Cats may come across as creatures of leisure and lazing around, but that is not always the case. As a cat parent, you know your kitty’s urges to pawn in/out for fresh air, mental stimulation, and some adventure.
By their nature, cats cannot stay without a good bit of climbing, running, and exploring. This is true even if they get all the exercise and entertainment they need indoors. If your cat is apprehensive to be let out autonomously, a door is a handy instrument to come and go as they please.
You no longer need to leave the comfy depths of your couch every time your kitty sulks and meows. Not to mention the nuisance caused when you open the door to let the cat in, and they just sit there refusing to move. You can forget about such hassles with the right cat door.
In a sea of options, this buying guide will help you install the right door for your purring kitty.
Decide the Door’s Location
A cat door is often a permanent addition to the home. This means you must choose the location carefully, as it may lead to some issues down the road. For instance – if your cat is already using a window for access, they may be reluctant to adjust to a door located far away from their routine outlet.
In such a case, choose a location that is nearest to the window they currently use for access. Also, the door area should be free from obstacles like pipes, electric wires, wall studs, etc. Finally, ensure the door is easily accessible for your cat, preferably located near the main living area.
Choose a Suitable Door Type and Size
If you have browsed through your cat door options already, you know that there are plenty of fish in the sea. You can customize the door to be interior/exterior, sliding, flapped, and more. The door type must depend upon the area’s weather conditions.
For example – a flapped door may not provide proper insulation for an area that receives heavy rainfall. When it comes to the size, measure your cat properly before buying. An ideal door is not too large or too small. With some care and patience, the following steps will help you install the right cat door –
- The thumb rule of the cat door buying guide is to remember that most cats can easily maneuver through small spaces. This means you won’t need to cut a giant hole for their convenience. Door sizes between 5 inches and 10 inches are ideal for most breeds.
- Your cat’s weight also matters. Generally, those weighing less than 12 pounds can accommodate through smaller doors (under 5 inches). Those weighing more require at least 7 to 10 inches to move in and out freely.
Don’t Forget the Cat Door Material
Your cat is less likely to chew or break the frame of its door. Unlike dogs, a cat’s door need not be made of heavy-duty materials like metal. A lighter frame made of plastic will also work for a cat door. However, interior-only cat doors may require wooden frames.
If it’s a flap door, cats do well with a rigid, clear, polycarbonate flap. They do not need the highly flexible flap often found in dog doors. This stems from the fact that cats themselves are flexible and able to cram through spaces easily.
Rundown of the Top Features to Look For
When choosing a cat door, certain features can enhance the security and functionality factors. According to Hale Pet Door, some cat doors even help with energy savings. Here’s a rundown of the top modern cat door features to look for –
- Opt for a door that comes with multiple locking options. This includes entry/exit, no entry, out only, etc.
- You must also go for a door with electronic locks so that your cat can come and go as they please. The electronic locks have cat collars that detect the fob to allow access.
- Some door varieties come with magnets to keep the flap closed when not in use. This will create a seal that helps in energy savings.
Finally, the safety aspect of the cat door is also important. It depends upon where the door exits. The first step is to ensure the door does not exist near a street. Also, the door’s exterior must not have any furniture, planters, or outdoor décor items so that your cat can freely enter or exit.
If the door has a window sash, there must be a good landing point on the exterior side. Your cat must safely be indoors before the door is locked. Ensure all the important factors are taken care of before installing a cat door.
So, what are you waiting for? Give your kitty the egress they deserve!
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