How to Teach a Cat to Use a Cat Door


Cat doors allow cats to come and go when they wish, without having to call out to their owners or otherwise beg to be let out of the room. Cats that aren’t used to cat doors may be a little hesitant to use one at first. You can take care of this easily if you understand what entices a cat. Most cats are easily persuaded to do things when tempted by aromatic food or fun toys. Be patient with your cat and use the most irresistible, enticing foods or toys to tempt her towards the door and to make her associate the cat door with good times.

Things You'll Need

  • Cat treats
  • Toy mouse on a string
  • Cat’s favorite food

Show the cat that the door opens by pushing gently against the door with your hand. Call your cat by name to come to you and give the cat a treat, while showing him the cat door.

Move to the other side of the door. Push the toy mouse, attached to the string (keep hold of the string) through the door. Call to your cat as you slowly pull the mouse towards the cat door. If the cat comes close and you can see her, push a treat towards her, through the door. At this point she should start associating the door with fun things and food.

Push the flap open and call to him. Pet the cat through the door flap.

Open a package or can of the cat’s favorite food. Stick your hand through the flap, holding the food to entice her. Just as she nears, draw in your hand. To get to the food she will have to go through the flap. Most cats will brave the cat door to get to the food. If she still refuses to use it, she may not understand the physics of the cat door. In this case, physically, but very gently, guide her through the cat door.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your cat is especially timid, consider using the technique suggested by Leave the flap off when you first install the door. Timid cats will be more likely to go through this. You can add the flap later. By that time he should be used to the fact there is a doorway there for him.

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