6 Helpful Products for a Cat and Dog Household

I may call myself a cat lady, but overall I’m a furry animal person. In addition to our four cats, we also share our house with a 10-month-old puppy named Guster. Before Guster, our dog Eddie lived with us for 17 years (even before we had our first cat).

Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried limiting your puppy’s access and it ended up looking like this?

Hey, it’s real life, folks, and you live and learn. So, with four cats and a dog in the house, I will share some of the products we’ve found helpful in our multi-species household.

Disclosure: Some links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

6 Helpful Products for a Cat and Dog Household

1. Pet Gate with Cat Door

When introducing our puppy to the cats, we wanted all parties to feel safe and have their own spaces. So, we turned to a pet gate to block Guster from free-roaming the entire house. His domain was downstairs, while the cats owned the upstairs. They could go down if they wanted, but the gate ensured that the puppy remained downstairs for most of the day.

dog lying behind pet gate with cat door at bottom

The gate that we ended up buying was actually a baby gate. But the reason why we bought it is because of the cat door at the bottom of it.

Since he could crawl through it initially, we kept the cat door portion closed for a while as Guster grew in size. The cats got used to jumping over the entire gate. But having the cat door as an option is great for senior cats or ones who aren’t the best jumpers (like our Sophie).

The gate is pretty easy to install. It’s based on tension; nothing needs to be screwed into the wall. You can use it in a hallway (like we did) or in a doorway. It comes with extension pieces for a wider area. We did tighten it so much, though, that it rubbed the paint off our wall. But that’s easily fixed later.

Another nice feature of this gate is that it is easy to open and close without using hands! The gate is installed at the top of our stairwell, and I’m often carrying something up or down with me. I simply slip my foot under the bottom of the gate door, lift it slightly, and push or pull it open – and then nudge it closed again.

You can find the gate we bought on Amazon.

2. Freestanding Pet Gate / Pet Fence

Another option we used while Guster was a smaller puppy was a shorter, freestanding pet gate. This option allowed Guster to roam upstairs, still see the cats, but not go into certain rooms where they were. It helped everyone get used to each other during the introduction period.

The cats could see out of the room and easily jump over the gate. The low height was also easy for us humans to step over without opening a gate.

A short pet gate, of course, only works for smaller dogs and puppies – and ones that aren’t strong enough or don’t try to push it over. This pet gate is 19 inches tall.

While Guster is big enough to jump over this fence now, we still use it as a quick solution to deter him temporarily from entering a room. (Look how much Guster has grown!)

Check out the Bundaloo Freestanding Dog Gate on Amazon.

3. Cat Door for Interior Door

If you’re willing to cut a hole in your interior door, then a cat door is a great option for allowing a cat access to a room while keeping the dog out.

We originally bought the Purrfect Portal cat doors for use with our litter closets, so we didn’t have to look at the litter area. But we also installed the cat doors in two bedroom doors; one of them is for their cat room, which is where they eat.

tabby cat peeking out of Purrfect Portal - Products for a Cat and Dog Household
Dexter peeks out of the litter closet.

We usually keep the bedroom doors open, but the cat doors still allow us the option to close out Guster if we need to.

white cat peeking through cat door into dark room
Sophie peers into the bedroom, wondering where breakfast is.

A quick search of interior cat doors brings back many options. I chose the Purrfect Portal door because it also has a door that closes in case we want to keep the cats locked in the cat room for whatever reason. Most interior cat door options don’t have that extra feature.

purrfect portal door installed in interior door
When the door is closed, the knob turns to lock it in place.

Purrfect Portal Cat Door Options

4. Door Buddy

Let’s say you can’t or don’t want to cut a hole in an interior door. That’s where Door Buddy comes in! There are two options to choose from.

The original model is a strap (with a door stop) that you secure on the door via adhesive strips. You can adjust the strap width depending on the size of your dog. The door stop is to ensure the door doesn’t close. To go in and out, you simply unhook the strap.

The new door prop model that just came out this month (August 2023) is also adjustable. You use the door’s handle to open and close the door like you would normally. But it stays open to your desired width, so the dog can’t enter.

two door buddy models in their packages
The two Door Buddy versions.

While we have in the past, we don’t currently use Door Buddy because we did, in fact, cut holes in our doors. But this is a great alternative if you don’t want to permanently change your interior door.

Door Buddy

5. Automatic Dog Door (with sensor)

Our cats are indoor-only. But we wanted the convenience of allowing our dog to go out to our enclosed patio whenever he wanted to. But how could we do this without allowing the cats outside? We searched for automatic dog doors that are based on a sensor, so it would only allow a specific pet in and out.

After finding a few options and reading many reviews, we settled on the medium-sized Power Electronic Pet Door by High Tech Pet. (It also comes in a larger size for bigger dogs.)

What we like about this automatic dog door is that it’s not a flap. The door slides up and down, creating a better seal than a flap would. It also plugs in, so we don’t need to worry about replacing batteries. But it does have a battery backup option in case your power goes out.

We installed the dog door on the side of our house, so we also purchased the wall extender piece that does not come with the door. (You don’t need this piece if you install it in a regular exterior door). The company also has a version you can install in a sliding glass door if you aren’t able to (or don’t want to) cut a hole in the side of your house.

We installed the dog door in our dining room, and here’s what it looks like. We thought it might look too big, but it turned out fine since it’s tucked away in a corner.

The one downside of this pet door is that it is not operated by a microchip. You need to attach a sensor to your dog’s collar. While we would have preferred a dog door that works with a microchip, the ones on the market either were too small for our dog or had bad reviews.

The collar attachment isn’t small, but it wasn’t a dealbreaker. And it wasn’t as big as it looked in the product photos online. Someone asked me if it was a camera. (How fun would that be!)

terrier mix dog wearing a collar with a sensor, sitting on a dog bed
Guster shows off his collar sensor.

Despite that one con, we are very happy with this automatic dog door. Guster is a bit timid with anything new, but he learned to use it within a day.

Here is a video of Guster using the door. And Sophie trying to use the door.

Pet Door List

6. Microchip Pet Feeder

We have been using the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder for years (we received them for free in 2019 when we wrote a full review about them on our cat blog).

They are a great solution even if you don’t have a dog in the house. We used these to prevent our cats from eating each other’s food.

white cat with microchip pet feeder

When we first adopted Guster, of course, he was a curious puppy and wanted to get at the cats’ food (at the time, their feeders were placed on the floor).

But since these feeders operate via a microchip sensor, Guster wasn’t able to get to the food since the lid wouldn’t open for him. He resigned himself to licking the lid in hopes of osmosis.

The cats use the original model, but Sure PetCare, the makers of the feeder, also sell the Connect feeder, which is the fancier model that weighs the food and connects to your phone so you can be notified of how much your pet eats and when.

four surefeed microchip pet feeders
Feeders during cleaning day (they get a thorough wipedown).

The only downside of these microchip pet feeders is that sneaky pets can figure out how to “co-eat” with another pet from the unit’s backside. So, we bought covers that fit on the back of the unit. Unfortunately, they are sold separately.

Here’s Sophie using her feeder – and then attempting to access another one. Foiled!

Pet Feeders

And there you have it – our products for a cat and dog household! What tips or products do you use for multi-species households? Let us know in the comments!

Check out all of our Solutions for a Cat & Dog Household list on Amazon.

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  1. Thanks for sharing all these helpful products for combo cat and dog families! BTW, I just watched the video of Guster and Sophie and the cat door, like, five times. And smiled each and every time.