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14 DIY Cat Door Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Cat Door

Cats are naturally curious creatures. They love to adventure into the backyard. They can run, play, and even show off their masterful hunting skills. Giving them a gateway into the world awaiting them outside is a great way to allow them their freedom and avoid spending most of your day opening the backdoor. This is where a creative, DIY cat door comes into play.

A DIY cat door is a perfect addition to your home that provides your kitty with an opportunity to roam independently. Exterior cat doors open to the outside of the home so your cat can enjoy the great outdoors or even use the potty if they prefer. Interior cat doors are cute additions to the home that promote your cat’s sense of adventure when going outside isn’t an option for them. These functional doors can even be added to one of your home’s windows.

If you’re ready to get your DIY juices flowing and create a cat door for your kitty, these ideas can help. Simply take a look at the plans and pictures we’ve gathered and get your creative juices flowing. Your kitty will appreciate all the fun and adventure your project provides them.

We’ve divided them into three sections:

The 4 DIY Exterior Cat Door Ideas

Exterior cat doors open directly to the outside or onto a catio. Normally, these doors are smaller than those used by dogs to get in and out of the house. That doesn’t always need to be the case, however. When it comes to DIY cat doors, you can adjust to the sizing you need to accommodate both your kitty and your doggo if you have both living inside the same house.

1. Basic Homemade Pet Door by Mother earth news

Basic Homemade Pet Door- Mother earth news
Image Credit: Mother earth news

This basic homemade pet door is ideal for beginners in the do-it-yourself world. The opening is added to an exterior door to allow pets access outside. An insert can be used at night to keep unwanted critters at bay or on bad weather days to keep your kitty safely inside. This hard insert also works as a protectant to keep the cold out during the winter months when utility bills can rise.

2. Simple DIY Cat Door from Imgur

Simple DIY Cat Door- Imgur
Image Credit: Imgur

If your cat is yearning to spend time outdoors, this simple DIY cat door could help. While the installation and design behind it are simple and relatively easy to do, the looks are amazing. Your kitties will thank you and visitors to your home will be amazed.

3. Cat Screen Door by Instructables

DIY Simple Screen Net Cat Door
Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables

Creating a cat door from an exterior screen door isn’t a difficult task, but it does require some basic tools and carpentry skills. The hardest part is actually cutting the screen area correctly. You’ll need to measure your cat’s size and cut a hole in the screen door that is large enough for them to comfortably pass through (use a strapping cutter to make this job easier). Once you’ve created the hole, you can install a cat door kit that is designed specifically for use with screen doors (you can find these at your local pet store). This will provide your cat with easy access to the outdoors while keeping unwanted pests out of your home.

4. Custom-built Cat Door by DIYable

DIY Cat Tunnels
Image Credit: diyable.com

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can build your own custom cat door. This can be a great option if you have a large yard or want to give your cat plenty of space to play and explore. To build a custom cat enclosure, you’ll need to plan out the design and gather all the necessary tools and materials like fasteners, an electric saw, a drill, measuring tape, etc. You can use wood, wire mesh, or PVC piping to create the frame of the enclosure, and you can add a cat door for easy access.

The 8 DIY Interior Cat Door Ideas

Interior cat doors are mostly for your cat’s adventuring pleasure. These openings let your cat wander and provide access to areas of the home you may not want your pup’s having. With cats loving to climb, run, and in some instances, be alone, these doors are cute ways to give them something of their own.

5. Picture Perfect Passageway by Catster

Picture Perfect Passageway- Catster
Image Credit: Catster

With the picture-perfect passageway, both you and your cat get to show off. You can show your ability to tackle DIY projects and pick out a stylish picture frame for the finishing touches. Your kitty will feel like a winner thanks to their new ability to climb through walls while giving you the opportunity for some amazing snapshots in the process.

6. Hidden Pet Door by Instructables

Hidden Pet Door- Instructables
Image Credit: Instructables

The hidden pet door is designed for homes featuring panel doors. Your cat can have access to any closed-off area of your home, while the door remains hidden from visitors. This project is great for all DIY levels and can easily become part of your home.

7. Hideaway Cat Door by First home lovelife

Hideaway Cat Door- First home lovelife 
Image Credit: First home lovelife

This hideaway cat door is a great idea for kitties that need access to their litter box area. Cat owners know the pain of leaving the litter box exposed to everyone who visits their home. With this door, that problem is solved. If access to the litter box isn’t an issue, this door is versatile enough to make a great addition to any area of the home for your kitty to explore.

