Every cat owner knows: Cats love their freedom and want to be able to come and go when they want. A cat flap offers more flexibility for both cats and humans. We explain how to build them. With our instructions you can quickly install a cat flap yourself!
The simplest version of the cat flap is a small wooden board that is attached with suitable hinges in a sufficiently large opening. In the meantime, however, numerous kits for cat flaps that offer more security and protection against the cold are available in stores. To prevent strange cats or even wild animals from entering the house, there are also cat flaps that respond to a chip in the cat’s collar.
Custom-made cat flap
No matter which cat flap you choose, the benchmark is always your cat. In order to determine the appropriate position of the cat flap, measure your cat first. The distance between the stomach and the floor is particularly relevant: it determines the height at which the cat flap is attached. A normal-sized cat can be assumed to be about 15 cm.
It is also important to determine the height of the hatch, especially if you are working without a kit. To do this, measure the distance from the animal’s shoulder to the floor. The width of the cat is particularly important for large or very strong cats. These values will also help you select a suitable size kit.
The best place for the cat flap
A cat flap always means a weak point in the thermal insulation and should therefore not be attached to doors that lead directly into the heated living area from outside. Basement or garage doors or doors that lead into an anteroom from which the cat can enter the living area are better.
Install cat flap: that’s how it works!
The installation of a cat flap itself is very easy, even for inexperienced do-it-yourselfers:
- First you determine the door and the position of the cat flap. This is often in the middle of the door, but depending on the location, a side position is also conceivable.
- Mark the desired center point on the door. Then draw the outline of the cat flap. Many manufacturers supply assembly instructions with the drill holes drawn.
- When drawing in the markings, always make sure that the center point is really in the middle of the markings.
- Now use a drill to drill four holes at the corners of the marking. Make sure that the diameter of the bit is larger than the height of the saw blade on your jigsaw so that you can saw comfortably from the holes. Now saw out the opening for the cat flap. As an aid, you can also draw auxiliary lines between the drill holes with a pencil and follow them with the saw.
- Then sand the saw edges smooth. Then place the inside half of the cat flap over the opening. Line up the cat flap and mark the location of the mounting holes.
- After you have drilled the mounting holes, place the inside of the cat flap on the opening and secure it by inserting long threaded screws through the holes. Then put the other half of the flap onto the screws from the outside. Then turn the nut onto the screws.
- Check that the cat flap is exactly level, then tighten the nuts. Also pay attention to the individual mounting requirements of your cat flap kit!
Important: Saw with the door closed to minimize the risk of injury and to ensure that you work in a straight line. Make sure to keep the drill exactly horizontal!
Tip: Bargain hunters use the sawn-out wooden panel as a cat flap. Simply attach it to the top of the opening with hinges with an opening angle of 270 °. This allows the cat flap to swing in both directions.
With the newly installed cat flap, your house tiger can now go outside. But keep in mind that cats have their own mind and it may take some time to get used to them. With a little patience and treats as additional motivation, your cat will soon be using the new cat flap actively!