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Date Posted: November 9, 2022

Cat Pet Door: Training Your Cat is Easier Than You Think

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This kitty can’t wait to use their new cat pet door.

You may think that training your feline family member to use a cat pet door would be an impossible task. But with a little patience and positive reinforcement, they can learn to be comfortable using their cat door.

They’ll also be very appreciative since cats are fiercely independent. They don’t want to have to rely on a human to let them in and out of their spaces. Cats also tend to be “night owls”. Rather than being awakened at night by your kitty itching to roam around, wouldn’t it be nice for them to be able to flow through the space on their own? 

Are There Different Pet Doors for Dogs and Cats?

Cats can use the same pet doors as dogs, which is helpful if you have both a cat and a dog in your home. For a larger or senior cat, a larger dog door will be appreciated.

Some companies sell “cat flaps,” which are smaller and more minimal than a dog door. However, these simple flaps offer little if any insulation, so they will not be anywhere near as energy efficient as a robustly built Hale Pet Door. Our pet access doors for cats and dogs are made with the highest quality materials and are made to last. They also include multiple layers of insulation so that the heat stays in during the winter and the cool air-conditioned air stays in during the summer.

What Kind of Pet Door is Best for Cats?

Most kitties can fit a smaller or medium-sized cat door but they can use a giant one just as easily. Just know you will have to be patient as they learn it. You’ll need to acclimate them to their new access door gently, using positive reinforcement.

How to Train Your Cat to Use a Pet Door?

Cats can be trained to use a cat pet door quite easily if you know what to do. Here are four quick tips to help guide you:

  • Take Your Time – Some cats may be more skittish than others. One helpful tip is to rub a towel over your cat’s face to grab its scent and then put it around the door so that the smell is more familiar to them.
  • Give Inside/Outside Support – Have one person on one side and someone on the other side to offer encouragement.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement – Whenever they properly use the door, have a little treat waiting for them on the other side. 
  • Hold the Flap Open – This way kitty can get used to going through the hole. You can remove it (on an interior door or wall) or just hold it open to encourage them to go through it. Then, put the flap back on the door once they are used to going through the hole.

If your cat is reluctant, our training flap can help. This temporary training flap replaces the standard flap. It is made from a lighter material, has no strikes that hit the magnets, and is “sliced” in vertical strips so that it’s easier for the animal to push open. As your feline starts using their cat pet door regularly, don’t forget to pet and praise them (though the treats may be more effective). Then, you can replace the training flap with the standard flap for better insulation and security. 

What to Know About Cat Behavior and Pet Access Doors

If it’s taking a little while for your new kitty door to be your cat’s best friend, remember that cats usually go in and out of the corner of the frame and dogs usually run through the center of the door. This may mean that it takes the cat more time to be comfortable sliding in and out. Cats have their own way of using the access you create for them. They have their own behavior patterns, usually learning a bit slower than dogs. They may use their head to push the door open, or their paws to push or pull the flap. Either way, be patient and let them figure out their comfort level as they are learning.

Why Choose Hale?

There are many reasons why Hale cat doors are the very best on the market. Our products are made from extruded aluminum, which is much stronger than the plastic that some of our competitors use. We use PVC vinyl flaps, stainless steel strikes, and other premium materials. We offer a wide range of sizes, styles, and options along with a 5-year prorated warranty. Proudly made in the USA.

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