So, you’ve bought a convenient cat door and found that the cat isn’t using it – not even interested! If that’s the case, I’ve got news for you. The kitty is not going to use the flap on its own. What can you do? Therefore, how to train your cat to use the cat door?
Are you one those frustrated parents of a furball? You are in the right place if it’s a “yes.” It’s not that difficult to allure your kitty cat. Worry not! I’ll show you in a jiffy – how to make it happen.
Cat’s aren’t real smarty pants (Sorry folks, I had to tell you that)! Maybe your cat is, but my cat isn’t. Sometimes we rate them way too high (in my opinion). Cats are of delicate nature though. They’ve got a finicky style of getting things done!
I wouldn’t lie to you – I did all the crazy things with my cat. I tried to push its head through the pet door(?), yelled at him (like an idiot)! And, even stood on the other side of the flap and begged him to walk through the door portal. Nothing happened with my neurotic rant! Then I figured it out. Do you want to get the gist of it? – read on.
The good thing is: even the most stubborn (or, the most naive) cats can learn how to access the pet door. You’ve just got to be patient! Also, need to use the right techniques. And at the same time, need to avoid some of the pitfalls that most pet owners make. On the other hand, how to train an older cat to use a cat door is nothing different than the following techniques. Most of all, you have to allow the time and effort to make them get used to it.
How to Train Your Cat to Use the Cat Door
Introduce the door to your cat:
You’ve to accept that it’s “OK.” It’s ok if your cat scared of the cat flap. “Luring” is the name of the game here. Draw the attention with its favorite toy or treat and place that in the flap opening. Don’t try to do anything hasty. Sit near the door, observe the reaction and stay calm. Let the cat willingly explore the flap area. Allow your cat space and time to familiarize with the door. Try to make the first encounter as smooth as possible.
If you got lucky, the first time association would be enough! But this isn’t the case with most of us. Sometimes a cat can get a little wary at the beginning. Who knows what’s inside the unknown?
Don’t see your cat coming to you? Lay a little trail of food treats leading to the cat flap. No cat would resist the tasty reward. It will follow and will come near the door. Keep rewarding the kitty while it is sniffing, pawing and rubbing the face against the door.
Be cautious with the magnetic cat door. Don’t force your cat to wear the magnet collar tag at the beginning of magnetic cat flap training.
It’s time to push the flap:
Ever wonder why a cat won’t push cat flap to open the door? The next thing is to move the door-flap with your hand. Make sure that your cat is watching you doing the movement. Sometimes a kitten, weak or timid cats might find it hard to push the door altogether. In those cases, you must free up the tight-flap swing – as flexible as possible.
Entice your cat to come near while you are moving the flap. Let the feline see outside through the door. Observe the reaction closely. Does it excite the cat? Is it getting the attention of your kitty? Why don’t you throw out its favorite toy or treat into the tunnel? While you are in that phase, never push or force the cat outside. It won’t do any good and will backfire!
Is the cat not moving yet? No worries! Try to fetch the treat inside (the one that you had thrown away a while ago). Repeat that a few more times. Persistence is the key here. Don’t forget – you’re dealing with a cat!
Not all the cats are equal! Some push the flap with the paw, while others use their head to pass through the door. You shouldn’t be trying to impose anything on them.
Ignore the door noise:
There will be noise during the door movement. You may have got a noise-proof door. But still, the flap will produce a sound of some degree. Sometimes it’s enough to put your cats off at the beginning.
Move the door flap and make the sound. And act as if nothing is happening. If your cat finds that you are not distressed by the door sound, it will ignore the noise eventually.
Training cat to use microchip cat flap hits a few bumps in that phase of the training. These kinds of pet door make noise during the door movement.
Prop the flap open for a while:
Propping the flap sounds a bad idea. What does that accomplish? Now the door is more like a hole to pass through. As if, it’s an open season going on for the cat! Use can use a peg or a piece of tape to achieve that task.
Isn’t it a direct breach of my home security? It isn’t if you do it during your physical presence. You’ve to bear this pain for a couple of days. Once your cat gets around the door, you can go back to the normal routine. What can you do? It’s for your kitty!
Your cat’s body scent – Use it!:
If you find that, your cat is reluctant to use the new cat door, there is a reason behind it! Let’s see why a cat won’t use the cat door.
Scent matters to your cat. It’s one of the communication tools under their toolbelt. They use the scent glands in the paw pads while scratching on the objects. It’s mainly for marking the possession over that material.
Sometimes, a new pet door will smell alien to your pet cat. The unknown scent of the brand new cat flap is not a sign of trust and comfort. You see, where I am going? Long story short, you have to make the unfamiliar odor go away.
A simple hack is to use a towel. Wipe the cat’s face with a piece of cloth. And then wipe the door with the same cloth without delay. Your cat is more likely to trust the new door entrance now! Because the scent – now seems familiar and trustworthy to your kitty.
Always keep in mind:
Now you know! How to get a cat to use a cat flap is not a mystery anymore. As soon as your cat go through the cat flap, reward the kitty with lots of treats, praise, and affection. This act of appreciation will keep the cat out of the cloud of confusion. Repeat that quite a few times, and that’ll do!
Sometimes you’ve got to train an old cat. There are unique types of cat flap for the older cat out there for your consideration.
The success will be rewarding for you. Watching your cat running in and out through the cat flap is nothing short of comforting for a cat owner. Wouldn’t you agree?