Any suggestions on creating a "doorbell" for my cat to use?

My cat comes to our (glass) sliding door or window several times a day and either sits outside and waits or scratches on the glass to be let in. For the most part, we see him at the door/window or hear him banging on the door, but sometimes he waits out in the cold. I thought it might be cool to design a "doorbell" he can use so that even if we're in another part of the house, we can still hear when he needs to come in. Right now, I'm thinking something that will register his weight, either outside the window or the door (he usually goes to the door first and then the window if no one comes right away), and that will ring a bell -- maybe a regular doorbell set-up, just messing with how the "button" is pushed? It would be cool to design a little button/pad that he actually has to press (he's smart; he can figure it out), but placing something where he likes to stand/sit would probably work just as well. Right now I'm going to start by looking into how doorbells work, and then whether I need to make a weight-sensing device or if I can jerry-rig an actual doorbell to respond to some kind of pad for him to sit on. I don't know how much doorbell's cost, but I'm assuming they're pretty cheap. I could probably pick one (or two, if I need to do multiple trials) up at my local hardware store, but if anyone knows of online suppliers who provide free samples of doorbells or doorbell-like devices, or things that I could use for my pad, that would be nice. I think my main qualifications for the pad/button are that it be easy for him to sit on/push, sensitive enough to read his weight (probably 10 pounds), and sturdy and weatherproof, since it will be outdoors in all seasons.

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stefanhagg8 years ago
Hi!

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DorisElaine4 years ago
Check out www.petdoorbellmat.com I purchased this mat to place outside the door and put another doormat on top to protect it from rain; that doormat having rubber on the underside. When my cat steps on the mat, I hear a doorbell ringing from the unit that's portable. I carry the portable ringer with me upstairs and it will ring there. It even rings from my next door neighbor's house! One note of caution though, I had trouble with the wiring that loosened, that my electrician nephew fixed. I believe it's a little fragile so needs to be handled with care. I also put the little box that sits outside in a ziplock bag to protect it from rain as it's not "waterproof", but I absolutely LOVE the thing, knowing I know when my cat is at the door to come in and won't be having to stay out in the cold while I'm sleeping in my warm bed. I would even like to have one for another door the cat uses! There are several chimes to choose so I would set it with different ones to automatically know which door the cat is at!
lwitt8 years ago

We've used one of these for 2 years. I can't imagine anything that would work better. We put a cloth rug over the plastic mat because the cats tend to want to go around the mat. It works everytime, even in below zero weather here in Wisconsin. Good luck.
http://www.petgadgets.com/WirelessDoorbell/
katerlyn lwitt6 years ago
I googled pet gadgets wireless doorbell to get newer url that works. http://www.petgadgets.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=497&content_id=35


katerlyn6 years ago
I use extra driveway bells to look for a cat that got lost, to watch over a sick pet that might get up to go to the bathroom, one with a different tone outside so I know when they want to come because they come close to the patio door (sometimes I just plain forget!).

I had electric dog doors (the magnet one is the BEST, I had to uninstall the fancy one that was on diy tv), but I had to move a couple years ago.

driveway bells: I buy dakota alerts on amazon.com, they have three different tones. P.s. I removed the table the week she got spayed.
DSC_0073.JPG
You may want to check out the modification I made to a wireless doorbell for my dogs:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Altoids-Tin-Doorbell-Switch-for-Dogs/
Pee-Pie8 years ago
Look at this product <http://www.asseenontvguys.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=51> this is what we use, we mounted the sensor part (Battery powered) over the door that our cat always comes to, and either carry or take with you to any place in your house. When the cat comes near the door the bell will alert you. Works great for us. $13.95 but you can probably find it locally. Good luck.
stuffman8 years ago
You've seen (heard) those chimes that go off when you enter a convenience store? They're about $10.00 on eBay, just search "door alert" and you'll find them. You'll have to take it apart to extend the piezo speaker element indoors, or just disconnect the wires and extend them inside where you can connect them to one of these piezo elements from radio shack. You'll probably want to build a weather-tight enclosure to house the electronics, just build in some kind of plexi window so the motion detector can work. Good luck, if you do this make sure and turn it into an instructable! Thanks,

Shawn
Your cat already scratches when it wants in. Therefore, I think you should make a scratch based analog system. Step 1. Staple a carpet scrap to a piece of plywood. Step 2. Make a seesaw with the carpet on one end and a metal bell on the other. When your cat scratches the carpet the bell will ring. The machine can be made and tested quickly. If you like it embed the fulcrum in your wall so the bell is inside and the carpet is outside.
smmiller5068 years ago
1. Cut out two pieces of cardboard about 1 foot by 1.5 feet on each side.
2. Line one side on each piece of cardboard with aluminum foil, SHINY SIDE OUT!!!
3. Face aluminum foil sides towards each other.
4. Place 1 or 2 plastic straws (depends on the weight of your cat. Heavier cat = more straws) on each short end of the aluminum foil sides. Tape/hot glue them there. This is your pressure switch for outside.
5. Make an electrical circuit. Get a USB device charger with cord, cut off plug end, strip the power wires about 1/4 inch on each wire.
6. Find a bell/buzzer that accepts 5 volts (Mouser.com PN: PK-20A25WQ).
7. Attach positive end of USB charger to positive end of buzzer. Negative end to top piece of pressure switch using 18 gauge speaker wire.
8. Take another piece of speaker wire, separate the two wires from each other (you only need one wire) and attach from negative end of buzzer to bottom piece of the pressure switch.
9. Place entire pressure switch in a thick construction type trash bag and zip tie the end. This ensure waterproof-ness.
10. Place a lightweight mat over the trash bag because the cat will probably be scared of the trash bag.

If the buzzer starts when the mat is added, add more straws. If the buzzer doesn't sound when the cat puts weight on the switch, remove straws or get lighter duty straws.
ChrysN8 years ago
There is this, but you may not be able to hear it in another part of the house.

You could probably try just a regular doorbell (try to get one with a larger button) installed at cat height and train him to use it, cats are quite clever, and quite "handy" with their little paws. Train him with treats as a reward, mind you coming in from the cold may be a reward enough.

Maybe something like this.