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How to Train your Cat to use a Cat Flap

Training Your Feline Friend to Use Cat Flaps

Pet Flaps UK provides cat flap installation services to residents throughout the United Kingdom. How to train your cat to use a cat flap isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do. If you’ve just invested in a cat flap, it’s a great way to give your beloved moggy their freedom while you’re at work, shopping, or hanging with friends. Not only does it mean your feline friend isn’t stuck in the house sleeping when they could be out investigating the garden, but it also means they won’t be clawing the fabric of your sofa while you’re not there to chase them! But how do you get them to use this new super new cat flap installation which will improve their life and health so much? We can help.

Cat Flap Training in Four Easy Steps

Cat flap training can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. To make it easier for cat owners across the UK, the team at Pet Flaps UK has narrowed down the process to four easy steps. They are:

  • Cat Flap Installation If you’re wondering about the height and placement of your cat flap, then measure the distance between your cat’s stomach and the floor. That’s where to install the cat flap on your door. If it’s on a window cat flat installation, then measure from the ledge. Making the cat flap as easy to use as possible will result in much more success.
  • Stocking Up With Treats – Not all cats are equal. Some will take to the cat flap right away; others will avoid it for days. If your cat is in the latter category, you will have to arm yourself with titbits and their favourite treats.
  • Novice Training – Just like dogs can be taught to jump through a hoop in agility by using treats on the other side, cats can be shown how to go in and out of a cat flap installation. The treats are different, but the principle is the same. Prop or tape the cat flap open a little and show a treat at the other end. Your cat will eventually go through the cat flap installation to get the piece of cheese, chicken, or tuna reward. Now, do the same but from the other side.
  • Advanced Training – As your four-legged friend gets used to climbing through the hole you can remove the prop and let them nip through themselves by pushing the flap, still using the treat as an incentive. Eventually, after a handful of times going in and out, your cat will get the idea, and you can remove the treat.

Cat Flap Tips & Tricks

Cat flaps are a wonderful invention. But cat owners aren’t always convinced of their ease or convenience. We’ve gathered some useful tips and tricks regarding cat flaps. They are as follows:

  • Tip 1 – If you have a particularly nervous cat, you can make approaching the cat flap easier for him or her by rubbing their fur with a piece of fabric and then transferring the scent onto the cat flap by rubbing that, too. That way, you’re making it less of an ‘alien’ object.
  • Tip 2 – We all know what furtive creatures cats can be, and, because of this, they won’t like going through the cat flap installation and into an open space. You could place a couple of large plant pots around one metre in front of the cat flap, so there’s somewhere for it to instantly hide behind and feel more secure when emerging.
  • Tip 3 – The above training tips are for ordinary cat flaps, such as those without a microchip. If you buy a micro-chip-enabled cat flap, then the flap will automatically lift when your cat goes near it. You’ll still have to train their to go through via – yes, you’ve guessed it – their favourite tidbit. Extras with a microchip-enabled cat flap include a timer and draught excluder.

Which Type of Cat Flap is Best?

With several different types of cat flaps to choose from, choosing the right one for you and your cat can be challenging. That’s why we’ve taken the time to detail each option below. They are as follows:

  • Manually-Operated This is a basic cat flap. It opens with ease when your cat pushes against it. This type of cat flap permits all cats that try to use it, making it challenging to prevent stray cats from entering your home. So this cat flap may not be ideal if many cats are around.
  • Magnet & Infra-Red Operated This cat flap uses a magnet or infrared device to operate. The device is attached to your cat’s collar, and when the collar is in range, the device unlocks the flap for your cat to access. These flaps can prevent unwanted cats from coming and going.
  • Microchip-Operated Operated by your cat’s microchip, this cat flap is suitable for homes with multiple cats. These flaps can even read several different microchips.

Should I Lock The Cat Flap Overnight?

Different cats have different preferences, but ultimately, it’s up to you as the owner. There are certainly benefits to locking your cat flap overnight, as well as benefits to leaving it unlocked. Many cat owners keep their cat flaps locked overnight because they believe it to be the safer option. However, if your cat uses the outdoors as its toilet then constant access to the outdoors is important. If you decide to keep your cat flap locked overnight, make sure you have a suitable litter tray accessible for your cat, as well as puzzle feeders, toys, and other things to keep them mentally stimulated.

Contact Us Today About Cat Flap Installation

If you want to keep your cat safe while giving them the freedom to wander the outdoors, a cat flap might be useful. Contact us today to learn more about cat flaps and the wide range of benefits they can provide you and your cat. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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