If you have a cat that goes both in and out of your home, then there’s a good chance that cat will be a bit of a bother when it comes to how he goes in and out. The same goes for if you keep his litter box out of the way and in a room that you often keep shut off. Rather than letting your cat dictate how you spend your time, why not find a way to give him a bit more control on his bathroom habits and unshackle him from you? With a cat door and flap, you can give your cat the freedom he craves and make him an even less high maintenance pet. The cat door and flap is about convenience for you both, but where do you start in picking one? Don’t stress it, we’ve done the homework for you!
We reviewed dozens of cat doors and flaps to identify the best of the best. We looked for the cat doors and flaps that will let your cat have access to a room inside your house, even when the door is closed and the flaps that will keep your cat moving in and out of the house freely without wasting the air conditioning. We found the electric doors that only work when responding to a microchip in your cat’s collar and the temporary doors that won’t leave any permanent damage to your home. No matter what type of door you’re interested in, we have you covered with our list below.
Are you looking to get a cat door and flap after just moving in? If you’re having problems with your cat adjusting to his move, check out our article on how to get your cat to eat after a move.
If your interest in a cat door and flap comes directly from struggling to house train him, then you’ll want to read our review of the best pet carpet cleaners to try to get those stains up.
From the beginning of our search, we found the PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door with Telescoping Tunnel to have all we wanted to make it the obvious choice for our top pick spot. It’s telescoping tunnel will fit it to any wall you put it in and the double flap will give your cat access while still preventing too much air loss. It’s perfect for use inside your home or to grant your cat access to his favorite outdoor place, too.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Doors and Flaps
|Best Overall||PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door with Telescoping Tunnel||4.3|
|Runner Up||Cat Door - The Original Cathole Interior Pet Door||4.6|
|Best Budget Buy||PetSafe Interior 2-Way Locking Cat Door||4.1|
|Best Cat Door for Sliding Glass Door||PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Dog and Cat Door||4.2|
|Best Electronic Cat Door||SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap in White||3.9|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door with Telescoping Tunnel
The PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door with Telescoping Tunnel will work with all types of walls including stucco, siding, and brick. Each of the three sizes available have their own range of recommended cat size, but the combined sizes are recommended for any pet up to 100 pounds. Clearly it’s safe to say there exists a size big enough for even your adorable fat cat. And who knows? His weight may become less of a concern if he has unfettered access to outdoor adventures.
There are two flexible flaps that will keep out inclement weather and promote a more energy efficient home. The inside of the door features a slide-in closing panel for controlled access and locking when not in use. That way you won’t need to worry about random outside critters having all-night access to your home!
There are nearly 3,000 customer reviews on this cat door and with an overall rating of 4.3 stars on Amazon, it’s no wonder that the smallest size is currently Amazon’s Choice for “cat door wall” and the largest size is Amazon’s Choice for “doggy door for wall,” too.
PetSafe Wall Entry Pet Door with Telescoping Tunnel Key Features:
- 3 sizes available
- 2 versions; aluminum or PVC plastic
- Cut out template and step-by-step instructions included
Our Runner Up Pick: Cat Door – The Original Cathole Interior Pet Door
The Cat Door – The Original Cathole Interior Pet Door is the perfect solution to an indoor cat with an owner who hates the eye sore of a litter box. Placing the litter box in a utility room, laundry room, or bathroom can work perfectly with this arched door way that will let your cat sneak in to do his business and back out without you or anyone else even noticing. This will cut down on the odor wafting into your living or eating areas and it will let your cat have the privacy he needs. After all, it’s not uncommon for cats to dislike using the bathroom while being watched and this is a perfect solution to that problem as well. For parents of toddlers, this can be a huge life saver, too. Although it seems dramatic to say, considering a toddler’s interest in kitty litter and the bacteria that can grow within it, “life saver” may actually be an apt description.
The arch of the door is easily installed after the appropriate sized hole is cut from the door and once installed, it will give your cat a grooming brush that will let him scratch his own back. Hopefully this one addition to his life doesn’t make your affectionate scratches unnecessary to him, but having a pitch hitter in cat scratching isn’t a bad idea.
This door has nearly 1,000 customer reviews on Amazon, earning it an overall rating of 4.6 stars. That’s more than a merely respectable rating with a solid number of reviews, making it a very tempting door, indeed.
