For months now our cat flap has been broken. Not the main part of it, but the screen that opens in and out. Basically we had tried to keep the big cat in at night by putting the lock on it, but he forced his way through and broke the flap part into three bits. For a while I glued it together, and taped it up with sellotape, but soon that had been ripped so my next idea was to tie it open with some string. I can’t get down on the floor so I couldn’t swap one catflap for another and I didn’t know if I could get a replacement.
Today my sister came over so we decided to go on a search. The local petshop said it was a staywell catflap and they only stock petsafe ones. So we went to the big petstore. We had managed to take the front and flap mechanism off as it had catches you push in to release it. The store had about seven different sorts but according to the customer assistant out catflap was out of date!
Eventually after much head scratching we found one that was about the right size. We couldn’t take it out of the box so it was a guess but I decided to try it.
When we got home I and looked at it I realised the whole catflap was slightly narrower than the old one so the screw holes were closer together and if I were to use the whole thing we would have to get someone in to re-drill the holes. Plan B was to take the plastic flap out of the new one and put it in the old one? Yes it fitted, but it was too stiff, the diameter of the cylinders that go into the holes in the flap were too big. My sister filed the sides of the cylinders down where there was a flange around them and I used a knife to whittle the inside of the tube shaped bits it fitted in…. Result! The flap now swings freely. There is about a two millimeter gap at the bottom but it hangs in the closed position and opens both in and outward.
Now I’ve just got three confused cats, there isn’t a hole to leap through anymore, but a window out to the garden. Bemused looks! I opened the flap for one of them and opened the door for the other… If they want to come back in they will have to learn to use it!