SureFlap DualScan Cat Door Review
SureFlap DualScan microchip cat door is an automatic pet door that features a double antenna, which can read your cat’s unique ID microchip when exiting and entering the door. The microchip works as a key to unlock the system and it can be implanted under your cat’s skin or if you don’t want to microchip your cat, it can be used with a SureFlap RFID collar tag.
If your cat has already been micro-chipped, SureFlap DualScan is compatible with most existing 9,10 and 15 digit microchips, except those starting with 000, 010 or 020. The pet door’s memory can store up to 32 microchip codes.
Unlike the SureFlap Microchip cat door that doesn’t scan the cat when exiting the door, the SureFlap DualScan features a “selective entry and exit” system that is very useful in situations where cat owners need to restrict some cats to indoor-only and allow other cats to go out. The unit keeps the neighbor’s cat from entering your house and at the same time, you are able to block the exit access to the cat you need to stay home. To make your cat to stay inside, remove that ID number from the programmed “exit” or simply don’t microchip the cat or remove the collar if using a microchip tag.
SureFlap DualScan features a 4-way manual lock, allowing any combination of in/out. The door has a strong magnet on the center which prevents it from flapping in the wind.
- DualScan technology with double antenna it features selective entry and exit, allowing to keep indoor-only cats inside.
- Safety mode allows indoor-only cats to enter the door if they escape through a window.
- It keeps unwanted pets or other animals from entering your home, including raccoons.
- Prevents intruder animals entering your home, including added protection against raccoons.
- It works with your cat’s existing microchip.
- Compatible with most common 9,10 or 15 digit microchips (except those starting with 000, 010 and 020).
- It works alternatively with RFID collar tags (not included).
- Simple programming by pushing a button; easy reprogramming to change permissions at any time.
- It gives you the flexibility to control your pets ability to get in/out according to your needs.
- It features 4-way manual locking.
- By moving a dial you can set the door in “Locked” mode, which blocks the pet door completely.
- SureFlap DualScan can be installed in doors, glass and walls.
- Requires 4 AA batteries (not included).
- Battery life up to 12 months, depending on the usage and type of battery.
- With battery life indicator.
- Color: white
- Exterior Frame Dimensions: 8.26? (W) x 8.26? (H) / 210mm (W) x 210mm (H)
- Flap Opening Dimensions: 5.59? (W) x 4.72? (H) / 142mm (W) x 120mm (H) (This dimension is the smallest area of the cat door that your cat will have to enter).
- Hole Cutting Dimensions: 6.5? (W) x 6.73? (H) / 165mm (W) x 171mm (H) (The size of the hole needed to fit your cat door. Installation Template can be used to cut the hole).
- Tunnel Depth (outside): 2.75? / 70mm
- Tunnel Thickness: 0.18” / 4.5mm
- Tunnel’s Interior Dimensions: 5.9” (W) x 6.1” (H) / 150mm (W) x 155mm (H)
- Front Frame Depth (frame from inside): 3.0” / 78mm
- Item Weight: 3.5 lbs / 1.6 kg
HOW THE SUREFLAP DUALSCAN WORKS
SureFlap DualScan works with passive RFID technology, which means a microchip implanted under the cat’s skin holds data that is “waiting” to be read by a scanner on the cat door. The microchip itself does not send this information to the scanner, it needs to approach the “reader” to get read and unlock the mechanism. So when the cat gets close to the pet door, the scanner located in the DualScan’s tunnel read the data holding in the microchip, recognizing the ID and unlocking the system. Then, the cat needs to push the door with its head or nose and go through. To get the microchip read, the cat needs to put its head in the tunnel.
After the cat has passed the door, a magnet located on the flap’s bottom helps to shut the door and keeps the door from not locking correctly or from flapping with the wind.
The SureFlap DualScan has two antennas or scanners to read the microchip: one scanner is located in the inside of the house and the other outside. The inside and outside scanners can be programmed individually, which allows cat owners to determine which cat will be indoor/outdoor and which cat will be indoor-only.
This is the only microchip cat door that allows you to choose which cat can exit the door and at the same time, it gives you the ability to stop unwanted animals from entering your home.
