NaNophotoNics items used:
PATRULL FAST children safety gate

WHY?
– Our house is small, but we like our cat to have optimal access to the spaces in the house, while at the same time trying to keep our kid from falling off the staircase. The safety fence now works for cat and kid because the staircase is open and the cat therefore doesn’t want to jump the fence.
– I saw a need for a cat door in the fence.

EXPLORATION
– The space between the bars is narrow, but if you would remove 1 bar, you would have a width of 11 cm. However I wanted to remove just a short piece of a bar, to create a cat door. But how big should that piece be?
– I recently moved and used a spare cardboard moving box, to find out how big a door should be for our cat. I measured at what height above the floor the horizontal part of wood on the lower side of the framework was attached to the lower end of a vertical bar. I then cut a door in the cardboard moving box at 8,5cm above ground level, size 11cm wide and 12 cm high to start with.

– I put the cat in the box and lured her through the side opening… instant success.
– So now I knew what size the door should be.

LET’S GET TO IT
– I decided where in the fence I wanted my door and cut the lower 15cm out of a vertical bar with a jigsaw. (Try to saw perfectly perpendicular.)
– Then I used the piece of bar I removed to create an extra horizontal bar at the top of the cat door.
– I used a jigsaw to cut a triangular wedge from one end of the bar and then used a round file tool to round out the wedge shape so I could fit the end of the horizontal bar complementary to the side of the vertical bar.
– When I knew how much length I needed (about 7mm) for the other complementary round wedge I knew where to cut the bar.
– I used the same technique as before to create a round wedge on the other end (Take care that the wedge directions have no rotational angle between them, otherwise you can’t fit your horizontal bar properly.)
– Because it is difficult to round out the remaining part of the vertical bar inside the fence framework (suboptimal access), I decided I would just fill the gap between the blunt end of the vertical bar and the horizontal bar with glue.
– I plan to finish it more properly with some additional paint etc.

RESULT
– After some training, my cat seems quite happy.

~ Alex D