Pet-tech stops you getting into a right flap

PUBLISHED: 07:56 28 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:18 30 April 2018

Sure Petcare's Sureflap is hugely popular with pet owners

Sure Petcare's Sureflap is hugely popular with pet owners

ILIFFE

Sure Petcare allows you to monitor your pet

Managing director and founder of Sure Petcare, Nick Hills pictured with some of the company's products as their celebrate their 10th year in business. 
Picture : Richard MarshamManaging director and founder of Sure Petcare, Nick Hills pictured with some of the company's products as their celebrate their 10th year in business. Picture : Richard Marsham

Dry Drayton-based pet technology specialist Sure Petcare is celebrating 10 years since the launch of its first microchip-enabled pet product, the multi award-winning Microchip Cat Flap.

“The firm was initiated in April 2008 by former physicist Dr Nick Hill,” explains Sure Petcare’s marketing communications manager Clare Fuller. “His cat, Flipper, had been badly beaten up and other cats were getting through the catflap, so he found a solution to allow entry into the house for Flipper by creating a microchip cat flap that interacts with the cat’s own existing microchip.”

The result – the Microchip Cat Flap – has borne out the notion this is a problem many pet owners know all about.

The company expanded its range of pet door products based on the same microchip-reading technology, launching smart cat flaps designed for both multi-pet households, as well as larger cats and small dogs. In 2014 this was followed by the launch of the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder, which enabled owners of multiple pets to prevent food stealing, to provide the right food to the right pet.

Some of the products available from Sure Petcare, including their first product, the Sure Cat flap.  Picture : Richard MarshamSome of the products available from Sure Petcare, including their first product, the Sure Cat flap. Picture : Richard Marsham

“Since 2008 we have worked with our customers to continuously develop and improve our products – the Microchip Cat Flap is on its seventh iteration,” said founder and managing director Dr Hill. “Our products have protected over one million homes from invasion and kept 100 million meals safe from feline food thieves. I am sure Flipper is proud!”

The next 10 years will see the company develop further into the connected pet technology space. In 2017 Sure Petcare launched the first in a suite of connected products, the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Connect, which helps to increase an owner’s bond with their pets, even when they are away from home.

The Microchip Pet Door Connect allows pet owners to monitor and control their pet’s comings and goings via a smartphone app. In 2018 the company will be launching further connected products which will provide a variety of information about a pet’s day-to-day activities, behaviours and routines.

“We want to equip owners with an unprecedented insight into their pet’s health and wellbeing through the use of app-connected products,” said Dr Hill. “By using this connected technology it will help them to identify and address the changing needs of their pets throughout their lifetime.”

The innovative new technological service described by Dr Hill is already in use, giving animal owners a plethora of information about their pets – via app.

“Pet doors have been app-enabled since last year,” says Ms Fuller, “so that enables the owner to lock or unlock their cat flaps remotely from anywhere. You can share app control with family and friends too if you’re away, and get notifications.”

You can even track your cat’s habits via a dashboard.

“One owner had a cat with very established habits, so when the cat had been out for three hours that was very unusual and the situation was investigated. It turned out the cat had a puncture wound – a bite from another animal. So the cat got immediate treatment before the injury worsened.

“We work with 35 countries across the globe, and many retailers.”

Sure Petcare has a team of 60 people based at its Dry Drayton headquarters. Next month it will launch its latest product – the Cat Flap Connect. This follows on from Pet Door Connect, which is suitable for larger animals including small dogs. Cat Flap Connect connects with a hub (sold separately) which links the Cat Flap Connect to the Sure Petcare app so you know where your cat is and can monitor changes in behaviour and long-term activity. It also blocks intruders, sends notifications when your pet leaves or returns, and allows you to set a curfew.

The price for Cat Flap Connect hasn’t been announced but it will be less than the price of Pet Door Connect, which is £119 – a total of £160 including the hub.

Sure Petcare also sells a microchipped pet feeder, which allows up to 32 animals to feed, stopping other animals from eating your pet’s food, and allowing you to cater for special diets and medications.

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