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BS: Much ado about cat flap

13 Jun 03 - 01:23 PM (#966832)
Subject: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Auxiris

Hello, everyone. Just back home from tending my iris garden during the bloom season. In view of all the disasterous news I've seen elsewhere on the forum, I thought it best to pose a frivolous question. How many of those of you who are owned by a cat or cats have ever had any experience teaching one of these marvellous, fascinating and complicated creatures to use a simple apparatus known as a cat door (or flap, if you prefer)? We have recently installed such a gadget on our kitchen door, but alas! neither of our two adored but admitttedly somewhat stubborn felines seem to have understood the advantages represented by this object. Not a very urgent problem, but if any of you have ideas about how to accustom Astor and Bauxita to this new, practical and time-saving device, some advice would be welcome.


cheers,


Aux







13 Jun 03 - 01:29 PM (#966834)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: NicoleC

Maybe when they are playful, get on one side of the door and poke a toy through the door to the cat on the other side of the door, until they grab at it and "discover" they can get through it?


13 Jun 03 - 01:42 PM (#966841)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: artbrooks

I don't have one...after a couple of disasters, our cats became "indoors only." #1 daughter has one, and her cats had no trouble learning to use it. How about putting their food outside for a while?


13 Jun 03 - 01:43 PM (#966843)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Deckman

Hi, I think I can help you with this. As a lifetime cat lover, I have installed many of these doors over the years. I have found that if you place something they like, such as catnip or a favorite food, on one side of the door. Hold them to it, let them sniff it, then shut the door wirth the flap between it and them, they'll catch on soon. Another tip is to LEAVE THEM ALONE as they're figurring it out! Let me know if that worked. CHEERS, Bob


13 Jun 03 - 02:09 PM (#966849)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Bat Goddess

Oh, jeez, got enough problems with Sabine bringing little furry friends inside with her (Mortimer only catches bugs) without making it easier by having a cat door.

So I remain a personal servant to the cats (this is different from . . .), but I don't have skunks or racoons traipsing through my kitchen, either.

Linn


13 Jun 03 - 02:12 PM (#966851)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: DMcG

I'm not sure if it is lack of brain or simply exerting authority but our cat uses the cat flap perfectly happily many times a day but will on occasion just sit at the door staring at us, willing us to open it.


13 Jun 03 - 02:17 PM (#966853)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: JohnInKansas

All you really need to do is block the door open an inch or so - so that a little "outside air" gets through, and your owners' proclivity for sticking their little noses in small holes will soon teach them to go in and out. If you make sure they have to "push" the door a little on the way through, they won't have any problem when you take the "block" out. That is, unless they're so fat and lazy they've lost all their "native curiosity."

It is sometimes suggested that you put their litter box near (inside) the door, so that they'll "discover" the door when they go to the box, and associate going in and out with their "littering;" but I'm not sure they go that far (in the human plane of thinking) with their abstract thoughts.

John


14 Jun 03 - 01:13 AM (#966891)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: leprechaun

You can't teach an old cat new tricks. Trade him in for a new one. There's lots of 'em out there.


14 Jun 03 - 01:29 AM (#966893)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: katlaughing

Um...leprechaun, it's old dogs and cops, not cats...**VBG**

I tried to post this earlier, but everything went down.:-)

We propped the door open, left them to it, the more curious led the way, mostly because there was fresh catnip on the other side. After everyone had been a few times, we let the flap down while they were outside, then called them in for "fishie." We had to hold it open about a finger's width and let them smell the food, then it was in and out no problem, old and young alike.:-)


14 Jun 03 - 04:12 PM (#966962)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Phot

Just leave them to it, they'll sort it out!

trust me, our four did, and now the latest game is, how many cats can youget going in both directions at the same time!
Watch and enjoy.

Chris


14 Jun 03 - 04:26 PM (#966967)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: leprechaun

Are you sure catnip's legal?


14 Jun 03 - 05:54 PM (#966984)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Chip2447

You could always build a cat-apult (pun intended) and shoot the little buggers at the door and hope that your aim is true...

