Cats are naturally adventurous, independent, and fairly solitary creatures that need a fair amount of freedom and space to stay happy. While most cats can happily live predominantly indoors, they need to go outside from time to time to exercise their natural instincts. Of course, opening the door every time that your cat wants to go outside is almost impossible, and this where cat doors are highly useful.
The first cat door was reportedly invented by Sir Isaac Newton, the famous physicist and mathematician. His cat would bug him to go outside and disturb his work because he needed to open the door, and so, he invented the first cat flap! Of course, this story is one of many fables that you’ll find on the internet, and it’s almost impossible to verify.
Regardless, the cat flap has come a long way since Newton’s time, and there is an astounding number of different versions of this seemingly rudimentary invention available today. If you are looking for a cat door for your beloved feline, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve waded through the myriad options available to help you choose the right cat door for your unique needs. Read on for our best cat door reviews.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Ideal Pet Designer Pet Door||
|Best Value||PetSafe Locking Cat Door||
|Premium Choice||SureFlap Microchip Cat Door||
|Cat Mate Large Self Lining Door||
|Cathole Cat Door||
The 8 Best Cat Doors
1. Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Pet Door — Best Overall
Our top choice of cat door overall is the Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Pet Door from Ideal Pet Products. We love the simplicity and convenience of this design — it is safe, durable, and easy to install. The tinted vinyl flap is temperature resistant, so it will not warp in hot climates, and it features magnetic closures on the bottom to ensure that the flap stays sealed at all times. This pet door also comes with a convenient slide-in, lock-out panel for when you want to keep your cat in or keep other cats or wild animals out. The frame is made from sturdy plastic with a vinyl flap and is a breeze to install on almost any door.
The only major issue we’ve found is that the magnets on the door flap are not particularly strong, and it can easily be blown open in a rough storm or wind. Of course, this is easily remedied by inserting the lock-out panel.
To conclude, we think this is the overall best cat door out there.
2. PetSafe 2-Way Locking Cat Door — Best Value
The best cat door for the money according to our tests is the PetSafe 2-Way Locking Cat Door. The best feature of this cat door is the ease of installation. It comes with a convenient template and all the hardware needed to install the door in 60 minutes or less. The flap features a two-way lock so you can restrict your cat’s access inside or to their feeding area, and of course, this keeps strays and other animals from entering your house. The flap opening is 5 ¾ x 5 ¾ inches and is designed for cats up to 15 pounds — plenty of space for most domestic cats. Best of all, this cat door is durable, simple, and affordable!
Unfortunately, the lock on this door is a little weak and large, strong cats can easily open it once they figure it out (cats always find a way!). Several customers also report that the door is squeaky and noisy, which can quickly become extremely annoying if you have an active cat. These small caveats keep this cat door from the top position.
3. SureFlap Microchip Cat Door — Premium Choice
If you are looking for a premium cat door that gives you full control, look no further than the Microchip Cat Door from SureFlap. This door uses your cat’s implanted microchip to allow them access through the door, or they can wear an RFID collar instead if they have no chip. Think of it as your cat’s very own house key — they can come and go as they please while other animals cannot. The door is programmable with one push of a button and can store up to 32 pets in the system. It also features a four-way manual lock with different programmable codes and is battery operated, meaning that there are no cumbersome cables to hide away.
Cats are smart, though, and several customers report that their cats quickly figured out how to override the locked flap, which is fairly flexible and easy to open for large cats. The sound of the lock is also loud and may scare sensitive cats off from using the door, keeping this cat door from the top two positions.
4. Cat Mate Large 4-Way Self Lining Door
The 4-Way Self-Lining Door from Cat Mate features a four-way locking mechanism that includes in only, out only, open, and fully locked for ultimate control. It is perfect for any size of domestic cat with a height of 10 inches and a width of 2.25 inches. The flap is transparent, which allows your cat to see through, and is made from durable polymer, with a draft- and weather-proof seal. The seal and magnetic closure will keep wind and rain from entering your home and keep the flap firmly shut. The door also has a silent-action flap that won’t frighten your feline and is easy to install.
The flap magnets on this door are strong, making it difficult for smaller cats to push it open, and it could potentially close on your cat’s tail. Smart cats will easily pry the locked door open, as the locks are not that strong.
5. Cathole Cat Door
The Cathole Cat Door is the perfect cat door to hide your indoor cat’s litter box or feeding area. It is about as simple as it gets, as it installs quickly and easily into almost any wall or door. The door has a nifty removable brush that grooms them as they walk through it. The idea behind this cat door is to hide your cat’s litter box behind a closed inside door like a laundry room and prevent access from toddlers or dogs. It keeps your cat’s messy litter box away from the rest of the home and gives them their own private space. It has a furniture-grade birch frame that can be stained to match your existing door or wall and will take less than 30 minutes to install.
This door has a useful purpose, but unfortunately, it has only one function and cannot be used for external doors. Also, smaller dogs and puppies could still gain access through it.
6. PetSafe 4-Way Locking Cat Door
The 4-Way Locking Cat Door from PetSafe can accommodate cats up to 25 pounds in size and is ideal for smaller cats too. It features a four-way security lock that allows you to choose between four options — in only, out only, open, and completely locked — giving you full control of your cat’s movements. The flap is transparent and rigid and measures 7 1/8 x 7 ½ inches and features a strong magnetic closure to keep the door firmly shut when not in use. It is also easy and quick to install!
