Pumpkin does paperwork

Pumpkin does paperwork

Saturday, August 30, 2014

REVIEW: Cat Mate(R) Elite Selective Electronic Cat Flap (UPDATE: Nowworks with your cat's ID chip)

This product will now operate from your cat's ID chip in addition to operating with RFID collar tags.

I can't tell you how many different pet doors I've gone through. I still have a box full of them. I have used many different types from very basic, to advanced electronic versions which recognize only your own cat. One electronic pet door stands out from the rest as a great product which just works, 100% of the time.

The Cat Mat(R) Elite Selective Electronic Cat Flap is one of those products that just works. It is quite sophisticated, but well-made and practical. It uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to only allow pets with either veterinarian-implanted ID chips, or RFID collar tags to come and go through the flap. It will support up to 16 individual pets.

The collar tags are now sold separately. They are non-magnetic and do not use any batteries like some other products. The cat flap unit includes an integrated weather strip, and hardware for installation in doors up to 2" thick. You can also order a wall-install liner separately.

Programming requires a little concentration, but the included printed instruction booklet is very good. The unit uses 4 "AA" batteries and is very good on battery life. It can be set for "In and Out", where pets wearing the collars can come and go freely, "In Only", so pets can only come in and not go back out, "Out Only", so pets can go out and not come in, and "Locked" which prevents any pets from passing through the door. The current unit will recognize up to 16 cats.

How it works:
Your cat pushes on the clear hard plastic flap, the unit scans for a recognized ID chip or collar tag, and opens the flap. It operates the same in both directions. Unless a cat has an ID chip or is wearing one of the RFID tags, it cannot pass through the flap.

Of course, as with any new thing in your cat's life, she may require a little training. It is not difficult if you are consistent and persistent. The manual includes a section on training your cat to use the product. My cats were already used to pet doors so they took to it fairly quickly. 

I have purchased one of the ID chip units and 2 others since 2008. The older ones are still working perfectly. It includes mounting screws and a 3-year guarantee.

What I like about the Pet Mate Cat Mate(R) Elite Selective Electronic Cat Flap
  • I love that my cat doesn't need a collar tag now to operate the unit, our cat loves to take his collars off and lose the tags.
  • Easy to install and program.
  • Sips battery juice.
  • Comes with everything you need to install and set up (except collar tags and batteries).
  • It just works.
What could be improved-upon with Pet Mate Cat Mate(R) Elite Selective Electronic Cat Flap
  • If you opt for using the collar tags, they are a little large for a cat (1.25" diameter).
  • The unit cannot be set to allow a cat to pass through if the batteries die. So, if the unit's batteries are dead when your cat tries to use the door, it will not operate, so kitty could get stuck outside.
Manufacturer's website