Need advice about cat door

yomamab

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 15, 2016
Messages
37
Purraise
21
I recently posted about a stray cat, D2, that we recently had neutered with the help of a cat foundation that helps people in financial need to spay and neuter cats. I've posted on this forum about how upset I am that my husband is against my bringing D2 into the house on account of our two inside cats probably not getting along with him. So now I think I might have come up with a somewhat alternative plan.

Our house is very old and has several buildings on the property including an old building that we call "the shanty" where we keep tools and odds and ends. It's only a few feet away from our house. We keep the door shut all of the time except sometimes during the day in nice weather when we might be outside working in the lawn or garden and using something from the shanty. I thought maybe I could use this building as a "home" for D2 since he can't come into the house.

My husband and I aren't young and I'm not even sure that we'd be physically able to put a cat door on the shanty to enable D2 to get inside the building. Also, I haven't looked into them because I'm not sure if this is a do-able option for us (they probably aren't cheap). If I would put a cat door on the door (not in great shape but usable) of the shanty, it would have to allow D2 to go in on his own and come back out on his own BUT not allow any other cats (especially the neighborhood cat that fights with him) access to the building. I suppose that I could go the simpler route and just get a regular cat door that's not "electronic", but then I'd wonder how many critters would have access to that building (including the cat that fights with D2, unless you don't think that it would follow him in there or even take up residence there itself).

I thought by giving D2 access to the shanty, maybe he'd be smart enough to go in there in the winter, especially when it's so cold and snowy outside, and I hopefully wouldn't have to worry about him trudging over through the woods that's next to us. I can't help but wonder if any people around here would shoot a cat (not all of our neighbors are nice) and I guess I'm trying to make this place seem more attractive to him so he hopefully stays closer to our place most of the time. Also, it can get pretty cold and snowy here in PA and I worry about D2 being out there in the elements.

I don't think my husband would go along with the idea of having a microchip implanted in D2 (financially and also he doesn't really consider him "our" cat), so I guess I'd have to opt for the door and a "chip" on a cat collar to communicate with the cat door to let it come open for D2. One drawback to this option is that I'm not sure if D2 would tolerate having a collar on him, and another drawback is that he might get stuck on something somewhere and be hung by the collar. Of course, they make break-away collars, but then I guess the "chip" (or whatever you call it that communicates with the cat door) would get lost outside somewhere, probably never to be found. So then what would a person have to do in that case, buy a whole new cat door to put on our building door which would come with another "communicator"? Or what? We wouldn't be able to keep doing that.

I'm open to any suggestions anyone might have and also advice about this door thing. I hope I didn't post this in an inappropriate place, but I'm not real familiar with the site.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
3,142
Purraise
5,022
Location
Los Angeles
I read your entire post and certainly think that you have a good idea for D2. There are people on the site who are knowledgeable about cat doors and I am sure they will reply. I don't have one so can't offer much advice.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
3,142
Purraise
5,022
Location
Los Angeles
Best microchip cat flap: Give your cat freedom, while keeping them safe

I have been thinking about this and if you could find a sale on a microchip door, it is probably your best bet. What you said about a collar coming off, not being able to be put on in the first place, all make sense.

Collar activated doors are a little cheaper, but they do bring up the question of the collar.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

yomamab

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 15, 2016
Messages
37
Purraise
21
Thank you very much for that link! I didn't read it yet but will shortly. I like the idea of using a door that activates with a cat's microchip rather than worrying about a collar coming off. I'm just hoping that hubby won't have a fit if I mention that I want to take D2 to the vet to get microchipped. I just don't know what they'd charge for that service. It seems like vets are so high-priced nowadays. In hindsight, I wish I had asked the people at the clinic that neutered D2 if they'd microchip him too. I'm almost certain that it would have been cheaper for us to pay for that than to pay our regular veterinarian to do it.
Thanks again for the advice.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
3,142
Purraise
5,022
Location
Los Angeles
Try to make some calls and get some prices. You might find some lower cost microchipping. Ask some rescues if they have resources you can use, especially since you are not asking them to take the cat. They might be willing to work with you. While I don't have a cat door, or a dog door for that matter, I did read up on them. It appears to come down to exactly what you said. The standard door could let other animals in, the collar could be a problem in coming off or getting D2 caught on something, so the microchipping seems the best.
 

betsygee

Just what part of meow don't you understand.
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
23,610
Purraise
9,907
Location
CA, USA
Microchip doors work great. They allowed our cats to come and go on their own and didn't allow wild critters, or other neighborhood cats to get in. The one we got had a timer that I set to be closed between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. so I knew that once kitties came in, they couldn't go back out during the night when predators were most likely to be out and about.

