You plan to buy a cat flap and yet you do not know how to get your cat used to this new door independently. Indeed, we are not going to lie to you: it is not necessarily easy to make him accept something new in you. You should also know that all cats are different. So, in this article, discover some tips for initiating a cat to go through a cat flap!
A cat flap is an accessory for a cat or a dog (and yes, there are pet flaps for doggies!). This is an opening that gives him the freedom to move from inside to outside or from one room to another depending on its location.
This is also essential for you, as there is no longer a need to have to open the door every time your pet wants to enter or leave the house.
There are several types of cat flaps. You can choose a manual cat flap or an electronic cat flap. In any case, to choose the right cat flap, you will have to take into account the place where it will be installed. Indeed, the cat flap will be installed on the main entrance door or your garage if you plan to allow your cat to walk outside.
You must also take into account the measurements of your cat, because the dimensions of your cat flap depend on it. In addition, do not forget to provide a larger space to facilitate learning and to offer your cat maximum comfort.
Conversely, if you have a dog and a cat and you only want to allow the tomcat outings, the best thing is not to take it big enough for the dog to fit in.
Electronic pet doors are also recommended to prevent other cats from your neighbors from coming to your home and emptying the bowls. An electronic cat flap has the advantage of recognizing only your cat thanks to an electronic chip. As soon as the electronic cat flap detects the presence of your cat nearby, the door unlocks automatically.
Now let’s come back to the subject of the preamble: how do you get a cat used to going through a cat flap? First, it depends on your cat’s personality: is he bold or fearful? Aside from that, you should also be aware that cats don’t like surprises and they may think that walking through the cat flap puts them at risk of getting stuck.
Of course, the objective of the exercises that we will suggest to you below is to make the cat flap a usual place of passage for your cat and therefore a place where he will feel completely safe and mark his pheromones.
Much like the initiation into cohabitation of cats, you will need to use treats or other things that they are fond of. For this, you will offer a treat from the inside to invite your pet to enter and therefore to go through the cat flap. Then continue the exercise, but this time moving your cat from the inside to the outside until the passage becomes natural for him.
With this first exercise, some cats can get through the cat flap in 10 to 15 seconds while others will take a long time. And that requires a lot of patience on your part! However, you should never push your cat through their new door. If you feel that he is fearful, do not hesitate to leave the flap wide open during the first exercises.
Then you will have to continue learning by gradually lowering the flap. This is how you can reassure him! To check whether or not he is used to the cat flap, you will need to have a good sense of observation. Observe his behavior, his ears, his chest, his vertical tail… If he is still undecided before each passage, that means that you will have to continue the exercise.
Do not hesitate to install a camera to know if he uses it when you are away from the house.
However long it takes him to use the cat flap, do not hesitate to encourage and praise him after each passage. Favor caresses and sweet words! Cats greatly appreciate being praised with a higher frequency voice than with a low voice. The latter may scare him, because he considers her as a threat or a predator. For example, you can say “well done, my cat” to him using a higher intonation.
In this trick, the idea is to make the cat understand that this is a game and not learning. When everyone is participating in the exercise, the cat will easily go through the cat flap, because it feels safe and surrounded. Plus, isn’t it fun spending time with your pet? So be patient, get into the exercises, don’t force your cat and have fun!