March 24, 2011

Kitty Door, Check

The first cat door is in. The back porch plan calls for two, and this is the one that goes from the porch to outside.


Originally we (cleverly) thought that we could use the old dryer vent hole in the wall for a kitty door. That was before we discovered the 2x4s in the wall were rotted and the wall had to be torn out and rebuilt. Even so, the cat door project was still in the works. All it required was some framing to support it.

Riley inspects the progress

There are several types of pet doors: those that are wedged in a patio door or window, and permanent types that are installed in existing doors or walls. We wanted one that went through the wall, a 4-way model: in only, out only, in and out, and locked. But sheesh, have you ever priced that type for walls? They cost hundreds of dollars.

The advantage to the wall types is that they are double doored for better insulation. Since the back porch is not insulated anyway, we decided that a less expensive door model could be adapted.


Dan framed out the "passageway" with 2x4s and screwed the door to these. Once we get the wall up, the door will frame out the rough opening nicely.

What do the cats think? Well, Riley was in on the construction, so he went right to it, though he was uncertain how to open it. Katy still ran to the people door, so I started showing them how to push it open. The biggest problem was that the strong magnet at the bottom of the door, made it a little stiff to open. I removed the metal clip so that the door swung more freely and it didn't take long before they started using it themselves.

We still have to let them out onto the porch, but it's certainly easier than before. Once we get the second cat door installed in the kitchen wall, life will be kitty heaven around here.

16 comments:

Tara said...

Kitty heaven, indeed! I'm a bit confused about whether your model has one door or two? I suspect that because it's a repurposed door model it's only one door.

Leigh said...

Tara, yes, that's correct, it's a door model kitty door. Thank you for mentioning that. I always strive to make my writing clear, so feedback is helpful. I know what I mean. I just need to make sure you know what I mean!

Spiderjohn said...

I have heard of raccoons,possums and other people's pets also using pet doors. Are you concerned about that?

Theresa said...

LOL, you'll need that sign, raccoons not welcome.
Usually though as long as food is not right on the other side you won't have a problem...but......surprises happen. Let's just hope the local skunk doesn't stumble upon it. They are quite curious. In the kitchen you say?

Jane said...

What a neat little door. I would be curious how many times a day they go in and out now that they can control the door.

evelynoldroyd said...

Cat doors certainly beat constant maid service to cats!

Leigh said...

Spiderjohn, yes, we did think about this. It was one of the reasons I wanted a 4-way lock on it. As Theresa said though, we're hoping this won't be a problem because no food is kept on the back porch, where that door allows access to. If I'm wrong, you'll be hearing about it!

Theresa, that's what I thought and was hoping someone would confirm!

Jane, it hasn't really seemed to change the traffic. With warmer days they do spend more time outdoors. If the people are out, they're in and out. Riley is quite the hunter so he's out a lot. Katy is still scared of her own shadow, but having the kitty door seems to make her feel more secure, so she's out more now too.

Evelyn, when the weather is nice, I leave the kitchen door to the porch open. Riley and Katy come and go as they please. When it's cold, the kitchen door is closed, so they have to ask to be let out onto the porch to use their kitty door. To know when they want back in, I hung a string of bells on the outside kitchen door knob. If the kitchen door is closed and they want in, they've learned to bat the bells, so we know to go open the door for them!

Renee said...

you have some very smart kitties there! I'm glad to hear that they are so smart and learn so fast. I suppose that you could just put something against the door at night time to keep unwanted critters out...once the cats have come in.

Laura said...

My old cat, Golgi, was the first one to figure out the dog/cat door when I moved to this house. It took longer for the dogs! It's great that I don't have to "let the cat/dog in, let the cat/dog out" - a truly wonderful invention!

Toni aka irishlas said...

I'm beginning to think the two of you don't sleep :0)

May only kitties cross through the door and not black and white stinkies!

Leigh said...

Renee, that's why I wanted a locking door. Should keep unwanted critters out!

Laura, it is a great invention. Very convenient! I think the cats like the feeling of independence too.

Toni, is that an Irish blessing? ;)

The Sumerlin Dorper Farm said...

We have been thinking about putting a kitty door into the greenhouse for the cat. He is able to leave when he wants (due to a panel not screwed to the wall properly) but he can’t get back in. I always wondered how a cat would respond to a door. That is intriguing to find out it worked. I might just have to invest in one.

Renee's Reality said...

It's fun making progress on house projects!

Sara said...

Wicked cool - they are going to love those doors - Nice job.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Leigh,
Sorry, not an irish blessing. Just hoping skunks don't come in through your kitty door!

Mr. H. said...

Looks like a good one. We put in a pet door years ago and it was the best move we ever made. Such a pain to let them in and out every five minutes, now they are in charge...well, mostly.:) So far no skunks or raccoons have showed up inside, that has been our biggest concern.