Non-permanent, cat-proof, makeshift door
March 5, 2019 10:52 AM   Subscribe

I just moved into a new space that doesn't have a bedroom door. I'm looking for something that I can use to keep my cats out during sexy times. Do you have any suggestions for something that will: hold up to cat claws, be impermanent, and (ideally) look nice? I've thought of folding screens (not cat-proof), and baby gates (not attractive, probably not high enough). Thank you!
posted by sugarbomb to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is a pretty strange solution..... but I tried it after bedroom door screens and closed doors basically allowed them to hang on the screen, paw under the door and howl.

First, I essentially put a moat outside and right up against the outside of the bedroom door. I had an oversized industrial tray as wide as the hallway and about about four inches high, that I filled with a few inches of water, sometimes with a few drops of citrus oil that they particularly hated. It was too big for them to push around, and they were particularly freaked out if any of the water moved.

At the same time, I made them a little mini party corner in another part of the house with a big new scratching post with fun ribbons/feathers on it and liberally doused with catnip spray, and some treats hidden around it. They only got the party corner when the water was outside the door.

The two-tiered approach kept them out, and they didn't stick around and howl about it. I wonder if it would also work with bunched aluminum foil in the tray instead of water, which they also hated, but I didn't try that.
posted by answergrape at 11:12 AM on March 5, 2019 [4 favorites]

You can buy framed mirrors.that you can hinge one and use it as a d[r at times, but mostly use it as a mirror that swings to where you want it. For ~$14 at home depot you can buy a sheet of 1/4 inch plywood they will cut to exact size for you to set in to your door. You can cover this with whatever fabric or painted pattern you like and keep it elsewhere for decor or under your bed. A chair would hold this in place for security. 1/4 or 3/8 inch is very light, it has a nice smooth veneer that would be easy to stain or decorate.
posted by Oyéah at 11:29 AM on March 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

If they are allowed in the rest of the time, this shouldn't be the only defense because that seems like it'd constantly be a mean surprise for them, but it would help to emphatically reinforce something that's more visible, like a folding screen: motion sensor canned air.
posted by teremala at 11:30 AM on March 5, 2019

You can get pet gates that are decently high - 40" or so. I'd try one of those with a heavy blackout curtain in front of it (mounted via a curtain rod or similar), possibly attached to the walls at points (especially near the floor) with clips, hooks or velcro.
posted by cgg at 11:34 AM on March 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

If it's a standard sized door-hole, doors are only about $30. Hinges are $2-3.

Smear a little spackle over the holes from the hinge screws when you move out.
posted by gregr at 12:06 PM on March 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

I would be tempted to do something with a cardboard box, possibly opening outward.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:46 PM on March 5, 2019

Ever watch My Cat From Hell? They regularly use what looks like a plexiglas gate to separate warring cats. Don't know where they get the things, though.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:41 PM on March 5, 2019

Most cats I've known that aren't elderly can jump five feet straight up, so I think any kind of baby gate is right out. I would think twice about things you slide in front of the door, because it seems like it might present a hazard if you or your partner needed to get out in a hurry.

Is putting up an actual door out of the question? An interior door doesn't have to be very expensive and might add to the value of the space. There are some that are kind of an accordion-fold dingus with a track at the top (though I haven't seen one in a long time--we used to have one on our bathroom when I was a kid back in the Jurassic).
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:52 PM on March 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

I had the problem once of living in an apartment with no bedroom door and eventually I solved it by getting an old wooden screen door (with a solid, claw-proof bottom half) at a garage sale for 25 cents, and hinges for a few bucks at the hardware store. I second the idea of just buying a door, if there is any way you can make it work in that space and also manage installing and removing the door without making whomever owns the space angry. You can get a door pretty cheap new, and even cheaper second-hand (if you happen to find the right size). If there is no door frame to attach hinges to, you could do a sliding barn door, although it might be harder to repair the holes from barn door hardware than from hinges. (Note: Barn door hardware can be expensive but pocket door hardware mounted externally is cheaper and works to slide doors just as well.)
posted by BlueJae at 6:53 PM on March 5, 2019

I made a sliding door out of a piece of panelling - I wanted to block off the doorway to the basement that was missing a door, because the one heating vent in the kitchen is right there and all the heat would just go right out there and waste my money. So I got a piece of panelling from home depot, and then I took a piece of wood, about 2 x 2 x 24 that had been cut at a 90 degree angle lengthwise. Nailed that to the ceiling, and glued a piece of trim on the tile floor (as sort of a track/guide) . I cut a hand-hole to be able to slide it open and closed. If you took a bit more time you could do this much less permanently - there have to be command hooks that you could put on the ceiling to guide the sheet of panelling, and a heavy area rug would have the same function on the floor as my glued on trim. It's been very handy. For mine, I cut a cat door, and I've had to cover it with cardboard on occasion when I needed the cat to stay either up or down, but all in all it's been very nice to have a place for the cats that the dog can't get to.
posted by lemniskate at 7:39 PM on March 6, 2019

Yes, they're a little cheesy, but accordion doors are cheap, non-permanent, very easy to install, and surprisingly sturdy.
posted by dogmom at 7:48 PM on March 6, 2019

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