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#31 RachelF

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:09 PM

Our magnetic cat flap appears to be letting all and sundry into the house. I even found a (collarless) strange big black fluffy one under my bed this morning! Our poor wimpy cats are being terrorized by him and an unneutered ginger (and again, collarless) tom! I am not sure if it's just our cat flap that doesn't work or if they just don't work in general. It seemed ok at first but now...

I would try one of the ones that works with the cat's chip, but we are trying to move house, so I don't want to spend loads on one right now. Plus I suppose they might have the same problem. If cats without magnets can force their way through a magnetic flap, maybe they could though a chip-activated one too. But then again, maybe it's just our cat flap that's defective. Has anyone else had cats getting though a magnetic one without a magnet?
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#32 gekko

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:28 PM

Yes, it's certainly possible if the cat is determined enough. When our cat has lost her collar she's managed to get in by taking a run at the cat flap!!

We are going to get a Pet Porte but are waiting for them to bring out the attachment that means you can programme it to let one cat out but keep another in (great for if you get a kitten but have older cats you want to let out). It's coming in the next couple of months and the Pet Porte peeps are supposed to be letting me know when it's available. It's expensive though so may not suit your current house-moving needs. However, you could always fit it now and take it with you when you move, putting the old magnetic one back in its place.

We are having major problems with a neighbouring cat coming in and stealing our cat's food. Also, it did a humungous smelly poo on our sofa last week :unsure: so the Pet Porte will be coming to our house very soon!!!! The problem with the magnetic cat flap is that it's a victim of its own success. The more popular it becomes, the more useless it is as every cat in the neighbourhood is walking round with a little mouse-shaped magnet on its collar just waiting to avail itself of your home.
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#33 RachelF

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:03 PM

Yes something like the Pet Porte was what I had in mind. Maybe I should investigate. I suspect that poor Lily is spending most of her time in the attic, and Basil in the garden to avoid the invading beaties. I suppose it all depends on whether it's going to fit in the hole we have for the current cat flap.

Are you getting a kitten, then?!

Sorry to hear about the mishap with the sofa...!
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#34 gekko

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:21 PM

We had planned to get a kitten earlier this year but to be honest we have too much on with organising our wedding so haven't got round to it. Jane from Cat Calls said they have lots of kittens at Battersea at the moment but until we get the Pet Porte sorted, we can't really do anything about it. Logistically it would be too difficult to allow Margot to go out and keep a kitten in without the kitten being confined to a single room whilst we are out. This is fine for the first month but not really feasible once the kitten gets bigger.

The sofa lived to tell the tale fortunately although so did the cat so I doubt it'll be the last time!

The sizings for the Pet Porte are on the website. I must admit I haven't measured up yet so it might not even fit.
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#35 RachelF

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 03:05 PM

We had a similar problem when ours were kittens and we still had their mother. We did let her out and keep them in for six months. Outside was her safe haven from them and that was before she really started to dislike them (and us!)

I really can't remember how we managed the situation. I think just let her in and out, which porbably meant she was sometimes left out all day, whic is not ideal. She never did manage to master the cat flap anyway! Before she chose a new home for herself, and after the kttens started going out, we had to have it permanently propped it open with a piece of bamboo!

I think I will test the cat flap tonight to see how much pressure is required to open it, and if it's clearly broken, risk buying a new magnetic one as an interim thing, as we don't have a socket anywhere near the back door. There's another microchip one that just runs on batteries, but I have heard very mixed reviews of it. The one thing that does concern me a bit about the microchip ones is that that our cats are clearly a bit stupid, and by default try to get in through the flap by scrabbling at it with their paws. (Unless something's chasing them, in which case they are in like a flash!)

By the way, I think kitten season runs through to autumn. Ours were born at the tail (ha ha!) end of August, and we got them at the beginning of November at ten weeks.
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#36 Palacegirl

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 03:19 PM

If anybody needs a magnetic cat flap as a replacement - I am getting rid of mine I (and two collar keys) for 10 pounds only (only had it for a few weeks)

can anybody let me know if the pet porte cat flap also makes this loud clicking noise (the magnetic one is probably suitable for younger cats, but my 7 year old cat is scared of it)

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#37 gekko

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 04:17 PM

Re the battery operated one, I looked at that as well because our nearest socket is quite a way from the door. Pet Porte now has battery backup but I don't think you can use that solely. I'll just get the longer cable though and figure out a cunning way of feeding it around the kitchen!

