Fuzz Butt! vs. Cat Door

Full Name: Nipomo Balkwell

Most commonly known as: Nipo ( Knee-Po)

AKA: Fuzz Butt, Creatche (short for creature), little mongrel, pin head, Neep Neep, you get the idea… I have a bit of a thing for nicknames, I blame it on my dad who nicknames everyone. My cat is no exception to this rule.

Who could say no to that face (We learned):

Nipo Kitten

Somewhere midway through renovating I decided that I NEEDED a fuzzy little unconditionally loving animal. So you are probably wondering why I chose a cat…hehe…only cat owners will understand that one. I found her on craigslist, stopped by to “take a look” at her and decided that I couldn’t live without her. That is when we ended up with our creatche.

On the way to renovate:

On the way to 1508

Throughout the renovation we would bring her back and forth between our apartment and 1508. She hated being along all day during the weekends and the house was a kitty adventure land full or surprises.

I promised Andy that cats were exceptionally clean animals, who you could train to not destroy furniture. Knowing Andy had only had dogs I even tried to find a cat breed that was similar in personality to dogs. Let me just tell you now that things never work out the way you plan… As a kitten she had major stomach problems and was one of the worst smelling cats I had ever had. She is also the only cat I have ever seen that REFUSES to lick their own butt (I know disgusting). I think she knew right off the bat that Andy didn’t like cats, because she went straight for his leather chairs. We tried every form of kitty discipline we could, sadly the chairs were a lost cause. Good thing I have a lot of throw blankets :(

Since our move we have been trying to find a “good home” within 1508 for Nipo. She is still a bit of a smelly cat so we started in the oversized office closet after that didn’t work out we ended up putting her litter box and food in our downstairs bathroom. She sprayed litter Everywhere! Even when her box was in the tub I would find litter in the dining room… I couldn’t take it anymore…I never wanted a litter box in the tub… So after much debate and deliberation we decided it was time to move her into the garage…bring in the “Cat Flap”:

Cat Flap

A picture of the tub, prior to her move into the garage: ( I take full responsibility for being lazy and not cleaning up the mess often enough)…

Litter Box in the Tub-GROSS

The first place to start was to find the perfect location for cutting a “through” wall cat door between our living room and the garage. I am going to state right away that this is Not our ideal situation, but we are getting desparate and need our second bathroom back. Similar to a through door cat door you first choose the location you want the cat/dog door. In our case, we broke in through the garage side first to make sure there was no electrical wiring etc:

Garage Side

Yes, that is a Major electrical conduit running through out garage. The previous owners jimmied in this crazy electrical system in the garage. We plan on fixing that when we do the total garage reno in the near future. For now, the conduit hangs out…
Once we located where it was safe to core through the wall we came into the living room and traced out the cat door opening and made sure it was level with the baseboard and electrical socket. This is pretty easy, just use the cat door itself and a pencil (easier with two people – I was tracing before I Had to take a picture!).

Tracing Cat Door Opening

Once we made sure it was level and aligned with the base board we started cutting out the drywall:

We started with a hand saw

 After breaking the hand saw blade we moved on to a more powerful, less exact tool.

Almost done!

You can cut out the hole with any type of saw you have. We found that we had the most control with the hand saw (which you can buy for under $10 at any hardware store). The Sawzall got the job done more quickly, but was a little less accurate. In the end we were just glad we had both the holes cut:

Cat Door Opening

The garage side of the wall already had a hole in the plaster, so we lost a lot of drywall when we tried to cut out the cat hole. Andy cut a new 2×4 to fit  on the left side of the opening and attached it to the 2×4′s you see in the picture with (2) Simpson A34 Brackets. The 2×4 was laying around and the A34 are for sale in the wood section of home depot for less than $0.50 a bracket. The cat door needs to be securely attached to the wall at the four corners. In most cases your wall or door will be solid and you won’t have to add 2×4′s.

Once the hole’s have been cut you pop the cat door in and secure it with the (8) provided screws:

Trying to get Nipo through the Cat Door

Nipo in the cat door

We were suprised the catdoor install was sooo easy. It took us about an hour and we completed it on a weeknight after work. If we hadn’t had to frame out the 2×4′s on the garage side it probably would have taken 30-40 minutes.

The total cost of the project:

Cat door= $37.8

2″ Liner to install in the wall = $12.00

We had the 2×4 and simpson clips laying around.

Total cost= $49.8

Now if we could just get Nipo to use the door. She is currently afraid of it, so we “practice” ( beg, bribe and force) her to enter and leave the house through her new door.

Nipo and the Cat Door

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