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How to Train a Cat to Use a Pet Door

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa Nov 17, 2018
Cats cannot be forced to stay inside the house, so training your cat to use a pet door is the best idea. Learn more about how to train a cat.
Cats form a different league of pets. They love to stay aloof, yet need your constant attention. Cats are not very high maintenance pets and not need to be taken for walks and strolls like dogs. They go for their walks as and when they wish and come back home when hungry and sleepy.
As cats are the masters of their own will, they choose to let themselves out when they please. As their so-called 'human master', you need to be there to answer their calls. So, the best way to allow your cat to go out and come back in is to install a pet door.
Pet doors are very handy as they allow the pets to come and go as they please. You do not have to worry about keeping the door open or missing out on the call of your pet trying to come in. You no longer have to keep opening the door constantly and kitty will be happy to have a will of her own.
However, unlike dogs, cats are a bit difficult to train. You need to explain the technique of using a pet door to your cat. If you are lucky, she will learn soon and start using the pet door when she wishes to go for a walk. Let us have a look at some training instructions that will help you teach your cat about the benefits of using a pet door.

Training Your Cat to Use a Pet Door

Once you have installed the pet door, starts the real exercise for you and your cat. After installing the door, wait till your cat wants to go out. Once she start meowing and gives you cues to let her out, ask someone in the family to wait outside the door. Then, show the cat the new door. Allow her to sniff and examine the door.
Now, push the door with your hand and ask the person outside to call the cat. He/she may hold a few cat treats in his/her hand. Nudge your cat to go out through the door. Once she is outside, the person outside the door should praise her and give her treat.
Now, repeat the same exercise from inside. Call your cat inside and ask the person outside to nudge her back inside. If she does not move, push her gently, but do not force her.
If your cat is frightened or scared and tries to run away, let her go. The more you force her, the harder it will be to train her. Carry out this exercise no more than 3 times or more than 10 minutes.
Next, you need to push the door upwards and leave it there for an entire day. You can hold the pet door ajar with the help of a magnet or tie it up with a string. Now, make the cat go in and out of the house through the pet door the entire day. Do not let the cat use the main door or window.
When your cat meows to be let out, refer to the pet door as 'your door' and gently nudge her to go outside through this door. If your cat cries outside the door to be let in, place the food bowl near the pet door. This will charm her to come through the pet door and reach her food.
The next day, let the pet door down. When your cat wishes to go out, take her paw and push the pet door open. Gently push her forward and allow her to go out. Do not open the door for her, let the cat learn to push and enter inside the house. Leave the food bowl near the door.
She will be attracted to the smell of her tasty food and have no choice, but to push the door and come in to eat it. If you have more than one cat, then it's better. This is because, once one of them learns to use the door, others will follow the suit.
Cats are generally intelligent animals. They tend to build a habit and will to follow it for life. This is why they are easy to litter train. Once the cat gets the hand of using a pet door, she will forever follow her habit. Nudge the cat to use the door for the first few days. Be gentle and do not force her to do things your way.
Patience is a virtue when it comes to training a cat. Within a few days or weeks, your cat will soon learn to use the pet door. Treats, love and a lot of cuddles and kisses, will soon help your cat to understand the benefits of using the pet door.