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The Best Cat Door On The Market (Top 6 Reviewed)

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best-cat-door

A cat door is an important addition to any household with a family cat. However, as with anything these days there’s a number of products to choose from.

So how do you decide which is the best cat door for your needs? To help you in your search we’ve taken a comprehensive look at some of the top rated doors on the market today. For our findings at a glance, check out the table below.

For our comprehensive buyer’s guide, plus full reviews of each of our top picks, keep on reading.


Best Cat Doors On The Market

TYPE OF DOORPRODUCTNAME
Best Microchip
Cat Door
SureFlap
Microchip
Pet Door
Best Cat Door
For Walls
PetSafe
Wall Entry
Aluminum
Pet Door
Best Cat Door
For Glass Doors
PetSafe
Freedom
Aluminum Patio
Panel Sliding
Glass Door
Best Cat Door
For Sash Windows
Ideal Pet
Products
Sash Cat
Flap
Best Cat Door
For Cold Weather
Ideal Pet
Products
Ruff-Weather
Pet Door
Best Cat Door
For Interior Doors
Kitty Pass
Interior
Cat Door

The Ultimate Pet Door Buyer’s Guide

installing-the-best-cat-flap

The type of installation

The first issue to consider when buying a pet door is to decide where you’re going to put it.

As you will have seen from our table above, there are different types of cat door designed specifically for certain installations. If you want your cat door to be in a wall, you will need to buy a specific type of door to fit.

The same applies when looking to install a pet door in a sash window for example, or a glass door.

Once you have narrowed down where you would like the cat door to be, you can begin shopping for a product specific to those requirements.

The size of the cat door

cat-door-buyers-guide

The second important variable when buying the best pet door is to consider your cat’s size. They need to fit through the opening with ease, (without the chance of unwanted visitors making their way through too).

Brands clearly state the measurements of the cat door as part of the product specifications. They will also manufacturer various sizes to cater for different cats. The important issue is to measure your cat to ensure you are buying a door that fits.

If you are unsure whether a certain door might fit, a good idea is to cut out a hole in a piece of cardboard to the same dimensions.

If your cat can comfortable walk through the hole, you are on to a winner.

And remember, an unnecessarily large door could cause a potential security risk, as well as insulations issues if you live in a cold or hot climate.

Materials & build quality

cat-flap-materials-and-build-quality

Take a moment to consider the fact you are going to be cutting a hole in your wall, doors or window to install the cat flap.

You will obviously want the door to last as long as any other major fitting in your home. The only way to do that is to buy the best quality pet door you can afford.

Yes, there are $20 cat flaps available. However they are generally made from cheap plastic with components and fittings that will not last the duration.

The materials the cat door is made from, along with the overall build quality is an important factor. And while plastic and UPVC is absolutely fine, it needs to be durable.

Look for products with hard plastic doors. Soft, vinyl flaps won’t cut it. They generally tear over time and are more difficult to keep clean.

Furthermore, the best cat doors to keep out racoons won’t be the vinyl flap type. Determined intruders have no troubles chomping their way through locked soft plastic doors if they really want to get in.

Finally, the quality of the seal has to be considered. A quality, well-made cat door will reduce heating and cooling loss as wells as help keep out the bugs and slugs.

Extreme weather conditions

cat-door-extreme-weather

If you live in an area with temperature extremes you should buy a cat door designed to keep out the cold, (or alternatively to keep out the heat).

The fact is most cat doors are not suitable for very cold weather. The hard (and what you thought was durable) plastic becomes brittle in sub-zero temperatures. Cracking and breaking is a common outcome.

Mechanisms can also fail in cold weather. The door can become stiff and not open properly. The idea of your cat being stranded outside in such circumstances is not a nice one.

Conversely, you may live in an area with scorching hot summers. If the door receives direct sunlight in such conditions, the plastic may deform. Again, the result is malfunction

For either hot or cold conditions the seal needs to be good. A cat door designed specifically for extreme weather will be a better insulator than a standard door.

Finally, if you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, you will want to control whether your cat can leave the house at all. A door that can be easily locked and blocked is essential.


Controlling the Cat Door

controlling-the-cat-door-home-alone

The classic cat flap design is a two-way door that allows for your pet to come and go as they please. However, with this you have very little control on whether other cats come in and out too, (or depending on the size of the opening – unwanted vermin).

