How To Install a Cat/Dog Door on an Exterior Door

Like me, if you have pets who live in your home, they’ll need to be taken outside at some point in time. Our dogs and cats are allowed outside several times a day.

There is, unfortunately, no cat or dog door in our home. Our outside doors are all made of metal.

So, can a cat or dog door be installed on an exterior door? It’s safe to say that, yeah. The only thing you’ll have to remember is to make sure you buy the right size cat or dog door and have all of the necessary supplies on hand. Installing a cat or dog door is simple if you follow the instructions below.

Your pet door should be the right size.

When purchasing a pet door, there are a few things to consider. Measure the thickness of your door first.

Pet doors wide enough to fit your door should be no problem, but you should always proceed with caution before cutting anything to size. Second, ensure that the pet door is big enough for your pet’s needs.

Ensure you acquire a dog door for your dog and a cat door for your cat because not all animals are the same size. A door that is too big for your cat or too narrow for your dog could result if you don’t plan.

Generally speaking, Amazon does a decent job of providing the information you need. Amazon tells me that the cat door available here may be installed indoors, ranging from half an inch to two inches thick. Cats weighing up to 15 pounds can use it as well.

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Think about how you want your pet to be able to get in.

Generally, cat doors come in 2-way and 4-way varieties. It’s either locked or unlocked with a 2-way lock.

You may secure a specific doorway using the 4-way imagine that the only person allowed inside the house is a cat. You don’t want the cat to leave the house once inside.

The 4-way lock lets you let the cat in yet keeps it from leaving. You can let the cat out, but you can’t let him back in again. Your cat, like our Dandelion, may make use of this function because she prefers to go out in the evening and return home at her own pace.

Microchip doorways, which only let your pet in or out because they have the microchip embedded in them, are another choice you have. You may want to consider this if you live in an area where cats are free to roam.

Depending on how sophisticated you want to get, the microchip option can cost up to $80 or more. In the range of $10-$20, you may get a 2- or 4-way cat door. Dog doors, which often have simply a flap, are less fancy. You’ll have to look for pet doors that can fit both cats and dogs if that’s your situation.

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Install-related equipment that you may require

  • Marker

A template for your pet door should be included with your purchase. The template predetermines the pet door’s dimensions and shape.To outline the template on your door, you’ll need a marker.

  • A tool that can be used to cut through the metal door.

A jigsaw, reciprocating saw, or grinder can be used to cut through the door

  • Gloves
  • Eye protection is a must.

Sparks and hot metal are inevitable when cutting into metal. As a result, you should always have gloves and eye protection when you’re chopping. Cutting hot metal with your bare hands is not a good idea.

  • Drill

A drill is needed to make holes in the door once you’ve cut out your template from the door.

  • two sawhorses (optional)

You can either cut the door while it is still hanging or pull the door down and position it on two sawhorses to do your cutting, depending on your preference. If you’re like me and unsure of your cutting abilities, you might want to start by removing your door before proceeding to cut. There’s no need for sawhorses if you’re confident you can cut through your door while still open.

  • hammer and screwdriver with a flat head (optional)

You’ll need a hammer and a flat-head screwdriver to remove the door off its hinges.

  • Anodized file

Once you’ve cut the door, you’ll need something to remove the door’s interior. Insides can be removed with a metal file.

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The process of setting up a pet door

Once you’ve gone over the information above and are prepared with the necessary tools, it’s time to put it in the pet door.

  1. Take the door off and place it on the sawhorses first if you’ve decided to do so. To remove the door from the hinges, you’ll need a hammer and flat-head screwdriver. Afterward, secure the door to the sawhorses. Leaving the door in place is an option, so proceed to step 2.
  2. You should follow the instructions provided with the pet door to install a template on the outer door. Keep the pet door at least three inches from the bottom of the door, but make sure you follow the directions that came with the door.
  3. Outline the template with your marker after it has been placed.
  4. Your outline should have holes drilled in each corner. Check to see if you’ve drilled through the door. This will show you where the template should go on the other side.
  5. Cut the outline drawn in point 3 on the door with one of your reciprocating saws or grinders.
  6. Place the template with the four drilled holes in each corner on the other side of the door (assuming you have removed the door from its hinges), outline with a marker, and cut again.
  7. They typically feature a metal frame with paper honeycomb, fiberglass or foam insulation on the interior of the door. The door would be too hefty for domestic use if it were made entirely of steel. Once you’ve cut off both sides of the door, you’ll need to remove the interior. This is the time to get out your metal file and start slowly removing the interior of the door using the metal file.
  8. Check the fit of your pet door by inserting it into the openings you’ve just created. Proceed to the following step if it does. You may need to cut the pet door if it doesn’t fit.
  9. Keep the pet door in place by following the directions that came with it. Check the instructions to see if screws are included to screw the pet door into the human door.
  10. Place the door back on the hinges and reinstall the pins if you take the door from its hinges.
  11. Final step: show your pet how to utilize the new pet door. Using a reward, such as a piece of food, to encourage your pet to use the door is a common method.

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That’s all there is to it. Now that your pet has unfettered access to these formerly restricted regions, they’ll be grateful to you. As a bonus, you won’t have to take your pet out for a walk every few hours.

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