Because our cat won't take no for an answer, we need to reinforce the
catflap against escape. The simplest solution is a slide in 'guillotine'
panel which covers the whole assembly (insert jokes about sharpened edge,
baited with tuna etc).
I have various types of stout thin board, that's not a problem. But I need
some J-Channel to slide it in and out of. Something like 10-20mm wide at
the back, and 5-10mm wide at the front, and able to accept a 3-4mm board
sliding in. Two lengths of 250mm would be adequate, sturdy plastic or
aluminium would be ideal.
I've seen similar stuff on the back of self assembly furniture, to hold the
hardboard back on. Common-sense says there's probably some way to scavenge
or convert it - cut-down electrical trunking, alloy channel for fixing
greehouse glass or summink?
Ideas very welcome...!
Got a router or tablesaw? Or at a pinch (and if you dont value your
fingers) a circular saw?
If so, make a 20mm square U shape from any bits of wood and put a groove
down it using whatever tool does it best for you. A 'normal' circular/
tablesaw blade will give you a 4mm slot, more if you set the blade
slightly off centre and rip it both ways round.
Or, thinking creatively, let the bloody cat out. It'll come back when
Dunno about J shaped channel but you can certainly get U shaped
channel .Would that not do .Glue it on to whatever is behind and cut
the board to fit it .. You can get these mouldings in Sheds in those
containers that they have near the timber area . Richard Burbridge
does them as well I think .
Get a new cat flap .One that locks .
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
I don't know about J section, but you should be able to get some U section
aluminium extrusion from a metal stockist. Assuming you want to screw it to
the door, you can drill some holes in the front face of the channel big
enough to get the end of a screwdriver through.
Alternatively, could you not just put a simple bar across, near the bottom,
to stop the flap opening? This could be pivoted one end so as to swing out
of the way when necessary, with the other end pushed into a simple bracket
when you want to keep the flap shut - or maybe two, a parking bracket and an
Alternatively yet again, doing a quick Google for 'cat flap' suggests that
there are locking cat flaps - which may fit the bill - and those which only
respond to *your* cat by reacting to a magnetic gizmo on its collar. So,
presumably, if you remove the collar, the flap won't open when the cat
Now I've run out of creative ideas - sorry!
Thanks Paul - I could also make some channels by sandwiching 3 layers of
thin material, clamped & glued etc, or by routing a length of planed timber
to a thick L shape, but I'm still holding out for an off-the-shelf bodge
solution (or a graceful serendipity if you prefer).
Yeah, we tried that - the vet's bills are eye-watering though. Damned
thing staggers home after 3-4 days with half it's fur left and limbs hanging
off, but then seems keen to go out and do it again as soon as the bandages
My neighbour's cat has three homes, it's own, mine and another neighbour -
depending on what mood it is in and what you feed it. It has a collar with
a magnet so when it goes near the catflap it will open to allow it in to
next door's house. Once inside it can't get out unless the catflap is
switched to allow this. The catflap can be set for incoming, outgoing or
both. It usually sits at the back or front door here and will come in if
the door is open. If it's cold out it will sit on the window ledge ! For
your catflap you need to glue some very small trunking around the edge
inside. Then slide a piece of plastic or wood down in to it. Arrange it
like a squared U shape. Don't forget the litter tray by the door as the cat
might have a reason for going out.
I wouldn't bother about it staying out, they all come home when they're
hungry or cold, cats are very intelligent. Far brighter than dogs.
Yeah, we had one of those - cat just ripped it to bits: quite
I fitted a similar slide-in guillotine; actually I just used a few
screws around the perimeter, with the heads left proud to act as the
retaining lugs - intention was to find and fit proper guides, but never
got round to it, and it worked fine.
Mind you, ultimately the 'guillotine' also needed to be fitted with a
removable peg through a hole, as the little (not so little TBH) bugger
worked out how to slide it up...
Our cat would have taken the hinges out in that situation.
I suspect he's already tried those.
Yes, but they generally only lock in the 'inward' direction. We thought
of something like that but it didn't work for that reason (we were
trying to keep one cat in but allow the other to go out).
Amazing that no-one has yet produced a cat flap that reads the cat's
RFID chip, instead of the heavy magnets.
I wonder about a simple flap, same size as the cat flap, hinged
horizontally about the flap. Two turn buttons or similar, one to hold it
up out of the way, and one (perhaps a bit more complex since cats can be
very dextrous) holding it shut over the cat flap.
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
My Google search found one or two which appear to do this - but I didn't
suggest it to the OP 'cos such a device would be difficult to selectively
disable - whereas something on the collar . .
