Picking a cat door
There are a number of different cat doors to choose from; however the first thing you need to determine is what material the cat door will be going in to. Will it be glass, wood or a wall?
Once you decide on this, you then need to decide which style of cat door is best for you and your feline friend. There are multiple different types including a standard cat door, a magnetic cat door, or you can invest in the increasingly popular microchip cat door.
Standard cat door
These cat doors will do the trick if you have a cat that you don’t mind giving freedom to come in and out as they please. This type of door will allow any pet in, so if you have neighbourhood cats that may like to come visit, we recommend picking either a magnetic or microchip cat door.
Magnetic cat door
These cat doors come with magnets to put on your pets collar, which then allow only the cats that have the magnets to come in and out. If multiple cats in your neighbourhood have these magnets then they will be able to come in also. Replacing the magnets can be costly, so if your cat or kitten is prone to losing their collar, a microchip cat door may be better suited to your needs.
Microchip cat door
Microchip cat doors are synced to work specifically off of your cat’s microchip. Specific tags which sync to your cat door are available for cats without a microchip however; we strongly recommend microchipping your pet (read more about the benefits here.) This means that only your cat can enter through your cat door. You can also programme the microchip cat door to only let certain pets out, while keeping others in. There’s also a great new addition to track your cats coming and goings via an app, helping to keep a watch on their habits.
Whichever cat door you pick, you need to ensure it is suitable for the surface that the cat door is going in. Some may require special adapters, while others have specific variations to purchase. If you’re unsure, pop into your local Animates store.
Training your kitten (or cat) to use the cat door
Getting your kitten (or cat) used to their cat door is an important step to ensuring they can go outside to the toilet, play or roll in the grass and explore the outside world. Once they’re ready to go, follow the steps below to build their confidence with the cat door:
- Either take the flap completely off the cat door, or pin it open (if you can’t pin it open safely, without the flap coming down, we recommend you take it off. If it comes down during training, this may scare them and could make training a little more difficult)
- With your kitten or cat inside, go outside and entice them through with treats, a toy or praise. Once they are brave enough, they will come through. Reward them with a treat and repeat
- Eventually they will get used to coming through the door for their reward. Once they do, put the flap back on.
- With the flap back on, begin calling them through again, lifting the flap if needed to get their attention
- With enough repetition and enticement, they will be keen to go through the door until they are confident enough to do it themselves
Things to consider:
- Take the flap off the door when you begin to train, this will make the door seem less intimidating
- Use treats, verbal praise and toys to entice your kitten or cat through
- Always be positive and patient
It is worth looking into all of the options available for cat doors and make sure you that you pick the right one for your kitten or cat, the neighbourhood and house. When training take your time and work to their pace; remember to use positive reinforcement and in no time your feline friend will be confident and using their cat door effortlessly.