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The Best Options For Cat and Dog Doors

Updated on December 18, 2012
Cat doors and dog doors allow your pet freedom
Cat doors and dog doors allow your pet freedom | Source

What Makes Dog and Cat Doors Special?

Dogs and cats may be living quite content in the comfort of a cozy home, but life may be much richer and fullfillng when the possibilty of enjoying the great outdoors can be offered at the same time. A dog door or cat door therefore may provide your pet with an outlet leading towards an intriguing outdoor world basically any time your pet feels the urge. If your cat loves basting in the sun, or if your dog loves to sniff the grass and roll around happily, life will be enriched with the possibility of choosing when to spend time exploring the yard, or when to spend some quiet time on the comfy sofa.

Best of all, pet doors allow your pet to go outside when nature calls, without the need to accompany them to open the door to let the pet out and then re-open the door again to allow the pet back in. This means you may finish reading the newspaper or watch your favorite TV show without being interrupted by frequent potty breaks. If your dog tends to go potty in the night, a dog door may finally be the ultimate solution for a restful and restoring night.

One may look at the information about a good cat or dog door, but there is such a variety of pet doors on the market that it may make a consumer's head spin. The choices can, however, be considerably narrowed down by being selective and looking only for the sturdiest models that offer appealing solutions with the primary purpose of making life easier for both owners and their pets. If you think that all you need to look for in a pet door is an accessory that just lets your pet out, think again, as there is much more you should expect and consider before making a commitment to buy.

PetSafe Electronic Smart Door

While you would never give a set of keys to your dog to open a door, the Petsafe Electronic Smart Dog does just that. It equips your dog with a SmartKey that is worn on your dog's collar, allowing him to go in and out as he pleases. The SmartKey indeed, triggers the flap to unlock, granting your dog permission to explore the outdoor kingdom. The flap is battery-operated using four D-cell batteries, which are not included.

The Smart Door can detect up to five SmartKeys and operate in automatic, locked and unlocked mode. The automatic mode allows only dogs wearing the SmartKey to go in and out. The locked mode does not allow any pets to get in or out, whereas, the unlocked mode allows all pets to go in and out without wearing the collar. Should a dog get near the Smart Door and then change its mind about going out, the Smart Door's flap automatically locks again.

The Petsafe Electronic Smart Door is available in two different sizes: small for dogs up to 15 pounds and large for dogs up to 100 pounds.


  • Energy efficient
  • The insulated flap offers UV sun protection
  • Low battery indicator alerts you when batteries are down
  • Allows only dogs wearing the SmartKey out while keeping other pets in


  • May allow drafts in when unlocked
  • Small children may fit through the door
  • May not be too easy to install for some
  • Dogs may feel tempted to chew the SmartKey

Ideal Ruff-Weather

One of the main concerns when installing a pet door is the possibility for drafts chilling up the home. The Ideal Ruff-Weather pet door was designed with this concern in mind. Whether you live in Montana where temperatures plummet, or in Arizona where triple digit heats are reached quite often, you want to conserve energy without wasting the efforts of your heating and cooling systems. An air pocket of up to three inches between the two double vinyl flaps is what will make sure you have an energy efficient pet door.

The door comes in four sizes: small, medium, extra large, and super large.


  • Energy efficient
  • Prevents cool air or heat from being dispersed
  • Quite durable
  • Offers limited lifetime warranty


  • Some dogs may find it difficult to go through two flaps
  • Flaps may need replacement because the sides may begin to curl with usage

Sure Flap Microchip Cat Flap

Cats deserve their own kitty doors since they have different requirements than dogs. The SureFlap microchip cat flap identifies your cat's unique microchip number, ensuring your cat is the only one to get in and out of your palace. This means your cat will not need to wear a collar or tag, which often can be snagged or lost. The flap is battery operated and is equipped with a low battery indicator light. It powers up only when the cat's head is inserted in the tunnel. This cat flap is capable of storing up to 32 microchip numbers.

It is compatible with nine, 10 and 15 digit microchip numbers.


  • Magnetic latch strategically prevents the door from flapping in the wind
  • Easy to install
  • No need for cat to wear a collar or tag
  • Eye appealing design


  • Only microchipped cats may use this door
  • Some cats dislike the clicking noise when the latch is activated

PetSafe Interior 4-Way Locking Cat Door, White
PetSafe Interior 4-Way Locking Cat Door, White

Quiet cat flap gives your cat access to any room even when the door is shut. It's perfect for the garage, laundry, or litter box room door.


PetSafe Cat Flap

Sometimes, the best products are the simple, basic ones. This PetSafe cat flap is just simple as that, a flap that fits well into any interior door. If you are a cat owner, very likley you may be looking for a solution to grant your cat access to the litter box without creating drafts in the home or dealing with lingering odors. It may also be a great solution to keep nosy dogs away from litter boxes. A sliding lock also allows you to restrict access as desired. Good for cats weighing up to 15 pounds.


  • Very affordable
  • Quite easy to assemble


  • Mostly built for indoor use
  • May be noisy for some cats

Basic Considerations

So what should one recommend as a good cat or dog door? The main points to look for when shopping for pet doors are doors that are durable, easy to assemble, provide protection against drafts, are energy efficient, not too noisy, easy for pets to get through, and of course, affordable and eye appealing if costs and looks are important. The biggest inconveniences appear to be weak materials, doors that allow drafts in the home, loud noises that scare pets, and not-so easy installations. With this in mind, you should be able to narrow down considerably the list of pet doors and allow your furry friends the luxury of a comfy home along with the appeal of the great outdoors. A win/win situation for both pets and owners!


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    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      This is useful information for deciding what kind of door to get for my dog. Thank you.


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