Cat doors, also known as pet doors, are doors specifically designed for cats to pass through. These doors allow your feline friends to have access to the outdoors without having to rely on a human to open the door for them.
Are you looking to give more freedom to your feline friend? Are you secretly hoping to make your life easier by installing a cat door into your home? Cat doors are undoubtedly a useful addition to any cat-friendly house as they allow your pet to come and go as it pleases. They can give your cat the independence it needs to explore the great outdoors and express its feline behavior.
Your cat might be adapted to living indoors but it still needs to get out in the open and scratch a tree, play with an insect, or dig a hole in the ground. Luckily for you, with the most appropriate cat door, you won’t even have to get out of bed to let your friend roam freely.
In your quest for the best cat flap, it’s essential to determine what’s best for your home, your budget, and your specific cat breed. We’ve gathered a few tips to help you successfully find the right cat door and say goodbye to all the midnight meowing and early-morning scratching.
Look for the most suitable type of cat flap
There are several types of cat flaps on the market. The most common include:
Traditional cat flap
This is a simple, two-way cat door that allows your friend to move freely from the comfy indoors to the stimulating outdoors. They are highly convenient and undeniably practical cat flaps that come at an affordable price. However, the only downside is that you might have a problem with the neighborhood cats coming into your home.
Lockable cat flap
You have two types of lockable flaps to choose from, a 2-way or a 4-way one. The 2-way cat flap is a regular door that has the normal “locked/unlocked” feature. The 4-way cat flap includes an “in-only/out-only” feature as well. Meaning, if your cat is playing outdoors, you can set the door to in-only mode so that once your cat comes inside, it can’t go back. And the other way around, if you set the mode to out-only, your cat won’t be able to come inside.
Infrared cat flap
These cat flaps come with a unique infrared transmitter that your pet wears around the collar. This infrared collar signals the cat door to open for your cat and for your cat only. With this cat flap, you won’t have to worry about stray cats and dogs coming uninvited into your home. Most of the infrared flaps feature a 4-way locking system. Moreover, additional collar keys are available if you own more than one pet. You don’t have to worry about pet door installation as these flaps have a universal fitting for walls, windows, and doors.
Magnetic cat flap
The magnetic flap comes with a special collar or a magnetic tag that gives access to your cat. The magnet unlocks the cat door so that your pet can come through. These flaps also feature a four-way locking system to allow you flexibility with your pet’s movements.
Microchip cat flap
The microchip cat door allows cats who wear sensor tags to enter or exit through the door. Some doors can be programmed to let the cat out at certain times of the day and block their exit at other times. You can also program these flaps to work with other pets in your home. However, all these added features make the microchip cat doors more expensive than the other cat flaps.
Factors to consider when choosing a cat door
Size of the Door
The size of the door should be large enough for your cat to comfortably enter and exit but small enough to prevent other animals from getting in. Measure your cat’s height, width, and weight to determine the ideal size of the door.
Material of the Door
There’s a wide selection of frames to choose from. Most cat doors feature plastic or metal frames, the former being cheaper and the latter more expensive but stronger. If your door is subject to direct sun or heavy rain, you should opt for a metal frame to make your door more durable. More high-quality materials ensure safety, durability, and excellent performance. Also, you might want to look for a scratch-resistant flap so your cat can’t damage it with its scratching.
Consider the level of security you want for your home and your cat. Electronic or smart cat doors typically offer a higher level of security than manual or mechanical doors but may be more expensive. Consider features such as locking mechanisms and sensors to ensure your cat’s safety.
Consider the climate and weather conditions in your area when choosing a cat door. Look for doors that are weather-resistant, such as those made from heavy-duty materials, to ensure that your cat stays comfortable and protected from the elements.
Ease of Installation
The ease of cat door installation varies, depending on the door type and the material of the area you want to insert the door into. For example, installing a traditional flap door into wood is easier than installing a cat door into a wall. Not all of us are handy, and for that reason, you can hire a professional to install the cat door for you.
Compatibility with your Home
Before deciding on a cat flap, it’s crucial to think carefully about where’s going to go. This can be difficult as you can often be limited by your house’s construction and layout. Thankfully, cat doors can be installed practically anywhere in the home. There’s a wide range of cat doors to choose from, including cat flaps for:
Choosing the right location for your cat flap is key to cat door installation costs as well as your friend’s comfort. Consider installing more than one cat flap so that your cat can move through its territory freely.
How to measure your cat for a door
Height of Your Cat
Measure your cat from the floor to the top of its back while it is in a standing position. This will give you an accurate measurement of the height of the door needed to accommodate your cat.
Width of Your Cat
Measure the width of your cat at its widest point, typically its shoulders. This will give you an accurate measurement of the width of the door needed to accommodate your cat.
Weight of Your Cat
Consider your cat’s weight when choosing a door, as some doors may not be sturdy enough to support a heavier cat. Make sure to choose a door that is capable of supporting your cat’s weight, especially if you live in an area with high winds or heavy rain.
Measuring your cat is an important step in choosing the perfect cat door, as it will ensure that the door is the right size for your cat and will provide a comfortable and secure entry and exit.
Cost of cat doors
Comparison of Different Types of Cat Doors
The cost of cat doors can vary widely depending on the type of door and its features. Manual or mechanical doors are typically the most affordable, while electronic or smart doors can be more expensive. Magnetic and infrared doors usually fall somewhere in the middle.
Factors Affecting Cost
The cost of cat doors can be affected by a variety of factors, including the size of the door, the material used, and the security features included. Other factors that can affect the cost include the level of weather resistance and the ease of installation.
Add a cat enclosure to complement the pet flap
Cat enclosures are becoming more and more popular with pet owners in Sydney but also in other parts of Australia. They provide a safe place for your cat to play, move, and exercise. You can even decorate the enclosures with cat trees, string toys, or vertical spaces to make them more entertaining for your pet.
You won’t have to worry about traffic or your neighbor’s pets. You can put your mind at peace, knowing your friend is safely playing inside the cat net.
What many cat owners are doing is connecting the pet door with a cat enclosure. By doing so, their cat can safely move through the door and directly into the great outdoors with zero risks. The cat will be securely enclosed and free from external threats such as other cats or predators.
Cat doors offer a convenient and secure way for your feline friend to come and go as they, please. Choosing the right door requires considering the size, material, security features, weather resistance, ease of installation, and compatibility with your home. Measuring your cat and considering your budget are also important factors to take into account.
Now that you’ve found the perfect cat flap for your home, it’s time to relax and let the door do what it was made to do. Make your life simpler, more convenient, and more enjoyable. And for your feline friend, it means unrestricted movement in and out of the home, a chance to freely display its natural behavior, and increased mental stimulation to keep it occupied and busy.
Additional reading: Dog Doors Types in Australia