They are pricier than regular cat doors but I liked the locking features and it eliminated the need for a collar.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

yomamab

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 15, 2016
Messages
37
Purraise
21
Try to make some calls and get some prices. You might find some lower cost microchipping. Ask some rescues if they have resources you can use, especially since you are not asking them to take the cat. They might be willing to work with you. While I don't have a cat door, or a dog door for that matter, I did read up on them. It appears to come down to exactly what you said. The standard door could let other animals in, the collar could be a problem in coming off or getting D2 caught on something, so the microchipping seems the best.
I'm not sure what you meant when you said, "Ask some rescues if they have resources you can use". Like I said, I wish that I had asked the clinic about it when we took D2 in to be neutered. That place is an hour away from us. I'm not sure who in this area I could ask about microchipping other than the regular veterinarians, and I'm sure that they are high priced. In a way I wish I hadn't thought of this cat door idea because I've been stressing out over it. I've been having health issues, and I dread having to cut a hole in this building door and put the cat door in. As I said, we don't have much money and I can't afford to hire someone to do it, and my husband is even less skilled using power tools than I am. So at this point, I'm just really not sure if I will absolutely put a cat door in or not. However, when the winter comes around again, I know that I will hate seeing D2 out there in the cold and snow.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

yomamab

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 15, 2016
Messages
37
Purraise
21
Microchip doors work great. They allowed our cats to come and go on their own and didn't allow wild critters, or other neighborhood cats to get in. The one we got had a timer that I set to be closed between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. so I knew that once kitties came in, they couldn't go back out during the night when predators were most likely to be out and about.

They are pricier than regular cat doors but I liked the locking features and it eliminated the need for a collar.
That sounds like it really works out well for you and your kitties. If I do get a pet door for D2 to use in our one building, I would for sure get one that doesn't let any other creatures in, but I don't think I'd be able to get one that costs a lot. I was looking online at various pet doors and wow, some of them are really up there in price! I wouldn't need one that has a timer though. If this cat were tame enough to keep in our house, that would be do-able, but it's a moot point anyway since my husband and daughter are against my bringing the cat into our house. They don't object to my putting a cat door in our one building that's beside our house though. I still haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do. These days what would be a small problem for most people stresses me out. If I can't find someone who will install it for free, I might not even put a pet door in. I'm not sure if I'd be able to do it myself or not, and even though this building/door isn't in great shape, I'd hate to cut a hole in the door and then find out that I'm unable to install the pet door. Then we'd have a kind-of dilapidated tool shed with a big hole in the door that would give access to a lot of creatures that live outside (we're in a rural area that has skunks, opossums, raccoons, and all other kinds of creatures and also whatever stray cat would be roaming around here). Ugh, I hope that something works out.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
3,142
Purraise
5,022
Location
Los Angeles
I meant that possibly rescues could help you find low cost microchipping once you got the door. Some might even know handymen who do work for them for a very low cost. Do you use Nextdoor or any social media sites that are local? If you requested help with installing the cat door you might find someone who would do it for either a very small amount of money or other compensation. My guess is that they are not that hard to install. I do see your point about trying to do it yourself or having your husband try. I could not do it and neither could my husband so when I say they are not that hard, I am guessing that to someone who can use a few tools they are not a big deal.

A lot of places like Home Depot have videos on line that might give you an idea of how hard this is and how much you think it would be worth if you had to pay someone. Any neighbors who could help? Relatives?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

yomamab

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 15, 2016
Messages
37
Purraise
21
Okay, I understand about the low cost microchipping and asking a rescue about it. I'm not really sure what rescues are in this area actually, but I suppose I could find out somehow. Nope, I don't even know of Nextdoor. I might try to tackle installing the door myself and hope that I don't totally screw it up. I've used a jigsaw already, so maybe I could do it. I can't think of any neighbor that we'd ask to install the door.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
3,142
Purraise
5,022
Location
Los Angeles
There are a lot of online videos about installing cat doors of all types which might help you determine if you can tackle this. Nextdoor is a social media site that is set up by the area in which you live. You join and can interact with others locally or just keep up with the news.
 
Top