Fit a Cat Flap in a Wooden Door: 7 EASY and Achievable Steps

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how to install a cat flap
Fit a cat flap in a wooden door

Let’s look at the best way to install a cat flap in a wooden door!

You’ll need some basic DIY experience and the right tools for the job. Call on the help of a professional if you’re unsure how to install your cat flap, particularly if you want to fit a cat flap on a glass door. 

I’ve researched the best method of installing a cat flap. In this article, we’ll discuss how to fit a cat flap in a wooden paneled door. The most crucial point to note is that you need to measure your cat and fit the door at the correct height. 

Tips for Installing a Cat Flap

Most cat flaps have been designed to fit various depths of doors. If your door is particularly thick, you may find that the screws provided with your cat flap aren’t long enough. You can buy longer screws, which will ensure a secure fit.

As each cat flap is slightly different, it’s best to follow the instructions that come with your cat flap. Often a template is included, which can be used to work out where to drill the holes.   

Don’t attempt to fit a cat flap in a glass door or window; call on the help of a professional glazier. 

Put your own safety first. It’s best to wear safety goggles when using power tools such as drills and saws. 

Ensure your door is held securely in place with a doorstop or heavy object before you begin drilling. You could hurt your fingers if the door accidentally moves while you’re operating power tools. 

If you’re installing a larger pet door, such as a dog door, check whether this will affect your home insurance. Standard-sized cat flaps are generally safe, but larger dog flaps can be a security risk as a small child can easily fit through them. The safety of your home and your home insurance policy is worth considering before installing a pet door. 

If you live in an area with raccoons or other small animals, it may be best to lock your cat flap at night. Alternatively, choose a microchip cat door to keep wildlife out of your home.  

Instructions: How to fit a cat flap in a wooden door

With the right DIY skills, installing a cat flap is an easy job. It generally takes about an hour to fit a cat flap. Collect everything you need for the job first, and then follow these simple steps to install your cat’s door. 

You Will Need

  • You’ll need a spirit level, ruler, or set square to measure where your cat flap will go. 
  • Tools such as a screwdriver (most cat flaps come with Phillips Head screws), drill, jigsaw, or keyhole saw are necessary.
  • You’ll also require sandpaper, a file, safety goggles, and a pencil.
  • Sealant is beneficial as it will make your door watertight. 

1. Measure your cat 

Correctly measure the distance from the floor to your cats’ belly to ensure your pet can easily get in and out. If you install the cat flap at the wrong height, your cat may struggle to use it, especially as he ages. 

Most cats have a measurement of about 4.7 in (12 cm) from the floor to their belly. This is the height you should install your cat flap. If you have multiple cats, you can measure the smallest cat as the others can bop down slightly to get out of the door. 

2. Position the cat flap and cut the hole

Use a spirit level to position the cat flap correctly and then draw around it. You can now drill a hole in each corner of the square. Many cat flaps come with a paper template which can be used to work out where to drill. You’ll then be able to saw from one hole to the next. This will only work if the cat flap is square or rectangular. Fitting a round cat flap is slightly more challenging, and you’ll need a jigsaw to cut out the exact shape. 

3. Sand the edges

Once you’ve removed the piece of wood from your door, you can sand the edges to get them smooth.

4. Drill holes for the screws

Hold the cat flap against your door and mark the holes so that you know where the screws will go. Then remove the cat flap and drill the holes.

5. Fit the cat flap

You can now use a drill or a screwdriver to install the cat flap. Hold the front piece of the cat flap in the correct position and put the four screws into their holes. Next, place the back of the cat flap on the other side of the door. Attach the nuts to the screws and tighten. Ensure the screws are tight enough and that the cat flap is securely fitted. 

6. Use sealant

You can use a sealant to ensure there’s not a gap between your door and cat flap. A bond will help to block out drafts and make your door watertight.

7. Test your cat flap

Once the sealant has dried, you can test the cat flap with your hand to ensure it’s secure before you let your cat try it out. Also, check that there are no sharp edges or long screws that stick out. If there are, they can be filed down so that the door is safe for your pet.

What to do next? 

You may need to train your pet to use the cat flap. Some cats are reluctant to go through a cat door and need a little encouragement. Others will quickly get the hang of their new entrance and only need to be shown how it works once or twice. Encourage your pet through the door using treats, but never attempt to push or force your cat through a cat flap. 

Check out our article, ‘5 Cat Flap Benefits: How a Cat Door Helps with Raising a Happy Kitten,’ which has some tips at the end on how to train your pet to use a cat flap.

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