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Cat won't Use Cat Flap

December 29, 2017

Is your cat too posh to push a cat flap?  If you have just installed a cat flap for your cat then it’s normal for your cat not to know how to use it.  Don’t worry too much as your cat will soon realise how it works and will be flying through the cat flap, however you may need to spend some time teaching your cat how to use it.


My cat won’t use the cat flap

You may wonder why your cat refuses to use a cat flap and even though you’re flapping that flap just to ​​prove a point, your cat looks at you disinterested and confused. There are a few reasons why your cat won’t use the cat flap and one of them being that your cat has never used one before. 


Cats love to investigate, they also like to mark their territories by brushing against items, your cat simply hasn’t had the opportunity to explore its new cat door yet.  Your cat will also need to learn to use either its head or its paw to open the cat flap. A little bit of practise is all what’s needed for your cat to learn how to use its new cat door.


Tips on how to teach your cat how to use a cat flap

The following three simple tips will help teach your cat how to use a cat flap, you might need to repeat these daily until your cat learns how to use its new cat door on its own.


1. Hold the cat flap open with a stick

2. Encourage your cat through the cat door

3. Put food behind the cat flap


1. Hold the cat flap open with a stick

If your cat doesn't know how to use a cat flap then the first thing you need to do is find a stick of some sort to hold open the flap. In the picture below I am using a bamboo stick, which is of a similar height to the cat flap.  Adjust the stick so that the cat door is wide open and your cat is able to see the world through it.  Let your cat explore the cat flap and praise your cat, show affection and provide treats when your cat goes through the open cat flap.  When you remove the stick you find that your cat still doesn’t know how to use its new door and may need extra encouragement. 



2. Encourage your cat through the cat flap

Encourage your cat by lightly pushing them through the closed cat flap.  They start to understand that they have to use their head or their paw to get out.  Once they are on the other side, they will find a way to get in.  My two cats both decided to use their paws to get in and out of the cat flap.  That was after I pushed them through the cat flap several times until they finally got it.




What if your cat still won't use the cat flap?


Another good tip you could try is to have their favourite food on the other side of the cat flap.  Let your cat walk through the open cat flap and once they start eating their food, close the cat door and let your kitty figure out how to get in.  Encourage your cat to use the closed cat flap by calling their name or by shaking a bag of Dreamies (this usually does the trick!).  Your cat will soon be in and out of that flap like nobody's business! 








Tags: Cats Meow

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