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15 Free DIY Cat Door Ideas (With Pictures)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat entering through cat door

15 Free DIY Cat Door Ideas (With Pictures)

Dogs have long been given their own doors in many households so that they may let themselves outside when nature calls. It’s pretty easy to train a canine to use such a door, but don’t leave felines out of the fun! Cats love to go outside too, and they can be trained to use a pet door just as easily as dogs.

We’ve found excellent DIY cat door projects for you to draw inspiration and information from, including several that were built into a window, in case you don’t have an appropriate door.

cat paw divider

The 15 DIY Cat Doors

1. Simple DIY Cat Door Tutorial

Image Credit: Bigger Than The Three Of Us

Simple yet stylish, this DIY cat door is easy to make and looks great. It’s got a black rim that offsets a white door nicely. You’ll have an easy time installing this cat door in any interior door, though the plans can also be modified to work in an exterior door. This project can be easily created in an afternoon with only a few simple materials and tools.

2. Homemade Pet Door

DIY Homemade Pet Door
Image Credit: Mother Earth News

This pet door is homemade, but you’d never know it from how well it functions. There’s even a hard insert you can use to block the door closed when necessary, such as when it’s very cold outside and you don’t want that cold air seeping into your home!

3. Picture Frame Cat Door

DIY Interior Cat Passageway With a Picture Frame
Image Credit: catster

Even if you’ve never done trim work before, you can easily trim out this DIY cat door using a picture frame! Naturally, this provides you with a lot of options. A trip to your local craft store should prove that there are hundreds of styles to choose from, so you can go as simple or as glamorous as you prefer without any extra work!

4. Hidden Pet Panel Door

DIY Hidden Pet Door in Panel Door
Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables

This hidden pet door is easy to build into any panel door, even if it’s an exterior door. The best part is, of course, that it’s entirely hidden! Most cat doors end up being obvious, and often, eyesores. But this one blends in perfectly with the existing door, so no one will know it’s there until your cat comes barging through!

5. Hideaway Interior Cat Door

Image Credit: First Home Love Life

When you’re building a cat door in an interior door, it doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. This hideaway interior cat door, for instance, is as simple as they come, demonstrating that it doesn’t take much in the way of time, skills, tools, or money to build an effective cat door.

6. Attractive, Easy Cat Door

DIY Cat Door
Image Credit: Imgur

If you saw this cat door in your friend’s home, your first thought certainly wouldn’t be that your friend made it by hand. It looks like something purchased and installed by a professional, but this attractive cat door is an easy DIY project that you can tackle today and get the same effect.

7. Custom Cat Door in a Window

DIY Custom Cat Door In A Window
Image Credit: The Handcrafted Life

Building a cat door in an exterior wall or door can be a difficult endeavor that takes a lot of skill and know-how. But windows are already open. Using the opening of a window to create a door for your cat is much less invasive, destructive, and difficult. You can easily build this into any sliding window. Once again, it’s easily adaptable for windows of various sizes. This one even features a cat ledge on the exterior, so your cat doesn’t have to fall straight to the ground when it climbs through. Just don’t forget to provide a way for it to climb back up so it can get back inside on its own!

8. Build Your Own Cat Door

DIY Cat Door
Image Credit: Hackaday

There are plenty of reasons you might want to make your own cat door rather than buy a commercially available one. This post and plan show you how to build your own cat door in a hollow wood door, complete with plans to install an acrylic flap for easy entry and exit. Acrylic is lightweight, so it is easy to push and won’t hurt if it claps back down on your cat. It is also clear so that anxious cats can see in and out.

9. DIY Cat Door for Hollow Core Interior Doors

Cat doors aren’t just beneficial for exterior doors, allowing your cat access to the great outdoors. They can also be beneficial on interior doors. They can enable your cats to get access to the room where their litter and food are kept while preventing the dog or small children from getting into the same litter and food. No cat door has to look dull and uninspiring but this is especially true of those on interior doors, and this YouTube video shows you how to create a DIY cat door for hollow core interior doors.

10. Painted Cat Door DIY

Image Credit: The Domestic Greek Blog

This painted cat door tutorial actually uses a commercially available pet door, but it does a good job of showing how to install the door and it also highlights the fact that you can customize the door, especially by painting it to create a unique finish.

11. RFID Cat Door

Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables

One of the reasons that a lot of cat owners turn to commercial cat doors from pet stores and other locations is that they offer more advanced features than a simple swinging wooden door. They can be used in conjunction with microchips and other identifiers so that they only allow access to your cats while preventing other cats and animals from getting in your house. There are even those that use facial recognition. With this RFID cat door tutorial, you can create your own electronic cat door to grant your feline friend access to the house and prevent entry for others.

12. Cat Flap

DIY Cat Flap
Image Credit: supermagnete

Modern cat doors that are installed on the exterior doors of homes tend to be insulated and offer various forms of security. But, if you’re looking to erect a more basic cat flap design, maybe in a shed or garage where insulation doesn’t matter, you can opt for a more basic design. This cat flap is a flap that is hinged and attached to an opening in the door. It isn’t insulated, though, so we wouldn’t recommend using this on the outside of your home.

13. Safety Gate Cat Door

DIY Make a Cat Door in a Safety Gate That Small Dogs Can’t Go Through
Image Credit: Pet Poo Skiddoo

If you have dogs and cats, there are likely to be rooms and areas where the cats are allowed to go but the dogs might not. In some houses, this is true of entire rooms or floors of the house. Giving your cat the extra space means that they can enjoy privacy and time away from the dog. If you use a safety gate that prevents your dogs from getting into a room or area but still want to provide access for cats that don’t like to or aren’t able to jump, this safety gate cat door provides an ideal solution.

14. Sash Window Pet Door

DIY Sash Window Pet Door
Image Credit: doityourself

Sash windows are beautiful features, and they allow a lot of natural light and air into a room. With a little work, they can also be used to provide your cat with a means of access. This sash window pet door uses a board to sit in the frame of the window, which means that it also provides a great alternative to sawing holes in doors. Once you take the cat door panel out, there will be no evidence of there ever being a pet door.

15. Cat Door for Sliding Glass Door

If you have sliding glass doors, you don’t have to leave the door ajar permanently for your cat to get in and out. This cat door for sliding glass door tutorial creates a panel that fits into the frame. Most of the panel is solid so it prevents too much cold air from getting in and warm air from getting out, while your cat has easy access to the garden and the house, as needed.

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There’s no reason that pet doors should be limited to dogs. Cats will also enjoy easy access to the backyard and back into the home. Best of all, you don’t even have to permanently modify your home to achieve this! You definitely can build a cat door in an existing wall or door, but you can also build one into a window without causing any damage. Your options are only limited by your creativity and DIY skills.

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Featured Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

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