The SureFlap is a cat flap (sometimes called a "cat door" in the USA) that I have been thinking about. As you might know I have two cats, one very old and one with three legs - I am a kind of cat nurse! I love it though.
They both like to go out into the garden. They never travel more than about 20 yards from the cat flap. I am confident that they are safe.
But, the cat flap is an open invitation to stray cats and what I call time share cats. Time share cats are cats who like to spend time at various homes in the neighborhood. This is probably because they are not completely satisfied with their actually home! That can be for one of several reasons. The most common is because the person is not there much and there is a shortage of food or the food is poor and yours is better.
I have had a few time share cats and one is affecting my quality of life. I call him Marty and he wears a bell. He comes in late in the evening after I have put down night food for my cats. He wants to eat the night food. If he eats it, my little old lady cat wakes me up at 3 in the morning asking (nay..demanding) food. I lose sleep. It is a simple chain reaction of events that messes up my night
The SureFlap recognises the ID chip that is implanted into your cat. I am told that microchipping is quite common in the United States. Microchipping a cat is not completely without health risk, I think it far to say, but it is considered safe.
The SureFlap only lets your microchipped cat pass through the cat flap. At a stroke that would solve the "Marty problem". Another benefit is that it protects the indoor environment of your cats. This is their territory and intruders may cause tensions and even fights. My three legged boy has occasionally attacked or charged at Marty in the home.
There are health risks too if a strange cat eats from your cat's bowl. You don't know about the health of the stray cat. Is she carrying a contagious disease? Will it be transmitted in saliva or through direct contact?
The SureFlap would solve these potentially serious health problems too. They supply internationally (http://www.sureflap.com/).