Dog & Cat Door Sizes

If you have chosen to install a pet door for you cat or dog, you have made a decision that will make your pet more comfortable and give him more control over his own domain.  In order to install the right size door and ensure that is positioned correctly for your particular pet, you will need to take some measurements beforehand.  Measuring up your pet for a pet door is not difficult.

If the door you are installing is for a dog, you will need information about his height, width, and the distance from his belly to the ground.  Measuring up your dog for a dog door does not necessarily mean wrestling him down so you can measure him. For height, have him stand next to a wall, and mark the wall at his tallest point.  This is usually the shoulders, but for some breeds, it may be elsewhere.  This measurement will help you make sure he is not scraping his back when he uses his door.  If he is standing still well for you, mark the wall just below the lowest point on his belly, which will tell you about how high off the ground the door should be installed.

In order to measure the width of your dog, hold a door partially open and invite him to walk through slowly.  Measure the opening he requires to push through the door and add an inch on either side.  Now you have the information you need to make a door your dog can use comfortably.

Measuring up a cat for a cat door is even easier than measuring a dog.  The most important measurement is the distance from the floor to your cat’s belly; this will usually be four to six inches.  Unless you have a particularly large or small cat, a standard cat door will be sufficient for your precious feline.

Keep in mind for either pet that there are a few other factors to consider other than measurements.  For example, if your dog or cat is old or arthritic, he may have trouble stepping over a threshold, and you may need to place the door very close to the ground despite the measurements.  If your pet is very young, you will need to account for expected growth so that you do not have to build a new door in a few months; however, you must be sure that the door is not too big or too heavy for your pet to use right now.  If there is a vast difference between his size now and his expected size in a few months, it might be wise to wait until he is a bit bigger.