Teaching Your Cat To Use A Pet Door

Posted on: 19 August 2016

There's no doubt that a pet door can be a boon to the busy cat owner, especially if you are out at work all day.  But how do you teach your cat to use his new pet door?  Read on for some helpful tips.

First steps

Regardless of whether you have chosen a simple swinging cat flap or a lockable one that is operated electronically or magnetically, it's crucial that your cat understands the basic principles of the pet door.

The easiest way of teaching your kitty to go through the pet door is to tape it open so that there is no barrier to the other side.  Your cat will then be able to see clear daylight through the open door.  Encourage your cat to go through the opening by offering him treats or toys and calling from the other side of the door.  If your cat is still reluctant or confused about passing through the opening, try leaving his food on the house-side of the door for a few days so that he has to go through the hole to reach it.

Next steps

Once the cat is confident about coming in and out through the hole, it's time to move on to the next stage of his training.  To do this, re-tape the door so that it is just partly open towards the inside of the house, and put your cat's meal or treats inside.  There should be enough room for the cat to fit his head through the opening, but he will need to push against the flap with his body to get the door to open fully and allow him access.  After a few sorties through the partially open door, your pet should get the hang of pushing his way past the obstruction to get to the food.

The final stage of training your pet is simply to remove the tape from the door and allow it to rest in its correct position.  Put your cat's food inside the door and encourage him through by pushing the flap for him, until he gives it a shove himself and passes through. 

In conclusion

Most cats get the hang of using pet doors very quickly once they realise that there is a reward awaiting them on the other side.  The most important aspect of training your pet is to have patience; some cats learn much more quickly than others!  For more advice on training your cat to use his new pet door, have a chat with your pet door supplier.


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Your door says welcome to your home, it allows you egress in case of a fire, and it keeps out thieves. Doors are an investment in a safe and beautiful home, and if you are a homeowner, I invite you to explore my blog for tips on buying doors, repairing them and optimising their role in your home. Whether you want tips on style, security or anything else, I plan to have posts to answer your questions. Welcome, My name is Kirsten, and I love to write. As a stay-at-home mum, I do a lot of home repair work in addition to caring for the kiddos and taking care of cooking, driving and cleaning. I love my role in our family, and I hope my ideas help you improve your home and your doors.

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