I’ve had my oldest cat, Krashy, for almost 12 years now. In all that time, the cat litter box has always been somewhere fairly conspicuous — bathroom, bedroom, closet with the door cracked open, even in the dining room (away from the table, of course). So I’ve always wanted to be able to put the stinky box in the basement.
To that end, a friend suggested that I look into installing a cat flap on the basement door. “Sure, that seems like an easy idea!” I said to myself. “How hard could it be to cut a hole in a hollow interior door?”
First of all, I had to pick up a cat door. I headed to PetSmart and got a small cat-size door for $19.99, about the same it would have cost had I ordered it online and paid for shipping. It said it fit cats weighing 1-15 pounds. Our 2-year-old cat is 10 pounds, while Krashy is 15 pounds even. So it was a bit of a risk buying that size to begin with. The alternative was buying a doggie-size door, and I didn’t want anything larger.
Now, this is the same day I bought my new laptop computer. I arrive home with both the laptop and the cat door, and what do I do first? I grab my brother’s Sawszall, which is a motorized saw blade, and I also snag a very small hand saw used to cut sheetrock. Apparently, a shiny new gadget took a backseat to my need to install this new cat door.
After tracing around the frame of the cat door with a pencil, I power up the Sawszall, intending to just punch a hole through the door and use the little hand saw to precisely cut the rest of it. Punching through the one side of the door was a process, as the Sawszall kicked back on me a bit (my arms are super-weak). I then punched through the other side of the door. Using the little hand saw to cut the frame didn’t work at all, so I went back to the heavy machinery. It was messy, and I chipped the door up a bit, but I finally got the hole cut. The cat door has two parts — one for each side of the door, to cover the jagged edges. Here’s what it looked like with just one side of the cat door installed.
NOTE: I did forget to mention that after I found the poop/pee this morning, I went down to the basement to check the litter box — and found that one of the cats left a big, gross puke/hairball in there. That may have put off Krashy from using the litter box properly. My poor cat can’t take all of the changes!