If your cat has been used to the same cat flap for years (or they have never had a cat flap), then they might struggle to get used to their new SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap, particularly if they have never had a selective entry cat flap before. For come cats it takes a little while to get used to the noise of the electronic lock.

If your cat is struggling with his new SureFlap don’t worry; we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves to help you train your cat to use their new microchip cat flap.

First of all, you may want to get your cat used to their SureFlap while the locking mechanism is inactive. To do this, you will need to turn off the SureFlap by performing the following steps:

1. Remove the battery cover and make sure the batteries are installed.

2. Press the memory button once to put the SureFlap into learn mode. The catch will open and the indicator lamp will flash.Training a cat to use a SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap

3. Remove the batteries and replace the battery cover.

4. The catch will stay open and SureFlap can now be used as a standard cat flap.

If you have followed the above processes correctly, the SureFlap will now be switched off with the lock open so that your cat can use the SureFlap like an ordinary cat flap.

If your moggie is still a little timid about using their SureFlap, you could tape the flap open to make the cat flap look more inviting. Train your cat to go in and out of their SureFlap by placing tempting treats on the other side of the cat flap.

Once your cat has got used to using his SureFlap in the ‘off’ mode, he should be comfortable enough with the smell, shape, feel and size of his new cat flap to start using it in the ‘on’ mode.

Reinsert the batteries and switch the unit back on. Now your cat can start using their SureFlap as a microchip cat flap, preventing neighbouring cats from getting into the house.  If your cat is still unnerved by the lock, continue using treats to coax him through the SureFlap.

By giving your cat plenty of time to get used to using his new SureFlap, he should be shooting through is without a care in the world in no time!

What do you think?

Have you recently installed a SureFlap? Do you have any tips on how to train a cat to use a SureFlap that we haven’t covered? If so, tell us about your experience by leaving a comment on this blog post!

  • Sarah Jones:

    Hi there,
    Do u have a customer service number for new Zealand? I have just bought a sure flap cat door and my two hate it. Any ideas on how to get them to like it and use it on their own? Iv tried everything.
    At moment im pushing them gently through the cat flap.

    • admin:

      Hi Sarah, sorry to hear that your cats are having trouble getting used to their new cat flap! It can take some cats a few weeks to get used to using a new cat flap so perseverance is key! We do indeed have customer support in New Zealand. You can contact them on 0800 787 335.

  • nas:

    This really is a design flaw . My cats hate it. One refuse’s to use period and soiled the carpet. The entry whole is to small so one they struggle even to fit. The noise is the is part that really of puts the cat. Can you not add some rubber seals to reduce the noise. Its not rocket science. I spent 90 pounds on this crap.

    • admin:

      Hi there, thank you for choosing SureFlap and so sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble! We really would like to help out and get your cats used to using their new cat flap to prevent any further accidents! The best options would be for you to contact our customer care team so that we can discuss this further with you. You can contact our team on 0800 0124511 or enquiries@sureflap.co.uk.

  • Sharon Fox:

    Hello, I’ve installed the Sureflap this week. My tom, Star will use it to come in no problems, but refuses to go out using it. I’ve got M.E and this is really affecting my sleep as I have to hold the flap open for him at all hours of the night. Could you help?

    • admin:

      Hi Sharon, I’m sorry to hear that your cat is having a little trouble going out of his SureFlap. It can take some cats a few weeks to get the hang of a new cat flap so with a little perseverance he should get the hang of it. You could try going outside with some treats while he is still inside and coaxing him out. Or you could prop the door open for a couple of days. While this might let other cats in, it will give Star some time to realise he can go out of it as well as in. If you are still experiencing an issue after a couple of weeks, feel free to contact our customer care team at enquiries@sureflap.co.uk for further assistance.

  • pete:


    i installed a sureflap several months ago but just can’t get my cat to use it properly! it’s had the batteries out for months, but recently we’ve been having an unwelcome visitor, so i changed the door panel and mounted the flap as low as possible to try and encourage puss to go through head first. he puts his feet through first though and when he meets resistance on the flap he gives up quickly and just sits and looks at it! it works if you push him through from behind! he’s not bothered by the catch clicking as i used to have a staywell flap that used to wake me up at night! any suggestions??