VIDEO OF CATS USING THE SUREFLAP DUALSCAN MICROCHIP CAT DOOR
Location of the microchip under the cat’s skin
To get the microchip read, whether from the inside or the outside, the cat needs to put its head in the tunnel/opening for the door to unlock. This means the microchip ideally needs to be located in the cat’s back neck. If your cat has been micro-chipped long time ago, you may need to check if the chip has not migrated further down its neck, because it might not work properly if this happens.
If you don’t like the idea of micro-chipping your cat, simply put a microchip on his/her collar and it works.
Effective Against Raccoons
The nicest thing of the SureFlap DualScan is its ability to completely block the intents of raccoons to pull open the door from outside, which happens usually with other models. This cat door features double locking system, an external catch outside will prevent the raccoon from pulling the door outwards, making it raccoon-proof.
The same way, if you have a smart neighbor’s cat that got used to pulling the door open with its claws, this will stop that problem as well.
The unit features an “emergency” mode which allows your only-indoor cat to enter the door if you forgot to close the window (or similar) and your pet escaped through it.
4-Way Locking Setting
2-Ways. If the cat is programmed in both sides of the door, this setup allows him/her to come and go at will.
Only-In. Your cat can get in, but it can’t get back out (set manually, by turning a dial). This is useful to keep outdoor and indoor cats at home at night or if you are waiting a Vet visit. With this mode you keep all cats inside without the need of reprogramming.
Additionally to the manual “Only In” mode, you can program the door “Only In” for a determined cat that you want to be indoor-only (permanently or for some days). Unlike the manual “Only-In” that latches the door for everybody, the programmed “Only In” stops only the indoor cat from going out, while leave the others free to leave whenever they want. You can do this by programming its microchip in “Safety Learn Mode”. To do this, push a button and make your indoor-only cat go through so the memory learns its microchip code. With “Safety Learn Mode” the indoor cat won’t be able to get out but if it escapes through a window, it will still have access to enter the pet door.
Only-Out. Your cat can get out, but it can’t get back inside (latching the door manually, by turning a dial). This allows you to keep your cat outside if you need. This setting is not used very often, but it could be useful if you have visitors with bad allergy to cats.
Locked. Completely locked from both sides (manually by turning a dial). The door can’t be used at all by your cat. This mode is usually used when leaving for a trip or to lock in very smart cats.
PROGRAMMING & CAT’S TRAINING TO USE THE DOOR
To program the unit, you have to push a button so it will go to “learn” mode. Then you have to make your cat go through to allow the memory to retain the microchip ID. A flashing light with a “click” sound indicates that the ID microchip has been saved. You can do this before the installation or after, but it is better to do it before to make sure the microchip works. Programming in metal doors it’s a little different. See how to program a metal door here.
The cat needs to get used to the “click” sound when the door unlocks and then push with its nose through. There are several techniques for the cat to get used to the door’s tunnel and the unlocking sound. The sound it is audible but not intrusive, actually this unit is one of the quietest on the market, but the cat still needs to get used to it. On the other hand, it is useful to know when your cat is waiting to come in or when leaving. If you want to train your cat, these are some ideas used successfully by customers:
- Take the batteries out and use the door as a non-automatic one
- Tape the door opened for some days and let your cat use it this way, so it will get used to the “clicking” noise and the tunnel, without the stress of having to push the door.
- Get a SureFlap collar tag so you can open the door yourself and encourage the cat to pass through it.
- Install the cat door in a box first and get your pet used to passing trough it before install it in the door or wall.
BASICS FOR INSTALLATION
If installed in a standard door (1-3/4” thick), the tunnel created measures 6” where the cat has to go through. So the total external dimensions when installed in a standard door is approximately 8-1/4” W x 8-1/4” H x 6” D.
The unit comes with different screw sets to adjust to the door’s depth where the cat door will be installed. Tools needed to install the cat door:
1. Felt tip marker
2. Tape measure
3. Jig Saw
4. Drill 1/4” bit (6mm)
6. Spirit level
Wood Doors. This is the simplest installation because it does not require adapters. You can install it with what the standard unit comes with. There is a good instructional video in YouTube how to do it.