Chip2447


14 Jun 03 - 06:01 PM (#966985)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: katlaughing

**bg** leprechaun...you tell me?! I hope it is as I've been guilty of sending fresh stuff through the mail to my "grandcats!"


16 Jun 03 - 12:41 PM (#967066)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Bat Goddess

Oh, fresh CATNIP . . . I had a quick mental picture of all the other "fresh stuff" your grandcats would appreciate.

(Speaking of catnip, it must have self sowed again -- there was a blissful cat just lying on one spot of the lawn and occasionally rubbing her head in the "grass.")

Linn


16 Jun 03 - 06:31 PM (#967251)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Liz the Squeak

Oh, Puleeese - the amount of times I've stood there with the flap open and a bowl of food in one hand, whilst the cat has just sat there looking dim.....

Ceramin, my little white cat no longer with us, used to hang half in and half out of the flap, waiting for other cats in the neighbourhood to come and lick his bum.

LTS


16 Jun 03 - 06:44 PM (#967255)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Sorcha

Try tuna fish..........I catch lots of strays with it.


16 Jun 03 - 09:27 PM (#967320)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Charley Noble

Our special neighbor's cat not only comes in the cat door, which is always open to the outside world but closed at night from the inside, but he's also figured out how to pull the door inwards to escape out again at night, after having cleaned up all the food dishes. Gashay ("Our Shield" in Ethiopian) is some piece of work! He's a giant short-haired gray tiger that the other two cats took a liking to when he was just a skinny little fellow. He still THINKS he's a skinny fellow but the reason he's ribs are now sticking out has more to do with his fat tummy.

Charley Noble


16 Jun 03 - 09:45 PM (#967327)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Bobert

Aux,

Sorry to hear that you have retarded cats. When I installed a cat door in my house not only did my cats figgure it out in a day or two but this particually mean Tom cat figgured it out and came right on in...

Well, get some catnip and sprinkle it arounf the door and that oughtta get them cats jump started...

Bobert


17 Jun 03 - 03:16 AM (#967406)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Gurney

Lock it NOW. Bobert is right, every stray and tomcat will claim your house and mark it, unless you have a real fighter cat.
Then you'll have Vet's bills....


17 Jun 03 - 08:30 AM (#967530)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Charley Noble

Our two fixed female cats are very particular about whom they will tolerate sneaking in their cat door. I recall waking up one morning at some outrageous early hour to the howls of some poor Tom cornered in the office window by Tilahun and Tejitu. I wrapped him up in a towel to throw him out, but he still managed to slash my arm. What joy!

The stray Tom never came back...

Charley Noble


17 Jun 03 - 08:39 AM (#967535)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Auxiris

Still laughing about some of these suggestions! My heartfelt thanks to all. . . and you'll all no doubt be very happy to know that the two of them seem to be getting the idea now. I wouldn't say they're retarded, just. . . cautious. Poor Astor! After all, he's over 8 years old now and since we had the staircase taken out last year for two weeks while I painted the front hall which made it necessary for him to climb a ladder to go upstairs, he takes a dim view of anything new. Bauxita is only 3 and thus much more flexible, shall we say and isn't so disturbed by changes. There isn't much of a stray cat problem around the village and the door that the cat flap has been installed on is now an inside door since the mud room was built this year. However, I have duly taken note of the warning about uninvited cats. All the best!

cheers,

Aux


17 Jun 03 - 09:59 PM (#968095)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: GUEST,Pelrad

Speaking of retarded cats, does anyone have any ideas for getting mine to quit hanging on our screens? Gilbert's ruined two windows and two doors. He jumps up and hangs, and at the same time claws the screen to make plenty of noise so we will hear him.

We have three other cats; one sits at window level on our car and glares until we let her in, one meows at the door and the other knocks on it.

We've been fighting this battle for three years now. The cat is six. We've tried water and lemon juice, banging the screen on the other side, and removing the screen altogether (which causes him to jump up and repeatedly thud against the window, then balance on the little lip and scratch the window.

