If you have an outdoor cat you may be hoping to learn how to train cats to use a cat door or how to ring a bell so you realize they are ready to come in.
I realize that there are times when I let my cats outside that I might get busy and forget to look at them so I found a way for them to let me know they were at the door to come in. I live in an area that’s too cold for a cat door (I have one going to the basement where the cat litter is boxed) so I chose to find a way for them to sign me to open the cat door, something we wanted because of the extreme cold we sometimes go through here.
Here is a very simple way to train your cats to let you know when they want to be put inside.
Simply take a small bell, one that is loud enough for you to hear, and swing it from a string outside the door. Make sure you show this to your cat several times and if needed, you can even add some catnip to the bell to appeal to your cats.
You can get a bell at just about any craft shop. Using several small bells might even be better for you or your cat. Tie the bell or bells to a string hanging down low enough for your cat to reach easily and then attach a catnip toy or use a catnip spray to attract your cat.
When the cat never rings the incoming bell, you’ll want to give them a cat treat to let them know they’ve done something worth rewarding. If your cat does not ring the bell straight away, you may still have to show them to get them interested and sooner or later they will learn that you will be coming to the door to let them in when they ring the bell.
In the beginning, you may still need to show them the bell every time they go out or come in so that they start to connect the bell to the door that is open it for them. You may even want to start with a bell inside the house when they want to go outside and this will help them learn more quickly that ringing the bell means the door will open it.
Although I realize that sometimes you may not open the door just because you are not there or for any number of reasons, your cat will still start to connect the bell to the door being opened.
If you live somewhere where you can put a cat door, here is one alternative you can use to let your cat in and out whenever they want. This will also depend on what other animals you may have in the home. Another reason I choose not to have a cat door leading outside, is I have a cat that can go outside but she’s edgy and I’ve been there to sit baby when she’s goes out so she doesn’t get scared and takes off.
While you can buy a cat door at any pet store, you can also make one yourself if you’re good at making things. We put the cat door into our basement ourselves, just by easily cutting through a small hole at the bottom of the door and putting a piece of plastic across it.
If you want to put a cat door that goes outside, make sure you know what size you need so your cat can comfortably fit through the opening. While a cat who is used to going outside all the time will most likely find out quickly how to use the cat door, you may also need to know how to train cats to use this new door as well.
This should be a fairly straightforward process. One of the ways you can train your cat to use this door is to keep it open and use a toy to tempt your cat through it from one side to the other. It should only take a couple of times before your cat is aware that they can get in and out as they please.
After they’ve gone in and out a couple of times you’ll want to show them how to use the door on their own when it’s closed and you can use the same process to do this. You may choose to use food to entice your cat to walk through the door and help them push through the first few times but many cats take this process pretty quickly if they really want to be able to get out.
With perseverance and affection you can learn how to train cats to do almost everything.