A cat door can make life easier for you and your feline friend. Not only do they allow your kitty to go in and out of the house on their own, but they also help conserve energy by preventing heat from escaping through open doors or windows. If you’re shopping around for a new pet door, there are a few things you should consider. These include the size of the door, how it operates, and whether it’s designed to be installed in a window or door.
Our vet advisor, Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, reviewed dozens of cat doors to find the best of the best and chose the PetSafe Extreme Weather Dog and Cat Door as her top pick. With a 3-flap design to keep the weather out and a snap-on panel to close off access when needed, this easy-to-install, reasonably priced cat door is an excellent choice for most cat owners. Read how she chose the top 5.
Looking to keep your cat from scratching at the door? These five tips can help you put a stop to the behavior.
Our Vet’s Top 5 Cat Doors
Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.
|Editor’s Picks||Brand||Rating||Door or Window?||Lockable?||Multiple Sizes?|
|Best Overall||PetSafe Extreme Weather Dog and Cat Door||Door|
|Best Budget Buy||Purrfect Portal Interior Cat Door||Door|
|Best Cat Door for Windows||Ideal Pet Products Aluminum Sash Window Pet Door||Window|
|Best Microchip Cat Door||SureFlap DualScan Microchip Cat Door||Both|
|Best Cat Door for Sliding Glass Doors||PetSafe 1-Piece Sliding Glass Door for Dogs and Cats||Door|
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers
In This Article
Who Should Buy a Cat Door
- Pet owners with cats that are allowed outside – cat doors are useful for letting cats in and out of the house as they please.1
- Cat owners who want to manage their cat’s access to different areas – a cat door can be used to separate cats, allow access to the litter box without letting other pets into the room, and more.2
- People who want to save energy – a well-insulated cat door keeps cold air out in the winter and hot air out in the summer. This is definitely preferable to leaving windows or doors open!
Who Should Not Buy a Cat Door
- Pet owners with indoor cats – if you have an indoor-only cat that’s allowed access to your entire home, you don’t need a cat door (unless you have an enclosed catio or cat run). However, cats that are allowed to roam outdoors should have a way to get in and out of the house.
- People who live on high floors of apartments or condos – unless you have a way of securing your balcony, your cat should not go outside.
Research Tips (from a Veterinarian)
As a veterinarian, I often get asked how to choose a good cat door. Here are some tips and best practices to consider when purchasing the right cat door for your kitty. Be sure to do adequate research on the product you are considering purchasing to look for key features and talk to friends and family who are pet owners to learn what types of cat doors have worked well for them.
Your veterinarian can also point to any features that might be ideal based on your cat’s health status, age, or size. In addition, it’s a good idea to read product descriptions closely to avoid unpleasant surprises. Looking at customer reviews posted on trusted sources can give you an idea of how satisfied pet owners are with their purchase.
- Decide what you want to use the cat door for – cat doors can serve multiple purposes in your home. When used inside, you can allow cats access to their own spaces while keeping other pets or children out. They’re also great for hiding litter boxes! Additionally, cat doors can give your cat free access to the outdoors but in a controlled manner, like just onto a catio or only at certain times of the day.
- Select a cat door that’s easy to install – installation of cat doors can be tricky, so look for products that have good written instructions and/or videos.
- Buy from a manufacturer that offers replacement parts – the ability to purchase replacement parts will extend the life of your cat door.
- Look for a cat door that can be easily locked – good cat doors should have the option of being closed and locked to keep pets on one side or another when necessary.
How Much Do They Cost?
Between $30 and $200
For most cat doors, you can expect to pay between $30-$200 and still get a high-quality product. The price you’ll pay will depend on several factors, including size (larger cat doors tend to be more expensive) and the type of materials used. At the top end of this price range, you can find microchip cat doors that use a sensor to detect your cat’s microchip and unlock for them automatically. This is a useful feature for preventing other animals from entering your home.
Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily
I’ve evaluated these cat doors based on my professional experience as a veterinarian combined with product feature considerations. I judged the cat doors on a variety of criteria, including ease of installation, design, and price as well as how safe and easy to use they would be for cats. You also want a cat door that’s made from durable materials that will withstand daily wear and tear. – Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM
The Best Cat Doors: Full Reviews
The PetSafe Extreme Weather Dog and Cat Door is an energy-efficient cat door with more than 3,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews. Standout features include a 3-flap design that’s will keep the weather out and a handy snap-on panel that blocks off access when needed.
The cat door comes complete with a paintable frame, allowing you to match the color of your door. You can also choose an aluminum frame if you prefer a more modern look. Replacement flaps are available in case yours gets damaged, and the unit comes with detailed instructions and installation hardware for quick setup.
- Energy-efficient 3-flap design with insulated center flap
- Snap-on closing panel to block off access when needed
- Aluminum or paintable plastic frame options
- Detailed instructions and video for easy installation
- Reviewers say the plastic frame is not as sturdy as it could be
- Won’t keep out stray or wild animals
The Purrfect Portal Interior Cat Door is a budget-friendly cat door that’s specially designed for indoor use. It’s easy to install and can be placed in solid or hollow core doors. This cat door also features a unique no flap design, which means you won’t need to train your cat to use it.
The simple cat door is ideal for allowing your feline friend access to their litter box or food while keeping larger pets or children out. It’s good for cats up to 20 pounds and an XL model is also available. Reviewers say this cat door is practical, functional, and easy to set up.
- Unique no flap design requires no training
- Specially designed for indoor use
- Easy DIY installation
- Only available in white
- Reviewers say the latch can be unreliable
Looking for a cat door that allows your cat to go in and out of your sash window? The Ideal Pet Products Aluminum Sash Window Pet Door is the perfect choice. It’s designed for use in the window frame so you won’t need to cut any glass, and it’s easy to uninstall or move if needed.
The sturdy cat door features a rigid see-through flap that’s lockable for added security. This product is also available in a chubby cat version for kitties with a little extra weight. Overall, it’s a simple, well-built cat door that’s designed to last.
- Aluminum frame with lockable see-through flap
- Installs easily into most sash windows
- Easy to uninstall or move
- Reviewers say the insulation could be improved
- Not suitable for all types of sash windows
The SureFlap DualScan Microchip Cat Door is designed to allow only your cat access through the flap. It works with your cat’s existing microchip or RFID collar tags (sold separately) to keep out stray or wild animals.
This cat door is ideal for multi-cat households as it can be programmed to only let specific pets go outdoors. Quickly and easily set exit permissions for up to 32 pets and change the settings at any time. The versatile cat door can be installed in windows, doors, or walls with appropriate adapters.
- Keeps out stray and wild animals
- Easy to program and also features manual locks
- Installs in windows, doors, or walls
- App-controlled version also available
- RFID collar tag and batteries not included
- More expensive than most other cat doors
Looking for a cat door that can be installed in a sliding door? The PetSafe 1-Piece Sliding Glass Door for Dogs and Cats is an excellent option. It’s easy to install and made of strong, durable materials. It also comes with a closing panel to limit exit and entry, and a magnetic closure to keep bad weather and pests out.
The cat door is available in multiple colors and sizes with clear instructions for measuring and selecting the right door. The energy-efficient cat door also features a handy security lock, tough aluminum frame, and tempered glass panel. This pet door is great for rental properties since it quickly installs in your existing sliding door tracks without damaging the door or wall.
- Quick and easy to install
- Closing panel and magnetic closure
- Made from durable, weather-resistant materials
- Some reviewers say it’s not ideal for very cold weather
- Not compatible with some sliding door tracks
Frequently Asked Questions
Are cat doors a good idea?
Do cat doors let in cold air?
Do microchip cat doors work both ways?
How much does it cost to put in a cat door?
Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.