How to Determine the Right Size for a Cat Door

How to Determine the Right Size for a Cat Door

Training your kitty to use a cat door is not easy, but sooner or later you might need a door flap. Before that, you need to do your homework and determine accurate dimensions of a new cat door.

How to Measure for Your Cat Door

If you are facing space limitations in your door, you need to accurately consider both the tip to tip size (width) and the passage opening size (length).

To determine the width of your cat, you need to measure the widest part of your kitty. Add one to two inches to cater for errors.

Then calculate the height of your cat by measuring from the top of the shoulders to the lowest part of the belly. Again add one to two inches as a precautionary measure.

Your Cat Door Should be Comfortable

Your kitty needs to be comfortable to use a cat door. So, before you actually buy one, you can have practice sessions with your pet by using a box.

Call your cat and show it how to cross an open ended box. These animals are not easy to train so you need to be patient.

If you have a trained dog, you can ask it to lead the way. The cat might learn and follow the dog. When your kitty becomes familiar with the box, you can then buy a similar sized cat door.

Your cat will not use a door flap until it knows that it is safe. So, it is up to you to make a cat door look “friendly” for your kitty.

Another thing worth considering is the step over height of the door flap. This is the height which is measured from the bottom of the door to the point where you install the lower part of the cat door.

This means that it should be easy for the cat to move in and out of the house. A higher than usual step over height will limit the cat’s movement, so select the right position to install the cat door.

Having More Pets

In case you have more animals inside your house that can use a cat door, then you need to consider all their heights and widths. The cat door should be comfortable for everyone of your pets. Alternatively, you can use multiple door flaps in different doors.

Before You Make a Purchase

Before you buy a cat door, you should consider the future growth of your kitty. These animals can reach a height of 10 inches and more, so you need to keep this factor in mind while exploring your options.

As mentioned before it is recommended to test your readings with a “mock” object such as a box which is open from both ends. It will also help you to train your cat beforehand.

To sum it all up, we can say that you need to find the height, width and step over height in order to determine the accurate dimensions of the required cat door.

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15 thoughts on “How to Determine the Right Size for a Cat Door

  1. Erin The Cat says:

    That is excellent advice, and even an adult cat can get bigger over time, if diet or ailment takes a toll. I tried to get a new door for the palace, and the one I wanted couldn’t have a flap installed as the door was made of the wrong sort of door stuff!
    Toodle pips and purrs

  2. Sean Dean says:

    Thanks for this post! Lots of great advice here, especially about setting the height of the cat flap, make sure on both sides of it! Just be ready to be patient, some cats can be a bit shy using them, teaching your cat how to use your cat door, break it down step by step. Have plenty of treats ready!

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  5. Léa says:

    Good advice for those whose humans don’t keep them indoors and away from all those birds just begging us to come and play… also from all those cars.

  6. iamthesunking says:

    We had a fine old time training Louis Catorze to use the cat door. He took around 6 months to learn to go out, & an extra 2 weeks to learn to come in again. ??

  7. KiM says:

    We started with doggie doors for the cats in the 90’s, but they go to “litter rooms” instead of outside. If you start with the door installed in a large sturdy cardboard box without the flap (when they’re kittens) it’s easier as we all know cats like boxes. Then when you put the flap back on you can put food inside or a bed – something they like. We then replaced the food with a litterbox, and moved it closer and closer to where it would reside. When finally the box was close to the real location we put it in the wall and the fear was gone. Sometimes the flap would be removed again depending on the cat. With our big boy Tyler we actually needed a collie sized door as with the flap you don’t really have the full height as they push thru it.

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