I'm trying to convert a cabinet into cat litter storage. I've cut a piece out of the side of the cabinet and want to re-attach it as a top-mounted swinging door for the cat to get in and out. Unfortunately the wood is an inch thick so if I hinge it on one side (i.e the inside or the outside), it doesn't have enough clearance to swing the other way.

I'm trying to figure out a way to "hinge" or attach the door in the center of the opening thickness (as opposed to a hinge on either the inside or the outside) so as to cut the clearance requirement in half.

Any ideas?

3 Answers 3


If there is such a hinge it would leave a big gap and the door might be too heavy for your cat to comfortably go through it. I looked into this myself and decided it would be best to just use a cat flap like this one.

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Alternately you can do something similar like round over the top of your wood and use 2 metal pins on the side but you still have the weight issue. Not sure if they make spring pins big enough but that would make it easy to mount like a toilet paper roll.

Update: I had a little time today to draw out what I was talking about with the rounded over top... I still think the cat flap is the best option but if you want to give this a go...

Couldn't find spring pins big enough to handle this so just routing out a channel to accept the pins then covering with a straight metal bracket or strip of wood might be the only option.

Top needs to be rounded over. Radius should be 1/2 the width of the stock and rounded over on both sides to make a half circle top.

Drill holes and insert metal pins. The metal shelf pins should work.

Insert the door in the slots you routed out for the pins and cover with a small metal bracket attached with screws or something like that to prevent the pins from coming out.

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Swinging inch thick wood is liable to trap cat tails. The cat will not enjoy having its tail pinched. I use multiple layers of cloth, say 3 for an inch thick gap, for an effective, cat friendly airlock. Tack or staple in place. Oh yes, you can weight the bottom of the cloth so as to ensure it always hangs properly.

  • Years ago I made a cat entry / exit door through the outside wall of my garage. It used two half flap doors that hinged on vertical pegs. The pegs had facing arms attached that were then interconnected via a rather light duty spring to keep the doors closed but allowed the cats to nose through the door. We never had issues with caught cat tails as they learned from the beginning to keep their tails curled under as they went in and out the door! Cat use of the door was a staged process with doors open at first, then no springs to finally the spring installed.
    – Michael Karas
    Feb 11, 2015 at 11:58

I would suggest that to make it hinge in a workable manner whilst at the same time not detract from the looks on the outside of the cabinet that you cut the wood like this. (This is an on edge view)

enter image description here

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