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Intruder cat - advice - microchip cat flap?

(18 Posts)
unlucky83 Mon 04-Jan-16 15:05:07

We have problems with a cat that keeps coming in through the cat flap to eat my cat's food.
I thought it was a stray but through facebook etc it seems to belong to someone I vaguely know, who lives quite locally and knows it goes for a wander. I first noticed it hanging around 9 months ago, then in summer DP found it on our stairs in the middle of the might and chased it off. It disappears for weeks and then is back all the time.
When I said something to the owner about being worried it would be beating up my old girl, they said their cat had come home badly scratched and bitten and they thought my cat was beating it up hmm. I really don't want to make more of a fuss.
And actually I have witnessed my cat holding her own and chasing it out etc -but then they seem to fight mainly through the cat flap -which involves loud banging (in the night -sure the neighbours aren't impressed ...) but that seems to limit injury - my cat at least hasn't got any war wounds.
I was just going to lock the flap overnight for a week or so until it got bored - but just recently it has been coming in at all times - day and night, when we are in - you hear the cat flap open and my cat goes running off.
I rarely get to see it apart from on the other side of the door - I can't get to it because by the time I've moved my cat out the way and opened the door it has gone - over the wall or up the path - and don't want to chase it up the path cos there is a road at the top and I'm worried it would run into the road and get killed.

Unless anyone else has any better suggestions? I think I am going to have get a controlled cat flap.

First I'll say my cat (13) isn't currently chipped - vets are closed at the moment - but I'm assuming it is still possible at her age and won't cost an absolute fortune? And I probably should get her done anyway.

She wore a collar for years (has bald patches on her neck) with an ID tag but also was very good at losing it -I'm assuming got it caught in something. I'd much rather she didn't have one ...and most of the other type of controlled flaps seem need the cat to wear a collar
(Not too worried about her getting lost /being hit by a car - we live in a small community - in fact someone knocked down and killed some else's cat and a neighbour sent them to my house - after the poor guy had apologised to me (on the phone - I was out) DP discovered her asleep on our bed blush)...but still we could tell him who's cat it actually was)

Microchip controlled seems like a fantastic (if quite expensive) idea but then reading reviews people seem to have problems with them malfunctioning etc and locking allowed cats out ...or clever intruder cats being able to follow the cat in or open them anyway ...

So anyone here got any experience/recommendations/advice?

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 04-Jan-16 15:24:08

I think sureflap is what people on here use. The vets can quote you for the chip, it shouldn't be too expensive.

They don't need to put them out for it.

unlucky83 Mon 04-Jan-16 16:06:48

Sureflap was the one I was looking at on Amazon - but then I read the negative reviews...
Do most people on here not have a problem with them?

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 04-Jan-16 17:25:41

I don't think so, those that did got prompt help. I think one mumsnetter had the managing director out to her.

People are more likely to post bad reviews than good ones too.

unlucky83 Mon 04-Jan-16 17:57:16

Right when the vet opens tomorrow I'll phone them and see what they say...
Is the vet the most cost effective/best way of getting them chipped?
(DD volunteered for a while in the rescue centre my cat came from as a kitten and they now chip all the cats they re-home...I asked them if I could pay them to do mine but they wouldn't ...I thought I'd rather they made any profit out of it than a private vet (although our vet is good!)

cozietoesie Mon 04-Jan-16 17:57:22

I think that most people on here have had very good experiences with them, overall.

Remember that the intruder cat's wounds (as reported by your acquaintance) may not be from your cat. For all you know, half the neighbourhood cats are visiting your house and garden when you're out. A chip flap sounds like a must for you.

cozietoesie Mon 04-Jan-16 17:59:15

My own vet charges about £15-£20 for a chip depending on whether they have an offer on or not. Takes about 30 seconds.

Pipbin Mon 04-Jan-16 18:04:38

I have a SureFlap.
I will confess that there have been a couple of problems with it but the customer service was brilliant and they replaced the entire unit for me without a problem.
My girl was being chased into the house by a big nasty tom. This has stopped him in his tracks.