Cat Door – The Original Cathole Interior Pet Door Key Features:
- 100% made in the USA
- 2 colors available
- Removable grooming brush
Best Budget Pick: PetSafe Interior 2-Way Locking Cat Door
The PetSafe Interior 2-Way Locking Cat Door will give your cat more independence in your home, making his life all the easier and comfortable for him. And when it comes to easy, this door is certainly that; installation is a breeze and all the hardware and cutting template necessary are included, as well as detailed instructions.
The flap features a 2-way sliding lock so that you’ll be able to control when your cat has unrestricted access and not. If you use this to limit access to your cat’s food, this may help you maintain a healthy weight for him while still maintaining all your conveniences. You can keep an automatic gravity cat feeder filled but only limit the time he has access to the food, so he won’t over eat just because he can.
There are just over 1,000 customer reviews on this cat door and it has a solid 4.1 stars on Amazon which, even on its own, makes it a pretty smart investment. But if you need more than that to sway you to purchase, consider the best part of this door: It’s under $7!
PetSafe Interior 2-Way Locking Cat Door Key Features:
- Installs in doors from 1/2″ to 2″ thick
- 5 3/4″ W x 5 3/4″ H
- Recommended for cats under 15 lbs
Best Cat Door for Sliding Glass Door Pick: PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Dog and Cat Door
The PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Dog and Cat Door is an absolute game changer for cat owners. If you have a cat that lives in your home as well as venturing outside, but you don’t want to (or can’t) permanently alter your home, this temporary install will allow your cat full access without cutting, drilling, or worrying about security deposits. You’ll be able to prop this cat door into an open sliding glass door and close tight against the edge, effectively sealing the door with a new path for your cat.
The slide-in closing panel will allow you to control the access to your home, so once your cat is settled down for the night, or when you take him with you on that vacation you’ve been planning, you can lock it up tight to prevent any strays from wandering into your home. The lock for the sliding glass door obviously won’t work, but you can always use the old method of closing a sliding glass door and measure out a solid bar to prevent the door from opening further. Alternatively, because it’s so easy to install, you can just pull the cat door out and close the door whenever you want to lock it. It’s the most convenient option for a temporary need; whether that be renting or just until you manage to litter box train your cat.
There’s a huge number of customer reviews on Amazon for this cat door and flap – well over 3,000 – and they’ve given it an overall rating of 4.2 stars. That’s plenty enough positive reviews to build your confidence in this cat door as a quality product.
PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Patio Panel Sliding Glass Dog and Cat Door Key Features:
- Quality guaranteed
- 3 colors available
- 5 width options; 2 variable height choices
Best Electronic Cat Door Pick: SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap
If you’re concerned about what else besides your cat will take advantage of the cat door and flap installed int your home, you’ll definitely want to consider the SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap. The big appeal for this electronic cat door is that you’re going to be, essentially, giving your cat their own key to the house. The door will disengage its lock only when it reads your cat’s microchip. Rather than the microchip being in a collar that comes with some of these types of doors, this model will read the microchip your vet has already implanted into your pet.
The door will allow you to store up to 32 identities for your cats or dogs, making it effective for your whole pet crew. It is compatible with Avid Secure, FDXA, and FDXB digit microchip numbers so there’s a high probability that your cat already has the key to this door; it just needs programmed in. (If you’re unsure what your cat’s microchip number is, check with your vet.)
This door has more pieces and parts than a typical cat door and as such, has more potential for problems, but it is a big solve to an otherwise unsolved problem and that is worth a whole lot of minor kinks while you’re figuring it out. It has an overall rating of 3.9 on Amazon, with around 450 customer reviews, and that’s pretty spectacular for an electronic pet door.
SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap Key Features:
- Uses 4 AA batteries (not included)
- 4.75”H x 5.62”W
- 3-year warranty
Who Should Buy a Cat Door or Flap
Cats are more likely to expect you to bend to their schedule rather than visa versa so if you’re counting on your cat to wait to go to the bathroom until you get home from work, that’s probably going to end in frustration. Similarly, there’s a good chance you’ll be awoken earlier than you want for your cat’s morning desired routine – regardless of your plan. When you give your cat a bit more control on his own life, you’ll find that you’ll enjoy a more clean home. The cat door and flap can make these possibilities a reality and make your life all the easier (and cleaner!)
If you’re planning a vacation where your cat stays at home, then you’ll definitely want to consider how much a cat door and flap will benefit you. You can buy a water fountain or two, an automatic cat feeder, even a large capacity cat litter box, but with a cat door that will let your cat go to your secured back yard, your cat will be set to live the bachelor life for a real chunk of time. A litter box, without someone to empty it, will eventually overwhelm your cat and he’ll stop using it. The cat food can run out more quickly than planned and the water can get spilled. The cat door is by far the single best and most reliable tool for the cat family that travels.
