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There are a great many choices when it comes to manual cat flaps so the selection process can seem daunting at first. Let’s narrow things down a bit.
First, of course, the very most important thing is that you buy a size that’s comfortable for you animal. If your pet is a normal-sized cat then he will almost always be just fine with a regular “Cat Flap” sized door. If your pet is a very small dog, however, you really need to pay attention to the height of the opening compared with the height of your dog at the withers. We’ve got a very informative section in “Measure Your Pet” that you should read.
Second, you need to be sure that the cat flap fits the thickness of the door or other material that you’ll be installing in. Most of these cat flaps are “self-framing” and have an adjustment range so you must be sure that the adjustment range included the thickness of the door or other material. For example, a common adjustment range is 0” – 2”. If your exterior door is the most common thickness—1 ¾”—then you’re fine because your in the range. There are, however, some high-end doors that are thicker than 2”. That would call for a different cat door.
Finally, you want to be very sure that these cat flaps are being installed on a flat surface. Every pet door wants to be installed that way. But the typical cat flap design, with its rigid flap swinging on two “ears” at the top, is particularly sensitive to this issue. Even a small amount of bending of the frame can cause the flap to bind in the frame and not swing freely. If you’re installing in an uneven surfaced door, you might be better off with a flexible-flapped pet door that will be more forgiving if you’re surface is not exactly level.