Top tips to teach a reluctant cat to use the catflap . . .?

(11 Posts)
Sadik Sun 04-Sep-16 16:44:12

That's it really. I've never had a problem before, they've all just taken to it with a few treats and a bit of pushing through and encouragement. SmallCat is really not getting the hang of it, despite having been using it taped open for ages (and having resorted to buying a pack of Dreamies for bribery). She's not particularly food focused, and I reckon used to go in and out windows wherever she was before (rescue cat). It's getting a bit chilly for a taped up catflap and open windows!

Sadik Sun 04-Sep-16 20:16:27

...?

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 04-Sep-16 21:34:10

Does she go through it at all?

Sadik Sun 04-Sep-16 22:21:00

She will if it's taped open - I've now tried taping it half-way, in the hope that might get her used to pushing at it.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 05-Sep-16 06:39:44

I'd be inclined to leave her to figure it out. They don't mind pushing doors open with their heads, a bit of clear plastic shouldn't be a problem for her.

It's just easier for her if you tape it open. Why lift so much as a paw if you don't have to.

TimeIhadaNameChange Mon 05-Sep-16 09:50:25

I used a clothes peg with mine. When I was out of the house I'd clip it so the flap was fully open, meaning she could come in and go out easily. When I was in (and awake, though she's not allowed out at night anyway) I would open the flap to wherever she wasn't (IYSWIM, ie if she was in the flap was opened outwards) and have the peg slightly further down, so that she'd have to push it a wee bit, but not much. This did mean that I had to jump up to change the direction every time she went through, but I'd keep the angle the same both ways. Each evening the peg would be lowered slightly.

Come the weekend I sat there with some treats and closed the flap. She'd come in, she'd get a treat, and then I'd throw one through the flap and she'd go out. For a wee while she tried to convince me the flap only worked with treats, but I'm not that stupid!

CreamCrackerundertheSettee Mon 05-Sep-16 13:56:06

It took one of our cats about 9 months to use the cat flap. The other one had it figured out in 5 minutes.

I tried taping it open, posting him through dreamies etc but eventually autumn set in and he realised that by using the catflap he could escape the wind, rain and cold.

sugarplumfairy28 Mon 05-Sep-16 20:15:37

To a cat, a cat flap can be incredibly scary thing, they don't generally like going into the unknown. While the flap is down they can't see or smell what is beyond.

The best and most logical top tip I've heard is to provide cover, pot plants for example, anything they can hide behind while getting their bearings. Don't try to force them out as it could make the tension worse.

Sadik Mon 05-Sep-16 21:10:15

That would make sense, sugarplum, but then she will happily jump through the window without any particular stopping and looking - in fact she must have less vision than through the catflap. (She gave me a heart attack by jumping through a tiny gap in a second floor window down onto the porch roof the other day - I ended up dangling out the window to tempt her back up.) I think she must have been used to going in/out windows, so I guess that's why they're less scary.

I like the clothespeg idea - she's currently happy with a half-open catflap, so maybe I can try that to gradually shut it. BigCat is so much easier to get to do anything as she's utterly food motivated and can even be bribed with bits of carrot / pumpkin / tomato confused

BengalCatMum Mon 05-Sep-16 21:15:58

Ours is an adventurer but it took him a while,
we used the large binder fold-back stationary clips to hold the door open.

Its just takes some time, ours a couple of months with it fully open.

Nottalotta Mon 05-Sep-16 21:20:40

One of mine has lost the power to use the cat flap when going out. Idiot husband locked it a few times which result in cat demolishing it and going through the resulting hole. He comes in OK but since then, pulls at the flap with his claws rather than pushing to go out

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