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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

As soon as you let your cat out into the open air, she’ s already standing in front of the door, meowing and wanting to get back in. Many owners will be familiar with this sometimes indecisive behavior of their pets. Amusing and adorable, but after the fifth time in a row it can be a bit tedious. A remedy can create a so-called cat flap.

What is a cat flap?

A cat flap is a kind of miniature swing door, which is clamped in a frame made of wood, metal or plastic. It can be installed in doors, walls but also in windows and enables the cat to leave and enter a room, an apartment or similar independently.

Is a cat flap useful?

In the question of usefulness, it depends more on the individual conditions. A flap is especially useful if you are often not at home and your outdoor cat wants to go in and out independently. Thus you give your darling a piece more freedom.

A cat flap can also make sense inside the apartment, for example if the cat toilet is in the bathroom or in your toilet. This way you don’t always have to make sure that the door is always open.

Important: In the case of a rented property, you should obtain the permission of the landlord, as it involves alterations to the property. To keep uninvited visitors out, a cat flap with access control is also useful (see below).

Pawly cat flap with face identification

What types of cat flaps are there?

Meanwhile, there are a variety of different cat flaps. In addition to the simple model described above, i.e. the free-swinging flap, there are now also high-tech models with very fancy access controls.

Microchip: With this model, the cat flap opens only with a certain stored chip number (or several, in the case of a multi-cat household). So, the prerequisite is that your pet is chipped. Nevertheless, this variant seems very good, because no strange cats come into the house and your cat does not have to wear additional chips on his body.

If it is not chipped, there are also small tags with an integrated chip from some suppliers. However, this must be attached to a collar. With free-rangers thereby always a danger is given.

If now your Samtpfötchen approaches the flap, a sensor recognizes the stored microchip number and unlocks the flap.

Infrared: A cat flap with infrared works similarly as one with microchip. When the cat approaches the flap, an infrared sensor detects a coded tag attached to the cat and opens the latch.

Magnetic collar: the magnetic collar also works by the same method. Here, however, there are two variants. The first variant, without coding, opens the latch when any cat with a magnetic collar approaches. So it can happen that you suddenly have a strange kitty as a guest. The second variant works with additional coding.

With timer: As the name suggests, this model works with a timer, a time switch function. You can program the flap to open only at certain times of the day. For example, you want your adventurer to stay home at night. These models also usually work with a microchip.

New technologies

As in any field, cat flaps are also developing quite a bit in terms of new technology. Here, for example, is working with artificial intelligence and facial recognition. This way, cats that have prey in their mouths can’t be let into the house. Take a look at Pawly’s Kickstarter project and be surprised by the latest cat flaps.

What to look for in a cat flap?

Size: some cats can reach a stately size and width. In this case, an XXL flap is recommended.

Safety: as mentioned above, wearing a collar when outdoors can be a hazard. Even with a chest harness, cats can get caught somewhere. The variant that scans the implanted chip seems to be the safest solution.

Changing batteries regularly: Most cat flaps with access control work with batteries. Therefore, you should make sure to change the batteries regularly so that your pet doesn’t have to face closed doors at some point.

Opening direction: If the cat flap is equipped with a 4-way system, you can also set the opening direction. So whether your cat can only get from the inside to the outside or vice versa.

Extensions: For particularly thick walls or the like, you need a tunnel extension. With some offerers this is already contained in the scope of supply even.

How much does a cat flap cost?

The prices for a cat flap vary quite strongly. You can get a simple cat flap for just a few euros. However, depending on the supplier and function, prices can rise quickly. Cat flaps with a microchip sensor cost on average 50-100 euros. There are however also models, which cost over 200 euro. However, these models are absolute high-tech models that can be controlled with an app, among other things.

How do I get my cat used to the cat flap?

Especially very curious cats usually learn the function of a cat flap quite independently. Especially if the door is transparent. Others you have to reach under the paws again. The motto here is: good things take time. Since cats are creatures of habit, they need some time to get used to the new strange thing.

If you have a rather timid and skeptical cat at home, you can try the following: As a first step, you can fix the swinging door, so the door is always open. With treats and/or the favorite toy you can try to lure your kitty through the opening. Do this exercise from both sides. When the cat has made it, praise and reward it abundantly.

If this step is already working perfectly, you can start to remove the restraint and do the exercise with the door closed.



Cat flaps built into doors and co allow our beloved cats to independently leave and enter a room or house or apartment. To keep unwelcome visitors away, flaps with an access control are quite practical.