Does your furry little feline enjoy roaming the neighborhood to socialize or spend some alone time on your porch or garden? As pet owners, we often forget that cats enjoy the great outdoors as much as dogs, and isolating them inside your home can lead to common behavioral issues, such as unnecessary scratching, biting, and depression.
So, if youâ€™re looking to enable outdoor access for your cat, the best way to do so is to get it its personal door. Cat flaps or doors are incredibly popular among pet owners looking to provide their feline free passage without human intervention. In simple words, you donâ€™t have to open the door or roll up a window every time Katy Purry craves the wide open.
Today, you can find hundreds of cat door options in the market, from standard models to smart ones with app-based control. While thereâ€™s nothing wrong with taking the conventional route, you can save a lot of money building a DIY cat door using a simple kit and common tools.
Intrigued? Keep reading to learn how to build your own cat door and give your feline the freedom they need to live a better, healthier life.
Benefits of a Cat Door
If youâ€™re still on the fence regarding whether or not you need a cat door, here are some great benefits that may change your mind:
Great for Multiple Pet Owners
If you own multiple cats or own a small dog, chances are your home starts to feel cramped, not just for you but also for them. A cat door gives your pets access to separation and personal space when they need it.
Controlled Access to Different Rooms and Outdoor Spaces
A cat door can be used as an entrance to different living spaces, especially where you keep the food. This is a great way to train cats, so they donâ€™t eat and roam around in unwanted areas or on top of furniture. If you opt for a controllable door or one with locks, you can control how much time your cat spends indoors and outdoors.
Perhaps, the most important reason for installing a DIY cat door is your felineâ€™s happiness. Cats are instinctively curious creatures and love to explore. By granting freedom of passage in and out of your home, you can improve their physical and mental health.
Less Damage to Property
Thereâ€™s nothing more frustrating and heartbreaking than watching your cat destroy your drapes, sofas, and other pieces of furniture with scratching. The math is simple â€“ the less time your cat spends in your living room and other spaces, the less damage they inflict on your valuables.
How to Make Your Own Cat Door
Without further ado, hereâ€™s how to make a DIY cat door for your furry little friend:
The Prep Work
Your Catâ€™s Measurements
Before building a DIY cat door, the first thing you need to do is measure your cat to ensure the kit you buy is neither too big nor too small. The last thing you need is to have your cat look like Garfield struggling to squeeze its way through or invite big stray cats and dogs into your home. To measure your cat, all you need is a tape measure. Start by measuring the distance between your catâ€™s feet to its shoulders and then its width. You can use a cardboard cutout to visualize whether or not the dimensions will suffice and adjust accordingly. Ideally, you should keep the opening at least 2-5 inches wider and longer than the dimensions of your cat, especially if your feline is still growing.
The Cat Door
Once you have your catâ€™s measurements, youâ€™re all set to purchase a kit for your kitten. The good news is that thereâ€™s an abundance of options in the market, from single and double-flapped to self-framed and frameless. Some are equipped with manual locks, while more advanced options come with unique features, such as timers, alarms, microchip-based access, and app-based locks. However, if youâ€™re a minimalist, you can skip these options and get a kit that serves the core function of a cat door.
Once you have your measurements and the cat door ready, the last step before installation is to pick a suitable location for the cat flap. Ideally, you should place it on your homeâ€™s main door to enable access to the outdoors. You can also place it in the garage where your keep the litter box or the kitchen where you keep the cat food. Itâ€™s up to you.
- Measuring tape
- Drill and drill bits
- Masking tape
- Cutter or knife
- Cat door kit (self-framed)
- Safety equipment (goggles, gloves, mask, etc.)
Position the Kit/Frame
The first step is to grab a ruler and pencil and carefully mark the doorâ€™s installation position while ensuring itâ€™s leveled. Ideally, the cat flap should be approximately 10-12 inches above the floor. You can also position the frame on the door and trace the borders to simplify the task. Some pet doors come with a frame template for DIYers, so make sure you do your research before buying. Lastly, take your door out from the hinges to simplify the installation if you have the proper tools.
Drill and Cut the Hole for Your Cat Door
Once youâ€™ve traced the borders, you need to place masking tapes around them as a safety measure before drilling four holes in each edge. These will serve as access points for your jigsaw. Next, insert the jigsaw into one of the holes and carefully cut the door according to the template line until you have a hole in your door.
Attach the Kit
Finally, place your cat door into the hole you just cut and secure both sides with screws using a screwdriver. Your DIY cat door is now ready. From there, all thatâ€™s left to do is train your furry feline. This could take some time, so be patient and let your cat get the hang of it. Once itâ€™s comfortable with it, itâ€™ll be flapping its way in and out of your home like a pro.
And there you have it â€“ everything you need to know about building a DIY cat door. With this information, youâ€™re just a couple of hours away from giving your furry little feline the freedom they need to overcome common behavioral issues and have fun socializing with your neighbors and other pets. So, what are you waiting for? Head to the local store or everything you need online and get started with this incredibly fulfilling DIY project.