True, most pet door products can be locked, (the most common approach is a slide-in panel that blocks off the door, or a little locking latch on the side), but if you have to do this manually, it restricts the freedom the cat can enjoy.

Thankfully, technology has stepped up to assist. In an effort to help you control who comes through the cat door, the following features are available:

Microchip Cat Doors

sureflap-microchip-cat-flap-best-cat-flap

Our top pick microchip cat door from SureFlap

Microchip cat flaps are generally the most reliable form of controlling who comes through that door.

The door works by reading an electronic tag on your cat. This is either the tag embedded in your cat’s skin for identification purposes, or via a simple microchip collar.

The door is set to recognise the tag and will only open when your cat is present. The doors are also ‘smart’ enough to prevent other animals entering the home by following your cat.

Infrared Cat Doors

staywell-infrared-cat-flap

An infrared cat door works in a similar manner to the microchip pet door. The doors come with an infrared key that you attach to your cat’s collar. The door then opens when your cat approaches the door.

Magnetic Cat Doors

Magnetic cat flaps work using a special collar with a built in magnetic tag. The magnet simply unlocks the door when your cat approaches.

The risk with both magnetic and infrared cat doors is the chance that neighbouring pets will have the same mechanism to open the door, meaning they can enter your house too.

Microchip cat doors do not have this problem.


Best Cat Door Reviews

Best Microchip Cat Door: SureFlap Microchip Pet Door

In our opinion the SureFlap Microchip is the best automatic cat door you can buy.

The system is compatible with all microchips worldwide, and will obviously work with your cat’s existing microchip.

In the event that you haven’t had your pet micro-chipped, the SureFlap comes with a RFID collar tag. (One is supplied with each product, however extra collars are available if you have more than one cat).

The approach is simple. The system unlocks for your pet only, ensuring no unwanted intruders make it inside your home.

Programming the door is nice and easy too. At the touch of a button you can sync up your cat’s collar or chip. Incredibly, the door can hold up to 32 pets in its memory. (What household would ever have so many felines is another question however).

There is also an easy to set ‘Curfew Mode’. To control when your cat can and can’t leave the house, you can programme the door to lock and unlock at specified times.

The beauty of the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door is its versatility. Although the basic product is designed for external doors, the door can also be installed in windows and walls.

All that is required for a window installation is the SureFlap Pet Door Mounting Adaptor.

Wish to insert the door in a wall? No problem, all you need is the SureFlap Pet Door Tunnel Extender.

A great feature on the SureFlap is that powering the door is not an issue. One pack of 4 C cell batteries should last you up to a year of normal use.

And there’s no sweating on when it comes time to change them. A handy indicator light will flash when the batteries are getting low.

But what about those all-important dimensions? The SureFlap is actually designed for either cats or small dogs.

The manufacturers advise that your pet’s shoulders should be no wider than 6 ½ inches.

Furthermore, their waistline circumference (at the widest point) should be no more than 20 ¼ inches.

For the DIY enthusiasts that will be fitting the door themselves, the size of the hole required for installation is 8.15″ (width) x 9.21″ (height).


Pros of the SureFlap Microchip Pet Door

  • Works with all standards of microchip worldwide, and ships with its own RFID collar
  • Easy to programme with up to 32 pets in memory
  • Excellent ‘Curfew Mode’ for controlling the times your cat can roam.
  • Very versatile. Can be fitted in windows and walls with extra fittings
  • Strong and durable design – zoo tested to keep out racoons
  • Lasts up to a year off one set of batteries.

The Cons

  • The SureFlap Microchip is the most expensive cat door in our review roundup. This may put some owners off.

Bottom Line

The SureFlap really is the Rolls Royce of the cat door market. The ability to control exactly who and what comes through your doors, (and at what time), makes it the best of the ‘smart’ pet doors you can buy today. Highly recommended.


Best Cat Door For Walls: PetSafe Wall Entry Aluminum Pet Door

The PetSafe Wall Entry Aluminum Pet Door makes our list because it does what it is designed to do, very well indeed.

The door is built with telescoping tunnel mechanism allowing for easy installation within various sized wall cavities, (both external and internal, with no framing materials required).

For those understandably nervous about chopping a hole through their wall, detailed installation instructions are provided along with a precise cutting template.

