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May 11, 2011

SureFlap the first multi-format microchip cat flap now available in US

If lost, a microchipped cat is 20 times more likely to be returned to its owner and now there is another benefit, the chip can act as a unique door key for the pet. SureFlap, the first multi-format microchip operated cat flap is now available in the US.

SureFlap has proved popular with cat lovers in Canada and Europe. The cat flap recognizes a cat’s unique microchip number and only opens for the specified animal.  Customers have reported happier pets and reductions in their food bills as intruder cats are prevented from entering the home.

SureFlap is easy to fit and is battery operated.  As it doesn’t require access to mains electricity it has a compact design which can be fitted in a door, wall or even glass.

SureFlap was developed in the UK by Cambridge physicist Dr Nick Hill who was working on a new type of identification system. As he sat in the kitchen he noticed his neighbor’s cat sneaking in through his cat flap to steal food and saw the perfect application for his technology!  SureFlap is unique as it is compatible with a wide range of different types of microchip.

Pet microchipping is increasing in the USA and many rescue cats are already microchipped to help reunite them with their owners if they become lost. The owner records their contact details on a registry so that if the cat is lost and taken to a vet, the microchip can be scanned to read the unique ID number and this is used to return the pet.

The microchip, which is about the size of a grain of rice, is usually inserted by a vet into the loose skin between the animal’s shoulders. Recognizing this tiny microchip, is not easy, as Dr Hill explains,

“Most of the scanners used at pet rescue centers are designed to be handheld and are moved all over the cat’s shoulders and neck to detect the microchip.  Our technology needed to be more sensitive and has been designed to work over longer distances.”

Although the use of microchip identification in companion animals is endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), World Small Animal Veterinary Medical Association (WSAVA), and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), there is no single microchip standard in place in the US, as there is in regions such as Europe, Canada, and Australia. There are currently four different formats used in the USA including various 15, 9 and 10 digit coded microchips.

Because of the co-existence of these different microchip formats and the number of different microchip registries, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) created the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool. This free internet tool helps veterinary and shelter professionals locate the correct microchip registry if a lost pet is scanned.

Dr Hill continues,

“I love a challenge and refining our technology to recognize all the different microchip formats has certainly been testing. SureFlap is currently compatible with all 15, 9 and most 10 digit microchips; this covers the majority of the microchip population present in the USA.  We expect that by the end of the year the product will work with the last microchip type, thus covering all microchips commonly used in companion animals.”

Available from, priced at $149.99. Customers can also purchase SureFlap by telephone – 1 888 948 8800 or by emailing

– ENDS –

Notes for Editors

For details of the compatible microchips see

For details of the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool see

For further information, please contact:

Alison Jack /Rachel Holdsworth, PR consultants

Holdsworth Associates

Tel: +44 (0)1954 202789        Email:

About SureFlap

The SureFlap microchip cat flap can recognize a cat’s individual microchip, and will only open for cats whose identity is stored. It uses patented low-power RFID technology developed in Cambridge (UK) by Dr Nick Hill, and runs on 4xAA batteries.

Recommended by vets, SureFlap works with 15, 9, and most 10 digit microchips and can be programmed to recognize up to 32 cats.

For more information visit


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