Re whether it makes a clicking noise, I don't know but when I emailed them last week they replied within a couple of hours so I'd just get in touch with them to ask.
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#38 Summit Lover

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 06:39 PM

We have suffered from stranger mog intruders in the past, but it is normally short lived (once they have been chased out with vigour a few times - I also kept a cup of water handy to chuck at ant intruder).

I used to have a magnet operated cat-flap, but my problem is that my cats are lily livered scaredy cats and are regularly chased from the garden by other cats. They approach the cat flap at great speed and fly through without slowing down - at least they do now, previously (with the magnetic flap) it couldn't de-activate quickly enough and they would smack nose first into the closed flap door (somewhat Tom & Jerry'esque, :wacko: but not nealy as funny). I would imagine I might have the same problem with the Pet Porte model.

Edited by Summit Lover, 15 July 2009 - 06:41 PM.


#39 James

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:39 PM

We are also waiting for the "selective exit" accessory for the pet porte to be released. We've been waiting for nearly a year now and when I spoke to them recently I wasn't fully convinced by their "coming later in the year" response. At the moment there is no suitable alternative unless you can get your cats to wear an RFID badge on their collars. We can't use this alternative because our 2nd cat is a rescue and used to being outdoors and collarless.

To sum up...
- The Pet Porte works with microchips but is coming at a later date, but don't hold your breath
- The Cat Mate Elite Super Selective works with RFID badges worn on the collar and is available now
- Sureflap do not have any plans for a selective exit model

Anyone that can put a microchip reading cat flap on the market now, that allows you to control the access of specific cats both in and out, would stand to make an absolute fortune.

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#40 JMH

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:09 AM

We've had the Pet Porte flap installed for the last year and it works very well for us. There are plenty of cats in the neighbourhood but none have ever managed to gain access via the flap.

Palacegirl, the flap does make a clicking noise when the flap detects the cat in the vicinity (indicates that the flap is now unlocked), and then again when the cat has passed through the flap when the flap clicks shut.

RachelF, the Pet Porte flap is larger than a standard flap so you may need to enlarge the existing cat flap hole. However, there are regular flaps on the market (non-magnetic for larger cats) that could probably be used to replace the hole left by the Pet Porte if you move and decide to take it with you.

One thing to note is that the daylight detection function on the flap (designed to allow you to keep your cat in when it gets dark) is dependant on the amount of light available where the flap (and porch) is externally located. This was a problem for us because we installed our flap through a wall where the external entrance/exit was quite dark (i.e. no natural light until mid-morning). We got around this by using a timer at the wall socket. This works in the same way as a light does if you set it to switch on and off when you're away from home.

#41 RachelF

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:19 AM

I am a bit concermed that the Pet Porte won't work for us, as our cats, by default, try to get in through the flap by scrabbling at it with their paws. (Silly cats!)

I was up at 5am this morning sorting out an altercation in the attic between one of ours and the fluffy black intruder who clearly thinks he lives in our house...
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#42 gekko

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 12:41 PM

Hi there all you cat lovers. I thought I'd post an update as our little girl is now the proud owner of a Pet Porte. Here's my review so far.

Originally, we were waiting for the 'selective exit accessory' and I have to agree with James' previous post - don't go holding your breath. When I emailed them earlier this year, they said it would be coming out later in the year. However, one or two things on the website recently led me to believe they've revised their estimation and probably don't even have an ETA for this. Whilst this is something we are desperate for in order to get a kitten, it has ceased to become our number one priority. Instead, we were more concerned about the cat from over the back who also had a magnetised flap and was stealing Margot's food every day. It was distressing for her and costly to us. Although the Pet Porte is expensive, I figure I will save the money over a 6 month period quite easily :angry:.

The item was delivered very quickly (I got in there just before the postal strike!) and comes with really useful installation and user instructions plus helpful diagrams. We had the Staywell magnetic flap previously and the Pet Porte Smart Flap (this is the updated model) fits perfectly into the same size hole. Even the screws are in the right place. I installed it easily but then my dad came down the day after and reinstalled it, making a much better job than I did :D. He did all the cabling beautifully and even painted the door as the new flap doesn't cover as much as the Staywell one!

