How To Keep The Cat From Using The Dog Door

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How To Keep The Cat From Using The Dog Door - 3 Options to Buy and a DIY Dog Door Hack |
How To Keep The Cat From Using The Dog Door – 3 Options to Buy and a DIY Dog Door Hack

This post doesn’t really have much to do with decorating, but it does have to do with solving a problem that keeps my pets safe and my house cleaner…and I thought if I had this issue some of you might, too.  Read on to find out how to keep the cat from using the dog door.

The issue was that I have a dog door, which my cocker spaniel Winston (in the picture above) has used for all of his life (10 years and counting).

Chanel - How To Keep The Cat From Using The Dog Door - 3 Options to Buy and a DIY Dog Door Hack |

I also have cats…somewhat large, long-haired, mostly-white cats that are meant to be indoor cats…and they were indoor cats for the first 4 years of their lives until one of them (Chanel) figured out how to use the dog door.  Then I had one mostly-brown with leaves tangled in her fur outdoor cat.  Not only did she track all of that dirt into the house and onto the sofa, she also very quickly got into the habit of bringing me “presents” (ie. dead mice that appeared in the middle of the living room floor.  Yuck!).

I was on the hunt to find a dog door solution that would let the dog go in and out, but keep the cat in.  My original thought was that there must be something I could buy to do this.  And I found three options that were workable, but each one had a couple of things that didn’t quite fit with what I wanted.  So I ended up modifying the dog door I already had and it seems to have done the trick (for less than $20 I might add)!

Click Next to see the options I considered (one of them might work for you), and what I finally ended up doing.

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29 Responses

  • Hi Wanda ~ Thanks for your post. I have the same problem, except I need to keep the cats out and let the dogs come and go freely. I have not yet gotten the dog door. I spent months talking my new husband into letting me install a dog door, only to have the thought…”well how am I going to keep the cats out (all 3 males and even though fixed, caught one trying to spray in my closet, and now they are banned). This mat you talked about that static shocks though, I am interested in trying to keep the cats off my husband’s 1967 Fairlane. Do you think it would work? Thanks!

    • Hi Ellen…My cats would be banned if they tried to spray in the closet, too 🙂 The static shock mats should work as long as you can figure out the best place to put them…where the cats will definitely step on them and can’t jump over them.

  • I have same problem, but with 4 dogs, 6 cats (3 semi-feral), and a pool (not good for the electronic devices). I purchased a which was quite expensive, but very well made and energy efficient. Unfortunately, though the magnets along all 3 edges are quite strong, 3 cats can still get out. I have yet to find a solution. I need collars that I can put on the cats that will trigger a spray to scare the cats away. I’ve been looking at the shock collars, but they are huge and shouldn’t be worn 24 hrs a day rendering them useless.

    • Hi Jane…I’m sorry to hear that your dog door isn’t working to keep all of your cats in. I’m always amazed at how resourceful cats are. Finding something that would spray water sounds like a great idea! I haven’t seen anything like that, but would love to hear about it if you do!

    • Hi Joshua…I haven’t had any problems with that with my dog (he doesn’t push close enough to the edge of the door to come in contact with the magnets). But you could try sticking (or gluing) some of that foam weatherstrip tape over the magnets to add a bit of a cushion if you think it will be a problem.

  • Ughhhhh thank you so much I’m going to try this. I moved and I have a dog door and a dog now. The only problem is I had three cats. I’ve been living here for about 3 months now and about two weeks ago one of my cats went missing and about one week ago another went missing and I’m so sad!! I am down to just one cat now which breaks my heart and I can not figure out how to keep him in the house. I was thinking about putting him in my room when I’m gone so the doggy door can be open for my dog and then when I’m home I can put the dog door cover on and let my cat out and then I’ll just let my dog out like every hour or so but that’s just a hassle!! I really hope this works because I would be devastated if I lost another cat.

    • Hi Tabbitha…I’m so sorry to hear about your cats. That is heartbreaking. I hope this works for you, too!

