Good Questions: Ideas for Making a Cat Door?

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Dear AT,

I need to put a cat door into my kitchen, which goes out to an unheated back stairwell. I'd like it to look better than one of the mass market (cheap, plastic) cat doors, but I need it to be energy efficient. So far my only idea is to copy what one of my friends did for her basement door and cut a nicely shaped hole (think a giant cartoon mousehole) with a jigsaw.

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Since hers was an interior door, she left it at that but I'd then tack up a heavy piece of cloth (felted wool? canvas?) or leather with decorative upholstery tacks to keep out drafts.

I can't come up with anything else, but I'd love to hear other ideas before I take a saw to my vintage wood door. Thanks in advance (you've helped me before with kitchen color advice under my pseudonym Hazel Stone).

Thanks,
Andrea

Dear Andrea,

We'd be cautious about using just a heavy piece of cloth to keep out drafts. It might be worth getting a "pro" door installed, or finding out how to do one yourself. Many online cat doors guarantee insulation, like this Plexidor, but the look may be too typical for you. CALLING ALL CAT PEOPLE....any advice??