Homemade cat flaps

Written by michael longhurst
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Homemade cat flaps
A cat flap lets a cat go in and out as he pleases. (Cat looking in through house window image by Scott Latham from Fotolia.com)

Cat owners enjoy many benefits from the companionship of their cats; however, many responsibilities come with that ownership. Providing a cat flap is one way to lessen the strain of cat ownership, and it provides a greater degree of freedom for the cat who would otherwise be dependent on his owner to enter or exit a house. Crafting an interior cat flap is fairly straightforward, but an exterior flap requires a bit more consideration.

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Things you need

  • Door
  • Flap material
  • Screws or staples
  • Moulding
  • Paint
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove the door from its hinges and use a pencil to mark the area to be cut out. For an exterior door, it is best if the base of the flap and the opening are about 7.5 cm (3 inches) off the ground, level with the cat's stomach. This will help stop rodents from entering the house through the cat flap.

    Homemade cat flaps
    Remove the door from its hinges and mark an opening. (modern door handle image by Wolszczak from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Use a handsaw or a jigsaw to cut out the opening for the cat door.

    Homemade cat flaps
    Cut out the opening for the cat door with a saw. (saw image by Vjom from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Buy some decorative corner moulding from a hardware shop to frame the opening of the cat door. If the moulding is not pre-cut, use a mitre box to cut it at 45-degree angles. Use finishing nails to install the moulding.

    Homemade cat flaps
    Use moulding to frame the cat door. (moulding image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Paint the moulding the same colour as the door for a more seamless look.

    Homemade cat flaps
    Paint the moulding to match the door. (paint image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    An interior door can be fitted with any type of fabric for the flap, which is attached with heavy-duty staples or screws. The flap for an exterior door should use a fairly heavy material, such as a piece of Plexiglas or Lexan, to help prevent cold air from entering the house. For additional weather protection, consider placing a flap on each side of the door. Also consider edging the entire border of both the flap and the moulding with low-resistance magnets (similar to the seal on a refrigerator).

    Homemade cat flaps
    Attach the flap to the opening with screws or heavy-duty staples. (white paper sheet with drawing pin image by Nataliya Galkina from Fotolia.com)

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