Cat doors are an innovative solution that allow your kitty easy access to the outdoor world and back into your home again. There are many different makes and models out there, so we have helped to simplify the task of choosing with our comprehensive guide.
The Best Cat Door
With an aluminum frame that is designed to withstand heavy use and a magnetic bottom to keep it closed, this pet door is designed to be installed on walls when entry or side doors are not practical. You have everything that you need to take care of installation yourself including the step by step instructions. The double flap design of this magnetic cat flap helps to keep out the weather and keep in heat, providing the energy efficiency that is lacking from some other models. Designed for medium-sized pets, it is always worth checking the dimensions of your furry friend before purchase.
Slide-in closing panel adds insulation
Aluminum frame withstands heavy use
Flexible flap is kept shut with magnetic bottom
Trusted brand for 30 years
- Weight5.5 pounds
This cutely designed cat flap serves the practical function of letting your cat in and out of the house while looking great at the same time. Suitable for felines weighing up to 21 lbs, there is a smooth, wide opening that prevents your cat’s tail from getting snagged. The easy install design of the cat flap means that you should be able to set it up on your door in around 15-25 minutes. All the instructions are included and there is a template that allows you to cut the door into the perfect shape.
Smooth, wide opening
Stylish cat ear design
No screw holes or logos
Can be used by cats weighing up to 21 lbs
- BrandThe Kitty Pass
- Weight6.4 ounces
You can install this cat door for sliding door without the need for cutting into doors or walls. A variety of different sizes are available, so measure your pet to get the best fit. There is also a range of colors, so pick one based on your personal preferences. The magnetic closing system means that the temperature inside your house will not be affected by the door. You can use the slide-in closing panel to control your pet’s access to the outside world. Choose the color to match your décor.
Made to withstand heavy use
Variety of sizes and colors available
Energy efficient design
- Weight16.4 pounds
Designed for larger felines, this simple white cat flap does the job that you would expect of it. It is self-lining to two inches thick and there is a template included which helps with the DIY installation of the cat flap. There is a 4-way lock, so you have maximum control over your cat’s comings and goings. You can set it to be always open, out only, in only, or entirely locked. There is a weatherproof seal with magnetic closure.
Brush strip reduces energy loss
Large white cat flat with liner
Do it yourself installation
- BrandAni Mate
- Weight1.2 pounds
This cat-shaped interior pet door is suitable for installation to the room where your cat’s litter tray and food are kept. This way, it keeps any unpleasant odors out while still allowing your kitty access to the rest of the house. Self-drilling screws can be used for installation, so no tape or glue will be needed. You can install the pet door on both solid and hollow-core models. It is designed to be installable using a couple of tools.
Installs easily in 15 or 20 minutes
Fastens with screws for security
Fits both solid and hollow doors
Keeps out odors
- BrandPurrfect Portal
- Weight1.1 pounds
If you are looking for a technologically advanced electronic cat flap, this one is activated by a MS-4 ultrasonic collar, so your cat will be the exclusive user of it. The door only functions when your kitty approaches it directly. You have four-way access control, so you can decide whether the door is set to in only, out only, full access, or closed and locked. The airtight seal adds an extra level of security and makes it wind and weatherproof.
Available in medium and large sizes
Panel powers up when MS-4 ultrasonic collar is detected
Airtight seal adds security
Optional wall tunnel
- BrandHigh Tech Pet
- Weight15.4 pounds
Specially designed for sash windows, it comes with a spring-loaded locking slide and clear vinyl flap which will not break, but it allows your pet to see through it easily. This large size is recommended for pets weighing up to 25 lbs, but there are other sizes available too. As always, you should make sure to measure your cat to ensure that they are going to fit through without too much hassle.
Locking rigid flap
Recommended for pets up to 25 lbs
Designed for sash windows
Comes with spring-loaded locking slide
- BrandIdeal Pet Products
- Weight9.2 pounds
Designed for interior or exterior doors, this one is made for larger felines. You can select between the four locking options for maximum control over your cat’s movements. Detailed instructions, a cutting template, and other installation hardware are included so that you can take care of the job yourself. You can install it on either a door or wall as you wish.
4-way lock allows you to control pet’s access
Fits interior and exterior doors
Durable plastic frame
Designed for larger cats
- Weight1.05 pounds
The budget choice on our list is this large cat door, which provides four-way control options to allow access to your cat. The complete instructions are included, so you can install it on interior or exterior doors as you would wish. The design is transparent, so cats can see easily through it. There are brush strips to prevent it from banging loudly as your kitty goes in and out. Made of ABS plastic, the design is weather-resistant, and the surface durable and smooth.
