Doors with pre-installed cat flaps in Toronto?
January 3, 2013 8:50 AM   Subscribe

Where can we get an interior door with a pre-installed pet door/cat flap? This is in/around Toronto.

To make a long story short, I've started going on a few dates with a gal whom I really, really like. Also, she has two cats. Unfortunately, we've sort of been pushing off going back to her place because she lives with a flatmate who doesn't care for the cats and insists that all their paraphernalia (litter, food, etc.) be kept in the gal's bedroom. That means that either (1) the door to the bedroom stays open so the cats can come in and out, (2) they stay outside and whine, or (3) they stay inside and get all up in our business.

Now, I think it would be reasonable to try to negotiate things with her roommate so that the cats aren't bound to the bedroom, but in case that fails, one last resort idea I had was to get a cat flap for the bedroom door. Difficulty: it's a rental apartment, hence the question.

(I live an hour away, so we can't just head over to my place instead.)
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
I doubt you'll find such a thing. You can buy a door and install or improvise a cat flap. Note that doors are not like erector set parts; they don't just snap together in standardized ways. You'll probably have to do some carpentry to get a new door to fit an existing opening.
posted by jon1270 at 8:59 AM on January 3, 2013

Installing a cat door isn't very difficult, and I'll wager you'll have better luck finding a door that fits the frame than you will finding a door that fits and has a cat door installed. I did this to an interior door of our house when we needed a baby-proof location for a litterbox.

You trace an outline of the door parts (two parts - one for each side of the door), drill a hole into a corner of the pattern and use something like a keyhole saw to cut out the opening. The two pieces insert into each side of the door and screw together.

The door I used (similar to this one) had a 4-way locking feature thingie on it - open one way, open the other way, open both ways and lock shut.

Echoing jon1270 above re fidgeting with the door (especially the placement of the hinges). On the other hand, if you're in an apartment complex, there's a good chance the doors from a local big-box DIY store would fit as-is.
posted by jquinby at 9:02 AM on January 3, 2013

If this plans doesn't work, you can keep the door just ajar but mostly private by hanging a thick bathrobe or something similar over the top corner (the robe keeps the door from closing, but also covers most of the crack in the door with thick fabric, to keep sound and sight more private from the roomie). At the same time, you can use something like a string tied to the doorknob or a wedge under the door to keep the cat from opening the door further than you want it to.

Option B- rather than concentrating on what the cats shouldn't do (ie, climb on you while you snog), give them something else they'll be happy to do instead (ie, just before you decide you want the bed all to yourselves, give them catnip or delectable wet food, to distract them).
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:21 AM on January 3, 2013

My cat never minded being thrown out for a couple of hours, and when I was done being super-private and I heard her whining, I'd just get up and let her in. And then in the morning I'd toss her back out again and be super-private some more.
posted by aimedwander at 9:53 AM on January 3, 2013

pseudostrabismus has good ideas re: keeping the door ajar. Another way I've found to do that is to attach a long hook to the door, similar to this one. When it's hooked, it keeps the door open just wide enough for kitty, and it won't open or close any further. Plus, cheap, removable and doesn't destroy the door like a cat flap hole would.

Then you could hang something over the opening for privacy and soundproofing.

Depending on when the building was built, interior doors could all be a standard size, making it easy to find a replacement interior door (but still - you won't find one with a precut cat flap). Or, the building could be a nightmare of mismatched, non-standard sizes, making it impossible to find a replacement off-the-shelf door, precut cat flap or not.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 10:10 AM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

What are you attempting to accomplish with a flap? If you put them outside and leave the flap unlocked, they'll come in through the cat flap and get all up in your business. If you lock the flap to keep them outside, they'll stay outside the cat flap and whine.
posted by sageleaf at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2013

It sounds like it's not so much about keeping the cats out, it's about keeping the door closed for privacy while still allowing the kitties free passage.

Hanging a door (that you'd buy from a builder supply store or Home Depot) does involve a fair bit of carpentry, shimming it to ensure it's plumb and level, securing it, and then trimming it out. You will probably be better off just taking the door off its hinges (most interior doors are hollow-core, not solid-core, and are not very heavy), and then looking for a used door to put in its place, that you can install a cat flap into. Search around for a "reclaimed building materials" reseller. You may not have much selection, but take very precise measurements of the door you removed (height, width, depth, try to get measurements of hinge locations as well), and you'll probably find something that will work. Then, when it's time to move out, just take your "new" door off the hinges and reinstall the original one.
posted by xedrik at 1:47 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

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