Sunday, November 22, 2015

Electronic cat door and extensions.

A while ago  my dad I installed an electronic cat door in the basement (available from this company: Petsafe). The door is programmable and reads the chips implanted in our cats' necks. This means that only our cats can enter through the door. For a while we had another cat enter our house (when we kept a window open), who devoured all our cats' food and also had several fights with them. This problem is now solved.
Cat door installed into window (outside).
Exit trough the window.

A second big advantage of this door is that we can program it to keep our cats inside. We prefer to have them in when it is dark and the door lock at sunset (note: they can always enter but at night not exit). We have set the door to open only after we have left for work in the morning. The reason being: our cats like to walk with us when we are outside. We take the bus to Uppsala and the bus stop is 300 meters away, across a bridge and very busy road. The cats normally do not cross the bridge (not that we know off) and are separated from the busy road by a river - unless they are able to follow us.
Our active cats.
The one problem with the door is that it is made from a reasonably thin piece of plastic and when closed it is not airtight. In Sweden, the temperature can be quite low and openings like this tend to make the house cold. To insulate the door a bit I decided to build a box around the outside of the door on the platform from where the cats enter. This "entrance hall" will reduce the loss of temperature a lot since, it not only serves as a second insulating area but will disrupt the airflow that creates a draft into the house.
Parts used for building the entrance hall. Should provide these plans to IKEA to sell as an item :) 

Adding some decorative elements.
Small double pane window.

Construction of the box.
Note the graffiti on the inside.
Plastic flap on the outside. Similar one on the inside (quite flexible and easy for the cats to enter/exit)
Insulation material used during installation.

There is enough space inside to add another layer of insulating material if it is needed. The box is made to be removed in the summer.
Box installed on platform.

Although this is not something I can put in my ETSY shop I do mention that I make custom items. A cat door and entrance hall combination may be a bit strange as an item to sell but it is made from wood and did enjoy making and installing it - thus if you need one do not hesitate to contact me for a quote ;)

Hope everyone keeps warm this winter (or cool in summer if you are reading this in the southern hemisphere).


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