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Patio panel pet doors?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
First, my cats are indoor only. However, my apartment has a screened in patio and when I'm home and can keep an eye on them, I like to let them outside on the porch when the weather is good. Rather than lock them out, I pretty much only let them out if the weather is nice enough to shut off the AC and leave the sliding doors open.

Well, this is Florida, and the weather is starting to get too hot to do this. I was thinking about investing in a patio panel pet door, like the one here:


That way I could unlock it when I'm home, the cats could go outside and soak up the sun and the air, and I wouldn't have to cook in the apartment. But I don't know how well these work, so I'd like some opinions on the subject.
post #2 of 2
I've got 4 sliding patio doors that lead from my living room, office, and 2 bedrooms to my sunroom. The sunroom used to be an outdoor deck that has been enclosed. Since that room has neither heat nor air, I can't leave the doors open year round. I've got a dog door in one of them and a cat door in the other. Bought both of them at Petsmart but they carry the same brand at Petco.

There are things you want to be aware of before you buy one. Since you must leave the sliding door partly open, there is a draft that will come in between the sliding and stationary parts of the doors. The pet door will come with weatherstripping to put on the sliding part of the door. We didn't install it because I think it had to be glued on, and we are going to replace all of the doors in the near future. If you are in an apartment, you might want to check with the landlord if you can do that to the door.

There is more weatherstripping to place around the pet door itself, as there is a gap between it and the frame of the patio door. Our 2 doors don't fully seat right in the grooves so there will always be a little bit of gap around them.

And the rubber in the cat flap didn't impress me. The dog flap is heavy and falls back in place after they go thru it (we have the extra large dog flap). The cat flap rubber doesn't lay down as easily, as it is very light and doesn't have the weight to make it drop straight down. The link you sent appears that the door is a solid plastic rather than rubber, which would prevent this problem.

Both my cats and dogs learned to go thru them very quickly, although I had to leave them tied open for a while to get them used to doing that. Once they were comfortable, I dropped the flap and coaxed them to push the rubber with their heads.
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