You have to watch the magnetic ones... I'm reposting this story here as
the content of the site may be a little strong for the weaker-spirited
amongst you dear readers ;-) (cue a rush to read the rest of the site...)
The original is at
This story concerns two friends of my parents; Nick and Jill.
Nick is a good humoured guy of great patience. Jill is extremely
houseproud and tends to get uptight about things like interior
decoration. They live in a large Victorian sandstone house that they have
renovated over the last two decades.
They had a cat called Bimbo. Bimbo was a lovely cat; a ginger female that
had been brought up with their two children, and had never posed any
Then they redid their kitchen. Black tiles; granite surfaces; anything
that could be lifted had to be chrome. To accommodate Bimbo, they
installed a catflap that was activated by a magnet on her collar. The
whole thing looked fantastic- like something out of a catalogue. They
were understandably chuffed with their efforts.
The cat, on the other hand, seemed less than pleased. They would put food
in her bowl and come back to find it spread across the tiles. It happened
every time they fed her- she would seemingly shun her food and throw it
across the kitchen, covering the cupboards and floors.
Jill was not pleased. Her new kitchen was being violated several times a
week. She became convinced that Bimbo was succumbing to old age- she was
around 16 at this point- and started to talk about having her put down.
Nick convinced her not to act so rashly; they could train the cat out of
Around a week later (with no change in moggy behaviour) they were sitting
in their living room. The door was open.
Nick spotted a ginger blur.
"Jesus, I've just seen the cat run by with its bowl under its chin!"
Jill was understandably skeptical, but followed him out to the hall.
There they found Bimbo and her beautiful chrome bowl surrounded by cat
Nick picked her up with one hand, and picked up her bowl in the other. He
spoke to her in the exasperated tone familiar to anyone who has ever
tried to train a cat.
"Why do you keep doing this?" he said, waving the bowl close to the cat's
face. "You're making such a mes..."
At that point the chrome bowl pulled itself to the catflap magnet on
Bimbo's collar. The cat let out a helpless 'miaow'.
The poor thing had been starving over the previous fortnight- every time
she'd tried to eat, her bowl had stuck to her collar and she'd panicked.
Bimbo lived to around 19 and died of natural causes. She ate the rest of
her meals from a ceramic bowl.
In article ,
Tell me about it. I have the same problem with the wife.
1. Your local shop-fitters.
2. Your local plastics warehouse. If you've never been to one, you'd
be surprised what weird shit they keep in stock. They also usually have
a scraps bin that they're happy for you to plunder so, for the quantity
you need, you might get something free that you can adapt.
3. MFI or Ikea. Scrounge around the bargain corner - there might be
bits and pieces kicking around. Do Ikea have spares at customer
services? Ask at MFI. There might just be a bit kicking round from an
Nah, the simplest solution is to get a different style cat flap. The
Staywell series 700 have a slide-down barrier and cost less than £10 from
various on-line suppliers. At that sort of money, a DIY solution just ain't
worth the hastle.
The 900 series have 4 way locking: fully closed, out-but-not-in,
in-but-not-out, and fully open. We have five cats and only the three-legged
one has worked out how to open the flap to get out when it's set to
in-but-not-out - she hooks a claw into the edge of the magnetic strip and
lifts the flap until she can get her head under it, then she's gone!
When our cat wanted to get out in a hurry, and the flap was locked....he
just went straight through it. I think the OP is saying much the same
Incidentally, I'd recommend Pet Mate. They actually supply spares -
sometimes FOC, but always very fast.
In article ,
"Bob Eager" writes:
They have. One of my staff at a former job fitted one.
I think he had to import it. It reads the standard RFID
tags fitted to pets by the vets. You can program several
in (he has two cats).
In article ,
Long before these existed commercially, I tried to make one with
a magnet and reed switch. Got to the point where it worked quite
well on the bench, so I fitted the magnet to the collar. Next
time the cat came in, there was a trail of rusty old ironmongary
trailing from her collar. I gave up on the idea.
We've got two cat flaps - outer one "locks" - yeah right that's why we
have a third cat now. It has a magnet in but a very determined cat
after 3 months learnt how to open it.
The inner one is a guiloteen closing one.
At the last house a cat ate and mangled the guiloteen bit and ruined
it. This one has lasted longer mainly because we've only used it for
>Mind you, ultimately the 'guillotine' also needed to be fitted with a
>removable peg through a hole, as the little (not so little TBH) bugger
>worked out how to slide it up...