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After reading customer reviews, studying the market, and identifying the features that are vital to the best cat doors, I’ve chosen the Cat Mate 4-Way Self Lining Door as the overall best cat door on the market. It doesn’t have a lot of shiny high-tech features, but this locking door has all the security and build quality you need for years of no-fuss use.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
Cat Mate 4-Way Self Lining Door
Freedom Pet Pass Insulated Cat Door
SureFlap DualScan Microchip Cat Door
Cathole Cat Door with Brush
OWNPETS Pet Screen Door
Types of Cat Doors
Basic Cat Flaps or Portals
Whether they have a flap or not, these doors are united in their lack of a locking mechanism. Because you can’t lock them, they’re best suited to use indoors. They’re popular as entryways to garages or built into litter box enclosures. If you get one in the right size, you can use it in a multiple-pet home to let your cat into certain rooms while keeping dogs out.
What to Look For:
If you have a large cat, look out for cat holes that sit too close to the floor. Some are designed with smaller cats in mind and will force your kitty to scoot through with her belly to the floor.
Locking Cat Doors
These are the most popular, long-lasting, and high-value cat doors available. Most locking doors allow you to select anything between full out-and-back access and a completely locked door.
What to Look For:
The best locking doors are well-built for years of use and are easy for both cats and people to use. Pay attention to sizing—many of these doors come in several sizes for small or large cats, so it’s important to choose one that works for your cat. Make sure the door is compatible with the place you plan to install it. Confirm that it fits your area and that it’s safe to install the flap in your door or wall before you make the first cut.
Instead of relying on manual locks, electronic doors have sensors that connect to an ID tag or your cat’s microchip, which acts as your cat’s unique key to the door. These doors are ideal for those who want one of their cats to have outdoor access but want to keep another inside. They’re also great for keeping raccoons, feral cats, and other invaders out of the house.
The downside of electronic doors is that they’re reliant on fallible technology and batteries. If the batteries die and you’re not there to replace them, your cat could be locked out of the house.
What to Look For:
Read customer reviews—companies won’t tell you about glitchy hardware and short battery life, but reviewers will. Excellent customer support is always important, but it’s crucial when you’re buying a high-tech cat door. Look for companies with a reputation for excellent customer support and a good warranty.
Top 5 Best Cat Doors on the Market
These doors are well-respected products that provide security, safety, and excellent performance.
Top Pick: Cat Mate 4-Way Self Lining Door
This straightforward plastic door has a four-way locking mechanism, which allows you to lock, unlock, and everything in between. Want your cat to be able to come back inside in the evening but not go back out until morning? You can set the door to allow in-flowing traffic only and you can do the opposite, too.
A magnetic closure keeps the door shut when it’s unlocked. A brush strip creates a light seal to reduce drafts, but it’s not fully weatherproof. One reviewer said that it only closes flush about 90% of the time, sometimes leaving a small gap open to the elements.
The door gets positive customer reviews and appears to be a solid, sturdy product that’s designed to last for a long time.
- Has a four-way locking mechanism
- Well-built for years of use
- Most cats find the door easy to use
- Some cats and other animals can unlock the door on their own
- Not completely weatherproofed
Best Energy Efficient Cat Door: Freedom Pet Pass Insulated Cat Door
If you’re in the market for a top-of-the-line cat door that’s good for your home’s energy efficiency, consider this insulated cat door from Freedom Pet Pass. While the door costs a couple hundred dollars more than the standard flap you’d find at the pet store, the airtight design is worth it for those living in climates where keeping the weather out is essential.
This article estimates that a poorly-insulated cat flap will jack up your monthly heating bill by almost $7 a month or $40 per winter season. If you live in a stormy area, you might have to add blowing rain and outdoor debris into the equation.
This cat door has been tested and proven to reduce air leakage, control drafts and help save money on heating bills. It uses Double Mag seal technology, which delivers an airtight and weatherproof seal.
Aside from its weatherproofing and high-quality construction, this is a pretty basic cat flap. It comes with a locking security panel, but it’s just a plane of acrylic that slides across the door. There’s no option to lock your cat out of the house or keep him inside after he’s returned from the outdoors.
It appears that the company offers great customer service, helping to fix doors and solve problems even after the 3-year limited warranty has expired.
- The company provides stellar customer service
- Ideal for people living in cold, harsh climates
- High-quality construction should last for years
- Two-way locking may not be dynamic enough for some homes
- One of the most expensive cat doors on the market
Best Electronic Cat Door: SureFlap DualScan Microchip Cat Door
Those who want to make sure that their door doesn’t become an entry point for raccoons, feral cats, and other home invaders might consider this electronic cat door.
Compared to other electronic doors, this one appears to be among the most reliable and most secure. It’s compatible with a SureFlap RFID collar tag or your cat’s microchip. You can program it to recognize up to 32 pets. Whenever your registered cats leave the house or try to come back in, the SureFlap DualScan will scan their collar or microchip and grant access.
If you’d rather your cat stay inside, you can use the 4-way manual lock to leave the door open from either direction, lock it completely, or cut off traffic coming in or out. The door uses four AA batteries, which will power it for up to one year. An indicator light warns you when the batteries are getting low.
SureFlap’s great customer service is a recurring theme in customer reviews. No matter which model you choose, being a SureFlap customer means receiving excellent customer service.
- Works with your cat’s microchip or an RFID collar
- Has a four-way locking mechanism for optimum control
- Phenomenal customer service
- Doesn’t come with necessary batteries
- Relatively small, so it might not work for larger cats
Best Indoor Cat Door: Cathole Cat Door with Brush
If you don’t need locks, weatherproofing, and electronic identification systems and just need a nice door that will give your cat exclusive access to rooms or cubbies around the house, this cat door might be a good option.
Unlike some other indoor cat tunnels, the Cathole is big enough for larger kitties up to 20 lbs and won’t force your cat to drop into a belly crawl.
The portal has a removable brush, which massages your cat as he moves through and may help to reduce the amount of hair deposited around your house. The outer frame is made from bare wood. You can use it as-is or stain or paint it to match your home.
- Easy to install in any door around the house
- Big enough for cats up to 20 lbs
- Budget friendly
- The wood is unfinished
Best for Screen Doors: OWNPETS Pet Screen Door
If you rent your home, don’t want to cut a hole in your door, or would like to install a cat door in a screened window, this door might be a good option. It’s a lightweight door that you can install in a metal screen.
The door has a basic lock and a magnetic closure, but it doesn’t have any advanced security features. Because you can only toggle between a locked and unlocked position, it’s not the best choice for people who want maximum flexibility or those concerned about other animals using the cat’s flap.
Though it’s a basic design and certainly not the most multi-functional of the doors on this list, it’s one of the best screen door cat flaps you can buy. Doors like these are often flimsy and shred after a few uses, but the OWNPETS door appears to hold up well under heavy use.
- A great option for people who don’t want to modify a solid door
- Well-built compared to other screen cat doors
- Only locks and unlocks—limited security features
About the author
Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.