DIY Build: Window Cat Door

Hello Fellow Cat Owners,

Don’t have an exterior door to install a cat door? Neither do I. But, I do have a window that my kitty can climb through to get onto the front porch where she loves to hang out and chase lizards.

 

All of the frame pieces. ¬†We’re using 1″x3″s for the outer pieces and a 1″x2″ in the middle. (Despite clamps in the picture, nothing is actually being glued together yet.)

 

We want to install glass on the non-Cat-Door-Side. So, we need slots in our frame pieces to be able to slide the glass into. In this picture, I turned up all the frame pieces that had slots cut through. Eric cuts slots like this on the Table Saw.

 

According to the instructions, this Cat Door can fit in a minimum width door 1 1/2″. Our 1″x3″ frame piece is just 3/4″ thick so we need to build it up.

 

Eric attached pieces that were 1/2″x1/2″ on the side the Cat Door was going to be installed into.

 

 

Eric got a glass piece cut from our local Ace Hardware. It just slides through the slots. Now that the glass is in place, we can start gluing things together.

 

Eric drilled holes into the upper and lower 1″x 3″ Frame Pieces to be able to attach them to the Side Pieces and Middle Piece. Make sure to Pre-Drill!

 

The 1/2″ x 1/2″ pIeces for the Cat Door are just glued together and onto the main frame.

 

Trying out a Dry-Fit to see if it’ll go in place. Slide the frame all the way in one direction (In this picture, the Right Side is pushed back as far as it can go.) Then, push back the other side. There will be some play from left to right. So, we’re going to put in “wedge” pieces on both sides so the frame can’t just fall out of the window.

 

Nominally, our wedge pieces started off as 1/2″ x 3/4″ pieces. We ended up sanding them down a bit so they slid down nicely without being too snug. Get one side started like this.

 

And slide down the wedge piece all the way down.

 

Go to the other side, and slide the other wedge piece in. If it’s too tight, try wiggling everything around to see if it’ll slide down on its own. If not, It may be too tight! Give it a few passes with a hand planer.

 

We showed our Kitty how to get out, by holding the door open and as she was half way through, gently closing the door so she could learn the way the door closes behind her. She’s not sure how to get back in yet.

 

I put on a few coats of our trim color paint and put it back in place.

 

After re-installing the painted Frame, Panda appears to have forgotten how to use the door and is pawing at it.

 

 

 

She made it!

 

After everything was installed, we tightened (2) Window Locks like this. One for each side. The last thing we need to do is add some weather stripping between the frame and window and possibly along the bottom as well.

 

For now, we are not leaving our Cat Door open 24/7. So when we don’t want her to go out, we just turn the little red knob to “Lock” and close the blinds so that is Panda’s sign that the door is locked.

The Cat Window isn’t 100% Airtight. It’s meant for an interior door, after all. But, it’s way better than just leaving the whole window open!

Thanks for Reading!

 

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