Even indoor cats will benefit from a cat door, but they’ll probably be a slightly different type of door than the exterior ones. If you keep your cat’s litter box in a secluded place with a door to make sure the smell doesn’t reach you or your guests, then you may be limiting your case access without an indoor cat door. With a small door that only your cat will fit through, you’ll maintain the safety of your children and the potential mess your dog may make if he likes to dig into the cat’s litter.
Important Features to Consider
A cat door and flap should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a door or flap for your cat:
- Indoor cats get indoor doors. Installation isn’t temporary, but it is a good deal easier to accomplish than the permanent outdoor door installations. You still have to cut the hole, but the border of the interior will probably have a bit of an overlap, making it a bit more forgiving on how precise your measuring is. And even better, you won’t need to worry about it being air tight or about wasting the electricity spent to heat or cool your home.
- Insulated flaps. If you’re installing a cat door with flaps that will connect your cat from the inside of your home to the outside yard, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re considering some kind of insulation or layers to mitigate the loss of the temperature controlled air within your home. It is slightly less important if you have an “extra” door that you can close to prevent air leaking, but still something of which you’ll want to be aware. You can have insulation in the form of an airtight “lock” to the door, or a panel that you can slip on to make it unusable when you want to control your cat’s coming and goings. You can also find a door and flap set that actually has a series of flaps that will require the air to go through multiple layers of flaps to escape. One of those layers can even be a bit more robust; that may make it a bit more difficult for the cat to come and go, but it will be easier for you to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.
- Microchip. If you’re worried about stray animals wandering into your home from the cat flap, then purchasing a collar with a microchip can be just the solution for you. The door flap will default to lock and nothing will be able to enter; it will only unlock when your animal’s collar scans and disengages the locking mechanism. This is an incredibly efficient way to protect your home but we will give one word of caution for these: the cat doesn’t understand the technology. If he approaches the door at an awkward angle or the microchip doesn’t scan immediately, he may not keep trying, which will render the door basically pointless. It still may work great for your pet, but keep in mind that these microchip doors still have some potential for user error.
- Screen doors. Installing a cat door or flap on a screen door isn’t exactly a temporary installation but considering the realistic lifespan of a screen door, maybe we should count this as temporary. The screen door cat flap will be installed into a cut hole in the screen door, so when you want to close the house off from your cat, you’ll just close the solid door on the other side of the screen. That means the cat will only have free reign of the inside and outside when the weather is nice enough for you to open your house up. This will work especially well if your cat is primarily an indoor cat.
- Sliding doors. The cat door and flap installed in the open space of a sliding glass door is a temporary installation that will allow you to install it for the day to day and pull it out when you have company or you need to use the full width of the sliding glass door. You’ll likely loose more temperature controlled air in this temporary installation because the seams won’t be caulked and sealed, but the convenience may just be worth the extra expense in your electric bill to you; especially if you’re renting and a permanent modification to the home isn’t possible.
- Window installation. It may not be the most common choice for a cat door or flap, but it’s definitely the one that has the most intrigued. Rather than the vertical temporary installation you would use with a sliding door cat door and flap, the window installation is a horizontal installation that will install in an opened window like you would install a window air conditioner, closing down to the top and securing it in place. This is particularly appealing for a window that isn’t used frequently because you won’t be losing any functionality. If you don’t open your house up often, that will make this particular product all the more appealing. If you have a low window, or one with a large sill, then you may not even need to set up anything after the installation. If your windows are all high, though, you may need to place a kind of lift so your cat can jump out and down. An outdoor chair and a side table or cat condo right next to either side of the window would be perfect.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cat door? What is a cat flap? What do they do?
A cat flap and door are both different – and the same. You can have a door without a flap but not a flap without a door. Confused yet? Stay with us. A door for a cat can just be an opening that’s cut into a door or wall to allow him to pass through without you doing anything to control it. This is particularly useful for the interior of a home and for the inside cat whose litter box or food is located in a secluded or closed off place. There’s no flap necessary for a cat to have this kind of door. However, a flap can’t exist without the door. The flap is some kind of material hinged to create a door that can easily be pushed open when a cat nudges it with its nose and defaults to falling closed when not in use. They can be solid, but will more often be a rubber or flexible plastic to make it easier for a cat to use it. You can have the flexible material when your cat is allowed to use it, and then “lock” it closed by putting that more solid material in place atop the hinged one.
