cat flap, this shouldn’t be a problem, but for nervous cats and those that are being taught to use a cat flap for the first time, it could be off-putting.
The Petsafe Electronic SmartDoor comes in large or small, with the latter being better suited to cat-only households. Cat doors do open up part of the door to the outside world, which means that they can allow heat to exit and cold air to get in. The larger the pet door, the greater the heat loss, so choosing an appropriately sized door is important. As well as being a small door, the Petsafe Electronic SmartDoor is energy efficient with an insulated flap to protect your home’s heat retention. It also has UV sun protection to stop the sun bleaching carpets and lino. The door works using RFID microchips and will work with up to 5 of the chips so is suitable for multi-cat households. Unlike a lot of the doors on this list, though, the Petsafe Electronic SmartDoor is lacking the in-only and out-only setting. Although modestly priced, it is also a very loud door. The insulated flap is solid and as well as having a loud locking and unlocking mechanism, the door clatters as it closes.
Insulated cat door
Small size is suitable for cats
Only works with 5 chips
Fewer operation choices than other doors
6. High Tech Pet Products Wifi Automatic Dog & Cat Door
The High Tech Pet Products Wifi Enabled Smartphone Controlled Automatic Dog & Cat Door is the most expensive pet door on our list but is also the one with the most features. It is an automatic pet door, using RFIC collars to allow your pets access in and out of the house. It can be set to locked or unlocked and has in-only and out-only settings. It also comes in two sizes: large, which would be beneficial for homes with dogs and cats, and medium, which should be big enough for any size of cat. Where the High Tech Pet Products Wifi enabled door differs from the rest is that, as well as a bank of buttons on the door panel, there are also iOS and Android apps. The apps allow you to set programs that allow your cat in and out at certain times and not others. It can be used to open and close the door and change the lock settings, and you can even see how many times the door has been used over different timelines, should you wish. While the app is a useful feature, this door is very expensive, even if you buy the medium door, and for many people, the additional functions won’t be worth the extra investment.
The PetSafe 4-Way Locking Microchip Entry Cat Door has four locking modes that allow you to control your cat’s entry and exit to your home. It works using the existing implanted microchip your cat has. All you need to do is program the ten-digit number that you should have, and it will recognize the chip. The flap is moderately priced and operates using 4 AA batteries, which are easy to get hold of. There’s a low battery light to let you know when it’s time to replace them, too. The PetSafe 4-Way Locking Cat Door is sold as a cat door, but the flap is only 5.7” x 5.3”, which means that it will be a tight squeeze for an average cat and too small for large cats. A smaller door can help prevent larger wild animals from getting in and should prevent much heat from escaping through the door, but you should look for a larger flap if you have a large cat. Your cat must get very close to the sensors for it to work, too, and the small opening combined with the noise of the locking mechanism means that some cats may be deterred. While the door does work with existing microchips, so negates the need to hang a protruding disc from your cat’s neck, it doesn’t work with all microchips so you will need to check compatibility.
The Cat Mate Elite Super Selective Microchip & I.D. Disc Cat Flap offers the best of both worlds in terms of how it recognizes your cat. It can use an existing I.D. microchip like the ones fitted by vets to identify cats. It also works with an I.D. disc that is attached to the cat’s collar. It will work with as many as 9 cats with either I.D. method. The flap itself is brush-sealed, helping prevent rain, leaves, and other debris from getting in, and also helps prevent drafts from cooling your home. It has 4-way locking features, allowing you to control when your cat can enter and exit the property. The flap is priced around average and does have good features and access options. However, the door does not come with any I.D. discs, which means that you will have to buy them separately if required. While the door reads chips and discs to prevent unregistered cats from entering, it allows any cat to exit the property, so it won’t be suitable for all situations and requirements. For example, if you have one house cat and one outdoor cat, both will be able to exit. Similarly, a very small breed dog would be able to exit through the cat door.
The Cat Mate Electromagnetic Cat Flap uses an electromagnet that is attached to your cat’s collar. Any cat can exit through the flap, but they have to pass through a small tunnel to get back in. As long as your cat is wearing its magnet, this will unlock the door and allow entry. The door also has four-way locking with locked, unlocked, in-only, and out-only options. Unfortunately, when in unlocked mode, any cat or small dog can exit through the door, without the need for a magnetic collar, but only those with a magnet can get back in. If you have a cat that you don’t want to let out, it will be able to get through the flap and will be unable to get back in again. Also, the magnetic tunnel means that the cat must be right up at the door before it opens, and when the magnet is used, the door lock can be quite loud which will act as a deterrent to nervous cats. The magnet is quite small and shouldn’t prove a hindrance for most cats, although some will obviously refuse any kind of collar.
The SureFlap Microchip Small Dog & Cat Door is a four-way locking pet door. It is designed for use by cats and small dog breeds, although its size means that even some large cats will find it a squeeze to get through. It works with existing microchips as well as RFID collars, one of which is included with the purchase and is on the expensive end of the automatic cat door scale. The RFID scanner is on the outside of the door, which means that, as is a common problem, any cat or dog can leave the house when the door is set to unlocked, but only those with appropriate ID can get back in. The door is also quite loud and takes a bit of effort to work, which renders it almost useless for nervous and scared cats. Otherwise, it will work with up to 32 collars and it has a curfew mode that lets you set a timer and prevent cats from getting out once the curfew is passed and reopens once it is over.
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
Automatic cat flaps offer several 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.
To do this, they use one or more of a variety of technologies to recognize your cat:
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.