There are many reasons why we should train cats to use a cat door. One of the most important reasons is that it can help keep them safe which is the problem that pet’s owner should be take care of. If your cat knows how to use a cat door, they can come and go as they please, without having to rely on you to let them in and out.
This can be especially helpful if you’re not home during the day, or if you need to leave your cat at home while you’re gone.
Most cats can be trained to use the cat flap; however, some have an easier time with it than others. If your cats have difficulty when learning the cat flap, this article is for you.
Cat Doors are a great addition for any houses having adventurous pets. If you want your pets access to a secure backyard or catio, a cat flap is the best way to give them freedom and space.
Additionally, cat flaps can be set up anywhere such as the main door, walls, windows or sliding doors. There are many choices for every cat household. Usually, it’s getting your cat to use their door that most cat lovers encounter problems.
Whether cats refuse or scare with the flap, this article will provide you some useful tips to teach them to use their new pet flap.
How to Train Cats to Use a Cat Door
Many pet owners set up their cat flap but they did not realize that their cats have never seen it before. There are many steps you can use in the training process to help them love their flap.
Introduce Your Cat To Their New Door
Changing is alway difficult, so these tips are helpful to create a big change that is less stressed for your cats. Before you install the door for them, try to give them a chance to discover their new flap in their way. Starting by taking the flap out of the box a few days before setting up. After that, leave it there. They can spend time checking the new door if they want.
Moreover, if you have an electronic cat door like the Sureflap Microchip Cat Door, you can spend this time registering your cat’s microchip into the door’s system. Check out the SureFlap Connect collection for some great electronic options.
Add Your Cat’s Scent
If you installed the flap, perhaps it is difficult for them to get used to the new door. However, one of the fastest ways is to let them realize something that belongs to them is their scent. Try rubbing your cat in a towel, then wiping it all over the door. Your cat’s scent will transfer over to the door, marking it as a part of their territory. The cat flap will suddenly start smelling like theirs.
Leave the Flap Open
While training your cat, the ideal way is that you should open the flap for them. This way they will get used to the thought that there is a hole on the door, walls, or windows that they can go through.
It is easy for cats to go through the clear flap, because they can see where they are going. Training them to go through the hole is the first step before training them to push through the solid block.
Magnetic flaps, like the Endura Flap Cat Door, are great for keeping your home well insulated, but the added resistance can make it hard for cats to push through their flaps. Leaving the flap open is great for starting your cat out with their new door.
Afterwards, you can try removing the magnets and adding them back one by one until your cat is used to the resistance. You can also tape over the magnets to make them weaker, or have one corner of the flap magnetless entirely.
Add a Cat Toy, Treat, or Herb
Sometimes, a little motivation will make the wonder that helps cats get through their door. When the door opens or closes, standing on the other side of the door with their favorite treat or toy. Try luring them through, rewarding them with it every time they do it successfully.
“Cat herbs” can also work wonders here.
Certain herbs have enticing smells that all cats go wild for, such as cat germander, clary sage, valerian, and, of course, catnip. Try luring your cat through the cat door with a little bit of their favorite herb and rewarding them with some afterwards.
Replace the Cat Flap Temporarily
If your cats really dislike their new door, you can take it off. Replace that, try installing a cloth or a sheet of cling wrap. This is easier for your cats when the process of training them.
Push Open the Door For Them
The entire point of getting a cat door is not having to open the door for your cat. However, some cats are visual learners. If you try pushing the flap open in front of your cat, they will see how the door works and will be more willing to try the cat door for themselves. Just make sure you’re not pushing the flap open for them forever. As much as you love your kitty, you don’t want to be their doorman.
Muffle Loud Noises
Some cat doors can be noisy, which makes cats scared and they do not want to use them. Although there are no easy ways to stop that noise when they open the door, you can add a bit of foam around the edge of the flap to make its closing way softer. If your flap has magnets on it, you can apply tape or cloth over the magnets to soften the noise as well.
If you have a cat door, you can teach your cat to use it in your house with a little patience and persistence. Start by placing the door in an open area where your cat can see and reach it easily. Then, put a treat on the other side of the door to entice your cat to go through.
Once your cat starts going through the door for treats, remove the treat and simply reinforce the behavior with positive reinforcement such as petting or praise. With a little time and patience, your cat will learn to use the door on their own! Let’s try! We hope this advice can help your issue.