The Basics of Electronic Pet Doors
The Basics of Electronic Pet Doors

Electronic Pet Door Basics

Electronic Pet Doors on the market today have varied methods of "locking" the flap into place. It is important to understand not only the way a pet door controls access, but also the situations they are used for and the inherent limitations. We break down all electronic pet doors into two categories:

1-Way Activation Doors
2-Way Activation Doors

[photo] Raccoons

Below you will find a brief overview of each category with example of the corresponding locking mechanisms.  We also have attempted to discuss a few situations that electronic pet doors are most often used. Finally briefly go over misconceptions that surround pet doors currently on the market.

[image] Cat Doors that keep out other cats
1-Way Activation Electronic Pet Doors

Some doors are designed to keep out neighboring and feral cats, while allowing a collar tag wearing pet to enter the house. This category of Electronic Pet Doors will provide a deterrent to animals outside that try to push in the flap. They typically do not provide a deterrent to animals leaving the house, meaning the locking feature works in only one-direction.

One way locking pet doors employ a retracting "STOP" to keep the flap from being pushed INTO the house. As your collar tag wearing pet approaches, this "Stop" retracts and allows the flap to be pushed inward. Due to the design of these locking pet doors, customers have found that certain nuisance animals such as raccoons can lift the flap upward and outward, thus gaining access into the house. For this reason, this category of electronic pet doors is not considered "Raccoon Proof". Moore Pet has identified these types of electronic pet doors with the symbol on the left for your convenience.

Scenarios 1-Way Activation Doors are Used:

1. Keep out Feral cats in the area (When pets are in 'heat', keeps your home from turning into a "Love Shack").
2. Keep out other neighborhood for bullies and friends that just don't want to go home.
3. Deterrent for other cats confusing your cats food bowl as their own.
4. Keeping other cats from coming into your house and 'spraying'.

Example of Locking Mechanisms
Representative of all 1-Way Activation Electronic Pet Doors

[photo] 1-way Activation locked position  [photo] 1-Way Activation door shown open

2-Way Activation Electronic Pet Doors

[photo] Raccoon Proof Pet Doors This category of electronic pet doors controls access in BOTH directions. The collar tag is required to activate the pet door when entering and leaving the house. The locking mechanisms on these doors are structurally different and varied to achieve this action. They range in design from retracting pin locks to plastic bolts that engage the flap in such a manner that a pushing action will not open the door. Because of how these locking mechanisms work, they are also raccoon proof by nature of their design. The differentiating characteristics you will see i this category is summarized in the overall quality and life of the pet door.

Scenarios 2-Way Activation Doors are Used:

1. Allowing one pet to go outside while keeping another inside the house.
2. Cat Owners who have persistent problems with larger Tom Cats that "break through" other inexpensive electronic doors.
3. Dog Owners who have friends that seem to follow them everywhere they go.
4. Keep out nuisance animals that are using the pet door (Raccoons, skunks, opossums, etc.)

Note: Most dog owners do not have problems with nuisance animals due to the scent and the activity of the dog. For many dog owners manual flap doors are more desirable and pet friendly

Example of Locking Mechanisms

PetSafe Electronic Smart Door

[photo] Close up of flap edge   [photo] Detail of locking ridge

Cat Mate Elite Series

[photo] Cat Mate Elite locked    [photo] Cat Mate Elite locked

General Electronic Door Misconceptions

Electronic Pet Doors seal and Insulate Better than other types of doors
There is not an electronic door currently made that insulates or seals as well as a dual flexible flap doors.

Electronic Pet Doors are deterrents for criminals
This is often a leading reason first time pet door buyers look at electronic doors. The truth is that there is not a door made with the intelligence to allow your pet inside, but not a criminal. Pet Doors that have a sturdy locking security panel provide far more security.
Electronic doors are better quality, because they are electronic
You get what you pay for. Your better quality doors tend to be non-electronic, it is a matter of the function that you require.