Easy to install
Brush strips reduce noise
Waterproof exterior screen
Simple white design
- Weight2.8 pounds
Best Cat Door Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Look For When Buying a Cat Door
Size matters when buying a cat screen door. If your kitty can’t fit through the door, it is not going to do much good! You should measure your cat from their toes to their ears, as well as across the widest part of their chest. You also need to check their height and add some space on top as you don’t want it to be a squeeze for them to get through.
There are plenty of additional features which can prove to be useful for cat doors. For example, they may have a locking system that allows you to lock the doors from both sides or from a single side only. You can use these locks to control whether your cat goes indoors or outdoors. Lockable cat flaps are also useful from a home security point of view. Some smart cat doors feature electronic devices to only let your cat through based on microchip recognition.
- Ease of Installation
Choosing a product that is easy to install is going to make your life a lot easier. Otherwise, you are likely to have to hire a professional to take care of the job for you.
By going for a durable door, your kitty will be able to keep coming in and out freely for years to come. Not all products were created equal on this front, so pay particular attention to the previous customer reviews to get a better idea of what exactly you are buying.
Different Types of Cat Doors
- Interior or Exterior Doors
Some cat doors are only able to be installed on interior doors, others on exterior doors, while some are suitable for either. Before purchase, it is worth determining exactly where you are planning on installing it.
- Window Cat Doors
Some pet doors for cats are specifically designed to be installed on windows. Generally, these come in a sash-style design or a side-sliding model.
- Electronic Doors
While there are plenty of traditional pet doors, many of them now come in a more high-tech ‘smart’ design. Electronic pet doors will only unlock or open when they detect your cat is approaching via their microchip or a special collar attachment. These are a great option if you are worried about other cats getting into your house, but you will need to keep the batteries fresh. Also, if it is collar-activated, there is the risk that your kitty will lose it and be unable to enter.
How to Install a Cat Door Properly
The specifics of installing a cat door vary from model to model, so always follow the instructions from the manufacturer closely. But below, we will talk you through some of the steps that you are likely to need to take.
First, you will need to choose the right location. Ideally, the pet door will open onto a quieter place where your kitty is not going to be startled. Make sure that you move any objects that could potentially block their way.
Usually, a hole is going to need to be cut wherever you put the cat flap. You should find that there is a template that can be stuck to the door. Use a spirit level to keep it straight. Often, the task is made easier by removing the door from its hinges. You can then cut out the correct shape using a jigsaw. Sand down the edges. You can then check the flap fits properly, before securing it in place by drilling holes to secure it with screws or using any other fastening devices that you have been provided with.
The process will be different if you are installing the cat door through a wall, and you may have to use a tunnel lining, which is sometimes provided, and other times will be sold separately.
Best Cat Door FAQ:
Q: Are pet doors a good idea?
A: If you have a cat who is allowed outdoors, pet doors are the easiest way to give then in and out access whenever they like. However, one of the disadvantages is that they can allow any cat in the neighborhood access to your home unless you have one that is microchip activated. Other cats that get in could be a threat to your cat’s territory, leading to fights. There is also the security risk if burglars are able to get the keys from your back door. However, pet doors are still a great idea that give your cat freedom. You just need to take extra precautions to protect your home.
Q: How big does a cat door need to be?
A: You should measure your cat to determine how big the cat door needs to be. Measure the widest part of your feline and add an inch or two in case of error. Measure your cat’s height from the top of their shoulders to the lowest part of their belly. You can also add an inch or two to this. Take into account your cat’s growth if they are not yet full-sized.
Q: How do I train a cat to use a cat door?
A: Training your cat to use its cat flap door can take a bit of time and patience. You can start by giving your cat the chance to inspect the flap before you install it. When installation is done, its time to start teaching your cat how to use their new door. Treats are a useful motivational tool in this situation. You can tempt them through the door by putting or holding it on the other side. This is easier if the door is see-through, so your cat knows what is on offer. If your kitty is still reluctant to use the cat flap, you can add their scent to it to make it seem more familiar. Simply wipe their face with a cloth and rub it around the door.
Another technique that you can use is to prop the flap open with a piece of tape so your cat can get used to going in and out. Once they are comfortable with it, you can then close it. Have patience – your cat will soon get the hang of using it.
Q: How will the cat door prevent other animals from entering my home?
A: Some cat doors will stop other cats from entering your home as they will only open to a specific collar or microchip. However, for the manual cat flaps, you may have to take other steps to stop other felines from coming in. Avoid interacting with neighborhood cats as much as possible and keep your pet’s food a decent distance away from it to avoid enticement.
Our Top Pick
PetSafe New Wall Entry Cat Door
Looking again at our top pick of pet doors, this one can be installed by yourself and the design is energy efficient to keep your home well insulated. Difference sizes are available to accommodate your pet, and you can use the slide in closing panel to add further insulation and control your cat’s access. This is our choice of best cat door.