[A quick word on specifications: the door is suitable for walls 4 3/4″ to 7 1/4″ thick. If your wall is thicker (up to 12”) you will need to get your hands on the Wall Entry Extension Tunnel.]

The PetSafe certainly is a durable beast too. The aluminium door includes a double flap system with inner tunnel that is built to last.

The design also ensures better insulation. The door creates an air pocket to help protect your home from extreme weather and drafts. You can also purchase a second closing panel (sold separately) for even greater protection.

For keeping out unwanted intruders, the PetSafe Wall Pet Door includes a slide-in closing panel. Although manually controlled, (see our top pick microchip pet door above for an automatic approach), this does give you a level of control on when your cat can and can’t leave the house.


Pros of the PetSafe Wall Entry Aluminum Pet Doors

  • Durable aluminium and plastic framing
  • Telescopic tunnel design to fit various wall sizes
  • Superior insulation – the door creates an air-pocket to help protect the home from drafts
  • Slide-in closing panel to lock off the door when required

The Cons

  • Completely manually controlled. For those wanting greater versatility, the SureFlap Microchip cat door with wall extension is the better choice.

Bottom Line

Overall the PetSafe Wall Entry has exactly what you need for a good cat wall door. Strong, durable and built to accommodate a wide range of wall types and thickness, this really does fit the bill.


Best Cat Door For Glass Doors: PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Pet Door

petsafe-freedom-aluminum-patio-panel-sliding-glass-pet-door

If you have decided to give your cat access to the outside world via a sliding glass door, you will want to install the PetSafe Freedom Aluminium Patio Panel Sliding Glass Door, (say that 3 times quickly).

The beauty of this particular cat door is that it is fast and easy to install, with no cutting required.

As you can see from the pictures, you simply insert the Freedom Patio Panel into your sliding glass door track. The panel then adjusts to fit the space.

Of course, durability is key here – you are adding the panel as part of an exterior door.

Thankfully PetSafe have constructed a heavy-duty aluminum framework that is designed to cope against the elements.

The glass within the panel is tempered for greater strength. The cat flap itself is flexible and features a magnetic closure and latch lock kit. The frame also includes a weather-resistant seal.

To aid insulation and to ensure improved weather resistance a glass sweep and a sliding closing panel are also included.

To fit the décor of your home and glass door frames, the PetSafe is available in three colors and two adjustable heights.

We have not included dimensions as part of the review as PetSafe manufacture four different pet door sizes. Head to the Amazon.com product page for full details.

Pros of the PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Pet Door

  • (Generally – see cons) Easy to install with no tools required
  • Durable weather resistant design
  • A range of colours and sizes available
  • Magnetic closure and slide-panel lock for restricting access
  • Perfect solution for sliding glass door access

The Cons

  • A minority of users have experienced issues with the Patio Panal fitting the particular specifications of their sliding glass door.

Bottom Line

Overall the PetSafe Patio Panel Sliding Glass Pet Door is a fantastic solution if you need to install your cat entrance in a glass door.

However, you should consider the fact that some users have experienced compatibility issues with their sliding door systems, so do your research first if you can.

[In fact PetSafe offer a telephone, chat or email support service. There you can discuss your requirements with their US-based customer care specialists six days a week]

Best Cat Door For Sash Windows: Ideal Pet Products Sash Cat Flap Small Pet Door

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-09-25-40

If you’re in the market for buying a pet door for sash windows, Ideal Pet Products have a solution for you.

The Sash cat flap is specifically designed for easy installation into most styles of sash windows.

Ideal Pet Products manufacture the product for 2 window sizes, with adjustable widths from: 23-inch to 27-inch (23) and 27-inch to 32-inch (27).

sash-window-pet-door

The real plus point of this cat door is just how easy it is to fit. Just slide up your sash window and fit the panel into place. Some customers (read Amazon reviews here) have actually used the word, ‘liberating’ when it comes to describing the result of owning this product.

Your cat will literally be able to come and go as they please.

As long as you haven’t initiated the spring-loaded locking slide that is. The door provides user control if you need to shut off the opening completely.

For simple in and out activity there is the clear vinyl flap, (on standard plastic pet door models).

However, we recommend that you opt for the more durable ‘Chubbykat’ door models. Here you’ll get the sturdy 4-way lock and extra-strong lexan flap.

(As you will have read in the above buyer’s guide, don’t scrimp on quality if you can afford to, the more durable design cat door you go for, the better).


