Sharing a home with both dogs and cats is awesome until your dog starts eating the cat's food and snacking in their litter pan. Soon you're grossed out, your dog is fat and the cat is annoyed with their lack of privacy. To solve this dilemma you need a "cats only" room and here's a simple way to do just that. Rather than cutting a hole in the door or another involved solution, make and install a short tethered ring which limits the distance the door can be opened. This small gap allows the cats to enter, but it too narrow for medium and large dogs. When humans need to enter they simply unhook the tethered ring, go through, and re-hook the ring. Simple!
Step 1: Materials You'll Need
This is a quick and easy project so you won't need a lot of materials.
- 2" welded metal ring
- Screw hook
- Drill and bit
- Paracord or rope
- Lighter and knife if using paracord
Step 2: Tying the Tethered Ring
This step can be as simple or advanced as you choose. In my case, I used paracord in a cobra weave pattern, however, this could simply be a single loop of rope tied in a knot. The tied paracord is nice in that it adds girth to the rope for opening and closing. The length of the rope tether should be around 15" although you may have to experiment a little to find the length which works for your dog.
To tie a paracord cobra weave, you'll need 8-10' of paracord. If you elect to use two colors of cord, simple heat two ends with your lighter and fuse them together. Create a loop on one end and pass the 2 free ends through your metal ring. Now you're ready to tie a cobra weave. Following the pictures above, pass one end (blue) over the top of both cords. Pass the other free end (black) over the first free end (blue) under both cords and through the loop created by the first (blue) cord. Tighten and repeat in the opposite direction keeping the first cord (blue) on top and the second cord (black) on the bottom side. A picture is worth a thousand words -- seriously hard to describe but follow the pics! When you finish tying, use a knife to cut the paracord and melt the end with your lighter.
The end opposite the ring needs a loop to slip over the door knob for length adjustment. Again, this can be any knot you choose. The pics show a figure 8 knot.
Step 3: Installing the Wall Hook
Next to the door trim, drill a pilot hole into a wall stud using an appropriately sized drill bit. In my case, I used a 3/16" screw hook and drilled the pilot hole with a 5/32" drill bit. Once you've drilled your pilot hole, simply screw in the hook and you're done. A crescent wrench is an easy way to advance the hook should it become difficult to turn by hand.
Step 4: All Done!
Now you're done! You and your cat are happier than your dog, but it's better this way;) No more fat dogs with litter all over their muzzles. Truly much healthier for everyone. I have found this very nice for our older cat who can no longer jump up to where his food used to be kept. Now we can simply keep his food bowl on the floor and he always has a safe place to relax.
The beauty of this tethered ring is not only is it simple and effective, but it can also be removed in minutes should you no longer need it. After trying various litter boxes, both purchased and homemade, this is easily the best solution so far. Hope it works for you and your pets!