There’s no doubt that cats are safer as inside cats. Cats like to roam and hunt, and they can climb the fences that keep your dog contained.When you want to keep your cat inside, yet allow your dog free access to the yard, you can train your cat to avoid the dog door with aversion or avoidance training.
This is easiest to accomplish with kittens or cats that have never enjoyed the great outdoors.
The objective is to make the area near the dog door an uncomfortable place for your cat. You can accomplish this by taking these steps:
- Put your dog in another room, so she doesn’t inadvertently get ‘trained’ to avoid the dog door.
- Have a helper with a noise maker like a metal garbage can lid and hammer stay quietly outside the dog door, out of sight from inside the house, close to the pet door.
- Bring the cat to the area inside the house near the pet door. You may want to use a rug right inside the pet door for your dog to ‘wipe his feet’. When the cat walks near the pet door or on the rug, silently or quietly signal to your helper to make loud noises. Your cat will probably run away.
- If your cat is bold, you may want to repeat the performance until the cat no longer wants to go near the pet door.
When your cat gives the dog door a wide berth in his daily wanderings, you’ll know that he won’t be in danger of going outside.
People often ask me about electronic pet doors where the dog wears a collar with a transmitter to open the pet door only when the dog approaches the door. Unfortunately, the electronics that I’ve experimented with are not reliable. The door sometimes fails to open when the dog comes to the door, and the door would open when someone walked by with a pocket full of change or keys. Also, if your cat and dog are best friends, the cat can run out the door on the heels of the dog, then not be able to get back in. These doors can also open when the dog is resting near the door, making feline escape a possibility.
Use aversion training to keep your cat away from your pet door so your cat is safe inside your home while your dog can get out to answer ‘nature’s call’ whenever necessary.
You can choose the right size, energy efficient, attractive Hale Pet Door for your dog here.