The use of a cat door will allow you to enter and exit a room or your home without bothering you at all. It will keep you from being bothered by frequent trips out, prevent accidents in your home, and allow your cat the kind of freedom she’ll appreciate.
How do I get my cat to go through a cat flap?
Training a cat to do anything isn’t as easy as you may think. There are scientific studies about cats and their behaviors in relation to humans, but the general consensus is that, at best, they consider you a large peer. While dogs consider you their master; higher on the chain of command – cats definitively do not. You can still train cats, but it’s more difficult and you have to do more than just show them that a certain behavior is what you want them to do. Think of how your friends can convince you of something. You have to use logic on them, just as your friends would you. Before you let this all overwhelm you, though, consider how many times you’ve been swayed to help a friend move for free pizza and beer. Your cat may not like pizza and beer, but treats may do the trick when you’re trying to convince him to use the door. The good news is that once he’s used it a few times, he’s probably going to see the benefits of more independence and the training will be over. Getting him over the anxiety of the new thing is the most difficult part so a laid back cat will likely handle a door with ease. A couple treats will coax him out, but starting with the door propped open will help a great deal, too. Plopping his food on the other side will mean he has incentive to use the door, even if he’s resistant. If he gets hungry enough, he’ll brave the door. Once he uses the door, give him plenty of praise and affection.
Disclaimer: If your cat loves to be spoiled and obviously treats you as his personal servant, giving him freedom isn’t going to be all that appealing. Cats have a wide variety of personalities and for the more stubborn cat, you’ll have to spend more time convincing him. (Sometimes you need gas money on top of that pizza and beer to move your friend.) Also note, starting this “training” when the weather outside is unappealing is going to make your job very difficult. We highly recommend waiting to do this on a clear, warm day. No matter how frustrated you get, though, never push or drag him through the door. You will make the door a source of anxiety and frustration for him, too, and he may hurt himself..
How big does a cat door need to be?
In all likelihood, a cat can contort his body to get through way more places than you thought imaginable before you had a cat. But you don’t want to make your cat squish and wiggle to get through his cat flap. If he needs to do that, he’ll be less likely to use it. You’ll need his measurements before you determine the size you’ll need. For a door, you’ll need his height, yes, but you’ll also need to determine the height for his step over. (That’s how high the bottom of the door can be before it’s uncomfortable for your cat to get through.) To find this, you’ll divide your cat’s height by a third. For example, if your cat is twelve inches tall, the step over should be no higher than four inches. Consider this the absolute maximum, by the way; a little lower will likely be more comfortable. The top of the flap should be at least one inch higher than the height of your cat’s back. So, for that twelve inch cat, the top of the flap should be thirteen inches from the ground. Taking away the three to four inches of the step over, the flap should be about ten inches tall. The width may prove a bit simpler as cat doors will usually give ample width; but you’ll want an inch on either side of spare space. So if your cat is, at his widest, six inches, you’ll want a bare minimum of eight inches width for your cat’s door. To make sure your cat is comfortable with this width, open a sliding glass door to this width and see if he’s bothered by going though that space. If so, opt for a wider door and if not, you’ve determined the width.
Bigger isn’t always better. You can’t just get one that’s definitely big enough for your cat and call it good without thinking about another determining factor. You will want to keep in mind that the bigger the flap, the more air sealing you’ll have to worry about. That means the larger the opening, the more air released and that will inevitably equate to some air loss. For the cold winter months, or hot summer ones, this means you’ll have more trouble maintaining a set temperature. You can weigh if that extra expense in your electric is worth the trouble to measure your cat. We don’t know how finicky your cat it; that may be worth it!
How do I measure my cat?
Measuring your cat is slightly varied based on for what you’re measuring him. For example, it won’t matter how long your cat is when you’re measuring him for a door, but that will be a vital component when measuring him for a crate. His circumference measurement won’t matter for the crate, but is critical for getting the right fit for a collar or harness. When you’re measuring your cat for a door or flap, you’ll need to take the measurement of his height and determine how broad he is across his largest part. For some cats, that’s his shoulders, but for most, it’s the stomach. Take a tape measure or a flexible fabric ruler to determine what his width from one side to the other of this widest spot. His height will be calculated based on a straight standing cat’s length from floor to the top of his shoulder.
