Showing posts with label pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pets. Show all posts

Monday, May 5, 2014

Small pet door search and reviews (part 1)

This post is certainly not for everyone but I have been desperately searching for the perfect pet door for our little Molly Monkey (a.k.a porch cat). She wants to be able to come and go as she pleases but of course I want my other cats (Heidi, Lucy and Lilly) to stay put.

{UPDATE click HERE to see which of these doors ended up at our house}

Theses three are still only using their outdoor cat enclosure I built but Molly (Monkey) wants nothing to do with it. As a former stray she is used to her freedom.

There aren't really any informative reviews or help out there so I'm making it my mission to share my findings and let me tell you it is so unbelievably frustrating.

For our other cats to get into their enclosure from our living room window I'm using this Sash Cat Flap Small Pet Door which works wonderful and I can highly recommend it. So I had the idea to buy another one and exchange the normal flap (which you can unscrew and take out) with an electronic or magnetic locking flap. I'm talking about those pet doors that require a trigger key around the pets neck to enable it to come and go. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

Well the problem is to find a pet door that locks in both directions (individual entry and exit control) with the key because it appears that most of those pet doors only lock one way. Meaning that all the cats can leave but only the one with the collar key can come back in. Which is completely stupid if you ask me. There are so many people that are in the same pickle as myself with different pets and situations.

So I ended up finally finding the Cat Mate Elite Selective Cat Flap which uses batteries and collar tags to only let the tag wearing animal enter and exit. I was so excited and ordered it right away:

The door arrived and it actually fit into the window door too. I would have been set!! I mean the door gets pretty good reviews too on Amazon besides being really noisy when it unlocks. So I installed the the contraption into my window and tried to set it and BOOOOM….nothing. The thing didn't even turn on. Darn it! I should have maybe tried to turn it on before hand. None of the Amazon reviewers had that happen before because now I checked all the reviews again which made me notice that several people complained about the door not working in a metal door installation (click HERE, HERE and HERE but there are many more) since the metal interfered with the reading of the pet collar key. This made me so angry because the window door is metal!!!! And the box of the Cat Mate door clearly states that you are able to install it into metal doors.

What did I do? I called the company to ask them. And the lady on the phone was no help whatsoever. She told me that it only works in metal when installed correctly. Well it was installed correctly. That's an easy way out my lady. 

I also wrote to their customer service in the US which gave me another completely uninformative answer and then I wrote to their British customer service with no answer which leads me to the conclusion that their customer service sucks. There is no other way to put this. (click HERE to read another Amazon review about this)

The end result of this door's review is that the Cat Mate Elite Selective Cat Flap might possibly work wonderful if you use it in a wooden door but face it, a lot of households have metal exterior doors like myself and the window sash door that I wan't to use it with doesn't leave room to cut the hole bigger to line it with something else. 
If you buy one, please also turn it on before hand to make sure it works and you might want to read this review HERE which is just plain scary where a cat broke it's leg using this door. So sad! 

I'm now desperate to find another one which requires the key both ways and I have written to several other companies with no response. Doesn't anyone have good customer service out there? Seriously!!!

I wrote to HighTech Pet who is selling a horribly expensive version. They even have a link to fill out a form for an affiliate program and guess what? No reply for the form or the questions. Nothing…nada!!!
Newsflash people, I'm not going to buy your $400ish door if you can't even answer simple questions for a customer. I still want to know which doors work with the key both ways. And that's way too much money to waste on a company with that type of service and I deal with websites and companies all the time! This is not the way to do it.
You can find the door at HomeDepot by the way and it does get pretty good reviews though besides being expensive.

Or the larger fully automatic pet door version for $699-$799:

Then there is the Ideal Pet 7 in. x 9 in. Small Electric Cat Flap sliding glass pet door for $192.95 at Home Depot which gets really great reviews but I still can't determine if I can set it to only key exit and entry. Looks like that isn't an option but to be sure, I wrote to the company again with no luck of course. Appears to be the theme here.

There are several other doors on Amazon which look like they all only have the option to use the key one way, not both ways.
Here are the other following doors I have found:

Ideal Pet Products Cat Flap Plastic Electric Pet Door for $69 (appears to only work one way because reviews mention that Racoons can still get in which means they lift the unlocked flap from the other side. All my cats would still be able to leave this way)

Cat Mate Electromagnetic Cat Flap for $56.19 (which again only locks one way with the required key)

PetSafe Staywell Magnetic 4-Way Locking Cat Flap, White $43.24 (This one appears to simply not be sturdy enough for larger cats, since it pops open easily. And determined animals can still get in and out without a key)

The SureFlap Microchip Cat Door is another option but your pets have to have a micro chip. And unfortunately it is also not secured in both directions. It is designed for selective entry only. They suggest to reverse the door which would only allow the one cat to exit but all the other critters and strays would still be able to come inside too. No thank you!

