Pet Doors For In a Screen

Pet Doors to Install In Window Screens, Sliding Screens, Screen Doors & Porch Screen Enclosures

Most of the dog doors and cat doors offered in this section are designed for installation through a screen. Could be a window screen, sliding screen door or the screen in a screened in porch. The other type is the 'instant' or 'hanging' screen door which may be installed in any doorway whether regular door, sliding door or French door.

For the through screen approach you have two major choices:

Read FAQ's about Pet Doors for In a Screen

Read more about Pet Doors for In a Screen below >>

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There are several pet doors on the market that install directly through the screen and rely upon the screen itself for support on all four sides. These come in a variety of sizes and are most suitable for smaller and less active pets like cats though some may be sized for large dogs.

For larger or more active pets we recommend something more sturdy. Choose a brand that allows the pet door frame to be fastened to the screen frame with sheet metal screws down one side and across the bottom.  Then the screen is re-splined to a special groove in the other two sides.

Important note regarding the snap-in style:  We've gotten some complaints from people with heavy wire screening that they can't install them because the screen is too stiff to force into the groove provided by the pet door. If you have that type of screening, we'd suggest getting the “Sturdy Mount” types. Also, we worry about the very, very light fiberglass screening. It may not be strong enough to support the snap-in types even with gentle use.

 

Q: What are the different types of through-screen installations?

A: There are two approaches to installing a pet door through a screen:

  • Some pet doors are designed to clamp onto the screen itself. These are very simple to install requiring only a sharp knife, a flat surface (like the kitchen floor) and a hammer. Also they are quite inexpensive.

  • Others are designed to fasten with sheet metal screws onto the screen framing in a lower corner. These require more expertise to install (you might even want to have a screen shop do this for you) and cost significantly more. However, they are also much sturdier and come in a wider variety of sizes.

  • Note that the hanging screens for a doorway are covered in this section as well. They are the Bug Off Instant Screen and the Magic Mesh Hands Free Screen.  

Q: Does the type of screen that I have matter?

A: If you intend to use the type that fastens to the screen framing then the screen material type doesn't matter. However, if you have light-weight fiberglass screen, then the clamp-on type may not have enough support and installing a pet door might cause the material to rip. With the heavier type of screen the one issue with the clamp on style is that they use pins that go through the screen and into the frame on the other side. We have found that in situations where the screen material is more heavy duty, that pre-starting the holes in the screen ensures that the pins go all the way through, which helps keep the two sides of the frame snapped together.   

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of installing a pet door in a screen?

A: Advantages

  • Cost. Particularly the clamp-on styles are very inexpensive and easily installed or removed.  All you would have to replace is the screen if you decide not to have the pet door anymore.

  • If you have nowhere else to put your pet door then it's nice to know that you can use a pet door through the screen of a window, door or porch.

  • A door through the screen allows you to still use the screen for ventilation in the spring and summer without allowing bugs in.

Disadvantages

  • Obviously, you let the weather in with the pet. This might not matter for a screened-in porch, but it could be very undesirable for household living in colder climates.

  • If you lock the pet in or out you may find that the pet scratches the screen in frustration trying to use the pet door.

  • With the clamp-on style the pet door, it is not nearly as supportive as the frame mount style. With a calmer pet it should be fine. However, an active dog may take the pet door out into the back yard as he goes through, even though the pet door may be large enough for the dog as the door is not as secure with only the support of the screen.  Screen doors are great, economic options for pet owners, but you just need to be sure that the door you’re buying is suitable for your pet! And as with anything, you are usually “paying for what you get” as far as durability goes.

Q: Will the screen in the pet door match my screen?

A: For the clamp types like the PetSafe, Gateway, or RCR Easy Screen they actually use your existing material so no need to worry about it matching.  The more sturdy models like the Hale and Pozzy Pet have flaps like a typical dog door, Pozzy Pet’s flap is rigid and Hale’s flap is a clear flexible vinyl material.  

Q: What if my screen is already torn out by my pet?

A: The clamp-on type is unlikely to work because you won't have screen to clamp onto on two sides. You'll need to replace the damaged screen, and then install the pet door. If you're planning to get a dog door that fastens to the screen frame itself then, as long as the pet door frame is larger than the torn out portion you'll very likely to be able to do the install with the screen "as is". This, of course, implies that you have the skill to re-spline the screen to the pet door--a job that isn't particularly easy. You might need to make a trip to the screen shop just to make sure you get a good result.

Q: I'm getting the sturdy type that fastens to the screen framing. Does the thickness of the screen framing matter?

A: Yes it does. This type of pet door expects the screen frame to be no thicker than 1/2". If thinner then ⅜”, the screen frame might not be strong enough to support a larger dog door. If it is thicker than 1/2", then the pet door frame must be modified. With the Hale we indicate the manufacturer will do this for you in the description for the specific pet door, or you may do-it-yourself with a table saw and metal-cutting blade if you choose to go with the Pride Pet Door and Screen Adaptor.

Q: How do I choose which I need?

A: Screen installations like the Gateway and PetSafe models tend to work best with cats and small mellow dogs. With the Hale and Pride screen mounts you attach them to the frame on two sides, making them much more durable. The large range of flap sizes makes much easier to comfortably fit your dog or cat.

Q: What is the most secure pet door for screens?

A: The Hale Pet Door for Screens and the Pride Pet Door are the most secure pet doors for screens. Keep in mind that the most secure screens are metal screens.

