If you can’t decide what size cat flap you should get for a Maine Coon, I’ve just had one installed for our four and am happy to offer guidance.
A Maine Coon needs a large-size cat flap with a door space of 7 inches wide and 7 inches tall. This size will ensure there’s plenty of room for a cat’s body to fit through. If your Maine Coon is over 26 lbs in weight, check the height and width of its trunk before you buy.
If you feel your Maine Coon will not fit through a large cat flap, you may need to consider a flap designed for a medium-sized dog.
How do I choose a cat flap?
Follow these steps to help you choose the right Maine Coon cat flap:
- Decide if your flap is to be fitted in glass, uPVC, wood, or a wall
- Measure your Maine Coon’s girth (trunk width and height)
- Select a flap that’s large enough for your Maine Coon’s size and suitable for your cat flap site
Will a Maine Coon fit through a cat flap?
A Maine Coon will fit through a cat flap as long as you buy one that’s the right size to fit its chest and stomach through
If your flap has to be positioned fairly high from the floor, place a step on both sides to make it easier to use.
Large cat flaps are best for Maine Coons because they can keep growing for up to 5 years. You’re better off having a large flap to start with instead of having to fit a larger one at some point in the future.
How big a cat flap do I need?
I’ve recommended fitting a flap with a 7-inch square doorway but if your Maine Coon is fully grown and has a much narrower trunk, you can choose a smaller flap.
The best way to know the correct size of cat flap to get for a Maine Coon is to create a test one. To do this, take a large cardboard box and start by cutting a 6-inch square hole in it.
If your cat can move easily through this hole, then choose a flap that’s at least this size.
If your Maine Coon finds the 6-inch square hole too small, increase the size gradually until it happily fits through. Take note of this size and order a cat flap with at least those dimensions.
Do I need a large cat flap?
It is a good idea to get a large cat flap because it is easier for a Maine Coon to move through. A large flap will ensure there’s plenty of room if your cat increases in size.
Maine Coons are large cats and though their average size is 14 to 20 lbs, some exceed these weights by a considerable amount.
You also need to consider that Maine Coons have long legs. They can step through a small flap quite easily and even squeeze their ample belly through.
However, it can be quite difficult for a Maine Coon to maneuver its long back legs up and through a tight cat flap, especially if it has any sort of hip mobility problem.
Is my cat too big for a cat flap?
If your Maine Coon cat is too big for a large cat flap, you can try a dog flap. There will always be a solution – so don’t give up.
Whatever you do, make sure it is the right type for the site where you want to install it.
The best Maine Coon cat flaps
There are many types of cat flaps on the market but not all are suitable for Maine Coons.
If you are fitting your flap in glass you must choose a flap that needs a round installation cutout because you cannot cut a rectangular or square hole in glass.
If you are installing a flap in a double-glazed door, you will need a professional to install a new sealed unit with the correct-sized circular hole.
To place a cat flap through a wall, you’ll need an extension tunnel.
If you are placing a cat flap in a wooden door, you’ll have more choices of flap than for any of the other options.
Our favorite Maine Coon cat flap
We have a large Cat Mate glass-fitting cat flap and it’s the third time we’ve chosen this brand. I highly recommend it.
It’s 4-way locking so you have the options to have it fully unlocked, fully locked, only opening to allow exit from the house, and only opening to allow entry to the house.
It requires a large circular cut out of 11 and 1/8th of an inch and has a doorway opening of 7 inches square.
Our largest Maine Coon of 26 lbs weight easily fits through it and our other three 15 lbs cats easily use it too.
When it’s unlocked, a magnet prevents it from blowing open in the wind, and a draught excluder frames the door to stop cold air from seeping in.
If you’d like more information and the latest price, it’s available on Amazon and you can find it by clicking this link.
This is a video of all four of our cats on the day we fitted this flap. See who was first to go through it!
How to get a Maine Coon to use a cat flap
Once you’ve installed your Maine Coon sized cat flap all that’s left to do is get your cat to use it.
We’ve always had a cat flap and three of our Maine Coons have always used it from the start. One (Oscar) has always refused.
Fed up with leaving a window open for him in all weathers, we decided to try to get him through our new one. It took three days of perseverance and finally, he did it!
This is how we did it:
- We shut the window he usually uses to go in and out and made a pact not to open it no matter how much he sat by it
- We held the flap door open until he went through and then gently let it go so he got used to the weight of it
- We put his favorite treats in sight hoping he would be enticed by them
- We used his favorite toys to tempt him
- Finally, on the third day, we scrunched up a piece of tin foil and he decided to come in to get that!
Here’s a video of the moment he used the flap for the first time.
Do’s and Don’ts of getting a Maine Coon to use a cat flap
Maine Coons are intelligent cats and relatively easy to train. Here are a few tips to help you get yours to use a cat flap:
- Do be patient if your cat refuses to use a cat flap as most eventually do.
- Don’t give in and open the door as this will only slow progress.
- Do use treats and toys to entice your cat through whilst holding the door open.
- Don’t let the door drop heavily on your cat’s back or tail if you are holding it open.
- Don’t try to shove your cat through the flap as this will make it scared of the device and less likely to ever use it.
- Don’t constantly hover about while your cat contemplates using the flap as this may discourage it.
- Do add some sort of step on each side if your cat flap is high up (like ours is) to make it easier for your cat to use.
If you have a large Maine Coon you’re going to need a large cat flap to suit. There are not too many cat flaps designed with large cats in mind.
I can only recommend the Cat Mare Large glass-fitting cat flap as it’s the only one we’ve tried and tested in our home.
There are several other large flaps on the market but ensure you check the dimensions, read customer reviews, and check the suitability for its intended position in your home.
Whatever the size of your Maine Coon, you should be able to find the perfect-sized cat flap for it to use.