Cats and dogs have accompanied humans for millennia. Dog fossil records go back around 40 million years, and cat fossils around 12 million years. To the best of our knowledge, dogs have been domesticated for at least 12,000 years.
This is a long time walking side by side, and it makes sense that our ancestors did their best to accommodate their furry friends just like we do.
In the beginning, the cat door was a hole in the wall meant to invite feral cats to come in and hunt rodents. We know the people of Cyprus had pet cats 9,500 years ago. They might very well have had cat holes too.
In more recent history, 14th century writer Geoffrey Chaucer described a cat hole in his Canterbury Tales, where a servant knocks on a door, no one answers, and he peeks in through the cat hole.
Nowadays, Sir Isaac Newton is most often accredited with inventing the pet door. He allegedly cut two holes in the wall; one for his adult cat and a smaller one for the kittens. It sounds like an urban myth created to show how even an incredibly intelligent person can have moments of stupid and not realize the kitten would follow their mother through the big hole…
Anyway, according to legend, Newton covered the holes with felt to keep excess light from coming in and disturbing his experiments. This would have been a predecessor of the modern cat flap.
Security is a common and natural concern amongst pet owners considering a pet door. Many people think the door will make a permanent opening they won’t be able to lock, and that the pet door will compromise the security of their house if they leave for an extended period of time.
A pet door is an opening in the house, just like a window, or a regular door. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an invitation to robbers and bad people.
All PlexiDor pet doors come with lock and key. All models except for the small PlexiDor – which is too small for a person to get through – are delivered with a steel security plate.
The security plate attaches to the inner frame. It’s either screwed to the frame, or attached through a sliding track system with flip lock feature. Getting through the locked door with attach steel plate would require extensive time and tools.
What about the electronic door?
The electronic door will only open for pets with a key. If the door is closed, the composite panel acts as a security door, and it is very difficult to break through. The composite material won’t shatter if someone hits it or kicks it, and gaining access to the house through the pet door would require time and tenacity.
An image can say more than a thousand words, and a video even more so. If you ever wondered how the PlexiDor really works, and how the pets use it, this video courtesy of Frankie Harris explains it all.
Most pets are eager to explore the outside, and once they realize they have the option to go in and out as they please, they will jump on the opportunity. Teaching the pet generally takes somewhere between five seconds and five days.
Using the PlexiDor comes naturally to most dogs and cats, even if they are reluctant to use a traditional rubber flap door. They can see the outside through the clear panel, and the panel swings open easily.
If the pet doesn’t take to the door, try propping one of the panels open and coaxing the pet through with a treat. When it comes to cats, it generally works well to put something they want on the other side of the door.
For the electronic door, it usually works well to put a treat on the bottom lip of the pet door. The dog or cat approaches to get the treat, and the collar key triggers the door to open. It doesn’t take long for the pets to figure out that the door will open when they come close.
Some pets need longer than others. It is important to stay patient and calm, and give praise once they do come through. When the get the hang of it, they’ll be happy to run in and out without having to wait for a human to get the door.
When installing a pet door, it’s usually easiest to put it through a door. However, PlexiDors is a great dog door for wall installation. It can be installed in all sorts of walls and gives a professional grade installation.
The wall units can be installed into stud, brick, block, or cement walls up to 12 inches thick. Each wall unit includes a sloped aluminum tunnel that connects the interior and exterior frame. The tunnel will not rust, and it is easy to clean.
If your wall is thinner than 12 inches, just trim the tunnel pieces down with included jigsaw blade or tin snips.
The PlexiDor dog door for wall installation comes in the same sizes and specifications as the door units: Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. Colors available are silver, white, or bronze.
Tools needed for installation are: jigsaw, drill, and screwdriver. (Jigsaw blade is included with the unit.)
Whether you leave your home for an extended period, or want added safety every day, the PlexiDor sliding track accessory makes securing your home a breeze.