             

                Hale Pet Door for Screens                 Pride Pet Door 

Q: I have a very active Labrador, what screen dog door should I get?

A: For very active and larger pets in general, we always recommend that you purchase the dog screen doors that are attached to the frame of the screen because this is the sturdiest and most stable option for screen doors. The Hale Security Pet Door Screen Mount is a great example of a good screen door that is sturdy.


The Hale Security Pet Door Screen Mount

Q: For the Hale pet door, is the corner choice to install the pet door going to be the corner when looking from the outside?

A: No, when installing a screen pet door, you should specify the corner in which the door will go when looking from the inside of your home to the outside.

Q: What is the flap made of on the Hale?

A: The Hale Screen Mount Flap is made of Vinyl.

Q: Why would I need the stabilizer bar for the Hale screen pet door?

A: The Screen Mount Stabilizer Bar Kit adds an additional support across the top of the pet door. This is necessary for larger, active dogs, as it will help the screen and dog door stay in good shape for as long as possible by providing extra support.

Q: What does it mean by "exterior" and "interior" for Hale screen pet doors?

A: For the Hale Door "Exterior" and "Interior" are referring to where the screening material is located in relation to the frame. If the screen material is installed closer to the inside of the frame, then it is considered "Interior". If the screen material is installed closer to the outer part of the frame, then it is considered "exterior". If your framing is thicker than ½” then this is very important because it will determine how the manufacturer will need to modify it so that it will install correctly.

Q: Does the Ideal Screen Guard Pet Door actually come with the screen guard?

A: No, the screen guard must be purchased separately. This pet door is a great option if you currently have a screen guard and want to find a way to install a pet door and keep the screen guard in place.

Q: If I would like to use the Pride door through my screen do I just have to purchase the adapter?

A:  If you do not have the pet door yet you must purchase the door and the adapter separately. If you already own a Pride Deluxe Pet Door, then yes, you only need to purchase the Pride Door Screen Adapter.  

Q: What is a Bug Off “Instant” or “Hanging” Screen Door?

A: Bug Off is a hanging screen door that serves to prevent bugs from entering your home. You can walk through it with your hands full and it will quietly snap closed behind you. It is considered a temporary screen door and it's very easy to install (like a shower curtain).

Q: What is the flap on the Pozzy Pet Screen Door made of?

A: The flap of the Pozzy Pet Screen door is made of acrylic, which is rigid and thin.

Pozzy Pet Door for Screens

Q: If I wanted the Cat Mate 210, would you recommend a heavier screen material?

A: Yes, a heavier screen material is highly recommended for the Cat Mate 210 as it weighs more than the snap on types so it will need heavy material to support it.

Q: What is the spline?

A: The spline is the black rubber tube shaped material that surrounds the edges of the screen and holds the screen material in the frame.

Q: Why does Hale ask about so many options on the screen mounts?

A: There are many options for Hale Screen Doors because they are highly customizable, and they are very thorough about making sure they give you the right product. If the frame of the screen is over 1/2" in thickness, then it has to be modified.

Options that are brought up when selecting a Hale pet door screen mount:

1. 'Pet Door Installs in Which Lower Corner' - Specify whether you'll be installing the pet door in the lower left corner or the lower right corner of the screen when looking from the inside of the house to the outside. The terminology used by Hale is 'handing'. 'Handing Left' simply means that you'll be installing the pet door in the lower left-hand corner of the screen when looking from the inside of the house.

2. 'Customer Screen Frame Thickness Options' - The Hale pet screen door will be modified at the factory to fit varying thicknesses of your screen framing if necessary. Here are the various situations:

a. Your screen frame is thinner than 3/8". If you are considering a larger size or have a particularly vigorous dog, then your framing may not be sturdy enough and  you might want to reconsider making this purchase. This option is not offered for that reason.

b. If your screen frame thickness is up to 1/2" choose option 1. No further information is needed.

c. If your screen frame thickness is over 1/2", choose the second option if your screen mesh and spline are located on the outside side of the screen frame-- 'exterior'--and the third option if they are located on the inside, or 'interior', side. Your pet door must be installed on the same side as the screen mesh and spline  and the factory will ensure that the framing provided will accommodate that.

3. Hale Pet Door Screen Mount Stabilizer Bar Kit - A normal Hale pet screen door is supported down one side and across the bottom by your screen framing. The Screen Mount Stabilizer Bar Kit adds an additional support across the top of the pet door. We think this is a very good idea for larger sizes and more vigorous dogs. Available bar widths are 36" and 48". Choose the size at least as wide as your screen and then cut the bar with a hacksaw to fit. All fittings needed are included with the kit. To order this kit, please go to the Stabilizer Bar Kit page.

Q: What is the warranty policy on the RCR Easy Screens?

A: The warranty policy on the RCR Easy Screens lasts for 2 years. The customer must send in a photo of their broken door to us at sales@petdoors.com and we will then send out a replacement.

Q: Why can't I get a closing cover on my Hale Screen Mount?

A: There are no closing covers offered for the Hale Screen Mount because there is a theory that a locking cover might encourage a pet to paw through the screen in effort to get through since it can’t see through the cover.

Q: Why can't I use a Bug Off Instant Screen if my dimensions are a little off from what you list on the website?

A: You cannot use a Bug Off Instant Screen if your dimensions are outside of the required dimensions because it will not function properly. If the dimensions are off, it will attach awkwardly and may not close completely. There are many sizes so it's important that you get the right dimensions.

Do you have a question that wasn't answered? If you do, please email it to us at sales@petdoors.com