Metal doors.For metal doors you need to install the “flap” with a Cat Door Mounting Adapter (product GMA001), because metal interferes with the RD operation. How much the metal blocks the RF depends on how much steel the door has.
Windows.To install the cat door in glass, you need a SureFlap Cat Door Mounting Adapter. This adapter is circular and it measures 11” so it is recommended to hire a good professional to cut the hole in the glass to prevent accidents.
Walls.To install in a wall it is recommended to get the Mounting Adapter (GMA001) and you need a SureFlap Cat Door Tunnel Extender as well (TUN001). You may need one or more SureFlap Cat Door Tunnel Extenders, depending on how thick the wall is. Consider that you will be adding approximately 4.25” to the wall thickness.
The batteries may last approximately from 6 months to a year with one cat. Batteries lifespan will depend on:
1) What type of battery used
2) How many cats use the pet door
3) If your cat likes to sit close to the door all day, unlocking it from the inside several times (no animal can enter the door from outside if this happens).
4) If you have a lot of unwanted “visitors” trying to get through the door from outside (motion sensor works more).
5) If you clean the unit often (this will make batteries last longer).
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF SUREFLAP DUALSCAN CAT DOOR?
Checking the good and bad things about this unit will help you to decide with more information:
- 4-way locking
- Easy to install in a standard door
- Easy to program and reprogram
- Double locking system outside and inside, keeping unwanted animals from pulling the door inward with their claws.
- Safety mode that allows you to keep your indoor cat in only (not allowed to exit), but if your pet escapes through the window, it will be able to get back in the house.
- Selective entry/exit keeps completely out unwanted animals.
- Ability to control individually which cat will be indoor and which; outdoor.
- It opens only reading the unique cat’s programmed microchip code.
- Reliable operation.
- Good solution for cats that lose the collar often or can’t handle collars.
- Good quality and well built.
- Rigid plastic flap, excellent as deterrent.
- It can be used as a regular non-automatic door by removing the batteries, excellent feature to train cats in the beginning.
- Smaller than the average cat door. A tall cat (neck’s height) or a cat weighing over 11 lbs might have difficulty to use it.
- In order for a cat to access the door it has to basically squat down as it passes through (4.72” height). Cats in general don’t mind it, but some cats might not get used to it.
- There is a delay between the microchip getting read and the latch unlocking, not good if your cat is escaping from a bullier.
- There is a delay time between the microchip getting read and the latch unlocking for the cat to push the door.
- The system may not unlock if the microchip is further down the cat’s neck.
- RF technology does not work very good with metal doors.
- The screen reading range outside differs than from inside.
- The “clicking” noise when the unit is unlocking might scare some cats (all automatic cat doors make a noise when unlocking).
- The flap’s brush on edges don’t seal 100%.
- The motion sensor does not work with white cats.
- Screws don’t have a very good quality.
- Batteries last less with cats that love to sit and stare at the outside all day (programmed cats).
- “Only-In” system is manual, the unit does not feature a timer.
- Keep the unit clean; wipe the bottom of the frame and the motion sensor, to ensure its correct operation.
- When changing batteries, don’t take them out all at once. Change one battery at a time or you will loose the programming.
SureFlap DualScan is a very good cat door that works as advertised and it’s a perfect solution for cat owners that have multiple cats and want to keep some of them indoor-only and the rest, outdoor. It’s also suitable for people that have raccoons in the area where they live. As the mechanism locks both sides, it’s impossible for raccoons or cats to pull the door with their claws. According to Pros and Cons;
√ I recommend SureFlap DualScan to:
- Cats on the small size (bigger cats may get used to it, it depends on your cat’s flexibility).
- If you have a cat or kitten indoor and the other cat outdoors.
- If you want to keep out raccoons.
- If you need to stop your neighbor’s cat from entering your house.
x The cat door may not be suitable for:
- Tall or big cats (some big cats squeeze themselves through it though).
- Very skittish cats, because of the unlocking click noise
- Old cats
- Cats with disabilities or arthritis