Arguably, all cat owners have been there. First, wrestling with whether to let your cat outside, and once you've made the decision to allow them, how to go about it.
Enter the cat flap.
Cat flaps are extremely popular and really useful to help let cats go outside as and when they want too. Consider it their own personal front door, without that utter inconvenience of fumbling for keys at the bottom of your bag. Your cat might need encouragement to start and the most important thing is knowing, there is no rush! Take your time and have patience.
Introduce the cat flap
This might sound a bit silly, but trust us when we say, this can help! If you have not yet installed your cat flap, let your cat see it before it gets built in, this is a good opportunity for them to get used to the sight and smell of it.
Make sure it's nice and smelly
Cats respond well to familiarity and smells they know, so get a blanket or toys they use frequently and rub it all over the cat flap. This will make them feel more relaxed when it comes to using it.
Time for some treats
Your cat might enjoy this bit as they get a tasty reward each step of the way. If the flap itself can be removed for the first couple of times this can be handy, or just prop the door open.
Put a treat, or two, in front of the cat flap to encourage them to approach it.
Then put a treat in the middle and then eventually the other side, enticing them a little bit at a time to walk through it.
Toys can also be really handy, making them chase after the toy through the cat flap. The idea here is to make this introduction as positive and fun as possible.
Don’t let them overindulge though!
Prop it open
Once you start using the flap, prop it open the first couple of times and then show them how it works. With them next to you, push the flap gently open and then see the other side, and try to encourage them to go through it, you can use a few more treats here if needed.
Patience is the key to success
I’ve said it once, and i’ll say it again! Be patient with this, it might be a brand new experience for your cat and it might take them a little bit of time. There is no rush and the more positive this experience is, the more likely you are to be successful.