We have no intention of installing a cat flap, as there are 65 cats in this neighborhood and half of them come into our yard to beat the crap out of our cats. Our basement window was broken for a few weeks once, and every morning I had to shoo several non-resident cats out of it.

Thanks for any suggestions that will not cause the neighbors to call ASPCA on us.


18 Jun 03 - 12:13 PM (#968476)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Dave Bryant

Many years ago my mother's (big tom) cat hated one of the other neighbour's cats. The neighbours installed a flap so that their cat could escape "Tibby's" wrath when he was caught making incursions into our garden. Unfortunately Tibby in hot pursuit, shot right through the flap and up the neighbor's stairs before he realised that he was in strange (ie not his own) territory. He hid under the bed and even when my mother was called, she had a very hard job coaxing him out !

Most cats are only really confident within territory which they consider their own and can often be easily cowered on another smaller cat's own patch.


18 Jun 03 - 01:09 PM (#968508)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: GUEST,Pelrad

Key word maybe being "smaller"... Each of our 4 cats weighs between 7 and 8 lbs. I think they're the smallest in the neighborhood.


18 Jun 03 - 03:46 PM (#968573)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex

I could put up with the half eaten birds but I boarded up the cat flap after I was woken up in the night by a strange tom cat defending the kitchen against my two mogs, who were trying to get in.


18 Jun 03 - 05:01 PM (#968595)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Allan C.

When I first read the subject line of this thread, I was prepared to suggest that penicillin might be just the thing.

One of Morty's cats simply sits and stares blankly at the cat flap until someone opens it. My guess is that since it isn't possible to see what might lie on the other side, fear of the unknown prevents further travel without assistance.


18 Jun 03 - 05:33 PM (#968618)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Liz the Squeak

It is possible to get magnetised cat flaps that only respond to a particular magnet attached to the collar of the animal... great if your cat is suppine and doesn't climb or fight.... if your cat loses it's collar, it's stuck out forever!

(or until some two legs opens the door for it!)

LTS


18 Jun 03 - 06:05 PM (#968636)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Sorcha

Ours is window screen and we only leave the sliding glass door open in summer. In winter, it takes a 2 legged to open the glass door.Ref the window---one of ours does that and I have just decided to leave the torn up screen on for her to jump on and never open the glass. It's right by the computer anyway which I don't need wet or dirtier than it already is...............


19 Jun 03 - 07:39 AM (#968939)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Dave Bryant

One of Robert Heinlein's books is entitled "The Door into Summer". It gets it title from the time when the author lived in a house with several outside doors. When his cat wanted to be let out, if the weather outside the door wasn't very pleasant, the cat would go to one of the other doors, hoping no doubt that it would yield better prospects (reminds me a bit of the Mudcat Fantasy Xmas Tavern). Cats are eternal optimists - perhaps your cats are hoping for even nicer food from another portal.


19 Jun 03 - 07:54 AM (#968943)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Ella who is Sooze

one of my lovely boys who remained in custody with my parents when I moved out of home to live with my fella seems to have got the knack of it...

All being we never owned a cat flap, next door do, and he's seen regularly going in and out of their house... Although recently he's got a bit too portly and got his bottom stuck in the flap...to his indignation the neighbour squirted water up his bum and made him move sharpish...

I think if you leave them too it, they'll pick up the idea soon enough.

Or, like my cousins, who have a dog flap - their dog has taught my little 14 month old nephew how to use the flap... So it's a pick and mix who comes through the door first!

Ella


19 Jun 03 - 08:48 AM (#968982)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Charley Noble

"The Door into Summer" resonates with our cats who go out onto the porch, take one look around at the nasty weather, come back in, and then demand to be let out an alternative door.

Charley Noble


21 Jun 03 - 10:41 AM (#970170)
Subject: RE: BS: Much ado about cat flap
From: Morticia

It was kind of Allan not to mention that that particular cat tends to stare blankly anyway.....at the cat flap, at her dinner bowl and at me....she's very pretty but not awfully bright....a sort of feline Spice Girl.