The Tool Barn

Install a Cat Door

Tired of continually opening and closing the door and then have the cat starring in the window 30 seconds later, wanting to get back in?  Let the cats open and close their very own door! For under $30 you can purchase a cat door that will fit the bill nicely.

Cat door
Items needed:
Screw driver
Jig or saber saw
Electric drill and bits
RotoZip (optional for metal sheathing)

Safety Suggestions and Tips
Use a stud finder with AC locator.  
Avoid walls with electric outlets. 
Use safety glasses/goggles
Level of difficulty

Time Required:
 2 hours


Purchase two-way swinging cat door
Purchase two-way swinging cat door

Step 1:

This unit has a two-way door and magnetic strips to keep the door closed and reduce drafts.  The frame of the door is white but the door is of weather-resistant thermoplastic construction.

Select location away from outlets and studs
Select location away from outlets and studs

Step 2:

Use care when situating the door.  Electric wiring, plumbing and studs need to be avoided as the hole for the door goes completely through the wall.  We recommend using a stud finder to avoid studs.  Some versions also reveal the presence of hidden wiring. Trace around the inner perimeter of the opening to mark the hole.  To ensure that the doors swing freely, enlarge your trace at least 1/8" on all sides.

Cut partial hole and examine wall cavity
Cut partial hole and examine wall cavity

Step 3:

Rather than cutting the entire opening, cut a smaller section, just be sure that there is not a stud.  A jig saw with a 3/8" starting hole drilled first does nicely. If there is any possibility of an electric cable in wall, use a circular saw with the blade set to the depth of the paneling or drywall.

Finish sawing the opening
Finish sawing the opening

Step 4:

As luck would have it, our planned opening ran right into a 2x4 stud.  The opening was relocated to left and then cut to the full extent.

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