Question: Will a retractable screen door prevent my pet from escaping?
A lot depends on your particular pet’s personality.
Retractables by design do not have bottom and top tracks attached horizontally to the mesh because they must be able to retract or, roll up when in use.
While the mesh is completely “sealed” across the top and bottom, a clever cat intent on escaping may be able to use it’s paw to lift the mesh just enough to squeeze through at the bottom.
Dogs generally can’t fit under the mesh, but if they’re big enough they can jump up on the screen and break the magnetic field allowing the retractable to slide open (Some Retractable types like the Phantom Professional and Mirage are attached using magnets). Locks are available to prevent this.
All this being said, our golden retriever has never touched our French retractable (probably due to the breed’s calm nature) and our cat was easily trained (using a squirt gun) not to touch the mesh. Also, there are now products available to help train your pet to stay away. One product, named Ssscat by Petsafe is available online from Amazon and is now available with audio controls as well. There are several videos on Youtube that demonstrate how it works.
Mirage offers an optional special mesh called TuffScreen that’s more visible and durable and is available by special order. It resists tearing when run into or when a dog jumps up on it. A cat may have slightly harder time lifting it because of its thickness.