What To Look For In A Cat Door
If you have a cat that loves to wander in and out at all hours of the day and night, you might like to consider giving him his very own cat door.
However, before you embark on your search for the ideal door for your feline friend, bear in mind that, in order to install it, you will first need to cut a hole in one of the doors, walls or windows in your home. Nothing major – just a small hole into which the cat door will fit, allowing your cat easy access and exit when required.
Now initially, this may seem like a little too much upheaval to go through to give your kitty the freedom to come and go as he pleases. However, when you weigh it up against how many times you, or one of the family, has to get out of bed during the night to let him in or out, you’ll come round to the idea pretty quickly!
Just think, once your cat has become accustomed to using his own door – it may take a little while for him to get used to it – not only will he be delighted to have some independence, but you’ll immediately begin to feel the benefits that only the luxury of night after night of undisturbed sleep can bring.
Types of Cat Doors
There are many different types of cat door on the market. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can choose from cat doors which are intended purely for interior use, and therefore, only suitable for installation into interior doors, or weather-proof cat doors for exterior use.
Typically, a cat door is fitted into a door in your home, and can be easily installed by following the instructions supplied with the unit. However, if you’d prefer, it can be fitted into a window or a wall, but you will need to ensure that the type you buy can be adapted for that purpose.
Of course, if you would rather not create an access point for your cat in one of your external doors, you can fit the cat door into an interior door.
For example, if you have a separate area where you keep your cat’s litter tray which is outside of the main living area, but still inside your home, why not fit a cat door to the door or wall of this area? This will enable your cat to do whatever he needs to do, without ever needing to go outside during the night.
Another advantage of being able to allow your cat private access to his litter tray, is that if you have any children or other pets in the house, they are kept well away from it.
To help you decide on the best cat door for you, here’s the lowdown on a selection of models, which should make the task a lot easier.
2-Way Locking Cat Door
This type of door has two positions;
* Open to allow your freedom of movement, and
* Closed to prevent movement
Most often, the door will be open, allowing your cat to venture in and out, but there is a slide control lock which allows you to keep the door closed should you wish to.
Straight out of the box, this type of cat door can be fitted to an internal door or screen which is between one and two inches/2.5cm – 5cm thick.
However, if you would prefer to fit it to a thicker external door, or into a wall, you can do so with the aid of linings, which can be purchased separately. These give the cat door extra depth, allowing it to fit more easily into thicker surroundings.
Most 2-way locking doors will suit cats with a weight of up to 12 pounds/5.5kg, and will have a transparent flap which will allow your cat to see through it before coming or going.
4-Way Locking Cat Door
As the name suggests, a 4-way locking door has four positions, as follows;
* Open – to allow freedom of movement in and out
* Closed – to prevent freedom of movement in and out
* To allow entrance only, and
* To allow exit only
This may seem like a lot of options, but they will give you complete control over the type, and frequency, of access you want your cat to have.
Also, if you want your cat to stay indoor for some reason, you can keep the door closed to prevent any of the neighborhood cats paying you an unexpected visit.
Again, straight out of the box, this type of cat door can be fitted to a door or screen which is between one and two inches/2.5cm – 5cm thick, but again, with the aid of linings, it can be fitted within a thicker door or a wall.
Most 4-way locking doors will suit cats with a weight of up to 12 pounds/5.5 kilograms, and will have a transparent flap which will allow your cat to see through it before coming in or going out.
Locking Cat Door with Tunnel
The addition of a tunnel makes this type of door suitable to fit into a thicker, interior or exterior, door or wall, straight out of the box. Installation into even thicker surroundings can be achieved with the purchase of extra tunnel sections to increase the length.
Either with a 2-way or 4 way-locking action, this type of door is fitted with a rigid, transparent flap with a magnetic seal, and will usually accommodate a cat with a weight of up to 15 pounds/7 kilograms
Magnetic Cat Door
This type of door will help to ensure that only your cat has access to your home, as it is operated by a water-resistant magnetic key collar worn around his neck.
Suitable for installation into interior or exterior doors and walls, the door has four locking positions as follows;
* Open to allow freedom of movement in and out
* Closed to prevent freedom of movement in and out
* To allow entrance only, and
* To allow exit only
Typically suited to cats weighing up to 15 pounds /7 kilograms, a magnetic door could be the best choice for you if your neighborhood is often frequented by strays.
Electronic Cat Door
Working to a similar principle as the magnetic door, the electronic versions operate by using radio-frequency or ultrasound technology.
What this means is that a unique code in a special collar, or disc, worn by your cat, is activated by one of the aforementioned frequencies, which opens the door. After your cat has passed through the door, it closes again.
Certain versions will allow up to eight cats to use the door – additional collars and discs can be purchased separately.
With four locking positions, electronic cat doors can be installed into interior doors, walls or windows. They suit cats weighing up to 15 pounds/7 kilograms, and feature fully waterproof collars and discs.
Cat Doors for Big Cats
For the larger of our feline friends, you will find doors to suit cats weighing up to 25 pounds/11 kilograms.
Featuring the four locking positions mentioned previously, a big cat door can be installed into interior or exterior doors, walls or windows. As with other models, it can be built into thicker surroundings with the aid of additional linings.
The rigid, transparent door flap features a magnet which helps to keep it firmly in place when the door is in the open position, which is particularly useful on a cold or windy day.
A cat door could, quite literally, change your life. Just stop for a moment and give the following points some consideration;
Once you’re a pet owner, getting out of a warm bed in the middle of a cold night kind of comes with the territory. How great would it be if you didn’t need to do that anymore?
Also, when you’re away from home, you won’t have to worry about your cat being stuck outside the whole time until you get back, so you’ll have peace of mind while you’re away.
During the cooler months, you won’t be continually opening a large door, allowing all the heat inside to escape, and all the cold air outside to come in. Will this make a big difference when it comes to heating your home? You bet it will!
And finally, your cat will be so much more relaxed. Not having to stress about not being able to get out when he needs to will make him much happier.
If you think your home could benefit from a cat door, why not take a look at what’s available online? Whether you need a model to fit into a wooden, metal, PVC or glass door, wall or window, simply click the link below and you’ll be able to find a cat door that suits your needs.