How to Teach Your Cat to Use a Cat Flap

Written by erin schreiner Google
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Cat owners can allow their beloved outdoor pet ready access to the house 24 hours a day through the installation of a cat flap. A cat flap is essentially a miniature doggy door that is designed specifically for felines. The opening in the lower part of the door through which a cat can enter and exit is covered with a flap of plastic, preventing the loss of heated or air-conditioned air from the house. Cats often initially approach the flap with trepidation. This initial hesitancy can be easily overcome through the use of some simple cat training tactics.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the cat flap. Allow your cat to "make friends" with the cat flap opening before you ask her to contend with the plastic cover. Many cat flaps feature hinges which allow owners to lock the flap in the open position. If your cat flap doesn't offer this feature, you can attach a length of string to the door and use it to prop the flap open. Your cat will be significantly more likely to give the opening a try if there is not plastic standing between her and the outside.

  2. 2

    Help your cat go through the opening. Many cats will go through the opening with no assistance. If yours doesn't, hold her and show her how to move through the cat flap opening. Gently coax her through the opening head first.

  3. 3

    Offer a treat. Encourage your cat to go through the opening on her own accord by offering her a treat. Stand on the opposite side of the door as your pet and hold a treat out. Call her name and encourage her to come through the opening to get the treat.

  4. 4

    Lower the flap. Once your cat has demonstrated a proficiency in going through the flap opening, put the flap down. This will likely initially perplex your cat.

  5. 5

    Help your cat go through the opening with the flap in the downward position. If your cat struggles to understand that she can easily push the flap up and proceed through the door, help her through the opening in the same way you did in step two. Offer encouragement as you help her move through the opening.

  6. 6

    Present a treat. Stand on the other side of the door once more and again offer your cat a treat. Call her name and try to encourage her to push the flap up and move through the cat door. Once she does, praise her effort. As she realises that the flap is not a stationary object that is standing in her way, but instead a movable element, she will begin to go through the flap without coaxing.

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