A few cats will learn how to use cat doors immediately, but some might need praise, patience and training.

Cats are inherently curious so a lot of them learn to use cat doors easily. However, they could be quite nervous if you suddenly bring new things into their house, and a few require being encouraged prior to using cat doors comfortably.

Cats many times like to go outside and since they are very independent they also like coming and going when they like. So, it’s good to help them learn how beneficial cat doors can be.

Instructing cats to use cat doors

If the cat is hesitant to use a cat door, you will have to be patient and show them the way to use them. You truly don’t want them to be stressed out so don’t just shove them through the door.

Basically, your cat has to be shown 2 things:

  • That they can go inside and outside your house using the cat door
  • That the cat door has to be pushed open to get in and out

The top method of encouraging hesitant cats is do this is step by step.

  • Instruct the cat it’s possible to go in and out your home using a cat door

Begin by maintaining the door in an open position using some tape or some rope.   Now the cat can obviously see the outside world, and that by itself could be sufficient to get them to use the cat door. If it doesn’t then you should go out and then call your cat by talking though the cat door. Encourage the cat via a tasty treat to get them to go through the door. If they still hesitate then go get someone else that the cat trusts to help you.

Your coaching partner ought to hold the cat gently in front of an open cat door, as you are sitting on the outside. Reach into the cat door and offer the cat the treats and then it will learn to think of the cat door along with something good. In time, the cat will begin to come through the cat door to eat the treat and soon you can get them to go into the door. Don’t forget to praise and reward them if they do it, no matter if they are coming in or going out.

  • Instruct the cat how to push the cat door open

Next you must instruct the cat on opening the cat door by themselves. Begin by putting a clothespin or a clip on the door so it won’t shut completely and they can see you waiting outside. Then offer some treats and call them from the other side and soon the cat will figure out they have to push open the cat door with their paw or head to get out or in.

After they are good at doing this, get rid of the clip or clothespin and let the door shut all the way. Then they can practice going in or out and when they are successful at it be sure to praise them.

If the cat door is controlled by a microchip, it won’t open unless it reads the microchip in your cat. That might make it take longer to teach the cat to use the cat door as they could be afraid of the noise it makes when it unlocks.

Equally, if the cat is especially fearful, it could take longer,  however it will all be worth it finally. The cat will have more independence and you won’t have to go let them in and out all the time.

Since the cat now has more freedom, it could make them confused as to where they should go to the bathroom, so you can read the guide to litter training the cat if you have those kind of problems.

To keep the cat from brining in snakes or other pests like mice, you might consider making it so they have to ask to come back inside the house.

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