Choosing a Cat Door – Everything You Should Know

Choosing A Cat Door – Everything You Should Know

Every pet owner wants the best for their little companion. So, it makes sense that you want your pet to enjoy being outdoors more.

Still, this doesn’t mean you should behave as its personal doorman, right? Not only that this is inconvenient, but it is an unattainable purpose. In spite of that, you don’t want to limit your companion’s liberty. In this respect, a readily available solution is installing a cat door.

Such an item provides immediate access to the outdoors or the other way around. It gives your pet freedom, and it makes your life easier as well.

What Is A Cat Door?

Also known as a pet flap, this item represents a small portal in a window, wall or door. Its primary purpose is to facilitate access to your little companion. Originally, we could say that pet doors are mere holes.

Nonetheless, by using state-of-the-art technology, some are even electronically controlled, which is a great feature. That is meant to offer a certain degree of protection against wind, rain or intruders that could enter the dwelling without your knowledge.

Benefits Of Having A Cat Door

Simply put, having a pet door provides your companion with a new degree of freedom. It minimizes the need for you to open and close the door for your cat whenever it needs to go outside. Your cat will come to appreciate it, as well.

Convenience

Your cat enjoys going outside now and then. The best cat door for interior door facilitates your pet to do this, without troubling or disturbing you.

This is particularly helpful at night or in early mornings when the last thing on your mind is to get out of bed to leave your cat out.

In addition, if you’re working late hours, you can rest assured that your pet can go outside whenever it needs.

Cat using a cat door

Ultimate Safety

Recently, there have been various incidents reporting pet owners who have left their pets outdoors, and these have suffered from severe injuries. Apart from that, in some areas, predacious animals or snakes may linger in the proximity of your home.

Such aspects could seriously jeopardize your pet’s safety. Of course, you don’t want your little companion to go through a traumatizing experience.

Having a pet door could dramatically reduce the likelihood of such incidents. Getting an automatic cat door would be best in this instance – if you want to keep other animals from entering your home.

Moreover, in the case of a fire or a similar accident, your pet could escape through its special door. These are unmatched benefits that each pet owner should consider.

It Minimizes Boredom

Boredom poses a range of serious concerns you should be mindful of. It makes your pets be stressed; it exposes them to overeating, which leads to a handful of complications.

Cat using a cat door

Pets that tend to spend most of their time indoors are more prone to get bored. Our pets deserve exercise and physical activity on a daily basis.

In fact, pets with behavior problems improve considerably when they have more activity.

Unfortunately, our schedules don’t allow us to offer them as much activity as we would like.

You could always provide interactive toys that would challenge your little companion, but it would still be stuck all day indoors. If you allow your cat to spend time outdoors by providing a cat door, you could diminish boredom. Thus, you will ensure your pet’s well-being in the long run.

Physical And Mental Exercise

An active pet is a happy pet. This is also crucial for preserving the pet’s mental and physical health. A pet flap enables your companion to explore the outdoors whenever it feels like.

This way, your cat will get to walk, run, jump, etc. on a daily basis.

Minimal Accidents In Your Home

If your cat has immediate access outdoors, the frequency of unwanted accidents will be reduced.

Most probably, your cat had scratched the furniture or the doors when you were away.

Most of the time, this unwanted behavior occurs due to boredom and lack of activity. Getting a pet flap could prevent such incidents.

Cat using a cat door

Reduce Unwanted Odors

As much as we love our pets, none of us enjoys how a litter box smells. In this respect, you could consider putting the litter box outside or in the garage to eliminate the smell. The pet door allows your companion to go outside whenever you’re working late, or you’re not home – simple and worry-free!

Cat Door Installation

A common question regarding these items is how to install a cat door? Although it may not seem like it, it is quite easy, as long as you have the right tools at your side.

We’ll briefly enumerate the main steps you should follow:

  • Mark the corners to determine the place you’ll fix the pet door.
  • Drill the holes.
  • ​Mark the opening.
  • ​Cut out the opening.
  • Install the outer and inner frame/flap.

Later on in our article, we’ll discuss each of these steps in details, so keep on reading.

Types Of Cat Doors​

After listing the benefits of having a cat door, we would like to continue by presenting the main types of pet doors. One thing to keep in mind is that the location of the door is an important aspect: it should be convenient for both the owner and the cat.

Apart from that, you should consider the shape and size of your pet. Generally speaking, small sized doors work perfectly for most cats. Your priority should be to facilitate easy access so that your cat doesn’t have to squeeze through.

We’ll present the features that characterize each type so that you could pick the one that meets your needs best.

Exterior Cat Door​

There is a vast selection of exterior cat doors. The first thing you should do is ensure that the item is right for the thickness of your door. The material of the door is also important.

