How to Train Cat to Enter Cat Door

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A cat can be trained to enter a cat door by placing his or her food dishes near the door, propping the door open and allowing the cat to see through to the other side. Encourage a cat to step through a kitty door with help from a professional pet behavior consultant in this free video on cat training.

Part of the Video Series: Cat Training Tips
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Video Transcript

Today, we're talking about how to train your cat to enter a cat door. So, if you set up a cat door so your cat is able to go either between rooms or in and outside, it's great to get them use to this a little bit at a time. Cats don't necessarily like big changes in the environment and noisy things as well. So, it's probably a good idea just to put the cat door in at first. Start feeding your cat near the cat door but not actually using it yet and then when it is time to use it, I would actually prop the cat door open. This will make it easy for your cat to see what's on the other side so do something that permanently prop the cat door open and then you can actually toss them treats through to the other side. Toss a toy through to the other side or use some type of string or cat toy that you can dangle and have your cat chase from one side to the other. It could be handy to have a person on either side of the door one that's petting the cat on one side and the other person calling the cat to give them a treat on the outside of the door and once your cat is use to just going through that space in and out and it's got comfortable with that, then you can actually close the cat door most of the way but leaving it prop open enough so that your cat can see through. This is important because again if your cat can understand and see what's on the other side, then they'll be more motivated to try it out and if you leave it crack opened just a couple of inches, then your cat is more likely to push to try to fit through that space and then in doing that they'll have chance to open the cat door themselves and start to get use to the pressure of pushing through that space. Once your cat use to this, you could then close the cat door fully and let them experiment and see if they get use to it. For any reason they having trouble, just go back to the second step which is to prop it part way open and give your cat a chance to see through and get comfortable with pushing through and having the weight of the door on them when they do.

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