Opinions are divided on whether cats should be allowed to roam freely or should be kept indoors. If you are a cat owner who lets their cats outside, however, you will understand the importance of ensuring they can come and go as they please. There’s nothing quite like being woken up in the early morning hours by a cat scratching at the window or door. To answer this problem there are many products on the market – from cat doors for windows to cat flaps and here we take a look at, and compare, a variety of solutions on the market.
One of the great advantages of having a cat is they are very happy in smaller homes and apartments. However, pet ownership in a small home or apartment does have some challenges. Often a cat flap in the door is not an option (especially if you are renting) and cats tend to prefer using windows over doors.
Windows, however, pose a few unique challenges when it comes to installing a cat door for widows. The most obvious being that they have a glass surface. Tempered glass, which is found in most homes, cannot be cut so a hole needs to be made before the glass is tempered. This means that most cat door solutions that involve the window will come with extra cost and complexity. There are a few solutions though, such as inserts and lockable latches, that bypass this need. Below we’ve evaluated each solution according to price, security, ease of installation and versatility.
1. TRADITIONAL CAT FLAPS
Before we get on to the alternatives let’s take a look at the original. There are many cat flaps that are designed to fit into windows. Most of these will require a new window with a hole cut in order for it to be fitted. This is really the most complicated part of the installation and, depending on the size and type of glass, it can greatly affect the cost and complexity of the installation. This aside, they are secure solutions and can be fitted once the leg work of replacing the window is complete.
2. DIY SOLUTIONS
On YouTube and across various blogs you will find great ways that people have solved the problem of window access for their kitties. Most of these solutions are custom jobs designed for that cat owner’s particular type of window. With enough research though you can find a solution that can be adapted to fit your window type, making an affordable cat door for your window. With so many different ideas it’s hard to rank this type of solution but we scored high on affordability and low on versatility and security.
3. LOCKABLE LATCHES
Lockable latches such as LockLatch® are designed to focus on versatility and security. These simple devices allow you to keep any window open but locked. This means that your kitty can use their favourite window to come and go and no one can force the window open. LockLatch® is a true DIY product and simple to install on any window (whichever way it opens and whatever it is made) and is adjustable to the size of your cat.
4. WINDOW INSERTS
Window inserts are (usually) aluminium frames containing a cat door that are fitted into existing window frames. They are often adjustable to let them fit a variety of different windows and are super simple to install. A good solution if you have a window that slides open either horizontally or vertically, but they are unsightly like most cat doors for windows.
5. MAGNETIC CAT FLAPS
Magnetic cat flaps are a high tech version of traditional cat flaps. These contain a sensor that picks up a specific cat’s microchip and only unlocks for them. This is extremely useful if you want to keep other cats out of your home, while still giving your cat complete freedom of movement. In our review system they are almost the same as the traditional cat flap but the extra technology does add to the price tag.
6. SCREEN DOOR FLAPS
Screen door flaps can be attached wherever you have a screen, whether it be a window or a sliding door. While these are great for warm areas and are relatively easy to install they are only as a secure as the screen they are attached to. So if security is an issue you are concerned about then this probably isn’t the solution for you.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this selection of cat door for windows as well as the alternatives. At the end of the day there is no universally best solution as every home and every cat is different, but we hope this list has helped you find the one that is the best fit for you and your kitty.
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