Dog Door Sliding Glass Door, Patio Door Dog Door, Doggie Door, Dog

Cat Door for Windows Screen

Window Screens / January 14, 2017

A: The Hale Pet Door for Screens is the most secure. This pet door installs in the corner of the screen and secures to the frame, and if you add a stabilzer bar it also supports the pet door on the top. Stabilizer bars are only necessary for the larger sizes, but if you want the most sturdy set up that is what we'd recommend! The Pride Pet Door is also very sturdy and a little more economical. Keep in mind that the most secure screens are metal screens.

Q: I have a very active Labrador, what screen dog door should I get?

A: For very active and larger pets in general, we always recommend that you purchase the dog screen doors that are attached to the frame of the screen because this is the sturdiest and most stable option for screen doors. The Hale Security Pet Door Screen Mount is a great example of a good screen door that is sturdy.

Q: What are the different types of through-screen installations?

A: There are two approaches to installing a pet door through a screen:

  • Some pet doors are designed to clamp onto the screen itself. These are very simple to install requiring only a sharp knife, a flat surface (like the kitchen floor) and a hammer. Also they are quite inexpensive.
  • Others are designed to fasten with sheet metal screws onto the screen framing in a lower corner. These require more expertise to install (you might even want to have a screen shop do this for you) and cost significantly more. However, they are also much sturdier and come in a wider variety of sizes.
  • Note that the hanging screens for a doorway are covered in this section as well. They are the Bug Off Instant Screen and the Magic Mesh Hands Free Screen.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of installing a pet door in a screen?

A: Advantages

  • Cost. Particularly the clamp-on styles are very inexpensive and easily installed or removed. All you would have to replace is the screen if you decide not to have the pet door anymore.
  • If you have nowhere else to put your pet door then it's nice to know that you can use a pet door through the screen of a window, door or porch.
  • A door through the screen allows you to still use the screen for ventilation in the spring and summer without allowing bugs in.


  • Obviously, you let the weather in with the pet. This might not matter for a screened-in porch, but it could be very undesirable for household living in colder climates.
  • If you lock the pet in or out you may find that the pet scratches the screen in frustration trying to use the pet door.
  • With the clamp-on style the pet door, it is not nearly as supportive as the frame mount style. With a calmer pet it should be fine. However, an active dog may take the pet door out into the back yard as he goes through, even though the pet door may be large enough for the dog as the door is not as secure with only the support of the screen. Screen doors are great, economic options for pet owners, but you just need to be sure that the door you’re buying is suitable for your pet! And as with anything, you are usually “paying for what you get” as far as durability goes.

Q: I'm getting the sturdy type that fastens to the screen framing. Does the thickness of the screen framing matter?

A: Yes it does. This type of pet door expects the screen frame to be no thicker than 1/2". If thinner then ⅜”, the screen frame might not be strong enough to support a larger dog door. If it is thicker than 1/2", then the pet door frame must be modified. With the Hale we indicate the manufacturer will do this for you in the description for the specific pet door, or you may do-it-yourself with a table saw and metal-cutting blade if you choose to go with the Pride Pet Door and Screen Adaptor.

Q: How do I choose which I need?

A: Screen installations like the Gateway and PetSafe models tend to work best with cats and small mellow dogs. With the Hale and Pride screen mounts you attach them to the frame on two sides, making them much more durable. The large range of flap sizes makes much easier to comfortably fit your dog or cat.