If you have a cat outdoors, you may want to learn how to teach cats to use a cat door or how to ring a bell so you know they’re ready to come in.
I realize there are times when I leave my cats outside, that I’m busy and forget to check on them, so I found a way for them to let me know they’re at the door and ready to come in. I live in an area that is too cold for a cat door (I have one that goes into the basement where the litter boxes are) so I decided to find a way for them to signal me the door to open, something we wanted because of the extreme cold that we sometimes go through here.
Here’s a very easy way to teach your cats to let you know when they want to be let in.
Just grab a small bell, loud enough that you can hear it, and ring it on a string just outside the door. Make sure to show this to your cat several times, and if you want you can even add some catnip to the bell to appeal to your cats.
You can get a bell for practically nothing at any craft store. Using several small bells might even be better for you or your cat. Tie the bell or bells to a string hanging low enough for your cat to reach easily, then also attach a catnip toy or use catnip spray to lure your cat.
Whenever the cat rings the bell to come in, you should give her a cat treat to let her know she’s done something worth rewarding. If your cat doesn’t answer the bell right away, you may have to keep showing it to get her interested, and sooner or later she’ll find out that you’ll come to the door to let her in when it rings.
In the beginning, you may need to show them the bell every time they walk out or come in so they start connecting the bell to the door that opens for them. You might even want to start ringing the house bell when they want to go outside so they learn faster that ringing means the door will be opened.
While I know there will be times when you may not answer the door simply because you’re not there or for a variety of reasons, your cat will still start ringing the bell on the door that’s being opened .
If you live in a place where you can install a cat door, this is another option that you can use to let your cat in and out whenever they like. This also depends on what other animals you may have in the household. Another reason I choose not to have a cat door that leads outside is that I have a cat that can go outside but she is nervous and I need to be around to babysit, when she goes outside so she doesn’t get scared and takes off.
Although you can buy a cat door at any pet store, you can easily make one yourself if you’re good at crafts. We installed the cat door in our basement ourselves by simply cutting a small hole in the bottom of the door and putting a piece of plastic over it that they could easily go through.
If you are considering installing a cat door that goes outside, make sure you know what size you need to have so your cat can comfortably fit through the opening. While a cat that is used to going outside all the time will most likely figure out how to use the cat door quickly, you may also need to know how to train cats to use this new door.
This should be a fairly simple process. One way to teach your cat to use this door is to hold it open and use a toy to entice it to walk through from side to side. It should only be a few times before your cat realizes that she can go in and out as she pleases.
Once they’ve been in and out a few times, you’ll want to show them how to use the door itself when it’s closed, and you can do it the same way. You may choose to use food to get your cat going through the door and help it get through the first few times, but many cats will embrace this process fairly quickly if they’re really able want to go outside.
With persistence and affection, you can learn how to train cats to do just about anything.