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Synthesis - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
1) Catflaps with magnetic collars so that only your cat can get in and out of them.

2) ID chips for feline identification in the event that they get lost. (A small microchip injected under the cat's skin, which can then be detected by a machine.)

Combine these two ideas, and you get the programmable catflap. It'd be wonderful. If you needed to keep one cat indoors, no problem. Only your cats could get through the flap. Why doesn't this exist already?
17 comments or Leave a comment
triskellian From: triskellian Date: August 6th, 2004 08:45 am (UTC) (Link)
What if the cats cooperated and held the catflap open for each other?

OK, two of your cats are famous for their dimness, but the kittens might be bright enough to do it ;-)
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: August 6th, 2004 08:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, then you're stuffed, obviously, and have to keep both of them in.

But these are cats we're talking about. They'll find a way to subvert anything that you want to do for their own good.
uitlander From: uitlander Date: August 6th, 2004 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
When he was a kitten, Angus couldn't open the cat-flap. So he'd wait until Mallory used, and slip through on the back-swing. After a while he took to yowling by the cat flap, and Mallory would obligingly run out (and then return). History does not recount how he managed to indicate he wanted to be let back in.
(Deleted comment)
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: August 6th, 2004 08:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll discuss it with my sister. She's an electrical engineer, and I'm sure could do this if it's possible.
mobbsy From: mobbsy Date: August 6th, 2004 08:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Looks like this is a popular idea:

... and it looks like the RFID tag makers thing this would be good too:
(some way down the page)
omentide From: omentide Date: August 6th, 2004 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Would they have the same problem as the magnetic catflaps?

A friend of mine used to have one of these and all the neighbourhood cats used to fight in her kitchen constantly. They got in by 'tailgating' the legitimate (but admittedly stupid, soft and fluffy) cat.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: August 6th, 2004 08:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Probably, but it could be fixed in software. Simply make the catflap openable from the inside by any cat. In fact, you could make it openable by any cat *except* yours.
rillaith From: rillaith Date: August 6th, 2004 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Mine just use the brute force method of "BANZAI!!!!!!" *crash splinter chinkle* ... We've had to replace one catflap flap already. The old door, they removed the bit that let us lock the flap for outwards, so we could only lock it inbound - which was no use at all!
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: August 6th, 2004 09:05 am (UTC) (Link)
My sister's cat is like this. She also doesn't like going through the catflap because it ruffles her fur, and sits around mewling pitifully until you open the door for her.

Needless to say she comes back in under her own steam quite happily.
puddingcat From: puddingcat Date: August 6th, 2004 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mine, too (and Moose). I'm on my second catflap, and this is rapidly deteriorating, since barrelling through is easier than coming & pestering me.
omentide From: omentide Date: August 6th, 2004 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
The alien cats in question showed no inclination to leave the kitchen.

They just bullied my friend's cat something rotten. So you would end up with everyone else's cats (plus strays) in the house, whilst your own cat cowered somewhere in the great outdoors.

I do like the idea though.
karohemd From: karohemd Date: August 6th, 2004 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)
You'd have to get away from the traditional flap design and have a Star Trek style sliding door thing, that automatically shuts as soon as one cat is through. You might need another chip on her hindquarters, though...
simonb From: simonb Date: August 6th, 2004 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Its probably down to cost - the readers aren't that cheap; a quick google showed that they are in the £100+ range.

The majority of the readers for the microchips aren't that good and often need to be very close to the microchip to register. There are some good ones out there, but they aren't that small; one I've seen uses a circular antenna with a central hole of about 8cm diameter.

There is also the fun of having the microchips move around if they are not inserted correctly; apparently some vets/VNs think that its just like giving a normal injection and don't bother going on the training for microchip insertion.

The microchips can also fail; I can remember a case a while ago where a dog going through the pet passport process - which requires the pet to be microchipped - had its microchip fail which caused no end of problems for the owner as things like the rabbis vacs are linked to the microchip ident.

Perhaps technology has moved on a bit in the last few years; I doubt it tho :(
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: August 6th, 2004 09:02 am (UTC) (Link)
The cat was vaccinated against rabbis? No danger of it converting to Judaism then?
simonb From: simonb Date: August 6th, 2004 09:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Urgh - Friday morning after not much sleep (damn humidity) and not enough coffee.

I meant "rabies".
a_llusive From: a_llusive Date: August 6th, 2004 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate it when I have a really good idea, then find out someone else had it at around the same time. Worse still, you actually recorded it in a sensible way, so as to progress its development.
I suck.
_nicolai_ From: _nicolai_ Date: August 6th, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
You can over-engineer this far more:
Flo Control
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