PlexiDors size medium, large, and extra large are delivered with a steel security plate that screws on to the pet door frame. The plate is a great tool for securing the home, and for signaling to pets that the door is locked. Using the sliding tracks, it takes seconds to mount the plate.
The tracks attach to the dog door’s interior frame using just a screw driver, and the security plate slides down to its optimal position. Fasten the plate with the handy flip lock, and it’s done.
The tracks are made from strong and durable aluminum that matches the pet door frame. They are available in silver, white, or bronze, in sizes medium, large, or extra large.
The smallest door does not have a security plate, because it’s too small for a person to get through. Hardware for track installation is included.
If you need a pet door, the PlexiDor is sturdy, secure, energy efficient, and comes with a five year warranty. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Where can I install a PlexiDor?
The PlexiDor can be installed through a door, a wall, or even through glass. The part you see next to the doggie on the picture goes on the inside of the house.
The PlexiDor units for door installation fits a standard US house door of 1.75″ and the frame covers the cut-out edges of the house door.
The units for wall installation come with an aluminum wall tunnel that is adjustable from 4″ to 12″ On the image to the right, the door is seen from the outside of the house. The aluminum tunnel is angled to drain water and snow to the outside.
When it comes to installations in glass, every size door from the small one to the extra large and the electronic PlexiDor can be mounted in a sliding glass door, french style door, or window. To read more about this and to see installation photos, please follow this link.
What kinds of pets can use a PlexiDor?
The PlexiDor comes in several sizes to accommodate everything from cats to dogs weighing up to 200 lbs. The doors on the larger models swing so easily that smaller pets can use a bigger door.
The door looks so small. Will my dog really go through there?
If you have the right size according to the PlexiDor SizeChart, the answer is generally “Yes.” The door isn’t meant to be mounted flush with the floor; the pets lift their legs and walk/run over a threshold. The reason for this is that you want the opening to be as small as possible while still being big enough for your pet.
Looking at the chart above, the extra large PlexiDor, for example, should be mounted 12″-14″ up from the floor, unless a dog needs it to be lower.
Is it hard to teach a pet to use the door?
Pets generally catch on to the idea quickly. Prop the panels open and tempt your cat or dog with a treat. Once they go through with the panels open, try the same thing with panels closed. Many pets who won’t use other pet doors still like the PlexiDor because they can see the other side through the panel.
What warranties do you have?
The PlexiDor comes with an unconditional 90 day money back guarantee. Shipping charges are non refundable, but the factory will refund the purchase price in full.
The PlexiDor also comes with a 5 year warranty. Any defective part will be repaired or replaced, including standard shipping charges, for five years from the purchase date. Labor is not covered.
This warranty covers residential use. Commercial kennels should use the BiteGuard line of pet doors.
Do you have a door that will let my dog out but keep the cats inside?
We can’t guarantee that. The PlexiDor Electronic opens only for pets with a key, but cats are quick and can follow the dog outside.
How does the PlexiDor Electronic work?
It’s like a miniature garage door for pets. The pets allowed to use the door get collar keys with RFID. The keys are waterproof, shock proof, and do not require batteries.
When the key comes close to the door, the panel slides up. You can program how long the door will stay open, and since there are thousands of RFID codes you can feel confident the door will only open for your pets, even if other animals in the neighborhood have similar keys.
An electronic pet door lets your furry friend have a key to the home. Many electronic doors just release a latch so the pet can push the door open, but the PlexiDor is a little different: it has a composite panel that slides up and down like a miniature electronic garage door.
The door and key use RFID, and when a pet with a key comes close, the door reads the pre-programmed code. If it’s the right code, it will open. When the panel is closed, it acts as a security door. It has a safety to prevent it from closing if something is in the way, thus a pet’s tail or paws can’t get stuck in it.
It is easy to program the door, and easy to add keys for more than one pet. One can also choose how long the door should stay open.