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After reading customer reviews, studying the market, and identifying the features 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
Purrfect Portal XL Pet Door
PetSafe Patio Pet Door for Sliding Doors
Before diving into the details of our top picks, let’s take a moment to learn about the different types of cat doors and what to look for when shopping for each type.
Types of Cat Doors
1. 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 for indoor use.
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, avoid cat flaps with openings 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.
2. Locking Cat Doors
These are the most popular cat doors available. They tend to last the longest and have the greatest value in terms of function.
Most locking cat doors allow you to set the door at different positions between full out-and-back access and a completely locked door.
What to Look For:
The best locking cat doors are well-built for years of use and are easy for both pets and pet parents 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 as well. 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.
3. Electronic Doors
Instead of relying on manual locks, electronic doors have sensors that connect to an ID tag or your cat’s microchip which acts as a key to the cat door. These doors are ideal for multi-cat homes where you want one of your 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 7 Best Cat Doors on the Market
These doors are well-respected products that provide security, safety, and excellent performance.
#1 Top Pick: Cat Mate 4-Way Self Lining Door
This straightforward plastic frame cat door has a four-way locking mechanism which allows you to set the door 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. Pet owners who want their cat to have complete freedom can simply set the door to the unlocked position.
This cat door is designed with a magnetic closure that 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.
- Integrated 4-way lock mechanism
- Well-built for years of use
- Most cats find the door easy to use
- Affordably priced under $25
- Some cats can unlock the door on their own
- Not completely weatherproof
#2 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 energy efficient, consider this insulated cat flap door from Freedom Pet Pass.
While the door costs a couple hundred dollars more than the standard cat flap you’d find at the pet store, its airtight design is well worth it. It is particularly valuable 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.
The Freedom Pet Pass Insulated 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 on durability with its airtight and weather-resistant 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 feline friend out of the house or keep him inside after he’s returned from the outdoors. It’s best for situations where you want your cat to have complete freedom to leave and full access to reenter the house.
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 ideal for all homes
- One of the most expensive cat doors on the market
#3 Best Electronic Cat Door: SureFlap DualScan Microchip Cat Door
Those who want to make sure that their cat door doesn’t become an entry point for raccoons, feral cats, and other home invaders might consider this electronic microchip cat flap.
Compared to other cat doors, this electromagnetic cat flap appears to be among the most reliable and most secure. It’s compatible with a SureFlap RFID tag on your cat’s collar or your cat’s microchip. You can program it to recognize up to 32 pets (it can also be used as a dog door).
When one of your registered cats leaves the house or tries to come back in, the SureFlap DualScan will scan their collar or microchip to determine whether to grant your cat access.
If you’d rather your cat stay inside, you can use the 4-way manual locking system to cut off traffic coming in or out. You also have the option to leave the adjustable door open from either direction for easy access or you can lock it completely for security.
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
- Four-way locking mechanism for optimum control
- Phenomenal customer service reputation
- Battery-operated (batteries not included)
- Relatively small, might not work for larger cats
#4 Best Indoor Cat Door: Cathole Cat Door with Brush
If you don’t need locks, weatherproofing, and electronic identification systems, the Cathole Cat Door with Brush is simply a nice door that will give your cat exclusive access to rooms or cubbies around the house. It’s not fancy, but it gets the job done.
Unlike some other interior cat doors, the Cathole is big enough for larger kitties up to 20 lbs. and won’t force your cat to drop into a belly crawl just to get through.
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, so you can stain or paint it to match your home décor.
- Easy to install in any door around the house
- Big enough for cats up to 20 lbs.
- Budget friendly, priced around $30
- Wood materials are unfinished
- No door or locking mechanism
#5 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
- Economical choice, priced under $30
- Well-built compared to other screen cat doors
- Only locks and unlocks—limited security features
- Only designed for use with screen doors
#6 Best for Large Cats: Purrfect Portal XL Pet Door
Compatible with cats weighing up to 30 pounds (and maybe even small dogs), this interior cat door is the perfect option for large cats.
The Purrfect Portal Extra-Large cat door is durably constructed with a patent-pending design that firmly attaches to any standard interior door using sturdy screws. It takes just a few minutes to install and it stays snugly in place for years to come.
This large cat door doesn’t include a flap which makes it perfect for indoor use, though it may not be the best choice for exterior doors unless you have a double door. It even works with hollow doors – it features an additional closing panel that keeps your cat’s paws from getting stuck in a hollow-core door.
- Works for cats up to 30 pounds
- Heavy-duty construction will last for years
- Flap-free for easy interior access
- Best for indoor use, no flap
#7 Best for Sliding Doors: PetSafe Patio Pet Door for Sliding Doors
Most cat doors only work with standard interior or exterior doors, but the PetSafe Patio Pet Door is unique – it is specifically designed for use with a sliding glass door.
This cat door comes in five different sizes ranging from small to x-large with an additional option for an extra-tall door. It is constructed from heavy-duty aluminum and shatter-resistant tempered safety glass. Plus, it comes with an energy-saving UltraSeal flexible flap system designed for energy efficiency.
The PetSafe Patio Pet Door for Sliding Doors is incredibly easy to install – no cutting required. Just slide the panel into one end of your sliding door track, secure it to the frame, then add weatherstripping.
Though customers appreciate the easy installation, there are some comments that it doesn’t work well in winter or in high wind.
- Designed specifically for use with sliding doors
- Incredibly easy to install, no cutting required
- Energy-efficient UltraSeal flexible flap
- May not work well in extreme wind and weather
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best place to put a cat flap?
When it comes to choosing a location for your cat door, it all depends on the number and location of exterior doors you have in your home. If you have a side entrance, this may be the best option to give your cat a more concealed entrance and exit. Otherwise, the back door is generally better than the front door, especially when it comes to keeping feral cats and other animals out.
How do you install a cat door in an interior door?
Installing a cat door on an interior door is no different than installing it on an exterior door. Make sure you choose a cat door compatible with the type of door you have then use the included cutting template to mark the door and cut out the hole.
Should I lock my cat flap at night?
Many cat doors come with multifunctional locking mechanisms that allow you to leave the cat door completely open, completely locked, or something in between. For your cat’s safety, it’s generally best to lock the cat door at night so your cat can’t get out. If your cat is already outside, however, you should not lock the door – your cat should never be barred from reentering the home. Once your cat is in, you may want to lock the cat door to keep out feral cats and other animals.