Cat Doors and Cat Flaps: Different Types of Cat Doors and Training Your Cat to Use Them

Many people give their cats access to the outdoors, if they live in an area where it is safe to do so. But if the cat owner does not want to be constantly opening doors for her cat, or for it to get stuck outside, a cat flap can be very useful.

What are Cat Doors or Cat Flaps?

A cat door is a small door which can be fitted into an existing back door. Cat flaps also exist for installing into windows. They can be bought at most pet shops, or on-line. A simple cat door allows a cat to come and go as it pleases. The door can be pushed open from either side by the cat, and it then closes magnetically, so keeping out drafts. Different types of cat door are available.

Four-Way Cat Flaps

Basic cat doors can be opened by the cat at any time, although some can be locked closed for those owners who want their cats to be kept in at night. However a 4-way cat door has a little lever which allows the door to open both ways, be closed both ways, allow the cat to go in only, or allow it to go out only. These are very useful if, for instance, the owner would like his or her cat to stay in once it has returned home, for instance at night.

Electronic or Electromagnetic Cat Doors

These cat doors will only let specific cats enter the property. They are programmed in response to a magnet on a specific collar which is worn by the cat, and will only open for the resident cats. They are very useful if local cats tend to follow the resident cats home, as they will keep out intruders.

Microchip Cat Flaps

There are now some new cat flaps which can be programmed to respond to the resident cats’ microchip, and will not allow intruder cats to enter the property. They are better than electronic cat doors, since they do not require the cat to wear a collar, which could inadvertently get lost.

Training a Cat to Use a Cat Door or Cat Flap

Most cats can be trained to use a cat door quite easily. Firstly the owner needs to prop the door open, then guide the cat through it. Once the cat realizes that it can go through the door, the owner can put some food on one side of it to persuade the cat to go through by itself, praising the cat when it manages to use the flap. When the cat understands that, the door can be closed, and the cat shown how to open it by pushing with its nose or paw. It’s not as easy as sprinkling catnip on your cat scratcher.

Cat doors or flaps are incredibly useful for both owners and cats. Any owner who has one fitted will be thanked a thousand times over by his or her cat.