The tail of your tabby cat passes across the TV screen as you’re watching That Darn Cat. You hear his little paws thumping toward the front door.
‘Did you want to go outside, Foo-Foo?’ you ask.
‘I’ll let myself out, thanks,’ Foo-Foo replies.
Jumpin’ Japanese Bobtails – it’s not a dream.
(OK, maybe just the talking cat part. Your Turkish Angora would have said it in Turkish).
You’ve trained your cat to use the pet door.
Training your kitty to use the pet door is actually easier than you think. After all, what feline doesn’t want the freedom to come and go? The door flap may appear a bit foreign at first, even to a Balinese, so it’s all about simply showing him how it works.
Before you begin, make sure Tigger is relaxed. Probably not the time to bring out your creepy clown wig that reminds him of the flea circus, or worse, push him through the pet door. If your cat associates stress or fear with the pet door, he may not want to go near it again. So, just be patient. He’ll get there – cats are good like that.
Other kitty door training tips.
- Coax Snickers through the doorway with a treat. Then tell him he makes the Cheshire Cat look like an absolute amateur, and reward him for going through.
- Hold the door flap open all the way for your cat at first, then less and less. Gradually, Gizmo will get the idea of pushing against the flap to get his treat.
- Try removing the magnet for a while, so the flap is easier for your Persian to push. She’s probably just had her nails done, after all.
- Remove the door flap altogether, or tape the flap up and out of the way, temporarily. This will allow your favourite feline to get used to the idea of coming and going in this particular location.
- Electronic pet doors make a sound when our furry friends go through, which can spook your little Scottish Fold. You may want to try disabling the electronics for a week or so, while MacArthur becomes accustomed to the flap.
- When you first use a locking cover or lock the flap shut, slowly introduce it to your kitty. Better this than letting him learn ‘the hard way’ by running into it.
Cat’s all, folks!