Cat Door Training

FireflyMom was over today keeping herself busy by helpfully working on the deck. She’s the only one that really knows what’s going on with it to be honest. Anyway, somewhere along the way she helped Firefly install a cat door at the front entrance. I got home and began the training as I have done for generations of cats (to illustrate this point the image to the right is of “my” first kitten, scamper, from…. wow, long ago…. scanned from a black and white picture my dad took if that tells you anything.
Alan’s Cat Door Training Regimen

  • Observe cat wishing to go outside. [optional]
  • Place cat in front of cat door
  • Push cat door flap up slightly (this allows said cat to smell the fresh freedom of the outside world just beyond the magnetized plastic barrier).
  • Stuff cat’s head through cat door.
  • This concludes the “exit” training
  • Wait until cat wishes to come in.
  • Taunt cat from inside warm house.
  • Go outside.
  • Stuff cat’s head through cat door.

Repeat as needed 🙂
You can trust me on the method, remember, I am an expert 🙂
Disclaimer: Take everything you read above with a grain of salt. Do not use methods on actual animals. Not valid in North America.

5 Comments on “Cat Door Training”

  1. You forgot the part about bandaging the bleeding cuts on your arm after training the cat in this way.
    Nanci & “Heidi”

  2. We just installed a cat door through a window last week for our four cats after 2 years of getting up at all hours of the day and night to let them in and out. Having tried several training methods, here are my comments:
    First cat – grabbed, shoved head through door, he took off and hasn’t been near the door since.
    Second cat – held door open for him both ways and he comes and goes whenever we hold the door open for him both ways.
    Third cat (just happens to be female) – held door open for her two times; she now opens the flap with her little paw and comes and goes as she pleases.
    Fourth cat – reformed (sort of) feral so we can’t “make” him do anything. Hoping that when he observes the others, he’ll take a hint and try it himself. Although highly intelligent, also very easily scared.
    PS – about 15 years ago with 2 different cats we tried the “stuff them through the flap both ways” training method. It worked great and we never had another problem with their using it after that.
    Not sure what all that tells us, but I think that no one expert method works for all. You have to go with your cat’s purrsonality and adjust for that. I will probably have to still get up for some of mine, and hope that the rest will follow the girl leader, Miya.

  3. It was a challenge to get my last cat to use the door. Took about 20 minutes, as I recall. When we moved to a new place, there was an old opaque door there, and it took her a couple of minutes to figure it out.
    Sadly, Miss Kitty has passed on, and new cat, Maggie, came on the scene. Five years old and someone had her declawed, so she is a bit skittish. She didn’t have a clue what to make of the cat door ( I had since replaced the door, and installed a Petmate with a frosted panel). I propped it open, and after shoving her through a few times, she began using it within a few hours. I slowly lowered the door so that it was propped just a wee bit, and it took a few weeks for her to go through.
    When the day came to close it, she was lost. As my grandson was coming to visit, I thought I would wait and see, and sure enough, with his rambunctious nature, Maggie shot through that door in no time. The biggest surprise came when, as she got used to the new visitor, she actually came back up through it!
    A few days later when the house was quiet again, back to square one. I had been on vacation, so the cat was able to get up and down to the food and litterbox when I went up and down. The day I went back to work, I came home to a crying cat and big, smelly gift on the kitchen rug. I went outside, screamed a few obscenities, came back in and propped the flap again.
    It is cold. I can feel the draft rushing through the hole. I have kept it closed, but moved the food to the kitchen, and generally keep Maggie in the basement when I am working. Though she has been motivated to push through to get to the food, I haven’t got the nerve to leave her unsupervised when I am working, so I push her though (which she doesn’t seem to mind), before going off to work, and when I come home she is upstairs. We have a nice reunion and a treat, then I push her back down before following her down to clean the litterbox.
    I have ordered a new cat door with a clear, but smoke-colored(not sure why you can’t just get clear) flap. We’ll see if that helps, or if I can actually out-stubborn a cat.

  4. so expert: how do i train my cat not to bring mice thru the cat door…..NOT pleasant waking up to dead rat nearby…..has happened three times after having cat door for two months, cat’s gonna be outside at nite if i can’t fix this..