As a general rule, most exterior cat doors are self-framing, having an adjustment range. The adjustment range should be appropriate for the thickness of the door.

Cat using exterior cat door

A general adjustment range is 0’’ – 2’’. Considering that your exterior door is one ¾ thick, which is quite common, you won’t have any difficulties. Bear in mind that there are high-end doors whose thickness could be larger than that.

When it comes to the material of the pet door, remember that plastic is prone to break, and it can be quite flimsy. Also, aluminum is likely to contract and expand as the temperature changes.

There are also models with dual flaps, which are quite efficient. Some items feature lock-out panels which would slide into place for security, whenever the door isn’t used.

Interior Cat Door​

This type of item is needed if you want to facilitate immediate access to your cat’s litter box, whenever you’re away from home.

The Kitty Pass Interior Cat Door Hidden Litter Box Pet Door

Apart from that, interior cat doors facilitate easy passage from one room to another during the night, or when you don’t have the time to follow your pet around.

Similar to exterior pet doors, you can make your choice out of a variety of materials and styles, depending on what you need.

Bear in mind that interior models are entirely distinct from the exterior ones. Although they might come in the same sizes, the strikes and weather stripping are located in different places.

Also, the best cat door for interior door depends on your individual specifications and preferences.

Cat Door For Window​

Cats don’t have any trouble climbing on the window – do they? So, if you have a sash window that easily slides up and down, you’re in luck. A cat door for your window might be exactly what you need.

Pet doors for windows include a channel installed in the track of the sash window. They are easy to install and prevent the cold from entering the house.

Cat using cat door for window

Cat Door For Wall​

Did you know that you could install a pet door in a wall? The main advantage to doing that is that you can lead your cat exactly where you want it to be inside the house – namely the kitchen, a utility room, the laundry room, so on and so forth.

Cat using a wall cat door

We find that this is a decent unobtrusive way you could enable your pet to get in and outside the house. What you need to do is cut a hole in the wall.

Afterward, you should install the pet door frame and flap. Sometimes, a tunnel might be needed in the case of thick walls.

Unless you have the right tools to do this project, you shouldn’t attempt to do it yourself. A handyman or carpenter could help you.

However, we have a DIY project later on in this article, if you consider you’re up for the challenge.

Cat Door For Sliding Glass Door​

Some companies provide panels created specifically for sliding glass doors. They are fixed in the track of the sliding glass door. The slider of the door will, afterward, slide against the panel.

Most panels feature a pressure system at the top, which reaches the height of the track, being locked in place. You won’t need a lot of tools for installing this pet door.

Also, you should know that most products come accompanied by alternative locking systems, as you won’t be able to use your current lock.

Cat door for glass door

Alternatively, you could choose an automatic pet door for your sliding door, but it comes at an extra cost.

Baby/Pet/Dog Gate With Cat Door​

Babies and pets are best friends. They are playful, curious and love to be with one another. If you have a baby in the house, you might be using baby gates.

Cat and dog with dog gate

These are specifically practical for maximizing your little one’s safety, as babies are quite eager to explore the house. As they start crawling, the risks of them getting hurt are on the rise.

In this respect, a high-quality baby gate with cat door could enable your toddler to play within boundaries as the cat is free to roam around the house. You could also get a pet gate with cat door if you want to prevent your dog and cat from quarreling all day long.

You might have wide openings around the house that need to be blocked. There are plenty of models available, irrespective of your needs. What you should do is examine the space you want to restrict, and then decide what products fit your needs best.

Electronic And Magnetic Cat Door​

With all the electronic devices we have at our disposal, it’s only normal that you can consider choosing an automated cat door, right?

Many reliable manufacturers produce high-quality electric doors. This kind of item enables pets with sensor tags to enter the house.

Another advantage is that the tags could be programmed to allow pets in only at a certain hour of the day. And that is not all; you could also get a microchip cat door.

Such an entry is programmed in accordance to the pet’s microchip. According to the Humane Society, pet doors with sensors are highly recommended for keeping skunks, raccoons and other unwanted animals at a distance.

Cat using electronic cat door

A downside might be that these products tend to be on the expensive side. Still, the advantages are definitely noteworthy: guaranteed safety and optimal security.

As for the magnetic cat door, it activates as soon as it senses the magnetic fields. Some products run on multi-magnets, which makes them cost-effective. However, they aren’t really practical for proofing the house against raccoons.

In addition, they should be installed in such a way so that the cat passes closely to the door framing, to activate the magnet. If not installed properly, they won’t work properly.

DIY Cat Door Guide – Essential Steps​

Now we would like to present to you the steps you should follow for creating your own pet door. You can aim at doing this by yourself, with the condition that you have the right set of tools!

So, do you want to know how to make a cat door? Read on to find out more!

What Will You Need?

