How to Train the Cat to Go Through the Doggy Door


The best decision I ever made as a pet owner was to train my cat to go through the doggy door.  It was a rule I insisted on having after my husband told the kids we could keep the kitten they’d found.  Shocked,   that’s what I was, shocked, when my husband said yes to that.  I shouldn’t have been surprised though because our daughters had a way of getting him to say yes.  He was putty in their hands and he didn’t even know it.

I knew it though.  I knew that they may have batted their pretty brown and blue eyes at him and convinced him that we needed to give that poor, homeless kitty a good home but I would be the one cleaning out a litter box and I would be the one keeping the 3 dogs from eating the poor, newly-homed kitty.  So I made up a rule; if we were going to have a cat it was going to go through the doggy door because I was not going to have a filthy, stinky, box of cat shit in my house.

Being that I have 3 dogs – 2 border collies and a basset/retriever mix – who burst through the doggy door and tear down the hallway at speeds high enough to completely topple people like bowling pins, it shouldn’t be too hard to make the cat do it too.

It’s pretty simple to teach your cat to go through the doggy door and crap outside.  Once our new little fur-ball had gotten a bath and stuffed her face with food I set about introducing her to the doggy door.  The kids were all excited about this.  The cheered the little kitty on when I set her down in front of the doggy door and urged her to go outside.  She on the other hand just sat there looking sweet and mystified.  The dogs were sniffling the floor and trying to get a peek at the commotion.  We all huddled around the doggy door in my laundry room in the hopes that this cat would somehow grasp what was going on and leap through the flap.  Nope.  Didn’t happen.  She just stared at us and when I didn’t let her run away she started meowing.  That got the dogs worked up.  The kids were starting to feel sorry for her and there was rumblings of trying again later so I did the only thing I could think of to do.  I picked up the cat, shoved her through the doggy door and dropped her onto the pavement outside.

The kids cheered, the dogs barked and I slammed the door shut.  At first the cat sat there and looked stunned.  She didn’t know what had just happened.  I watched her through the window and after a moment I called to her.  She looked around and came to the door but she didn’t  come back through.  One of the kids ran outside to the other side of the doggy door, picked up the cat, shoved her back through the doggy door and dropped her onto the floor in the laundry room.  Once again the kids cheered and the dogs barked.

We did it a few more times and after 5 or 6 times she started to get the hang of it.  She was insecure about it but the whole family was in it for duration so we stuck it out and kept shoving the cat in and  out of the doggy door until she got it.

She did get it.  Chloe is 9 years old now and going through the doggy door is so second nature to her that she goes in and out regardless of day or time and even in the winter when I cover it with a towel to keep the draft out.    I told you it was simple.  Teaching your cat how to go through the doggy door will save you money, keep your house from being stinky and makes for an  interesting conversation starter.

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Haphazard administration and unpredictably crazy blogging topics are the staple of Kelly's (SWL's slightly weird founder) writing career. One thing you can always be sure of is that you never know what Kelly is going to post at Suburban Wife Life next.

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