Pros of the Ideal Pet Products Sash Cat Flap Small Pet Door

  • Extremely easy to fit into place
  • Looks good and compliments most style sash windows very well
  • Sturdy design, (if you go for the ChubbyKat model)
  • The consensus via user reviews is very high indeed – a lot of satisfied Amazon.com customers have bought this product.

The Cons

  • That last pro being said, some users have experienced issues fitting the panel in their specific window, (this is a rare occurrence however)
  • You may experience insulation issues if you cannot achieve the perfect fit.

Bottom Line

Another excellent solution to fitting a cat door in the home. If you wish to allow your cat in and out access via a sash window, this is the product of choice. Highly recommended.


Best Cat Door For Cold Weather: Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame

Despite the fact most of the cat doors reviewed in out list have robust build qualities with durable seals for superior insulation, you may still be in the market for something extra tough if you live somewhere with extreme weather conditions.

If this describes your needs, then look no further than the Ideal Pet Products, Ruff-Weather Pet Door.

From the research that we did, this one came up trumps for demanding weather conditions. (And don’t be put off by the fact they call it Ruff Weather – this door is designed for cats as well as dogs).

Let’s take a closer look.

Clearly this door is built to last. The durable, energy-efficient all-weather pet door is made to prioritise superior insulation.

Made from structural foam, molded plastic and featuring vinyl insulated flaps the door is virtually air-tight when not being used.

The Ruff-Weather uses the 2 soft flaps to create an air-pocket inside the door.

This makes the system excellent for both extreme cold conditions where the aim is to keep the cold air out and the warm air in; and hot conditions, where air-conditioned air needs to be contained.

The durable design also helps ensure the plastic does not become brittle in sub-zero temperatures. Likewise, the door can withstand hot conditions too.

The product comes in small, medium, extra large and super large, (it is designed for dogs and cats up to 25 pounds – head to the Amazon.com product page for more details on exact dimensions).

Although the basic door is designed for external door installation, an optional wall kit is available. This is sold separately however.


Pros of the Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame

  • Excellent extreme conditions cat door solution
  • Tough build quality with superior insulation features
  • The 2 flap design to create an air-pocket (which becomes even deeper with a wall insulation)
  • Can be fitted into a wall with an upgrade kit

The Cons

  • Not the easiest of doors to install
  • Some customers have voiced concern about the lock mechanism

Bottom Line

There are not many cat doors designed specifically for harsh weather conditions. From our research, Ideal Pet Products have bettered the others that do.

You may need a helping hand to get the unit fitted, (and bare in mind the extra kit required for a wall installation), but once you do, those cold drafts will be a thing of the past.

A recommended purchase for those needing extra protection from the elements.


Best Cat Door For Interior Doors: The Kitty Pass Interior Cat/Pet Door Hidden Litter Box

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Going from the hardiest of cat door designs, to something a little more delicate. If you just need to give your cat access between rooms within the house, the Kitty Pass interior pet door is the one for you.

It is by far the cutest way of allowing your beloved cat to go from room to room with closed doors.

The door is designed to look great while being a breeze for your cat to move through.

The smooth, wide opening allows for safe passage, and to fit the décor of any home the door is finished in a neutral semi gloss white.

(Alternatively, there is nothing stopping you from painting the door yourself of course.)

To aid with the installation, detailed directions and a template are included.

The door is designed for easy fitting and is compatible with all standard interior doors, (sizes 1.25 to 1.75 inches thick).

The dimension of the door opening are 7.5″ width x 6.5″ height. (The manufactures state that the door is suitable for cats up to 20 lbs).

For the patriotic among you, the door provides employment to US citizens and is completely manufactured in the United States.


Pros of the the Kitty Pass Interior Cat/Pet Door Hidden Litter Box

  • A great indoor cat door solution
  • Cute and safe for your cat to use
  • Easy installation
  • Made in the USA

The Cons

  • Very few. It is a simple little product for a simple aim.
  • You are cutting holes in interior doors that may cause problems when it is time to sell the house.

Bottom Line

The Kitty Pass Interior Cat door is one of the best ways of letting your cat roam the house with closed doors. It does involve cutting holes in your interior doors however, so don’t go crazy. Highly recommended all the same.


Image Credits: Direct Doors, Romy Pets

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