Asked on Jun 22, 2013

What kind of screen doors should I get?

I have two precious new family members - 4 month old kittens. Meet Lake and Skye!
But this outdoor gal needs her double wide french doors wide open all summer long. And I need to keep these two indoors.
The french doors open towards the patio to the outside, so the screens would have to be inside, however I'm pretty tight for room. I could see retractable ones working well, but I've heard pets can walk through the bottoms of them?? Yikes.
I also debated screening in the porch, but that would require lots of $ changes I'm not anxious to make. But then maybe it is the way...
What would you suggest?
meet my kitties at:
what kind of screen doors should i get, doors, Our double french doors leading to the patio open towards the outside We like both WIDE open all summer long
Our double french doors leading to the patio open towards the outside. We like both WIDE open all summer long.
what kind of screen doors should i get, doors, Lake We re not gonna run away Let us out heehee evil ploy for trickery
Lake - "We're not gonna run away! Let us out!" (heehee... evil ploy for trickery...)
what kind of screen doors should i get, doors, Skye We sleep all day anyway soooo not true
Skye - "We sleep all day anyway! (soooo not true)
  28 answers
  • Miriam Illions Miriam Illions on Jun 22, 2013
    Donna, I'm in LOVE with your kitties!

  • Z Z on Jun 22, 2013
    Oh what precious fur babies Donna! We have french doors throughout our home, but all open in so yes, you do have quite a dilemma. The only thing I can think of, short of screening in your porch, would be to add wooden screen doors on the interior that open inward or possibly sliding screens like you see on sliding patio doors. Those can be a pain after awhile if you don't remember to use graphite to keep the rollers running smoothly. Personally if you can fit it into your budget at all I'd go for the screened in porch. Our pets love ours. I will add we goofed when painting the wood and didn't paint the ends to protect them from the weather and now have to replace a few pieces of the frame.

  • I'm not totally opposed to that idea @Z , but I can see these two climbing up and destroying them. That I would be opposed to! haha

  • Becky P Becky P on Jun 22, 2013
    I have to tell you a cute story.....(although, not so cute at the time)....when we moved into this split level, my labrador did not know what steps were. Her first time here, she went in the house, up the steps, into the kitchen, and pushed right through the screen to go outside. After that, the screen wasn't secure enough for her, since she did it once, why not do it more times? She did it once, when no one was looking, and, sure enough, out went the cat, who had to idea why she was in the strange house/yard. Couldn't find her anywhere! Boy was I panicked. She had gotten under the fence, and was hiding under a neighbor's shrub. So, I can't imagine having a patio door that didn't have a screen! lol (we got a new sliding door right after that, so all was well)

  • Barb Rosen Barb Rosen on Jun 22, 2013
    A screened porch is a wonderful thing for pets and their humans too. If the porch framework is already there you might be surprised how reasonable the cost is to screen it in. Maybe you could work a barter too, I've done that on quite a few home projects, Donna!

  • Vicki Yawn Andrews Vicki Yawn Andrews on Jun 22, 2013
    Let's see...first you get a pallet..haha! Nah! I think you need to rethink the screened porch. My cats live on mine, and it's a perfect place for them. They are much older than yours though, and know the ropes. I have a pet door, and huge feeders on the porch. They are happy cats! Every cushion on the porch furniture is covered with cat hair, but that's a small price to pay for cat love. With your building ability and know how, with some help you could build a one.

  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Jun 22, 2013
    @Vicki Yawn Andrews What a beautiful kitty! Our 3 cats live on our 3 season screened in porch as soon as its warm enough to open the doors from the dining room. They have their 3 level house/scratching post out there but where do they sleep.....on the couch and chair out there. One of our screens were ripped so for the past few years I have put a medium size dog cage/crate on the deck pushed up against the screen door, opened up the rip enough for the kittys to walk out into the crate. I put an umbrella over the crate so they don't get too hot. They love watching the birds and I know their safe and can't escape.

  • Vicki Yawn Andrews Vicki Yawn Andrews on Jun 22, 2013
    Thank you Mary I...he's a sweet and loving cat. He shares the porch with Violet, our rescue cat. Really she lets all of us live with her. They have a love, hate relationship. I always tell him it's a good thing he is pretty because he's not too smart. Sounds like your cats have a great set up too. Love my cats!!!

  • Margaret mcewan Margaret mcewan on Jun 23, 2013
    Try a screed door on a roller, when not being used, they simply roll up, out of sight. Ask about them at your home store, such as Home Depot.

  • Wendy B Wendy B on Jun 23, 2013
    As kittens they will wreck the screens, after they are grown you are safer. Had kittens, LOVED them. Gave them away. LOL! Adorable, furry, destructive. Very large, now 90 lb labradooodle. Much easier than the kittens and a LOT less fur on everything. Best of luck! They are beautiful!

  • Clearview makes a retractable screen door with a "pet mesh" upgrade, perfect for kittens / cats with claws. Google "petmesh" for a great demo. Second, to keep them in, you might have to fashion a barrier, like a piece of clear plexi glass at the bottom that will keep them from pushing the screen out so they cannot escape. A little extra effort on your part but it works great!