With the door installed, the next job was to get Margot to use the thing. She was naturally suspicious and we were worried about the microchip as she has one of the numbers listed on the website as not having a great range. We started with the flap in the 'open' position to get her used to it and eventually she did start coming in and out quite freely. One thing to note is that the different settings are a bit fiddly to program. It's a case of holding down one or two buttons for x many seconds and then pressing a button continually until it makes the right number of beeps for the setting you want :blink:. You probably don't want to change it too often as you just get lost and end up pulling out the plug and starting again. Anyway, the default (microchip entry) setting will do for us at the moment.

Margot is now using her flap and opening it with the microchip very successfully. There doesn't seem to be a problem with the range and you can change the setting for how long the door stays unlocked. The default is four seconds and I found it wasn't long enough as she was dithering a bit! I've set it to 10 seconds and I reckon I could put it down to about 8 now she's a bit more used to it. I like the longer setting as it's less stressful for her and unless you have a problem with cat tail-gating you don't need the door to lock so quickly. I did notice that once or twice when she activated it but didn't come in, when she tried again a few seconds later, the door seemed to freak out a bit. It's certainly a bit quirky and not perfect but once you have it up and running to your requirements it's pretty good. It beeps when your cat is scanned so you can hear from the next room when your cat has come in or out. You can turn this feature off but it doesn't seem to bother Margot that much. We can't hear it upstairs so it doesn't disturb us at night.

All in all, I'm fairly impressed so far. There is definitely room for improvement. I think the controls could be simplified and they need to release that blasted exit accessory soon. Like James said, there's good money to be made in a cat flap that can keep a young or sick cat inside whilst allowing another out. The main thing though is that we no longer have a visitor stealing food so we are a happy family once again :).
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#43 Will on the Hill

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 01:23 AM

Hi,

I installed one of the magnetic cat doors a couple of years back for my (at the time) new cat, a long legged black and white Tom called Lucky (some of you might see him wandering around Crystal Palace station causing trouble during the day).

He just could not get the hang of getting in the right place at the right time, because we have a weird configuration whereby the step at the outside of the door is quite high compared to the level inside. He also hated the magnet on his collar and I lost quite a few.

In the end I converted it to being just a standard catflap that was "in only" once he was in, in the evening, i.e. essentially it was a way of keeping him in at night but allowing him to come in and out during the day (I had to wedge a bic into the mechanism to do this!)

I however some time back bought a the new model of the Pet Porte on the recommendation of a work colleague, and I have installed it over the weekend... and I have to say, I am absolutely SOLD. Lucky learnt to use it first time and has been in and out all weekend, with only one failed attempt when he was a bit slow after it unlocked... and then he stood back and tried again and it worked. He is a bright and brave lad so I am sure he will learn to come in quickly after the beep (or I can adjust the timing maybe).

Installation was a bit of a palaver, but not because of Pet Porte, but because my old model was a large cat/small dog model and had a huge apperture, so I had to add a new panel to my back door to make the hole small enough! Other than that installation and programming etc I found dead easy, and there is a youtube video you can watch which is so clearly and slowly done you would have to be completely devoid of sense not to be able to follow! It also looks ok as far as cat flaps go.

Someone asked whether it clicks, it does click quite loudly, and it also beeps when the chip is sensed, although you can turn the beep off. Lucky doesn't seem to mind either.

I'm fairly lucky as I haven't had a huge problems with neighbours cats coming in, it's only happened two times when I've been home and I've never seen any obvious evidence that it's happened when I've been out, but it's nice to think it won't happen now.

So yep it is a bit dear and yep I've onnly had it installed less than two days but early signs is it is well worth the money (particularly as my last cat invasion was at about 4.30 in the morning... urgh...)

Just one other thing going back to the collar issue... After losing a few of the quick release collars when I first got him, I bought him an old school buckle one... then one say on the sofa he managed to stretch it over his bottom jaw and then it got stuck there, which of course was incredibly distressing for me and him and he was making a horrendous noise, kind of a gasping/wretching noise, and I had to grab him and cut it off without injuring him... was really unpleasant and it doesn't bear thinking about what would have happenend if he had been out or I hadn't been home. Since then, I obvsiously have only used quick release collars. Yes, I lose some from time to time, but it was really distressing watching him stuck on the other one. I have just bought a stock of plain collars from Pets at Home and then order some inexpensive but nice looking engraved tags from www.identitaguk.com (don't mix it up with another similar sounding company, their website gets you stuck in a loop), and then I have them in stock and don't need to go out to buy them new every time he comes back nude.

Good luck, and I think it is a bit of a matter of, you get what you pay for... and in this case Pet porte does seem to be one of the better products on the market, if not a little expensive!

Will

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