How do I get my cat to use its cat flap?

You’ve just installed a cat flap and you want to encourage your cat to use it? No worries! Arm yourself with patience and a few tips to satisfy your cat’s natural thirst for freedom and stop being a slave to its comings and goings!

Be patient

If there is one thing that is characteristic of cats, it is their irrepressible desire for freedom.
To do this, a cat flap is an ideal solution, provided that you don’t force the animal. The first thing you need to do to ensure that your cat can use its cat flap is not to force it. To do this, you’ll need to be patient and allow your cat to use its cat flap whenever it wants to. So if you’re going to take your cat and put him through the cat flap so that he understands how it works, you can forget about it now.
Cats are extremely sensitive animals, and doing so will only traumatize them. Your cat will associate the cat flap with a bad experience and will try to get away from it.

Bait it with treats

However, not forcing your cat doesn’t mean you can’t help her make the first move.
One way to do this is to put your cat outside the house and then push the door back and forth to let her know it’s open. Once you’ve done that, you can take one of her favorite treats and stand inside the house, opening the door slightly. This will encourage your cat to come and get that much desired treat.
In addition, going inside the house will give your cat a sense of security. Depending on the cat’s fidgeting, two people may be needed, one outside with the cat and the other inside with the treat, always without pushing or forcing.
Once you have succeeded in this step, you can proceed in the opposite direction, with the cat inside and you outside. You can do this 5 or 6 times over a few days, gradually lowering the door.

Praise your pet

Before using the treat, another way to help your cat understand that the cat flap is a special place for him is to leave it open at first as if nothing had happened.
You can do this for three days, for example. This way, your cat will gradually get used to the idea that it is indeed a door open to the outside.
During this stage, some cats may be tempted to try the cat flap naturally, even without a treat. In any case, don’t hesitate to encourage your pet by congratulating him as soon as he uses the opening. You can do this by talking to him in a cheerful tone to show him that you’re delighted with his initiative or his progress. Don’t hesitate to pet him to make him happy and to encourage him to do it again.

Try a few tricks

Some cats are much slower to use a cat flap than others.
If your cat seems slow to pick up the pace, don’t hold it against her. Remember, patience is the golden key to success in this type of experiment. Also, try to understand your pet! Your pet will probably have questions like: What is this new thing? What’s waiting for me on the other side? What if I get stuck? By putting yourself in your cat’s shoes, you will be able to put things into perspective and give your cat the time it needs to learn.