    • admin:

      Hi Pete! I’m sorry to hear that your cat is having trouble using his SureFlap cat flap. Please could you get in touch with our customer care team on enquiries@sureflap.co.uk or 0800 012 4511 and a member of our team will assist you!

  • Russell:

    Installed this flap about 2 months ago. My cat would rather sit outside mewling at the backdoor than go through the flap! She’ll come through if you hold the flap fully open for her, and I have seen her use it to come in after being chased by another cat, but normally she won’t even approach the flap unless she sees someone on the other side. She’ll use it go out, but only after you chase her out with a water squirter!

    • admin:

      Hi Russell,
      Thank you for choosing SureFlap and I’m sorry to hear that your cat is having trouble using it! Rather than using a water squirter, we would advise training her using positive techniques. Try using some treats or her favourite toys to tempt her through or put her food down when she is outside to tempt her back through. If she is going through when you hold the flap open, try taping the flap open for a day or so and see how she gets on. I hope she get the hang of it soon. Perseverance is key! :)

  • lydia:

    Hi I have two cats and I really did not think that one of them would ever use it. I tried everything I taped it up I put down treats. Nothing worked. Four months later there was a seagulls nest on top of a nearby chimney. When it hatched the parents would swop down nearly touching the cat, she would crawl on her belly as she was scared. I know it sounds cruel but I closed the cat flap and lo and behold after a few goes she used it. Now both cats are safe as the big bully can not now get in and fight and eat all of their food. I am so happy I persevered although you do feel like giving up.

    • admin:

      Hi Lydia, that’s great to hear that your cat got the hang of it in the end if it wasn’t under the best circumstances!

  • William:

    I followed the above advice and disabled the locking mechanism for a week and it has worked a treat. Our cat is now using the cat flap with lock, albeit slightly reluctantly. But after only 10 days she is now confidently using the door. The mechanism is really noisy and must be alarming for the cat but once accustomed to it our cat is fine and the new flap is keeping the unwelcome tom cat out! Thank you

    • admin:

      That’s great to hear that your cat has got used to her SureFlap!

  • Stacey:

    Hi I have recently purchased this cat flap about a week ago and she will go in and out with the flap open but will not attempt to use it wit the flap down any advise?

    • admin:

      Hi Stacey,
      Have you tried tempting her through with her favourite treat? Perseverance is key! It can take some cats a few weeks to get to grips with a new cat flap. Let us know how she is getting on with it in a couple of weeks.
      Best regards,

  • Janette Baker:

    I have bought the sureflap for my 3 cats 2 of them used it straight away but the other one wont use it, she seems scared of it. its been over a week now and still she wont use. i dont want to have to put the flap into an ordinatary one for the time being as the stray cats who did come in may return. this was the reason for buying it so that my cats were not being tormented by stray cats coming in the house at night eating the food. i just dont know what to do to get the cat to use it any help please, the only thing i can think of is that the tunnel of the flap is sticking out of the conservatory panel maybe another flap on the outside would help her.

    • admin:

      Hi Janette. Aw I’m sorry to hear one of your kitties is scared of using her SureFlap! Could you perhaps tape the flap open for just a few hours while you’re at home and can keep an eye on it? That way if any strays try their luck you can see them off! Try tempting her with treats when she’s outside, and keep doing this every time you see her outside. You could even reward your other two cats with treats when they come in and she’s around – this could help her associate coming through the SureFlap with good things. Does she like playing with string? How about threading a long piece of string through the cat flap for her to chase through. Have you tried adding her scent to the cat flap as suggested in the post above? That might help too. Sometimes it can take cats a few weeks to get used to the SureFlap so give her a bit more time and see how you get on. I hope she gets used to using her SureFlap soon!


    i have installed the sureflap, but my cat is scared of it she wont go near it, she stares at it and walks as far away as she can and stands by the other door to let her out. just does not want to know. and i got it cos the other cats have been fighting her and shes been scratched bad and its regular. im out of ideas

    • admin:

      Hi Anthony, I’m sorry to hear that your cat is having problems getting used to her SureFlap!

      Take a look at the Troubleshooting page on our website at the Familiarising your cat with SureFlap section: http://www.sureflap.co.uk/support/troubleshooting

      You could also try wiping a cloth on your cat’s face and then wiping the SureFlap with the cloth so that your cat’s scent is on the cat flap.

      I hope this helps! Let us know how you get on!

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