I have spent hours and hours and hours last week and this past weekend reading reviews and writing to companies. The moral of the story is that if you need a door to keep out other strays and raccoons (because they don't wear a collar with a key) and all your pets are allowed to leave your house, then there are plenty of doors to be found in all kinds of price ranges. 
But I only have one cat that is allowed to leave, so this one needs a collar and key for both ways which is the BIG problem here.
I can't believe that I haven't found one company so far which is able to address this problem with me. Yes, the first door does the trick (for some) but not in metal which means I either buy a wooden door (which won't happen) and I also don't want my cat to brake her leg or I'll continue to search for a company that can help me.

And this is where part 2 of this review series would come in if I am successful in finding a door that works with metal and has the individual entry and exit control feature that I'm looking for. I know this adorable little one (read more about her HERE and HERE) would thank me a lot since she wants to come and go nonstop:

electronic locking cat flap door reviews

Wish me luck because I'm really really frustrated at this point. 

Do you guys have any other suggestions?



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Friday, February 28, 2014

Living Pretty With Your Pets: the DIY nurse

Pet Friday my friends and today I have something seriously amazing for you! A couple of months ago I got to meet  Caroline "the DIY nurse". I love her blog and she is so sweet and cute. AND SHE IS MY HERO. But you have to read the entire post about her adorable little furry children to find out why.

So here it goes, meet Caroline and her furry children:

I was so excited when I found out Julia was doing this series. Oh you want to see photos and hear stories of my fur babies? Let me oblige. I don't have kids so I'm always trying to brag about my furry offspring and show pictures but some people just don't get it. I'm not the person to say "it's just a cat" to. Like, don't. You will be blacklisted forever no matter how nice you are. I remember when I met Oscar, I was head over heels in love. After asking if he liked cats I was met with an "eh I guess they're okay." I was immediately worried. His position was in jeopardy and he had no idea. We laugh about it now but I seriously doubted 'us' at that moment. Luckily for me he was willing to open our home to two orange kitties and he hasn't looked back since. I can now find him cuddling them and carrying Otis around his shoulders. He's 100% cat converted.

My love for cats started at a young age with the cat I grew up with, Maeve. But we didn't have a dog until I was older and she lived outside [boo] so I always felt uncomfortable around them. I'd try to pet them and be polite but I just never felt connected to any dog and didn't like how they smelled. They always seemed stinky. But Oscar was a dog person and kept pushing to have one. I figured it was the least I could do. So we did a ton of research and fell in love with Boston Terriers. It so happened a friend wanted to get rid of their puppy for various reasons not long after and boom, three pets. I couldn't imagine life without him and have never loved a dog so much. And he doesn't stink. Or shed.   We found our cats first though at the local ASPCA. We were told they were two males and I honestly never looked until we had been home for awhile. I realized they didn't match and that we had one male and one female.

They are brother and sister [or so we are told but after that incident I'll take it all with a grain of salt]. Around the same time that I realized they weren't brothers I also noticed that they had fleas. Luckily it was a manageable amount but fleas are fleas. Ack. And then we realized Lola had gotten a respiratory infection while in the pound too. Fun times. Did you know vets are kinda expensive? I know that now.

Otis is our very fluffy male cat. He is... massive. And he is the sweetest cat I've ever met. He waits in bed for me at night and then kisses my face and he purrs like a plane motor. He will let you rub his belly and carry him how you please. He also is not the biggest fan of our dog and we pretend he's like Garfield. "Who is this joker? Where did you find such a dumb animal. Are you done? Can we get rid of him now?" Luckily it's just relayed in dirty glares and a rare swat.  We don't feed our animals human food but if he hears the Doritos bag he comes running. He insists on licking them. We also caught him eating oatmeal left on the table. He was sitting like a human on a chair and eating it paw to mouth. It was a little creepy.

How to teach your cat to use the human toilet

Lolita is our little girl cat. She is very tiny and mostly doesn't like to be held. It's funny because although she doesn't cuddle every day, she will let you know when she wants to be loved. She will seek you out and love heavy [as long as you don't get too needy]. And then it's done and she'll be back in a week. She's more patient with our dog, Charlie, and let's Otis bully her out of good spots like the envied basket or sun-ray. Don't worry, he get's his later in the form of sneak attacks.

Our dog, Charlie, is so sweet. And crazy. His voice is that of Butters from South Park. "Oh gee whiz guys." I've got that down. We just got his manhood de-manned and are really hoping that helps with the energy thing. So far we do feel he has less energy although hormones can hang around for up to a month after surgery. When he is calm, he is so sweet and loves to give kisses. He's also an abuser of the potty bell. You can read more about how we potty trained our dog AND cats HERE.

teaching a cat to use the toilet

You can see how we manage cat hair HERE as well as litter tips and tricks HERE. But I'm really proud of my #give2014 project where I donate to a new charity every month. And this month I've chosen the ASPCA, but remember... it's never too late donate your time, money, or that cat food your picky feline turned away from!

So now you know why Caroline is my hero right? I mean teaching your cats how to use the toilet?!?! Say what? That's huge! A dream come true!

And then donating every month to a different charity? Seriosuly amazing!

And HERE is another one of her pet posts, go check it out and browse her blog.

Happy Friday y'all.



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