Feral cat (8 replies)
Hi. I have a feral cat that turned up in a very bad way 18 months ago. It has taken a lot of care, love and time to domesticate him and he lives a very spoilt life with my other cats. The problem i have is i cannot get him to use the cat flap. I have tried treats etc but to no avail. He will go out through it because i think he feels that he is being locked in but will not come back in. Can anyone advise on what to do as i am out of ideas
He simply may not be ready to come back in. Some cats really love the outdoors and he's exploring. How much time has past since he exits? Are you calling him to come back in? Going out and getting him?
What is the flap made of? Is it a thick clear plastic that he can see through?
I would try putting food down right near the flap on the inside. Even feeding him there if possible. That way he associates it with his food.
If you are going out to get him, or calling him and getting him. Try putting him back through the flap (gently) as a way to reinforce its purpose.
If all else fails -- including just waiting him out, my question is do you really need him to come back in through the flap? Or do you just prefer that he use it?
Terrific response, as always, Geri! I cannot think of a single thing to add!
Thank you for your reply. The front of the cat flap is plastic which is mainly clear. We removed the plastic flap leaving an open square which he seems very happy to use but as soon as the flap is put on, he will not come back in. He sits looking in and even watches my other cats use it but no matter how much coaxing with food he will not come in when the flap is put in place. We would just like to teach him that it is safe mainly because the winter is cold with an artic wind blowing through and my family are freezing. I realise this does sound a little bit selfish lol. The other problem is picking him up and gently pushing him through as he does not like being handled but loves rubbing up against your leg and having his ears scratched. I am not quite ready to give up yet but i do think that my spoilt boy will probably win.
Hi Looney! Just wondering if he's been persuaded to give it a go yet!
No he sits outside looking in through the flap and no amount of calling or treats being dangled through he will not come in through the flap. As soon as the door is opened he flies in with a look of how clever am i all over his face. The last couple of days we have had to stop locking him out in hope that he will use it as it is very cold with snow. He is very warm but my kitchen is freezing. This spoilt boy is certainly winning the battle!!
Yikes lol he is a smarty pants! I wonder if you set down a treat and then stroll off, so he thinks no one is watching him?
I do like smarty pants lol. I call him a lot worse!!. We have tried a trail if treats with no luck. He will even go without food rather than come in through the flap. It is very funny to see his reaction when you open the door and he trots in looking very victorious. We have had a surprise as last night he found that he can play, something that he has never done. In the past when my other cats play he looks at them as if they are mad. This has taken 18 months so i think that in another 18 months he might use the flap. I live in hope.
Aw yes I bet he will 🙂
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