Cat Door

2 grey cats

My Only Cat Picture

This Saturday’s project was installation of a cat door. We had an old cat door kit, complete with VHS video tape instructions. This project was a long time coming.

The cat door is made for installation into a full sized human door. Our problem was the size and shape of our fancy doors. The cat door works better with plain slab doors. Then my wife had a eureka moment: install the cat door into the wall. This created a new problem: how to install a 2 inch deep cat door into a 5 inch deep wall. The solution involved a lot of sawing.

how to cut with a table saw

A simple plan.

The easiest task was sawing into the dry wall. The hard part was making an insert for the cat door. I settled on an extra piece of shelving from our basement. It comes pre-laminated in white. The catch is how to set the pieces in the wall between the the drywall. I used an old trick, running the pieces along my table saw over and over until I gouge out enough of the piece to set it inside the wall along the dry wall. You can buy special blades for this very purpose, but why spend money when you can do something over and over again for free.

Fitting the pieces into the wall spaces was a bit of trial and error. For the bottom piece, I stacked some scrap wood from the sill plate and mixed and matched pieces until I came to the right height. For the side piece, I used a friction fit and then screwed the piece in with the cat door frame. The top piece was challenging. I had to hold it up while I screwed it in with the cat door frame. One side of the cat door is a stud (the 2″ x 4″ framing). There was no room to use a shelf piece, so I covered it with the adhesive strips that came with the cat door. The results were better than I had expected. Most importantly, the cats love it.

cat door in a wall

The Finished Door

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