Anyone who owns a cat knows how much they value their independence. Being curious creatures, cats like to go out and explore the world while their owners are out during the day.
Cat flaps are a great thing for our kitties as it allows them to come and go as they please. But what kind of things do you need to consider before spending your money on a cat flap? Where do you start?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this handy guide; if you’re thinking of hiring a local cat flap fitter, make sure to read this before you do!
Size of cat flap
The first thing to consider is the size of the cat flap. The hole has to be large enough to accommodate your moggy, but not too large that it takes up the whole of a door. The size of cat flap you choose will also depend on where you’re installing it; the size and type of glass will limit how big of a cat flap you get put in for example, whereas walls can be less limiting.
Cat flap location
Most people have their cat flaps installed in a door, but you can also fit a cat flap in glass such as in a conservatory, or even get cat flap installation for a wall. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons with where your cat flap fitter is going to install your cat flap, as different locations can have their advantages and disadvantages.
For example, cat flap installation in glass is much less complicated than getting one put a wall; just order the glass then get a local glazier in your area to come and install your new glass panel, cat flap hole included!
Installing a cat flap in glass
If you are getting a cat flap in glass, it’s vital to know what type of glass you have, as some types can’t be cut in to, and have to be ordered specially. Standard float glass can be removed, the hole cut into it, and then put back without much problem (although this is at the customer’s own risk as it may break).
However, newer safety regulations in the UK mean that some areas can no longer have standard glass in (i.e. public facing buildings, next to doors, below waist height) and therefore, if float glass is taken out from these areas, it cannot legally be put back in.
In this situation, new glass with a hole for a cat flap would have to be toughened or laminated glass. These types of glass cannot be cut into as they will shatter due to their makeup and therefore will need to be ordered with the hole specially put in, then a glazier can come and install the pane.
However, if float glass can be cut and put back in, a glazier can usually do this on site there and then.
Types of cat flaps
It’s also important to know the different kinds of cat flaps you have available to you.
Gone are the days where a simple plastic flap is all you could treat your cat to – now you have a range of options. For those who do prefer a traditional two-way cat flap, you can obviously still get a cat flap fitter to put one in, but have you considered the modern alternatives?
The next step up from a traditional two-way is a four-way flap; this allows for more security options as there are four settings for access – open, closed, exit only and entrance only. These types are quite cheap (you can get a decent one for around £20), and they mean that you can exercise a bit more control over which direction your cat is going.
The downside to these types of flaps, as well as the old-school two-way, is that they are non-discriminatory, meaning any animal big enough to use the flap can come in. This may make you want to consider a more secure option, lest you come home to find a fox cosying up on the sofa!
Advanced cat flaps
The next logical option is to get a magnetic cat flap. These types come with a magnetic attachment you put on your cat’s collar that will open the cat flap when they approach it.
A big advantage to this is that no other animal can use the cat flap, so you’ll know that you won’t get any nasty surprises in your house when you come home.
However, one disadvantage to these types is that any neighbouring cats that also have the magnets attached to their collars can also use the flap. In addition to this, these types are slightly more expensive than the regular four-way flaps, averaging around £20-30 online.
So, what if you want a cat flap that offers complete security, only letting your cat in?
The best security option for people who need cat flap installation is by far, the four-way infrared/ microchip cat flap. Sounding like something from a James Bond movie, this cat flap comes with a miniature sensor that you attach to your cat’s collar, much like the magnetic attachment.
However, unlike the magnet, the microchip is unique to your cat, and therefore only your cat will be able to access the cat flap. The advantage here is clear; it’s a very safe option for your home – but nothing is perfect.
The disadvantages of the infrared/ microchip option are that it’s the most expensive option (with prices ranging from £50 all the way up to £150 and beyond), and that the locking mechanism can be unreliable.
As you can see, cat flap installation is not as straightforward as it may seem at first, but there are a lot of options available to you for when you decide to ring up a cat flap fitter to get one installed.
At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to you which one you buy, but whatever one you go for, we’re sure your kitty will appreciate it.