  • Deonne K Deonne K on Jun 23, 2013
    phantom screens work perfectly on my double French doors. Sold and installed by lowes and homedepot.

  • Louise Louise on Jun 23, 2013
    Living in the Georgia, I can't imagine being able to keep doors open in the summer. Without the AC on, life would be unbearable, and all kinds of bugs, including giant roaches and mosquitoes, would make themselves at home. Do you not have any of these? If not, maybe I'm living in the wrong place. :-) Even in the spring, when the temperature and humidity is very livable, there would be too many insects making themselves at home inside.

  • Linda T Linda T on Jun 23, 2013
    We have french doors that open inward, so the screen is a slider on the outside. It's horrible! When we have friends over for drinks they are always walking into it and it's been on the ground so many times, the frame is crooked so it won't slide open. We are looking for a solution too. Our cats are indoor/outdoor, so they are no problem, but as you say, bugs, especially mosquitoes are not welcome!

  • Frankie Laney Frankie Laney on Jun 23, 2013
    I have a doggie door that was built into my screen when it was purchased. Works great for my dog and the cat likes it too.

  • @Louise , no bug issues in BC Canada, come on over! haha Seriously, we don't even get flies unless you live near farms. Thank-you so much for your suggestions! I had no idea there was a pet mesh available... will look into that! Thanks @Peachtree Blinds of Atlanta !

  • Louise Louise on Jun 23, 2013
    Wow, no bugs!!!! Sounds heavenly!

  • Mary Shevlin Mary Shevlin on Jun 23, 2013
    I'd say replace those doors. With the hinges on the outside, it would be simple for any burglar to use a couple tools to remove the hinge pins and have easy access to your home. =(

  • Z Z on Jun 23, 2013
    Oh having no bugs would be nice. I didn't think there was a place with no bugs! I did know about he pet screen. The company that makes the Solar Screen that we use also makes a pet screen. You can get it around here at L's or HoDe.

  • Rana Saleh Rana Saleh on Jun 23, 2013
    may be you can use (Retractable Screen Door Set), These screen doors roll away into low profile housing tubes when not in use.

  • Elmer Elmer on Jun 23, 2013
    Someone ask what the temperature is there from November to May. I 'll keep my bugs, thank you. You can check. but I am sure your out swing doors were manufactured with "NRP" hinges, " Non removevable pins. If not, you can exchange a couple of the hinges instead of swapping the doors. Besides, I here they don't have crime in Canada.

  • They make electrical collars for cats just like they do for dogs. Only smaller. The trigger wire would be placed below the floor in the basement or crawl space. This will allow you to have the doors open without the cats running away. If that does not sound like a plan, screening in the porch is the way to go. However you need to purchase animal resistant screening. They make screen material that is resistant to kitty claws and dog paws. Also if they run into the screen it stretches so they do not go through it.

  • Kat =^.^= Kat =^.^= on Jun 24, 2013
    Hi Donna this is gonna sound krazy but you are so very talented with all the tools, why not "make" (retrofit) a set of inside doors, french type, to "set in" the doorway when the real doors are open, and insert them with chicken wire, the kitties cant go through and you have air and can enter and exit :) I may be way off but just a thought! maybe use old windows and take out the glass :) good luck! :) hope you post what you end up doing?? :)

  • April April on Jun 24, 2013
    I'm not sure what to suggest, but I have to say your kittens are adorable! I'm glad you're getting a lot of help with this; what a blessing. :)

  • Janice W Janice W on Jun 24, 2013
    My French doors came with two screens. One was stationary and the other would slide. We rescreened them with a thicker screen, sold at Home Depot or Lowe's, that is cat proof. Our cat's had ruined the previous ones so we opted for these and I can say that they cannot tear the screen even when climbing on them. You get the best of both worlds this way. Enjoy your doors wide open and let your cat's play and climb away without worry of tearing.

  • Hamtil Construction LLC Hamtil Construction LLC on Jun 30, 2013
    Hi Donna, cute cats! Maybe just get a dog and chain him up outside the doors. That will keep the cats inside I bet. :) You might try to find a local patio or screen porch company. We have 3 here locally that will manufacture and install their screen systems and also build custom screen doors. Perhaps a French style screen door would be the solution. One fixed panel and one operable panel. I would presume you might also be able to have them "bifold" style to save space.

  • Kathryn Gough Banowetz Kathryn Gough Banowetz on Apr 10, 2014
    i did the same thing as janice w. these screens are definitely cat proof. my husband and i (well, my husband) also put chicken wire on one screen on the back porch. they really love that window. we have four cats. adore them. so the back porch is basically theirs. your kitties are adorable, by the way.

  • OhSally OhSally on Jul 05, 2015
    I have to laugh that screens for these doors aren't cat proof. I have a German Shepherd who is totally intimidated by the sliding screen doors on my French doors. He absolutely won't go near them, so I don't have to worry about him going through them! I think he must have hit them once at full gallop when he was a puppy or something to make him leave such a wide margin between him and the screens. The chicken wire does sound like a good idea...stronger than window screen and could be cute with a country-ish decor. Nice kitties!