Animal Friends Blog
Letting your cat in and out if and when it wants to, being its own personal doorman can be quite a demanding job, especially if they decide they want in at 4 in the morning every day. So, if you have a cat that goes outdoors you might have decided to buy a cat flap, so your cat can let itself in and out as it pleases.
Once you’ve bought your cat flap you’ll need to train your cat in how to use it.
Let your cat inspect the cat flap
Just before you install the cat flap, let your cat inspect it so they can familiarise themselves with the sight and smell of it. Let them take as much time as they need as this can help them build a positive association with the cat flap.
Prop the cat flap open
To start teaching your cat to use the cat flap you’ll need to tape or prop the door open or just completely remove the flap. If they can see outside they are likely to be intrigued and are likely to investigate their new door.
Encouraging your cat to go through the cat door
Use their favourite treats to try and lure your cat through the flap. This can encourage your cat to pass through the cat flap, making it easier to teach them. If food doesn’t work, try to use their favourite toy or place their food bowl on the other side of the flap.
Once they know that they’re able to move through the cat flap you’ll want to help them learn how to push the flap open themselves. You can either hold the flap slightly open with a treat or toy waiting on the other side, encouraging them to use their head or paw to push through.
If you’re not able to hold the flap open yourself, you could place a peg on the flap to open it enough for them to see the other side.
Once they’ve mastered this you should be able to have the flap closed completely, and some cats might still need some encouragement to use the flap while other cats will be confident going through without a lure.
Don’t give up! Persistence leads to success
Don’t be tempted to give up if it’s not going as well as you thought it would, repeating these actions will help you towards success. Praise and treats will only help them in their training, and never push your cat through the cat flap as this will scare your cat and can cause them to fear the door.
With plenty of patience, rewards, and persistence your cat will soon be a cat flap pro.
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