  • I actually have a solution! This sounds jank, but I actually adhered two heavy pieces of metal on the bottom of the flap, so it made the door just heavy enough that the cats can’t push it open, but the dogs can:)

  • I’m definitely trying this. My 8 month old kitty just figured out the doggie door. It is a big door for our Rottweiler, hope the magnets will do the trick. My last kitty never came home and I was devastated. Don’t want to lose her to other dogs, cats, cars or mean people. Thought my only options were to keep the dog out or keep the cat locked in a room. None of these were an option for me.

    • Hi Zandra…I’m sorry to hear about losing your last kitty. I would be devastated, too! Hopefully, this will work and keep your new kitty safe!

  • Unfortunately our cat is just too smart for her own good. There are so many magnets on the dog door that our dogs have to push to get out, yet the cat has already managed to figure it out. So bummed.

    • I have the same problem. I have a tiny 11 pound cat and two 80 lb pit bulls. The doggy door has heavy magnets all over and that cat still can crack it open enough to sneak out. My dogs have to push hard with their heads to open it. My cat will hear me open up the doggy door just to let the dogs out and he comes running to watch me to see if I’ll forget to put the cover back.

  • OMG we’ve been stressing on how to solve this same problem with our new 1 year old cat Jasmine. It did not take her long to figure out how to get out the dog door, and I don’t want her wandering the neighborhood and worrying about her and cars, fox, coyote and unfriendly dogs! We went through the same process (and elimination) of options as you mentioned on your post. My husband is off to the hardware store to try your solution. Really appreciate your post and suggestion!!!

  • Wanda, I do believe your Chanel and my Tapioca would probably figure out how to rob banks together. She is strikingly beautiful by the way. I thought it strange that Tapioca would stand so close to the dog door knowing what came through it repulsed him so much. He would stand inches away, tilting his head slightly if a strong breeze caused any movement in the flap. This went on for several days and when I saw it I thought to myself: “Nawww, he wouldn’t.” Little did I know he was probably just beaming the blueprints of this specific dog door make and model to the mothership as anyone with cats knows they are not from this earth. Anyhow, after careful study, and receiving the go-ahead from his feline leader, he used what is probably a similar bottom right corner paw trick, as I watched him go through the dog door just last night. I was utterly horrified and screamed his name the way a mother a would scream her childs name if that child darted into oncoming traffic. I am thankful for the recent dusting of snow as his kitty prints were easy to track and after a scolding I jumped online to try to figure out how to put an immediate stop to this. I am so grateful to have come across your website and advice. I am off to the hardware store right now. Thank you for posting this.

    • Hi April…Cats are amazing, aren’t they? I had to spend hours teaching my dog how to use the door. But not Chanel…she just figured it out. I’m happy to report that the magnets are still holding up. She hasn’t been able to get around this one 🙂 Hopefully, it will work for you, too!

  • Thank you!! Our barn cats have learned to enter our home through the dog door. The bigger problem is they cannot get back out through the door…can’t figure this one out. So we come home to cats trapped in the house…not a welcomed sight. Trying this today!!

  • Hi! I read your post and tried it out. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the magnets with the screw holes in it. Can you tell me the brand you used? I can’t make out the words in your picture thanks!

  • I don’t have a dog door yet. I am trying to figure out how and where to put one. I have to go down 3 steps to the landing. Open the inside door and then the screen door. I contemplated taking screen door off but then can not have door open in the summer. No room to install one from the wall down there either. Very perplexed but I and my Daisy would very much like one. I also have a cat who thinks the great outdoors would be an adventure. I think not. So I read this with great anticipation. Back to trying to figure how to do this.

    • Hi Jordan…that does sound like a problem situation. Maybe you could put 2 dog doors in? One in both the inside door and the screen door lined up with each other? Then teach the dog to go through both…a bit of a pain to install (and more expensive), but it might be worth it. Now that I have a dog door, I don’t know how I ever owned dogs without one! Anyhow, I hope you find something that works. If you find a good solution, I’d love to hear what you did 🙂

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