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Cat flap locked at night

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Missmeowsalot, Oct 1, 2018.


  1. Missmeowsalot

    Missmeowsalot PetForums Newbie

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    Hey all. 3 days ago I had a cat flap fitted to allow Baggy access to the garden without having to leave the door open all day now it's getting cooler!
    He's learned how to go out of it fine, and also how to come in; he got that pretty quickly (esp considering his behaviour notes when I adopted him said he'd only use a flap if propped open!).

    But - I like to keep him in at night for his own safety and also my peace of mind... so I lock the flap before bed. The issue is, he pushes at it during the night with a view to going outside, this is understandable, but then in the morning he's reluctant to use it again because he obviously thinks it doesn't work being as it was locked all night so it's like I have to train him to use it each day.

    Now, I really don't want to confuse the poor kitty but I would rather he stayed home at night.... has anyone had this issue and how did you overcome it? Or should I just leave it open at all times for him to come and go? He can be a chatter box (hence my username - he's nicknamed sir meowsalot!!) So I am also worried if he's out at night he'll treat the neighbours to a serenaded at 4am and I don't think they'd like that very much!

    Any help/hints would be awesome I am just in 2 minds.... his safety of course is priority, but I also want to have peace of mind knowing he's safe, yet I don't want to confuse him.... I'm hoping hell learn soon enough.

    Thanks in advance ❤ xx
     
  2. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    In my experience, they learn the routine soon enough :) We used to lock the cat flap at night, and Pebbles would push at it trying to get out, but after a few days he would just test it once then go and curl up in a comfy spot for the night. We don't even bother locking it now - he's got into the routine of staying in at night and going out after his breakfast. Hopefully your Baggy will be the same :)
     
    TriTri and Missmeowsalot like this.
  3. Missmeowsalot

    Missmeowsalot PetForums Newbie

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    Ah! That's good to hear and sounds like Pebbles is a quick learner . Thank you for the reply as well that's what I am hoping Baggy will do as well, especially as it's chilly at night now I think he probably wouldn't want to be outdoors anyway once he got out! I will keep on doing as we have been to avoid any further confusion for Baggy x
     
  4. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Baggy will figure it out, but you can help him by telling him about it when you are locking it to help him understand the difference.

    When it's lock up time call him over, and show him it's locked and tell him why. Then add something else to the routine like a little interactive Game, to associate the locked flap with good things.

    In the morning, when it's time to unlock it, again involve him in the process. He will soon learn the routine.
     
  5. LJC675

    LJC675 PetForums VIP

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    Can you make a simple cover for it. I did this with mine, then he can clearly see the difference. I just got a cardboard box, took it apart and then taped back together so it fits nicely on the flap. If I don't want them to go out I simply slip this on.
    Now this isn't intended to stop a determined cat who's desperate to go out (but I don't think that's Baggy's issue) but will make it clear when he can or cannot use it. I actually don't bother locking mine now as my 2 see the cover and know it means they can't use the flap, but you could use it when your flap is locked to clearly show Baggy and help stop him being confused.

    Box, looking a bit scruffy now, but being using the same one for over a year now.
    WIN_20181001_03_20_28_Pro.jpg WIN_20181001_03_20_35_Pro.jpg WIN_20181001_03_20_46_Pro.jpg
     
  6. Matrod

    Matrod Moderator
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    I always put something in front of mine at night too, if they couldn’t see it they wouldn’t fuss at it.
     
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  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I do the same as Matrod and LJC, I place something in front of the locked cat flap once I've shut my cats in at night. I use an old square wooden tea tray which my OH fixed wooden struts (feet) to make it stand on its end against the cat flap. This gives my cats a clear visible message the cat flap is locked and they stop trying to get out.
     
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  8. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    That's a point, I forgot I used to do that. We used to put the covered litter tray in front of the cat flap at night, both to signal that the cat flap was closed and to show him where he could do his business when he didn't have access to the garden! TBH though he never ever used the tray at night, so we stopped doing it after a while. Now we leave the flap unlocked just in case he does get caught short, but since he's in a routine now he doesn't go outside at night, just sleeps and waits until after breakfast to go out for a wee :)
     
  9. moomoo10

    moomoo10 PetForums Member

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    We put a big bag of cat litter in front of our as we don't let them out at night either. Like NaoimiM we have an indoor litter for emergencies too. My husband really frets if our two don't come in for bedtime lol
     
    lorilu likes this.
  10. sandy-cat

    sandy-cat PetForums Senior

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    I put a wooden box containing a slab of Himalayan Rock Salt (the cooking slab kind) in front of my catflap at night so Sandy gets the message :D When I wake up around 6.30am or so, I move it and Sandy can then get out.
     
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