When it has the possibility of going out, a cat can be very indecisive: once inside it wants to go out, once outside it wants to come back, and it is difficult to constantly leave everything open so that our little feline can be free. of his movements. Fortunately, there is the cat flap. But it is better to inquire well before, once the hole in the door is made and the cat flap installed, it is no longer the time to notice that something is wrong.
Which model of cat flap to choose?
The most important thing to do first is to choose the right size for your cat. If he tends to be overweight, then buy a cat flap that is sized accordingly. Also remember to check the noise the door makes. A cat flap that makes too much noise can scare your cat into refusing to use it. In addition, it can quickly become unbearable for you, especially in case of repeated trips. Finally, take a cat flap in a material that is resistant to outdoor weather.
The manual cat flap: simple and economical
This is the most basic and economical type of cat flap, yet effective. Composed of a simple clapper allowing your cat to pass, all he has to do is push the valve to enter or exit. The price of these cat flaps is on average 5 to 20 €. The only downside is that all the cats in the neighborhood can come and visit you if they feel like it. You should also know that there are several “positions” on these cat flaps, which may vary between models:
- two-position model, which involves either leaving the cat flap open or locking it.
- four-position model, which has the same characteristics as the previous model, but which adds the blocking of the entry or exit.
The electronic or magnetic cat flap: secure and sophisticated
More expensive than manual cat flap models, these models cost on average between 30 and 50 € but have many advantages not offered by previous models. With this cat flap, no more untimely visits by the neighbor’s cat. With magnetic or electronic models, only your cat will be able to pass through your door. This works with the help of a collar for electronic models or a magnet for magnetic models, which allows the cat flap to be recognized in order to trigger its opening. Only, it requires you to put a collar on your cat; if he’s not used to it, it can be a bit of a problem.
The flea recognition cat flap: the top of the range
If you are looking for the very high end, there are also chip recognition models. Indeed, these cat flaps are activated by recognition of the identification chip, under the skin of your cat (but therefore does not work for tattooed cats). The latest generations of these cat flaps are even programmable. For example, you can make sure that the valve locks in the evening so that your companion does not run around at night, and that it unlocks in the morning so as not to be woken up at dawn by meowing. However, these models are quite expensive, expect an average of 100 €.
How to install a cat flap?
Installing a cat flap doesn’t take much time, but you need the right tools: a drill / driver, a jigsaw, a spirit level, a screwdriver. A ruler and pencil may be needed if a template is not supplied with the cat flap.
Place your cat flap in the middle of the door you want to place it in (it can be a wall). The bottom of the valve should be about 15cm from the ground, which corresponds on average to the distance between the ground and the belly of a cat.
- Start by marking the template on the wall or door, along with the location of the screws. When you install the cat flap, check its horizontality with a spirit level.
- Cut out the wall or door and drill the fixing holes with the necessary tools.
- Place the cat flap, then screw. (Note: for an electronic cat flap, the screen must be inside.)
How do I teach my cat to use the cat flap?
Now that the cat flap is in place, there is a good chance that your companion will not understand its purpose or be afraid of it. You will have to do a little exercise with him to teach him: put yourself on the other side of the cat flap with some treats and call him, when he has managed to pass, congratulate him and give him a reward. Repeat a few times, and he should figure it out eventually.
Your cat now has complete freedom, and you’ve got rid of the chore of having to open the door or window over and over again.
Photo credit: Les Hamilton