Having your cat chipped is a good idea anyway, but if you don't then you do get tags to put in her collar that will do the job.

unlucky83 Mon 04-Jan-16 18:15:22

I don't think my cat did actually hurt the intruder cat!!!! I once saw a cat I think was the intruder (partially hidden in bushes) scrapping with another cat nearer where it lives ...
Actually thought if my cat did really hurt it she's doing well - she hasn't had more than the odd scratch for years (since she got too old to be fighting the direct neighbour's cats) ...this is a bigger cat than my older girl....and if it is insisting on coming into her territory...
And if it was her I don't think it would still be coming into our house ...
The intruder's owner didn't see it that way - talked about a trip to the vet it was my fault ....but then to be fair I'd be the first person to say you can't really control a cat!
We haven't had a problem before...mainly cos the back is quite cut off and for a strange cat to get to us they have to go through the territory of the neighbour's two cats....
but this one is brazen - seems really streetwise - the reason I thought it was a stray (why I tried to trace its owner). I saw it climb up a tree to a wood pigeon's nest fight the pigeon off and eat whatever was in the nest (chicks/eggs)... grim.

cozietoesie Mon 04-Jan-16 18:32:49

Silly person. In any case, you can get big strapping cats who are lousy fighters and petite little things who pack a mean left hook.

If you get a chip flap it will be for your own cat and family's sake, remember. You don't need your house being Party Central for the neighbourhood - if you get yourself on the radar of any stray toms, you'll be up till 2 in the morning scrubbing off spray!

unlucky83 Mon 04-Jan-16 18:55:51

Right I'm going to order a sureflap then -give it a go - I'd rather she didn't have the stress....and I want to know how much she is eating/drinking especially now she is getting older ...

Although from an exercise pov not doing it might be better for her - she isn't big but I don't think I'd describe her as petite - has a bit of middle age spread going on smile ...and I haven't seen her move so fast for years as she does when she hears the cat flap go ... wink

Seawig Mon 04-Jan-16 22:54:34

We have sure flap and it works great with our two and their microchips. When we have had the odd neighbourhood tussle with ours being attacked by a couple of local bruisers it is a real comfort to know they have a safe space to come home to.

Rollypoly100 Tue 05-Jan-16 15:27:42

We are just about to get a new Sureflap with curfew mode for our second rescue cat. We think they are great and haven't had any problems with it. The new one means boy cat can come and go as he pleases but little miss Pricklepants will be on timed exit and entrance - which will annoy her!

unlucky83 Tue 05-Jan-16 19:20:36

Well...flap ordered, cat booked in for chipping on Thurs (with vet costs £21.50)...
and I now after daily, sometimes twice daily visits for the last 2 weeks ...I haven't seen the intruder for 2 days ....hmm

cozietoesie Tue 05-Jan-16 19:36:10

Just because you didn't see him, doesn't mean he wasn't there at some point!

I suspect you'll find that when she works out how safe it is, your girlcat will still dash down in order to do Ner Ner Ner at any potential intruders gazing in frustratedly. grin

FruStefanOla Tue 05-Jan-16 20:02:01

We got a SureFlap when we adopted our two - they'd never used a cat flap before, so it took them a bit of time to get used to it. MadFruCat 'got it' reasonably quickly, but DozyFruCat took a bit longer!

The microchipping is easy. It's just an injection with the 'chip' in the liquid from the syringe. MadFru had his done whilst he was under a GA for something else, but DozyFru had his done whilst we were there - he was awake - I don't think he even noticed what had happened!

We're so glad we got them chipped, because we too were struggling with keeping NDN's cats out of our house. Our two are now quite content with their own private door!

unlucky83 Tue 05-Jan-16 22:53:14

Ha grin We didn't get a flap until mine was about 6yo and it took her weeks to be able to use it ...I used to open it for her, leave a trail of ham (her treat of choice at the time) to it, in it and through it , wave bits of ham at her from one side of the flap, prop it open etc etc - all to no avail. In the end I had to take the clear flap off and have a gaping hole in the door until she got used to the idea of going through the flapless hole (over a week!) She would look through it, piteously miaowing to come in ...then start with the ham trail again with flap in place ...until she finally got it.
My main recommendation from the experience would be is not to try to teach an older cat to use a cat flap in Winter...when there are howling freezing gales... and you don't get a piece of ham frozen to your bare hand as you thought they might find it easier to go out rather than come in wink...
(Just realised its Winter now too ...hoping she gets the hang of the sureflap quickly ..).

cozietoesie Tue 05-Jan-16 23:08:56

Oh I don't know. Sounds as if she managed to get a great deal of ham out of you as well as having you scrabbling on your hands and knees ? I'd call that great fun if I were her. grin

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