How to get cat to use cat flap!

(17 Posts)
PosiePootlePerkins Sun 11-Sep-16 08:18:38

Hi all, after some advice again!
Had new cat 4 weeks, she has been going outside for the last week and finding her way home again - phew! She is currently coming and going through the patio door, which we obviously have to open for her. We have a microchip cat flap, which she is reluctant to use. If propped open and patio door shut, she will use it, but would much rather we let her out/in! Also she is probably confused as we are keeping her in at night at so locking the cat flap at around 8.30pm.
She's been so good, hasn't touched her litter tray for a week so must he going outside, I Would just like her to have the freedom to come and go in the daytime when we are all out and about.
Any tips gratefully received!

LemonRedwood Sun 11-Sep-16 08:20:10

Put dreamies on the other side

PosiePootlePerkins Sun 11-Sep-16 08:23:27

Good idea she does love her dreamies! But I feel so mean locking her out..... Bad slave!

LemonRedwood Sun 11-Sep-16 08:39:45

She'll soon adapt. We found the actual going through the cat flap the hardest as the click from the latch put him off, but the reward of dreamies seemed to make it OK and then the realisation he could go in and out by himself came very quickly.

We keep in at night too and it was just under two weeks of miaowing and pawing at the cat flap to go out again after we'd locked it. Then he twigged what we did and just started coming home a little bit later as he seemed to realise once he was in after dark then that's it for the night. Now, he's so used to the routine that on the 2 occasions recently that I've forgotten to lock the flap, he hasn't even tried to go out! (Wouldn't put it past him for this to be some kind of trick so I leave it open all the time!)

PosiePootlePerkins Sun 11-Sep-16 08:49:52

Thanks lemon that is actually very reassuring. I will be strong and not cave at her little face looking through the patio doors! maybe

LemonRedwood Sun 11-Sep-16 08:53:45

Be strong grin

Naschkatze Sun 11-Sep-16 08:58:37

Agree about dreamies or another treat on the other side of the flap. My two did find it a bit daunting at first (and would still rather use the door) but they use it fine now. Persevere!

We found that putting something large in front of the flap when we needed to lock it help them realise it was closed (our kitchen bin worked well.) Otherwise they would scratch at it for hours. Now they're older it's open all the time and mostly they choose to be indoors at night on their favourite beds!

PosiePootlePerkins Sun 11-Sep-16 09:06:28

Naschkatze that's a very good idea about putting something in front of the cat flap at night, I hadn't thought of that, thank you! She seems to bring herself in around 8.30pm so has already put herself in a bit of a routine! Its more of a worry when I go out to work in the morning around 8am, if she's not come in so far I have left the flap propped open and she's used it. But kind of defeats the object of a microchip flap!
Thanks for all the ideas.

Naschkatze Sun 11-Sep-16 11:06:11

Ah I see Posie. It's tricky because I trained mine to use it in the summer when I was off work and when I went back they were fine doing it independently. If you use the times when you are home to get her going through it a few times I'm sure it won't take her long. Have the door closed and flap not propped open when you're there and give her a treat/fuss when she uses it?
As a PP said I think the click puts them off so as soon as she becomes used to that she should be fine.

Do you have a shed/garage you can leave open (with some water and a place for her to sleep) to put your mind at rest while you're out for now?

Hope she gets the hang of it soon!

PosiePootlePerkins Sun 11-Sep-16 11:12:36

Thanks naschkatze! Yes we do have a shed I could use, also a good idea. I do wonder about her head being sensitive if that doesn't sound mad, she much prefers body/tummy or chin strokes than around her head, and I wondered if she doesn't like actually pushing it. Probably over thinking it though, I bet she's do it if freezing cold or wet! I am thinking ahead to the colder months too, she'll have to learn I guess. Tough love! (Eek)

PosiePootlePerkins Sun 11-Sep-16 11:14:18

PS I work part time so she won't be out for hours.

ThatIsNachoCheese Sun 11-Sep-16 11:17:34

Our new rescue cat couldn't figure out the cat flap either, and we have to keep it locked coming in as the big neighbourhood fat cat comes in to steal her food.
I tried everything to teach her to use it, nothing worked and then one morning we went down and she was out. So she figured it out by herself.
Are the microchip ones easy to fix? We must get her one so she can let herself back in!
Good luck

PosiePootlePerkins Sun 11-Sep-16 12:03:49

Hi nacho that is the reason we first got a micro chip cat flap, our old girl was being scared by a big boy cat coming in. We already had the hole for a normal catflap and DH fitted it in the same hole. Ours is in a glass double glazed door though so we had to buy one specifically for that.
They are expensive but so worth it, you just have to post them through a few times on program mode so it recognises your cat's chip. Glad your cat worked it out, I have a feeling ours is quite capable but choosing not togrin

ThatIsNachoCheese Sun 11-Sep-16 12:08:19

Thanks Posie
She's such a scared little thing as well so she can't cope with it!
It's great it's easy to fit, I will start looking for a good one.
I'm sure your girl will get there, the outside will lure her out of the cat flap when she's feeling impatient. 😊

PosiePootlePerkins Sun 11-Sep-16 12:23:01

Ah bless her, our old girl was a bit of a scaredy cat too and never went far! New cat is far more adventurous and so you are probably right about getting impatient to go out! smile

ThatIsNachoCheese Sun 11-Sep-16 13:11:05

She's gaining in confidence which is really good, we have only had her for about 2 months so it's early days. She was kept in a room by herself for about 3 months before awesome adopted her, as she couldn't cope being with the other cats.
I couldnt leave her there!
If your new cat is adventurous then I bet she'll be out in no time

PosiePootlePerkins Sun 11-Sep-16 21:37:44

So in true cat fashion, she decided she would in fact like to demonstrate her ability to go out of the catflap. At 8.15pm just as I was about to lock it for the night. Quick as a flash. I am now sitting like a numpty with the patio door open waiting for her highness to come in. I can see her, she's just on the lawn, but its way too exciting out there. If I try and get her she'll run off.
Sigh.

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