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Cat won't use cat flap

(14 Posts)
caitlinohara Mon 15-May-17 14:07:37

Now, I wouldn't mind, but it cost me nigh on £300. Before you ask, no it's not encrusted with diamonds, it's because the only door we could put one in is the conservatory door, so they had to replace the entire glass panel.

Cat is having none of it. Have tried putting treats on the other side, point blank ignoring him when he asks to go out any other way, manually posting him through it, you name it. He likes to go out of an evening and the last few nights I have had to wait up for him to let him in before I could go to bed and I need my sleep! He is in all other ways an extremely bold, adventurous, sociable little fellow. Just - not very bright.

Any ideas?

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Mon 15-May-17 14:10:50

Can you tape it open for a while?
Do the treats approach then let him out hungry and keep trying to coax him through. Once he is happy to venture into the scarey hole you can untape it!

TizzyDongue Mon 15-May-17 14:12:26

How long has it been in? Took my cat about a week, then when I changed to a microchip one it took another week for him to use that

YetAnotherSpartacus Mon 15-May-17 14:47:19

I've read that they like their entries and exits to be 'safe' - places to hide and watch both sides of the actual flap - just in case there is something waiting to ambush them. of course that might be bollocks and they might just like butler service

Want2beme Mon 15-May-17 15:31:28

YetAnotherSpartacus, I've heard that too. At least on the outside. A cat behaviourist, can't remember who, said that cats like to have cover at their cats flap, a few plants or something, so that they don't feel instantly exposed when they exit.

rainbowstardrops Mon 15-May-17 15:42:57

Is there quite a step down from the catflap to outside? We put a paving slab down as a step when our cat just wasn't getting it and she's fine with it now.

TheRealLemonLyman Mon 15-May-17 15:49:57

We spent a few sessions posting the thick cat back and forth through the flap. We left it taped open for him for a few weeks and he gradually got the hang of it. The brighter cat mine got the hang of it straight away.

There was a programme about cats a couple of years ago. It was suggested that putting some plant pots either side of the cat flap (on the outside) provides them with a sense of safety as pp have said.

YetAnotherSpartacus Mon 15-May-17 15:53:53

Want2beme and TheReal - I think we all saw the same program!

although of course if said cat is realy thick a flashing LED arrow and honking siren going MERP MERP MERP MERP might be better

dingit Mon 15-May-17 16:00:37

Nothing helpful to add, but my dim cat got the hang of it eventually. Although you could teach him to do what my parents cat does, which is use the cat flap like a door knocker, so they come and let him in. grin

ZiggyForever Mon 15-May-17 16:00:46

Yep, tape it open for a while, and then prop it open with something after that so the cat has to wriggle through and gets used to applying some pressure to get it open.

This reminds me of a previous cat I had - for some reason he thought he had to bullet through the cat flap at high speed. I have no idea why, but it makes me giggle remembering the racket he used to make smile

caitlinohara Mon 15-May-17 21:28:29

I love you all. Thanks. Lots of good ideas here to try. Proof once again that Mumsnet has the answer to pretty much everything!

TizzyDongue Mon 15-May-17 21:32:38

After I'd used the tape to keep it open I used a clothes peg on the side of the flap

The higher up you peg the peg the further on the side the more it holds the flap open . You can can gradually move it down the side meaning Cat gets more used to it being closed

TizzyDongue Mon 15-May-17 21:33:06

(If that makes sense!)

caitlinohara Tue 16-May-17 10:54:28

Tizzy - Genius. star

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