PetSafe® Big Cat Large 4-Way Cat Flap
Product Needs Redesigning
I read the other reviews and was very skeptical but the customer that I was installing the two cat doors for wanted to go ahead anyway. The first door took me 3 hours to install, but I learned the ropes and my second door only took an hour.
There are instructions that come with the door, but they are very limited as they are only 1 page long and very skimpy. I previously called PetSafe and they emailed me a 12 page installation guide, and also watched an excellent installation video that they uploaded to youtube.
The video said to tape the exterior frame to the underside of the door and to lock the interior frame and then try to align and press the two together. I found that it worked better to have the flap open and hanging down and out of the way so that I could install two clamps to hold the two parts of the frame together.
However, with all that being said, I failed to read the 12 page document where it said to look through the screw holes to help align the interior and exterior frames and in desperation had to figure it out on my own. You also need to do this to direct the screw into the hole of the exterior frame. The process of cutting the screws to the correct length and inserting the four screws takes almost half of the total installation time when you follow my suggestion and if you don't it will take you more than two-thirds of the time. This part of the process seriously needs to be re-engineered.
If the manufacturer redesigned the exterior frame and used a different type of screw, the whole job would be a piece of cake. The exterior frame needs a hollow post about 1" to 1.25" long so that a screw with a sheet metal type thread could be screwed into it and then it would not be necessary to cut a screw to the right length or put a nut on the exterior frame. The post would be long enough that you could choose which of the three screw lengths that they provide would be right for your door thickness, and you could insert the screw tip into the hole in the post before you had to let it drop into the recessed hole in the interior frame. Seriously, this was the hardest part, because the screw was too short and you could not aim it into the hole containing the nut.
There are other issues too, and their pattern should be modified as there is no need to cut the upper part of the hole in a circular format when the door has a straight design. It just leaves a huge cavity that would not need to be there. Additionally, there are only four screws holding the assembly together, and there ought to be another right at the top center position, because this part bulges out when the two top screws are tightened down.
The PetSafe manufacturer also needs to make the plastic core cover out of a solid color like the frame, not a transparent color that allows you to see the interior of the door. I used gray duct tape to cover the outside surface of this core cover, and it hid the interior nicely.
Last of all, they need to put one extra hole in the interior frame so that you could use the insulating foam spray to entirely fill the cavity surrounding the
core cover and then insert a plug to fill the hole. The way it is presently designed, water can run down the exterior surface of the door and run right into the interior part of the door because the upper part of the frame bulges out when you are installing the pet door on a raised panel door. This is a serious design flaw, and it was not caused by over tightening the screws, the screws are just too far apart in that area.
None of this was contained in the 5 minute video, and if you follow my insights (like the 12 page instruction also said) you can install your door in one hour too. By the way, my time also included cutting through this metal door from each side, so they could really use two templates in the package, not just one.
December 18, 2014
Works Well in General
I operate a private cat sanctuary and I have two of these installed in the doors leading out to the play yard. These doors are used hundreds of times every day and they work quite well. I am buying another one however as one of the flaps managed to get broken by one of the larger cats this morning. It took less than one hour to install both doors.
January 13, 2014
I'm so upset about this product that I am writing my first-ever online product review. This cat door is absolutely terrible. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY! I just finished spending six hours trying to install it, and it's still a mess. The instructions are small and difficult to understand pictures (not sentences, not even words, just miniature pictures), the construction is incredibly cheap, and requires an absurd amount of uncommon tools. I attempted to glue the unit together, as none of the grooves pre-installed in it seem to hold, but even then it's still a janky piece of crud.
Seriously, don't bother with it. I'll be kicking myself for a while for not researching cat doors further before deciding what door to purchase.
May 24, 2012
Absolutely the worse design I have ever assembled
Absolutely the worse design I have ever assembled. Do not buy this door. It is impossible to assemble the internal assembly and does not mate up with the external doors. I’m left with a hole in the door that hopefully I can find a competitors model to cover or PetSafe will buy me a door. I’m an engineer and I would never accept a design that is this difficult to assemble. The external door esthetics was a driving factor to purchase, however the creativity stops there. The clear plastic internal assembly allows you to see the cross braces inside the door that is not appealing at all. I could keep going with the negatives however I will not waste anymore of my time on this product.
April 28, 2012