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Author Topic: Cat doors  (Read 8211 times)
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August
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« on: February 12, 2011, 11:03:43 PM »

I've been looking around on Amazon and elsewhere and it looks like the Cat Mate is the most popular cat door.

Does anyone have any experience with them?  Are the flaps honestly quiet?

In my childhood house in Oregon, we had metal flap doors that worked fine but they looked and sounded (when the kitties went through) awful!

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lesliek
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2011, 06:40:14 AM »

Are these for between inside rooms ? I've had 1 with a plastic flap on the door to the basement for years & its pretty quiet. But its not insulated which you would want if its to outside. The 1 I have is by Johnson & called Pet-dor,its probably 15 years old so no idea if its still available.
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August
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2011, 08:14:46 AM »

Oh, I'm sorry, that was pretty unclear.

The cat doors will be for inside the house... one will go on my bathroom door (I will have 2-3 litter boxes in there) and another will go on the door to the third floor (my floor - and there will be 2 more litter boxes at the top of the staircase). 

My bed won't be too far away, so I'd love for the door to be quiet!   Smiley
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merrihart
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2011, 04:38:26 PM »

If it's inside, do you really need the flap?  I think they make some without.  Or your carpenter can do cut outs in doors or walls for cat holes.
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August
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2011, 05:45:59 PM »

I think at least on the doors that go to the 2nd floor and the 3rd floor, that without the flap will make for a draft from the stairwell?
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lesliek
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 05:41:38 AM »

I was looking around & couldn't find the brand I have. But the Petsafe plastic frames from petsmart.com look very similar. The flap does make a noise, but because its soft its not loud. If you need 1 that locks,they are louder because its a rigid flap.
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August
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2012, 05:30:14 AM »

I thought I would come back and give my review now that we've been using our Cat Mate inside doors for a while now (and also on the screens to the deck).

At first I didn't think I'd ever get the cats to understand how to use the Cat Mate and wished it came with something to prop the door open for learners.  I ended up having to buy a special type of strong tape to get it to stay open while they could figure it out.

ETA : Since last posting, I've had some major issues with the Cat Mate door so I'm coming back to update this by saying I think the Cat Mate doors are great for having for the purpose of allowing your cat to come and go from room to room freely, and not having to worry about leaving the door propped ajar.

I do not recommend the Cat Mate doors for separating pets or for keeping them out of certain areas.


PROS
The cats may freely come and go - I'm very happy to have had them installed and they have been a big bonus!  I would certainly recommend some kind of cat doors to those interested.   I love having them.  I got the standard size and my biggest to smallest have no trouble getting through.

(that being said...)


CONS

1)  The thing I dislike most about these Cat Mate doors is that the lock function is simply an insult to cats.  You get your cat to use the door - all is great when they finally figure it out ... but then you want to lock it.  But it looks exactly the same as when it's not locked -- how frustrating is that for everyone?  How would you like to think a door is going to be open, turn the knob and walk into the locked door?  How would they know it's suddenly now temporarily not usable?  It's both confusing - I've had Tinies trying and trying to get out/in and not understanding why they suddenly can't, and sort of dangerous - I've also had a situation where one was running away from another and pretty much rammed her head on the locked door -- who could blame her when the door looks unlocked?).  So now whenever I lock the door, I always put something taped to the window of the door and also put some kind of obstacle (a chair) in front of the door so they know it's "temporarily out of service."

2)  I bought the doors where you can lock the flap in a few different ways : In Only, Out Only, and Totally Locked.  Seriously?  If you think you're going to use this function, you're underestimating your cat.  It doesn't take long for them to figure out that by pulling the door towards them, they can tuck their heads under and then get out.

3)  This might be a special case, but Tuesday figured out how to unlock the cat door lock.  I didn't believe it either, but it's true.  The lock is made so that you, the human, have to push down and slide the lock.  Or, in Tuesday's case, scratch hook scratch hook scratch hook the lock until it's open.


I had been thinking to get cat doors that had an actual separate "lid" to put on the door when you wanted it locked.  I think this is much kinder to cats ... though no doubt the cats would so easily be able to take the lid off!   Smiley


ETA : As for loudness, it hasn't been an issue.  I can hear them using the door but it's not too horrible.  It is horrible listening to them scratch at a locked door, and they always pull out the side piping which is a PITA to put back.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 09:28:38 PM by August » Logged

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mikken
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2012, 08:13:32 AM »

Good review, August!

We use (to go into the basement) a dog door that has a wood panel that you slide into place when you want it out of service.  That way the cats know for sure that there's no going through it.
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lesliek
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2012, 04:03:15 PM »

Mine is a cat door , but has that wooden panel also. That way they can see its closed off before trying to go through it.
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August
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2012, 06:44:30 PM »

I've come back to update my review on the Cat Mate cat doors.

Friday ripped out one of the piping which resulted in also tearing off a piece of the plastic frame.  The plastic frame is glued on in pieces and is pretty flimsy.  I may be wrong that it doesn't appear to have anything to do with the lock system, however, now Friday has figured out that if he pushes his head hard enough in either bottom corner of the cat door, that he can pop the lock.

Okay, yes, this is hysterical to watch.

The not hysterical part is that he got in during the night (I didn't know at that point that he could get in), and then all the other Tinies followed, resulting in a fight with Lulu.  She now won't come out of her closet space and is too scared to use her litterbox - obviously, this is a big issue.  I've since taped the flap shut on both sides.  (No need to respond here to the Lulu part since this is about cat doors - just writing it out for those thinking about cat doors...)

ETA : I modified my review post in red.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 09:29:15 PM by August » Logged

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catbird
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 07:52:03 AM »

Oh, dear. I'm sorry to hear that this resulted in a fight.  (Poor LuLu.)  I'm thinking that the makers of the cat doors were anticipating that they would be used by normal-sized cats, not big tigers extra-sized catboys like Friday.

Would you be able to replace them with doors designed for dogs (which I'd think would be sturdier, since dogs are generally bigger)?

Sending many hopes for resolution of this problem.
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Meowli
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2012, 08:10:35 AM »

Poor Lulu! I hope she gets her confidence back soon! I like the dog door idea...

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catmom5
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2012, 10:42:59 AM »

Me, too. I'm sorry that this has happened. It is SO distressing when there is fighting!

Perhaps a dog door might be just the thing.

Sending you all calming vibes, although I trust you will get this sorted out and peace will reign supreme again.

catmom5
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lesliek
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2012, 04:21:11 PM »

I hope LuLu settles down quickly and you can find a sturdier replacement .
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merrihart
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2012, 04:53:08 PM »

 Sad  I"m so sorry to hear about that August.  I hope Lulu can forgive the tinies of this infraction.  My only experience with cat doors is the kind you put in a sliding glass door frame, and they are made completely of metal.  Or at least they used to be.  I too think a dog door might be sturdier, as well as bigger. 
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