8. Kitty Flap by Corobuzz

Kitty Flap- Corobuzz
Image Credit: Corobuzz

A kitty flap is a cool idea when it comes to cat doors on interior walls. Once you’ve made your cat’s passageway, your creative juices come into play. Using a tablecloth, old curtain, or any piece of material lying around the house, you can add a flap that not only hides the entry but entices your cat to pass through.

9. Cat Flap in a Wall by B4 and Afters

DIY Cat Door in the Wall
Image Credit: B4 and Afters

If you don’t want to install a cat flap in a door, another option is to install one in a wall. This can be a bit more complicated than installing a cat flap in a door, as you’ll need to cut a hole in your wall and ensure that it’s properly sealed to prevent drafts and water damage (and watch out for studs, electric wires, and plumbing). However, if done correctly, a cat flap in a wall can be a great option for giving your cat access to the outdoors. You can purchase a cat flap kit that’s specifically designed for wall installation, which will come with all the necessary hardware and instructions.

10. Cat Interior Door Idea by Bigger Than the Three of Us

Image Credit: biggerthanthethreeofus.com

And in some cases, you may want to create a cat door in one of your interior doors to give them easy access to certain areas of the house. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to make a cat door from an interior door panel. To get started, measure your cat and purchase a door panel that’s large enough for them to comfortably pass through (or can cut out a section of the door panel like in this example). Next, use a jigsaw to cut a hole in the door panel that is slightly larger than the size of the cat door you purchased. Finally, attach the door flap to the top of the panel using screws and/or adhesive, and install the panel back into the door frame. And boom, done!

11. DIY Rubber Cat Flap by Bmog

DIY Homemade magnetic dog flap nirvana
Image Credit: bmog.blogspot.com

Although this cat flap idea was made for dogs, of course it works for cats, too. All you need is some magnetic tape, a clear vinyl floor runner, contact cement, and duct tape. Note that this DIY works best if you already have an existing hole cut out for a cat flap. But if not, you can cut a hole out yourself provided that you have a way to hold the rubber in place and seal around the edges. So, it definitely takes a little knowledge and experience, but it can be done.

12. Repurposed Furniture Hiding Place With Cat Door by Recaptured Charm

DIY Cat Door from Old Cabinet
Image Credit: Recaptured Charm

If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can repurpose old furniture into a hiding place for your cat, complete with a cat door. For example, you could turn an old dresser into a cat house with a built-in cat flap. To do this, you’ll need to cut a hole in the side of the dresser that’s slightly wider than the cat flap. Then, you can attach the cat flap to the cabinet using nails or screws. You can also add a cushion or bed inside the cabinet to make it more comfortable for your cat. You can even use it to hide the litter box, like in the example.

The 2 DIY Window Cat Door Ideas

Cats love sitting in the window and watching the world outside. While some may feel adding a cat door or passageway to either an interior or exterior door may be difficult, a window cat door is already opened to the world outside making it an easier project to take on. Here’s a look at a couple of cool ideas for adding your cat something special to their favorite window.

13. Customized Window Door- The hand crafted life

Customized Window Door- The hand crafted life
Image Credit: The hand crafted life

This customized window door adds a little something extra to your cat’s favorite sliding window. Similar to the door we mentioned above, this customized addition works on sliding windows of any size but offers your kitty a ledge to sit on and enjoy a nice day outdoors.

14. Cat Window Door by purrfectly HOMEY

DIY Cat Door Insert for a Horizontal Sliding Window
Image Credit: purrfectly HOMEY

If you don’t want to cut a hole in your door or wall, another option is to install a cat door in a window, like in this example which features a sliding window. These cat doors usually come with a special frame that fits into the window frame, as well as all the necessary hardware for installation. And you may need to create an insert if you don’t have space (and don’t forget the weatherstripping). But once the cat door is installed, your cat will be able to come and go through the window as they please.

Final Thoughts

Dogs aren’t the only pets who should get to use pet doors. If you live in an area where your cat can go outside without dangers, an exterior cat door is a great way of allowing this to happen. If that’s not your kitty’s situation, then feel free to add an interior cat door or passageway to your home. This will provide them with a way to be adventurous while giving you ways to allow your kitty into areas of the home you don’t want everyone having access to. It’s a win for both you and your feline friend.

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Featured Image Credit: Julie Vader, Shutterstock

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