Yes, pet doors work wonderfully for cats, who will definitely appreciate the freedom to let themselves in and out as they like. You may need to teach your cat how to use the door, but they will pick this up quickly, and they’ll be using it on their own in record time!
Today we’re going to answer questions floating around the web about cat flap style doors. Are they a security risk? Will cat doors let in cold air? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this Cat Flap FAQ!
Table of Contents
- Why won’t my cat use the cat flap?
- Do cat doors let in cold air?
- Are cat flaps a security risk?
- How long does it take for a cat to learn to use a cat flap?
- How do I get my cat to use the cat door?
- What can I use instead of a cat flap?
- How do I teach my cat to use a cat flap?
- Will my cat be OK outside all night?
- What height should a cat flap be?
- How do you winterize a cat door?
Why won’t my cat use the cat flap?
Your cat may well not like the scent of the cat flap, but there is something that you can do to help. Take a soft cloth and rub it lightly on your cat’s face. Your cat has scent glands in many places on their body, face included, and this will transfer some of their scent to the cloth.
Wipe down the pet door with this cloth and some of this scent will transfer. Next, try coaxing your cat through from the other side with the door propped open and a visible treat. With the added scent, your cat should be a little more comfortable with the door.
Do cat doors let in cold air?
Cat doors can indeed let in some of the cold, if they aren’t of the locking variety. There are, however, doors that respond to chips housed in a cat-collar that will stay locked until your cat gets close, and these can minimize the amount of cold air that comes in.
Alternately, if you have the low-tech variety, you can always lock it and invest in some extra cat toys, keeping kitty inside until it starts to get warmer out.
Are cat flaps a security risk?
While a burglar cannot squeeze through the small opening, installing a cat door does weaken the overall integrity of the door, and even without breaking it a burglar can stick a cane or a pole through the opening in an attempt to fish out keys or other items that they can see through the hole.
Motion sensors in the backyard can help, or you can go with the transponder models which only open when your kitty is close to help minimize the security concerns when using a cat door.
How long does it take for a cat to learn to use a cat flap?
Cats love their freedom and so teaching your cat to use a cat door is fairly intuitive and your cat will pick it up quickly. Sometimes all it takes is using it once or twice and your cat understands that they can come in and out as they like right away.
Other times, the unfamiliar scent may put the cat off and it might take a week for them to learn. Just be patient with the process, though. Your cat will figure it out!
How do I get my cat to use the cat door?
Get some treats and a stick to prop open the cat door and do a little exercise with your cat. Put your cat inside and you go out into back, on the opposite side of the door, and then hold up the treat and call to your cat.
When they come through, give them the treat, and then try tossing another treat through the opening where your cat can see it. After your cat uses the door a few times this way, take out the stick and put your cat inside again, and call them with the door closed. Once your cat poke their head through on their own then they will likely start using the door.
What can I use instead of a cat flap?
There are alternatives to cat flaps, such as the ‘LockLatch’, and most are basically hinged-type windows that allow your cat to come in and out by means of a house window, rather than a door. Most will work with transponders, much like cat doors, but they essentially boil down to specialized windows.
How do I teach my cat to use a cat flap?
You can coax your cat in and out through the door by means of a treat to teach them how it works, or you can simply leave it propped open for a couple of days. Your cat will notice that there’s a way out and start using the door and after a couple of days, simply close it.
Most cats will remember ‘there was a door here’ and will simply push at the area, as it should have their scent by now, and then they’ll learn that the door will open on their own that the door will open whenever they need it.
Will my cat be OK outside all night?
Cats should not be left to fend for themselves overnight. Raccoons, stray dogs, and especially other cats are out there and if your cat gets into a fight, you want them to have somewhere to go where they will be safe.
Automobiles are another huge risk and if your cat can’t get into the house, there is a risk that they will wander, get lost, and might try to cross a street at the wrong time. Always make sure that your cat can come home to ensure their safety. Your cat is counting on you!
What height should a cat flap be?
This depends on the size of your cat, but for a small cat you want a cat door that is 7 inches tall, for a medium cat is should be 15 inches, while large and extra large kitties will require 19 or 23 inches, respectively.
This will help to ensure that your cat can easily get in and out without making the opening wide enough to help out burglars.
How do you winterize a cat door?
Caulk around any cracks from the installation with silicone caulk and you can also add some weatherstripping to help seal up the frame a bit. If you have a low-tech kitty door, then add some magnets to the bottom of the door so that it stays closed, but your kitty can still easily push their way inside.