Here is a list of products you'll need when making your own cat door.

  • Drill
  • Adhesive
  • ​Grinder
  • ​Tape measure
  • ​Panel for the door flap
  • Wood for the frame
  • ​Staple gun and staples
  • Jigsaw
Diy cat doors

What Are The Steps?

And here are the steps you need to make...

Measure Your Cat

First things first:

Before you start designing the pet door, make sure the size is appropriate for your cat.

As your cat stands on all fours, get a measuring tape to determine the distance from the floor to the top of its back.

Make sure that you give it enough space so that going through the door isn’t uncomfortable in any way. Ideally, you should leave about one inch or two extra for some extra comfort. Mark the door using a framing square or a ruler.

Check The Door

Before making the whole, you should have a look at the door, and determine the right spot for installing the pet door.

Mark An Outline

The next step is to mark an outline. Following all these steps is recommended so that you avoid cutting a whole that isn’t the right size. Once you have cut your door, there’s no turning back.

Cut The Hole

We recommend you to take the door off its hinges so that it would be easier for you to do a thorough job. Place it on a pair of sawhorses.

Start cutting the hole by drilling holes with a dependable power drill. Be careful so that you don’t go past the markings.

Make holes in all corners and then insert the jigsaw into one of those; this makes it easier for you to follow the marks around.

Man cutting the door

Trim The Opening

Your priority is to create a cat door that ensures your little companion is safe while using it. On that note, we advise you to trim the opening to deter splinters and scratches.

Use a store-bought trim or a sturdy cloth along the edges. Also, you could use a silicone adhesive for this purpose. However, you could always ask the salesperson at the hardware store if they would recommend you something else for a particular kind of trim.

Build The Flap

After you’re done with cutting and trimming the door opening, you should make the door hinge. You could buy a pre-made one if you don’t have the time to make one. However, making your own is more cost-effective.

What you’ll need are a rubber mat and an aluminum strip. You could successfully use an auto floor mat.

Continue with cutting the aluminum strip to the same width as your door. Next, cut the mat and make sure it fits the hole. Don’t forget to leave about an inch for attaching the flap above the opening.

As you hold the aluminum on the top of the mat, drill holes every couple of inches.

Attach The Flap

Installing a cat door

The next step you should follow for making your own pet door is to attach the flap, of course. You could use a silicone adhesive to secure the flap as you screw it to the door.

As soon as it’s secured, it should swing around easily, so that your cat could leave or enter the house without any problems.

Reliable Manufacturers​

For starters, Petsafe is a top producer of this kind of items. We can confirm that their products are equally durable, being of the highest quality. Sureflap is another recognizable name in the realm of pet doors. Sureflap cat doors are state-of-the-art products that aim at maximizing your pet’s safety.

And finally, Petco has more than 50 years of experience in offering products that meet the necessities of pets. Their motto is healthy pets, happy people, better world.

Petsafe

The best thing about Petsafe cat doors is that they are versatile and diverse.

In other words, they strive to provide pet doors for companions of all shapes and sizes, to ensure your best friend’s comfort.

Plus, there is a vast range of styles to choose from, depending on your aesthetic preferences and lifestyle.

Cat using petsafe cat doors

On a final note, Petsafe products, except the vinyl flaps, are under warranty for the first year of ownership.

Sureflap

They create excellent items that meet the individual specifications of their customers, which is the primary reason we included this company in our recommendation list.

Whether you’re looking for a dog gate with cat door, a cat door window insert, or any other type of item, you’ll find something to your liking there.

Petco

Petco has more than 50 years of experience in offering products that meet the necessities of pets. Their motto is healthy pets, happy people, better world.

We like that Petco cat doors are well-made and reliable. We find that they have a plethora of models to choose from, including exterior, interior doors, tunnel doors, and so on.

Whether you want to install the pet door in your wall, door or window, Petco offers a range of excellent choices.

Conclusion​

Now you have the necessary background information for purchasing the right pet door. However, you should be prepared for introducing the cat door to your companion. At first, this could be quite daunting.

From our experience, cats aren’t very keen on the noise and feel of the flap. Still, don’t lose hope – practice makes perfect.

Take your cat through the process: start by leaving the flap open (with a pencil or anything similar) and encourage it to go through with treats, at first. If your cat is nervous to explore unknown territory, try to have your cat come from the outside on the inside.

Cat with cat door

And most importantly, don’t give up on your cat. With patience and practice, it will get used to the pet door, and you’ll get to enjoy all the advantages listed in this article.

We have another article ready for you to read. It concentrates primarily on the things you should consider before making a purchase, and our top recommendations of affordable products. Apart from that, there you can find out about our personal experience with some popular models.

We hope that you consider our article useful. If you have any questions on the topic, we would be more than willing to address them. You can either send us an email or comment below!

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