Does your cat often get locked out? Are you tired of searching for your cat after wanders off in the middle of the night? Well, if that’s the case, then a cat flap could be the answer for all your woes.
Cat flaps come in many forms, and each kind has its own features. Depending on how advanced you want the device to be or where you want to install it, the cost of a cat flap may vary. In this article, we will cover all the costs you’ll face while installing a cat flap.
Cat Flap Installation
Cat flaps vary tremendously in price, depending on their size, structure, quality of material used, the number of features available, and the manufacturer of the device. Therefore, a buyer must do a lot of research before purchasing a cat flap for their furry friends.
However, buying the cat flap is the easy part. Often, the real problem comes when you have to install the cat flap in your home. Cat owners have to fit these cat flaps into a solid object, such as a door, a wall, etc. These solid objects have to be cut in precise dimensions in order to fit the cat flap.
Most cat owners don’t have experience in carpentry or the relevant tools to do this task. Ultimately, they have no choice but to call a professional to set up the cat flap. Usually, the labour cost of a cat flap fitting varies from £45 to £120, depending on the complexity of the task and the time it takes to complete the job.
Moreover, cat flaps are designed for universal fitting. This means that they can be fitted anywhere with the help of additional equipment. However, this facility comes with an extra cost. You will need to buy additional wall liners and adapters to install the cat flap.
What Should You Consider Before a Cat Flap Installation?
It’s worthwhile to read existing online reviews before purchasing a particular cat flap model or hiring a cat flap fitter. Online reviews provide cat owners with useful insight into cat flap installation costs and process. These reviews also discuss the pros and cons of different cat flap models.
Another thing you should keep in mind is the size of the cat flap. Cat flaps are usually designed for small or medium-sized cats. So, if you have a large cat in your home, it’s better to look for a model that your feline friend can fit into. As a general rule, you should remember that the cat flap has to be around two inches larger than your cat in height and width.
Moreover, you have to keep in mind what you want to achieve with a cat flap. There are several cat flaps available in the market. These cat flaps range from simple manual doors to automated devices that you can control through your smart-phone. So, choose a device that best fulfils your needs.
As we have mentioned before, cat owners have a lot of installation options available. Cat flaps can be installed to UPVC, wooden, and glass windows or doors. Some cat owners might want to install it in a door that has double glazing, while others in a wall. All of these factors can contribute to the total cost of the installation.
Installing a catflap in a uPVC Door
Many people choose uPVC doors because of how cost-effective they are. The material is made from lightweight plastic and is somewhat fragile, especially during cold weather. The cat flap installation process needs to be done with special care, so it’s better to call a professional to do the job.
However, unlike other surfaces, uPVC doors don’t need much additional equipment. Moreover, a professional would not take much time to get the job done, so the total cost of the whole installation process will be less than any other installation option.
The installation process will take less than an hour. Cat owners will have to pay around £45 for labour and £40 for any additional equipment if needed. So, the total cost will be £85, approximately.
Installing a catflap in a Wood Door
Wooden doors are similar to uPVC doors in terms of cost. However, these doors require greater skill, time, and effort than uPVC. The professional has to measure the right dimensions; drill a hole through the door; saw and level the boundaries, and then smooth them with sandpaper.
Besides that, he will have to make adjustments according to your specific model to place it firmly in the door. It’s possible that the whole process might take longer than uPVC, so keep a total estimate of around £90 to £100 when you’re installing a cat flap in wooden doors.
Installing a catflap in a Single-Glazed Glass Window/Door
Old doors or windows often contain glass that has not gone through special heat treatment, which is required to make them strong. Cat owners have to replace them with a new pane of laminated safety glass. Without doing that, it is difficult to cut a circular hole in the glass glazier. Sometimes, the glass is too thin to accommodate the cat flap, so replacing it with a stronger option is necessary.
Even then, glass surfaces are fragile and have to be dealt with extra care. Therefore, fitting a cat flap in single-glazed glass surfaces needs more time and effort. Cat owners will have to bear a total cost of around £150 for the whole installation process.
Installing a catflap in Double-Glazed Glass Windows/Doors
Unlike single-glazed surfaces, double-glazed windows and doors are sealed for efficient insulation. These windows and doors have a layer of gas (argon or krypton) added between two panes of laminated glass.
Cutting a hole in this glass will cause it to shatter into a myriad of small pieces. Moreover, it is impossible to reseal a unit after it has punctured in that manner. To get a cat flap in one of these doors, you will have to order a custom replacement unit with a circular hole that can fit the dimensions of your cat flap.
A full-size double-glazed replacement door will cost you around £140 to £240, depending on its size and specification. Besides that, you will have to pay extra cost for the labour too, so the whole process can easily cost around £200 to £350.
Installing a catflap in Concrete/Brick Walls
You might be thinking, why would anyone want to install a cat flap through a solid wall? Well, cutting holes through a window or a door can weaken its structural integrity. So installing the cat flap in a window or door might make your home secure for your cat, but it will also become a risk to your own safety.
To install a cat flap in a solid wall, the professional must cut a rectangular hole through the wall. However, he has to make sure that he doesn’t meddle with the structural timbers of the house and take special precautions to avoid any electric, water, or gas lines.
Moreover, the cat flap will almost always be fixed on the interior surface of your wall. The exterior surface of the wall should have a free-swinging cat door to reduce draught and heat loss. Aside from that, the inner surface of the tunnel inside the wall has to be filled to prevent rain from damaging the wall.
All of this requires extra effort and may result in extra costs for cat owners. If you are installing a cat flap in a wall, you will have to set aside at least £300 for the job.
The Final Word
Installation of a cat flap is a complex process, which you should leave to an expert, especially if it requires using heavy equipment. The cost of the installation process will depend on which installation option you choose and the condition of the place available.
Even before hiring a professional, it’s a good idea to get a quote from them. Discuss various options with the professional and consider their suggestions regarding which installation option would suit you the best. Also, keep in mind that your cat flap model might need the installation of additional equipment, so clear up everything beforehand.