A magnetic cat flap uses very powerful magnets to lock the flap in place when the cat is not actively entering or exiting. These magnets are powerful enough to stop a full grown human from being able to open the flap without the proper magnetic key, which can be added to the cat's collar without any problem.
When a magnetic cat flap is in place, the cat can enter and exit at will because the magnetic key in the collar deactivates the magnetic locks. The neighbors' pets will not be able to enter, even if they follow the cat because the locks will pull the flap closed quickly behind the animal and before another creature can make entry.
This factor will protect the home from invasion by neighboring animals who could destroy things or make a mess in the home. In addition to that, it provides protection for the cat in the event it is chased back into the house by another animal.
Unlike traditional cat flaps and doggie doors that can be used by thieves to gain entrance into a home, the magnetic cat flap provides protection from this possibility as well. The only way the flap will open is if the cat approaches with the magnetic key, a thing not likely to occur if there is a stranger right outside. This means that would be thieves will not be able to use the pet entrance as a way to get tools inside the house that would allow them to circumvent the locks and open the doors.
There are several different levels of security provided by cat flaps. The most secure, and the most expensive, provide for a four point security lock. This means that four separate magnets hold the flap in place until the magnetic key on the pet's collar deactivates them. Cheaper units can come with as few as one magnetic lock. These are not as secure as the four point lock, but are still almost infinitely better than a simple pet flap that has no security features built into it.
It is up to the homeowner to determine how secure the magnetic cat flap needs to be based on the value of the cat and the contents of the home. One thing is certain: a magnetic cat flap can provide a great deal of protection to both one's home and one's pet.
Jim Webb writes more about the magnetic cat flap [http://www.petdoorsreview.com/magnetic-cat-flap.html] and various types of pet doors at [http://www.petdoorsreview.com].
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