This door is not highly durable, and larger cats may easily break through the lock mechanism or rip the flap off entirely. There is also no extension tunnel for this door, and you’ll need to buy the extension pack separately.
7. Purrfect Portal Original Interior Cat Door
The Portal Original Interior Cat Door from Purrfect is a simple door designed for interior use. The door is uniquely cat-shaped and will allow your cat to access their litter box or food and keep larger pets out. It is a perfect door for separating your indoor cat’s messy litter box from the rest of the home and will keep toddlers and larger pets out. The door is a breeze to install with the self-drilling screws and has no openings that your cat could get their paws stuck in.
While this door is great for indoor use, it cannot be used on outside doors. Of course, smaller pets can get through it easily, and it cannot be used on walls. This door has limited uses, and there’s no flap to keep control of your cat.
8. Perfect Pet Tubby Kat Cat Door
The Perfect Pet Tubby Kat Cat Door from Perfect Pet is perfect for indoor and outdoor use and can cater for cats up to 25 pounds. The door features an “unbreakable” 7.5 x 10.5-inch LEXAN flap with a four-way lock system that includes in only, out only, open, and completely locked. The door comes with a template for seamless installation and can be installed on almost any door.
The swinging of this door is noisy, which can become annoying if you have multiple cats. The lock mechanism is poorly designed, and most cats will figure out how to force the door open easily.
Buyer’s Guide: Buying the Best Cat Door
Cats are independent animals that enjoy coming and going as they please. A cat door is a great way to give them freedom of movement and give you peace of mind. While you are out at work or on vacation, your cat has access to your home freely. Indoor flaps are also useful, allowing you to keep your cat confined to certain parts of the home and create a separate place for their litter box.
Almost all types of cat doors are useful, but some are basic while others have unique modern features that may pique your interest. Here are a few points to consider before purchasing a cat door.
Cat Door Type
In general, there are two different types of cat doors available: indoor and outdoor. While outdoor cat doors can also be used inside, they likely have more features than you’ll need from a simple indoor flap.
Naturally, you’ll want a door that your cat can comfortably fit through. Be sure to check the measurements before purchasing, as many doors are made for both cats and dogs, and some may be either too large with a heavy flap or too small for your cat.
The flap is one of the most important aspects of an outdoor cat door. It should be sturdy enough to prevent breaking and stop your cat from bending it to get out, but it should also be light enough for your cat to comfortably lift. Transparent or semi-transparent flaps are great, as cats like to see where they are headed and will be more likely to use it.
Your cat door should be able to lock firmly to prevent wind and rain from coming in your home. Also, some form of weather sealing on the edges is essential to keep closed small gaps that can let in cold and moisture.
Cats are notoriously smart and curious animals, and they will try their best to figure out a solution to their problem. Your cat door should be able to lock firmly without allowing your cat to slip a paw around and force the flap open. This is also important for keeping out other cats and wild animals like raccoons.
Ease of installation
The cat door that you choose should come with all the necessary hardware and instructions and preferably, a template to help you cut out an appropriately sized hole. You should be able to easily install it yourself without having to spend extra on hiring a professional.
Will my cat use a cat door?
As every cat owner knows, it is difficult to train a cat to do anything, much less use a cat door. Thankfully, once they’ve used it a few times, they will likely get over the anxiety. Getting them to use it in the first place, though, may take a bit of time and patience.
We recommend keeping the flap propped open or removing it completely and putting a few treats on the other side. Most cats will jump right through, but some may still be afraid, and you’ll need to gently show them what awaits on the other side! Once your cat is confidently using the door without a flap, you can try and close the flap and see how they react. If they are still wary, go back to leaving the flap open and try the process again.
The top choice of cat door overall is the Designer Series Pet Door from Ideal Pet Products. This cat door is safe, durable, and easy to install, with a tinted vinyl flap, magnetic closures, and a convenient slide-in lock-out panel for when you want to keep it shut. Plus, it is a breeze to install.
If you are looking for a cat door on a limited budget, the best cat door for the money is the PetSafe 2-Way Locking Cat Door. It is super simple to install and features a two-way lock so you can restrict your cat’s access. The best part is that this cat door is durable, simple, and highly affordable.
With all the different products available on the market today, it can be a challenge to find a cat door that perfectly suits your needs. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped you narrow down the options somewhat so you can choose the best cat door for your feline friend.
Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
- The 8 Best Cat Doors
- 1. Ideal Pet Products Designer Series Pet Door — Best Overall
- 2. PetSafe 2-Way Locking Cat Door — Best Value
- 3. SureFlap Microchip Cat Door — Premium Choice
- 4. Cat Mate Large 4-Way Self Lining Door
- 5. Cathole Cat Door
- 6. PetSafe 4-Way Locking Cat Door
- 7. Purrfect Portal Original Interior Cat Door
- 8. Perfect Pet Tubby Kat Cat Door
- Buyer’s Guide: Buying the Best Cat Door
- Will my cat use a cat door?