The Key to finding the right Pet Door for your Cats and Dogs to Share!

If you had a dog, you'd look into dog door. Or, if you had a cat, you'd consider pet doors for cats. Since you own both, you'll want a "pet" flap. Right? Well.... Not exactly. What's important is that the pet door you're considering is the right fit for all of your pets. So don't pay too much attention to the terms "dog door" or "cat door," just measure using this measurement guide.

sibling pets sleeping together, using doors for cats and dogs

Ok, so how do you measure for a dog and cat door? Let's start with the biggest pet, usually the dog. Open a door wide enough for him to walk through comfortably and measure that width. The flap on the pet door you buy needs to be at least that wide.

Now measure their height at the withers (top of their shoulders). The top of the pet door opening should ideally be about 1"- 2" taller than the highest point on their back (especially if your dog is prone to jumping a little to step through). Now think about "step-over." This is the height from the ground to the base of the door you install.

What's the highest step-over the cat can manage? Cats are pretty agile, and many can hop through a high step-over. Still, when your cat is older it won't be so easy. Same for the dog. So the lower the step-over, the better in the long run. You use the flap height to figure out the step-over for the pet door you're considering.

Suppose your dog stands 20" at the withers. You're going to mount it so the top of the opening is at 21". If the flap measures 17" then the step-over is going to be 4" which seems reasonable for the cat and is great for the dog. Now, suppose the flap is only 15". Not as good is it? The step-over ends up being 6" which probably works for the dog for now but is less certain for the cat. When they're old, you'll be replacing the pet door with a bigger one if you're still in the same house.

So what if it's a close call and you aren't sure? Crack your door open to the estimated width you figured out earlier and then put some duct tape horizontally to simulate the step-over and flap height and call them both through with a treat. This is the best way to be sure that you'll be satisfied with the pet door when you receive it.

A great indoor cat door and dog door for pets to share is the Hale Pet Door for Doors! If the sizing for your pets doesn't quite allow for a duo-door option, we've got you covered! We have a huge selection of cat flaps and doors so you can find the best cat door for you. Kitty doors come in all shapes and sizes, so whether you're looking for electronic, energy efficient, etc, we have plenty of options for a cat flap door!

To teach cat to use cat flap we recommend grabbing some of their favorite treats and slowly introducing them to the new door. Your kitty should get the hang of it in no time! There are also other factors of a multi-pet home that you may be considering. For example, resolving issues with your dog getting into your cat's litter and/or food.

You could keep the peace in your household by separating them with a baby gate. Most importantly, the key to happy and healthy pets is having an owner who cares about their well-being!

Nick Pullano

Written by

Nick Pullano


Pets: I have a half border collie, half angel named Mikey.
Fun stuff: My dog's tongue is slightly longer than her face, so frequently her tongue sticks out a little even when her mouth is closed.

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