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Catflap woes

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by tthomson, Jun 2, 2010.


  1. tthomson

    tthomson PetForums Junior

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    Hi,

    Hope someone might be able to help with a few suggestions of what I can do to make my cat use his new petporte cat flap properly.

    We’ve had it installed for just over a week and so far he’s fine with pushing it open with his head to get out side, but refuses to use it to get back in. Unfortunately, he’s not the most ‘street smart’ cat and this has resulted in me coming home last week – after seeing him go out at 7.30 in the morning – to find him sitting on the doorstep when I got back late from work at about 8.30 at night. Needless to say after a whole day out without access to his very comfy bed he was absolutely shattered and unfortunately had been attacked (again :mad:) by another cat.

    So another trip to the vets and an even lighter purse than last week and I’m fretting about what to do.

    I didn’t realise that the petporte automatically opened during daylight hours (I thought that if I was the one that switched it onto night mode, it would stay locked throughout the day). when I got home last night he was waiting for me on the front step, like a little drowned rat – it was torrential rain where we live yesterday, no idea how long he’d been out!

    I wondered if it might be the beep that was scaring him, so I’ve turned that off, now I’m wondering if it’s the ‘click’ of the lock dropping after he’s been scanned or even the way the ledge sticks out over the hole. :confused1:

    Sorry for the long post, just not sure what to do, I’ve tried tempting him back in with a full bowl of food when I know he’s starving hungry but even that’s not tempting him enough to convince him he should just go for it!

    Thanks for any help :)
     
  2. Janee

    Janee PetForums VIP

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    OK

    I have one of those cat flaps and I have cats that had not used a cat flap.

    Sooooo (forgive me if you have done this) I started off as if they were really thick. I set aside a half day where I was doing nothing but cat training. It might take 2 half days.

    I hooked the flap open by using an elastic band so that it was perpendicular agaisnt the hood.

    I then enticed the cats through the opening so they got the idea that was the way out and in and there was no resistance. This was done by food tidbits and treats. then very gently I released the flap so they felt the weight of it on their bodies and tails; I held it open and enticed them through letting it rest against them as they came through.

    Then it was fully down and enticed through with food and tidbits and treats. one got the hang of it very quickly; the other took some time.

    This works on the chip. One cat uses its head to push through; the other uses its paws first then its head. It took about 2-3 days for my 2 chipped cats to get the hang of it.

    (Note: the more intelligent of the 2 has worked out how to break out. I now have to barricade it very securely to keep this cat in at night. Even then he has worked out how to undo the fastenings and get through a gap not much more than a thumb width - he is a long thin cat lol).

    my semi feral who is not chipped has taken 18 months to work out how to get out (he can't get in cos not chipped) but I did not actively train him.
     
  3. tthomson

    tthomson PetForums Junior

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    Hi Janee,

    Thanks so much for the reply, I've got a feeling that it will definitely take longer than two afternoons with him - i think he is a bit thick :lol:

    At the moment he just seems frightened by it, i didn't know if i should push him through it or if that will just make him associate it as something he doesn't enjoy doing!?!
     
  4. Janee

    Janee PetForums VIP

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    Don't push him through! Use food or treats and 'open' the cat flap with your hand releasing it as he goes through so he gets used to the weight of the flap on his back and tail. You may need another person on the other side with a treat!

    Lots of tasty treats from Pets@Home and devote time to it. Some cats 'get it' faster than others.

    (Mine were 3 and 4 years old when I 'taught' them; the feral is more like 13+)
     
  5. tthomson

    tthomson PetForums Junior

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    Hi,

    Well, one month on and still no luck!

    He'll happily go out through it if it's held open, but if he has to make any effort himself and actually push the flap open he's not interested. If I use an elastic band or selotape to hold it open, he'll happily go in and out of it as he pleases :confused:

    I had a week off of work last week and put aside a good 3 afternoons to training, does anyone have any other ideas?

    I've got a feeling he's just a lazy little Diva :D
     
  6. Janee

    Janee PetForums VIP

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    ummm tough one - couple of thoughts

    1. I would sign up to the Petaporte website forum and post your experieces there and see what repliesyou get

    2. Have you turned off the bleep? This puts some cats off.

    3. Tough love - how much does your cat want out? Don't help him get out through the flap - let him do it himself without you holding it open. Maybe try on a day off (weekend?) when you can actively monitor it, but don't help.
     
  7. 1971

    1971 PetForums Member

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    We have a petporte....the night mode doesnt seem to sync with daylight in mornings, havent had much time to play around with it though.

    Our lil one was ok going out but couldn't seem to come back in, or so we thought....

    At first (April time @ about 8 months old) he use to go out about 6amish and before I went to work at about 830am I would bring him in til OH got back from work about 3pm.

    One morning lil one wasnt around to bring him back in and I had to leave, so with much guilt I left him out :eek:
    When OH got in at about 2ish lil one was in house so he must have used it to get back in. That night lil one had right hump with me, infact he dissapeared til about 10pm!

    Now he goes and comes as he wants during day (until about 10pm at night til he wales us up which has been about 4am recently! nice!)

    I would suggest like you prob have been advised already, toys, treats, bleep off etc.

    Good luck
     
  8. tthomson

    tthomson PetForums Junior

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    So, how many months on are we now and...............still he won't use the blooming cat flap!!

    it's very, very odd, if you push it open with a small gap he will nudge it open the full way himself and jump out.

    if we tie the door up with an elastic band, he will come in and out of it no problem.

    He refuses to come back in through it and instead waits for me or hubby to get home on the front step and is then STARVING because he's gone out very early morning without finishing his breakfast.

    I just don't know what it is, if we leave a window even slightly ajar he's up there nudging it open straight away, yet this........nothing.

    I think it might have something to do with him thinking that what we've actually done is installed him his own window that can only be openened if we push it open for him.

    we've even tried just leaving him in all day on the basis that he'll get so peed off 'he'll definitely use it'...........when it rains he simply hides under the cover that is over the garden furniture, which i really want to fold up and put away in the shed, but can't because it's his only shelter outside.

    I'm getting even more concerned now as the nights are going to start getting darker earlier soon and because he won't wear a collar we never let him out at night.

    Has anyone ever experienced this with their cat?

    Will he ever use it?!?

    Tracy
     
  9. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

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    Oh Boy, how frustrating! I am thinking I may have a similarly 'special needs' kitten. She is 6 months old and has not figured out the cat flap yet.....In many ways I am delighted as I was tearing my hair out worrying how I would keep her in, while allowing the other 4 OAPs the freedom thay had always had.
     
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