Training cats to use cat flap

(15 Posts)
FizzyFeet Wed 26-Feb-14 20:13:07

We have had our new cats for about 6 weeks and have been into the garden with them a few times. They love being outdoors. Their previous owner did as we have done up to now, let them out of the back door.

We have a cat flap and have shown them it - they have been through a couple of times when we have held the flap up for them. We've given plenty of treats when they do this. But neither of them seem to understand that they can push the flap with their heads to get through!

Any tips on getting them to use the flap independently?

ThistledownAndCobweb Wed 26-Feb-14 20:26:12

We had a cat who didn't get the hang of it so we tied it open by looping string underneath and then tying it to the door handle.
It worked a treat, after a few days he'd got it cracked.

I recently suggested my neighbour try this with his new cat and she got it really quickly as well.

The downside is its a bit draughty while you're doing it.

FizzyFeet Wed 26-Feb-14 20:51:59

Thanks for the reply! Might try this at the weekend. Hopefully they will cotton on quite soon!

ThistledownAndCobweb Wed 26-Feb-14 21:00:36

My lovely but dim cat took ages - in fact we were convinced he couldn't use it and were resigned to tying it open on sunny days and letting him in and out the rest of the time then one day when it was raining heavily we discovered him flying in through the flap at high speed.

My smart cat only needed it tying up for a few hours and then she had it sussed.

Once you get them used to coming in and out untie it just before feeding time (making sure they are on the outside) and hopefully greed will bring them in.

ScentedScandal Wed 26-Feb-14 21:10:49

We had this with ours when we put in a catflap. They got the hang of it (eventuallyhmm).

But they still sit at the back door peering in, miaowing and looking outraged, deprived and neglected to the casual onlooker.

The truth is they know full well how the catflap works and they use it plenty if we're not there or they have to. But preferably they'd rather not. They'd rather have to door opened for them. (Which fools that we are we still often do; that's how under the paw we are here). I think this is partly because they don't really like having to bother to squeeze through and partly because they think of us as door-slaves and their pets.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 26-Feb-14 21:17:05

I don't think I trained mine, he just figured it out. He still stands by the door begging visitors to let him out & miaowing pitifully.

bonzo77 Wed 26-Feb-14 21:24:57

Just shove them through a few times. With treats waiting in the other side. My current cat was a tiny kitten when she worked out it was an exit route. She copied the other cat. And was spayed the following week (apparently the break for freedom meant that she would come into oestrus dry soon).

FizzyFeet Wed 26-Feb-14 22:02:58

I foresee a lifetime of opening the door on demand... smile

scentedsandal your comment about the cats looking outraged made me chuckle. One of ours sits on the windowsill when I leave the house in the morning and her expression is pure outrage!

DramaAlpaca Wed 26-Feb-14 22:06:55

We have two cats & two cat flaps, one at each end of the house. The cats know perfectly well how to use them, but much prefer to have doors & windows opened for them.

One of the lazy things will actually sit outside in the rain, looking in at me mournfully through the patio doors, totally ignoring the convenient cat flap just to his left.

And I give in, every single time smile

ThistledownAndCobweb Wed 26-Feb-14 22:13:02

If there were a Catsnet yours would be posting "Training the humans to man the doors correctly'
grin

INeedSomeHelp Wed 26-Feb-14 22:14:51

My cat is also "too posh to push".

Why open a cat flap yourself when one of those dim humans will come along and open the whole door for you?!

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 27-Feb-14 07:16:28

Plus hold it open while they decide if they do want to go out, raining? Well, lets just try the other door and see if its raining there as well. Oh it is, I'll just stay in then.

cozietoesie Thu 27-Feb-14 07:55:10

I'm always tickled by the filthy look they give you when they find out it's raining at all house doors - they seem to hold the humans personally responsible for not arranging things better.

Pipbin Sun 02-Mar-14 19:28:34

My cat has to go through two cat flaps to get outside (due to the bizarre layout of our house.)
She got to grips with the first one ok but couldn't get the idea of the second one. One sunny day I sat on the other side of it calling her though. First of all I wedged it open slightly, then I let her have a go 'for real'.

Emilycee Sun 02-Mar-14 23:02:54

One of my cats has learnt how to do it, the other just doesn't get it so I prop the cat flap open permanently for them (apart from at night) as I feel mean if she can't get back in!

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