London, Sep 11 (ANI): An intelligent cat flap, which uses a pet's microchip to ensure only a verified animal enters and leaves the home, is selling like hot cakes in the UK.
With the technology, owners can stop their pets leaving the home at certain times of the day.
The technology allows cats to, in effect, open their cat flap by remote control.
Because the flap will only let in cats that are programmed into the system, it bars unwanted animals from coming into people's homes.
Retailers have said that with increasing reports of foxes intruding into people's homes, and even bedrooms, earlier this year, could be one of the reasons why these expensive devices have taken off.
A Pet Porte Smart Flap costs between 85 to 100 pounds, compared with the most basic cat flaps, which start at 6 pounds.
"The demand seems to be fuelled by pet owners wanting better protection for their cats and a safe haven from waifs and strains, with some telling us they're worried about foxes and even rats using the cat flap to bully their cats and steel food," the Telegraph quoted Mitesh Soma, the founder of the ChemistDirect website, which has noticed the surge in sales, as saying.
His website has sold six times the number of the smart flaps, compared with standard cat flaps.
Over two million cats in Britain are microchipped, with a tiny radio-frequency chip injected into their neck.
The intelligent flap works by using a readers to pick up the signal from the chip.
The owner can then, by pressing a button on the flap, make sure it is only that chip that activates the flap.
Once set up, the flap opens automatically for four seconds when the cat is about a foot away.
Up to 30 cats can be programmed on the battery-operated flap.
It can also be programmed so that the cat is only allowed to leave the house during daylight hours.
"There have been plenty of smart flaps before, using magnets or infra-red. But this is the first one that does not require a cat to wear a special collar and the first one to use microchips. It is unique and a real breakthrough in cat flap technology," said a spokesman for Radio Systems, the Guernsey company that makes the flaps. (ANI)