Friday, June 01, 2007

Cat flaps - not as simple as you might think

Cat flaps are a boon to the active cat. I can come and go as and when I choose during the day time. Sometimes I pop in and out several times in an hour. Other times when I am on a long range hunting mission I may only use it to go out and come back after three hours for my midday nap on my bed. (With a bit of luck Celia is not on it - she takes up an awful amount of room and seems to think it is her bed.)
Rushing in and out sometimes makes a bit of play time for me. I like the rattle of the flap as I smash through it. Some days I proceed very cautiously first poking a paw to see if it is open, then pushing through with my head. When you think of it, using a cat flap is quite a clever thing to do. Because I have used one since I was a kitten I took to it quick and easily.
William didn't have a cat flap until he was 11 years old. Celia taught him by putting on a wooden clothes peg to hold it open. The nearer the peg to the hinge, the more open the flap. Then when he had gone through, she had to put the peg on the other side. It all meant a lot of human intervention and it took about three months before he really really got it. Even so, he prefers to be let in and out by the door. This is partly because the catflap is quite high off the ground outside. It has to be because the kitchen floor is higher than the outside. Celia tried to help him by putting in a sort of movable step but he hated that and just leaped over it. For an elderly gentleman cat this was rather a strain. Getting a human to open the door on command is an elderly cat thing.
The great thing about a cat flap is the choice it gives me. I can choose when to use it.


  1. AnonymousJune 01, 2007

    Oh how I wish I had a catflap door! I have to depend on my humans to let me in and out. I must admit I DO have them trained well. If they delay in letting me out, I just approach the nice chair in the den and they PROMPTLY let me out. Sometimes the Little Woman resorts to spraying something in a can called Duster. It's just air under pressure used to dust things like computer keyboards, silk flowers, etc. I HATE that stuff! It's frightening. I run when she sprays that stuff. I'll have to work on misplacing that spray can. I suppose it is possible to teach an old cat new tricks, so I could learn to use one of those cat doors. I'll be 13 in August, so I am, after all, a senior citizen with all the benefits.

    Oscar Snuggles
    King of Tidewater
    Jonesboro, GA USA

  2. AnonymousJune 01, 2007

    Dear Gorgeous George
    I also use my paw to open the cat flap - my reason is I don't want to
    spoil my dainty nose!
    However I have found out that standing against it and doing a high screech gets it opened for me without having to even lift a paw.
    Try it sometime and see if it works for you.
    Elegant Emma

  3. AnonymousJune 03, 2007

    Ha! You must be firm. It is best for all if the cats are in charge. I have 'herself' very well trained - sometimes I use the cat flap myself, but when I'm bored I like to keep her on her toes and further her training. I sit meaningfully next to the flap and glare until she bestirs herself and lifts it up for me to go through in a more elegant manner proving who is boss!

  4. AnonymousJune 09, 2007

    I am Plata - and I am Smokey! Neither of us had any trouble with catflaps, and there are two in our home. One is for going in and out of the house, and the other is to get in and out of sittingroom in the winter - Erica says "to prevent draughts". Smokey says that he has more of a problem now, as he is so big (fat?), and perhaps a SMALL dogflat might be a good idea. Erica says it is a bad idea, as more destruction to doors, and expense. Lose weight, Smokey! But Erica, without Celia´s help in those days, taught us using more or less the same idea. BUT, WE were quick learners! If another nasty cat appears, we are through that flap like a bolt of lightning, one after the other. No other cat here knows about them, so we are safe!


Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online