How to Make a Cat Door to Basement
A cat door is an opening cut into the wall of a house which allows your cat to go in and out at will. In essence, it’s much like an interior bathroom or bedroom door that humans use. It works using a flap that swings back and forth, allowing you to pass through even if it’s shut easily. Some are made with springs or magnets to make them self-closing after you’ve gone through them. For the basement, it is quite essential to have a cat door so that your cat can easily enter the room. So today, I am going to discuss a process on how to make a cat door to basement.
Benefits of Having a Cat Door
Some benefits of having a Cat Door:
- Keeps indoor cats out of mud, wet, rain, sleet, and snow during the winter months. * Lets them in during nice weather to enjoy their yard as part of their home environment.
- Convenient when it’s time to bring in litter boxes or food dishes when bad weather strikes. Also handy if you want to give Fido some fresh air in a security area!
- Provides consistent shelter that protects them from either extreme heat or cold if kept inside.
- Lets them out to use the bathroom in a safe, secure outside environment.
- During storms or fireworks, those with outdoor cats can let them stay inside in much more comfort than being confined to a small crate.
- Allows for well-fed indoor cats to get still their favorite fresh air and sunshine treats when you’re away at work during the day.
Step-Wise Guide on How to Make a Cat Door to Basement
Make a hole in your basement door. Make sure the size of the hole is large enough for your pet cat to go through. Next, cut out siding and insulation around that area if necessary. If possible, use a reciprocating saw with a 2-1/2 inch blade or larger for cutting wood paneling and insulation, so you won’t have trouble removing the rest of the wood and insulation.
Gather materials to make kitty door: plastic mesh (a roll about 24″ wide by 3′ long), heavy-duty staples (about 100 medium-duty staples will do), hacksaw, hammer, ruler, pencil, measuring tape, utility knife (or razor knife), wire clippers, work gloves (optional), screwdriver, pliers and a level.
Measure your pet cat’s height and width. Cut the plastic mesh to these dimensions plus about one inch extra on all sides so that it will easily flush with the top of the hole in your basement door.
Starting at the bottom of the door frame, pull away any wood trim around the perimeter of your basement door and cut it out with a wood saw or a reciprocating saw with a 2-1/2″ blade (or larger). This will give you enough space for installing two adjustable nylon metal track straps to fit over your new cat door when finished. These track straps should be close together near where they attach to your kitty door because their purpose is to hold the glass door in the middle of your basement door.
Lay a strip of plastic mesh across each track strap where they are attached to the opening and staple them in place with 100 medium-duty staples, but leave a small gap about 1/2″ or so between each staple. This is done for two reasons: (1) it will allow you to adjust these nylon straps up and down easily after placing your kitty door into position, and (2) when finished stapling, make sure that there aren’t any sharp ends sticking out from beneath your new kitty door because this could be the cause of possible injury later on — remove any sharp pieces before proceeding!
Cut another piece of plastic mesh at least 3′ long and wrap it around your basement door in a clockwise manner, overlapping about 1/2″ with each wrap. It is also essential to place this plastic mesh at a slight tilt of 10-15 degrees or so from the vertical because this will allow rainwater to run off easier when it gets past your kitty panel. This causes less potential for water buildup, which would eventually cause mold and mildew problems later on.
Starting close to where you placed the exterior piece of plastic mesh (this should end up being approximately 24 inches from the top of your new kitty door), staple another strip of plastic mesh onto the exterior part without any overlap, starting at its edge and working your way downwards, but make sure that this time there is about an inch of space between each staple so that the door can swing open and closed easily.
Place your new kitty door into position (it should drop down inside the door frame with a little bit of force, but it shouldn’t be too difficult). You may need to use some pliers or something else to assist in pushing it into place if it doesn’t fall all the way in otherwise. Make sure you don’t damage either side of your basement door during the installation process.
While standing outside on top of your concrete driveway/sidewalk (not on top of wood), mark where plastic mesh strip ends are inside your home for the cat door, and then take it out and cut off any overlapping material by about an inch or so.
Now it’s time to see if your new kitty door will fit nicely inside the hole and not be too tight or too loose, yet allow for a glass door (when finished) to open and close easily with as little friction as possible. If you have a pet cat, take them out of the basement while doing this test! This is also a good opportunity to determine whether your new kitty door needs additional staples to hold its shape over time. Repeat Step 9 above until you are happy with the results.
Precautions While Learning How to Make a Cat Door to Basement
- Make a door hole with an entrance to enter the basement, not to go outside.
- The basement should be one room without windows, phone lines, and other dangerous things on the floor or walls that can hurt felines during their exploration.
- Felines have different features. if your cat is too big and heavy, it may break out of a small opening and get lost; so make sure that you do proper measurements before making a door to the basement as cats come in many sizes. When possible, provide more than one exit/entrance hole to escape from floodwaters or fire if present in the home.
- Make sure felines know how to use the cat door. First, let them watch you going into and coming out of the basement using the pet door. After a while, put some treats behind it so they can get familiar with it, and if your kitty already knows how to use ordinary doors, then this will be even easier for them.
- Felines are intelligent but sometimes unpredictable, so leave their food bowl close to their feline friend’s door when they first try going through it to make sure that they don’t turn back because they feel lost on the other side.
A cat door to a basement can be a great way for felines to get some exercise and enjoy their time in comfortable basements. If you’re going into the basement frequently, it’s not necessary to buy one, but if you don’t have a lot of time for your lovely cats and want them to stay inside when you go out, then buying this pet door will be ideal. Of course, it would help if you always looked for high-quality materials for making a cat door. I hope all the information has been beneficial for learning how to make a cat door to basement. Thank you and have a nice day!