How to Train a Cat to Use a Cat Door

Published on
April 6, 2021 2:15:50 PM PDT April 6, 2021 2:15:50 PM PDTth, April 6, 2021 2:15:50 PM PDT

If you have tried and failed to train your cat to use a cat door, then you have come to the right place.


All cats can be trained to use a cat flap or cat door, you just need to find the right method for your feline friend. 

Offering your cat access to your backyard and any surrounding outdoor space, a cat door is the perfect solution for an adventurous cat who loves to explore. As well as being a great option for older cats who are prone to accidents. 

That being said, even if you invest in a high tech sliding glass pet door, you still need to take the time to carry out cat flap training. 

Fortunately, training your cat to use their cat flap or cat door is not as hard as it looks. All you need to do is follow the below simple steps and your cat will be a pro at using a cat door in no time. 

Introduce Your Cat To Their New Cat Door

It can be a good idea to show your cat their new cat door before installing it so that they feel less overwhelmed once it is all up and running. You may even want to leave it unpacked out of its box for several days on the floor so that your cat can have a really good sniff around it and become used to its appearance. 

Add Their Scent 

If you need to install your new cat door sooner rather than later, a quick way to get your cat accustomed to this new addition to the home is by rubbing their scent on it. This can be done easily by rubbing a towel over your cat and then transferring the scent to the door. 

Show Them How It Works 

Cats learn by example, so when you are installing a cat door, it can be a good idea to show them how it works. Whether you have chosen a run-of-the-mill cat flap or you want the added security and convenience of using automatic sliding door sensors, you should show your cat how they push open their cat door and how it closes behind them. 

Offer an Incentive 

If your cat does not seem overly keen on this new access to the outdoors, you may want to offer a little motivation in the form of a treat or two. If your cat loves a particular toy or treat, you could try crouching the other side of the door, coaxing them through with their preferred treat. 

Alternatively, you could use a herb such as clary sage or catnip, which cats are known to love. 

Give Them a Helping Hand

If you have chosen not to invest in an electronic cat flap, you may find you have to open the door for your cat when training them to use their new cat door. Although this can be a bit time-consuming for you as a cat owner, some cats are simply more visual learners and will require a little more hands-on help when learning a new skill.