Other Cat Doors and Flaps We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other doors and flaps for cats. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat doors and flaps list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Electronic Cat Doors and Flaps
- Exterior Cat Doors and Flaps
- Interior Cat Doors and Flaps
- Sliding Glass Cat Doors and Flaps
Electronic Cat Doors and Flaps
This microchip reading cat door has a battery life of up to 12 months and will give a low battery warning so your cat won’t ever be trapped with you unawares.
- Stores up to 40 identities
- 4 AA batteries (not included)
- Electronic and manual lock
This electric cat door is more of an automatic garage door, opening when its motion sensors register your cat approaching.
- 8.25″W x 10″H
- Panel made with bulletproof resin
- All hardware included
This electronic door will store up to 32 different identities and allow you to program automatic locking times to set cat curfews. (You’ll, of course, want to make sure your cat is home before you lock him out since they’re notorious curfew breakers.)
- 4 C batteries required (not included)
- 2 color choices
- 6.69″W x 7″H
Exterior Cat Doors and Flaps
The flap on this cat door is closed with a magnet that is strong enough to keep the door closed, but not too strong for your cat to push open easily.
- 9.25″H x 7.75″W x 2.25″D
- Exterior rain seal included
- 4-way locking
This cat door will block out unpleasant climates with a weather stripping on a flap that closes automatically.
- Detailed instructions included
- Flap is 7.08″W x 7.48″H
- Made with weather-resistant, ABS plastic
This cat door and flap temporarily installs into your window to allow your cat to jump out from his favorite window sill whenever he wants.
- 5 sizes available
- Made with white aluminum construction
- Rigid flap is clear, non-toxic LEXAN material
You’ll install this door and flap directly into the screen door making it all the easier to control entry by closing the primary door when you don’t want the cat door used.
- 2 sizes available
- Sliding locks on each side
- Magnetic flap closure
With a tamper-proof mounting system, this cat door and flap cannot be removed from the outside, so your home will remain secure.
- 2 sizes available
- 5″W x 7″H
- 4 step, 20 minute installation
This cat door and flap is designed with an energy efficient, structural foam molded plastic to keep your home’s temperature consistent.
- 4 sizes available
- Double vinyl flap
- 1-year warranty
The flap of this cat door is made of an unbreakable LEXAN material, making it virtually impossible for your cat to damage it.
- Recommended for cats up to 25 lbs
- 4-way lock
- 7.5″W x 10.5″H
The transparent flap on this cat door includes a pile weather stripping and magnetic closure to help maintain an energy efficient home.
- 4-way lock
- Recommended for cats up to 25 lbs
- 7.125″W x 7.25″H
There are three flaps for this cat door and the center flap is an insulated layer to make this an effective cat door in any climate.
- 3-flap system
- 3 sizes available
- 5.125 in. W x 8.25 in.
The plastic frame on this cat door and flap is a durable plastic that’s best suited for moderate use; that is, a home with a single cat.
- Flexible vinyl flap
- 4 sizes available
- Snap-on closing panel included
Interior Cat Doors and Flaps
Have you ever wondered why, if your cat isn’t square, most cat flaps are? This manufacturer has and has fixed that concern with its circular interior cat door.
- 5.9”W x 7.5”H
- Fits cat up to 12 lbs
- 100% money back guarantee
This cat door and flap is perfect for the cat who will still need his movements monitored occasionally by the 4-way locks.
- Made with ABS, weather resistant plastic
- Flap measures 7.04″W x 7.48″H
- Detailed instructions included
Because this cat door has a smooth plastic arch, you can give your cat access to other rooms via holes in doors without worrying about any potential additional damage to the hollow core door.
- Fits doors 1.25″ to 1.75″ thick
- Fits cats up to 20 lbs
- No flap to annoy your cat – no training required
This cat door will let your cat pass from one room to another via a small cat-sized hole cut along the bottom of your door.
- 7.5″W x 6.5″H
- Fits cats up to 20 lbs
- Easily painted semigloss arch
Sliding Glass Cat Doors and Flaps
This temporary installation has a flap made with dual layers and is magnetically sealed while the frame encases two layers of Low-E glass to maintain a consistent temperature in the home.
- No tools needed for installation
- 3 color choices
- 12 sizes available
This cat door and flap feature an adjustable height so that it will fit your sliding glass door, no matter the type.
- 3 color options
- 4 sizes available
- Made with aluminum and tempered safety glass
This cat door has a transparent and flexible flap that locks four different ways to make your home as secure as possible.
- 5 sizes available
- 2 color options
- Adjustable height on each size