Most felines will quickly work out how to use their cat flap, but some may require a little encouragement...
Posted: 31 July 2019
A door for cats was, according to popular legend, invented by none other than Sir Isaac Newton. The story goes that this 18th century boffin was fed up that his scientific experiments into understanding the laws of gravity were constantly interrupted by his pet cats scratching at the door, asking to be let in or out. He apparently summoned a local carpenter to drill two holes in it – a larger one for his cat and a smaller one for her kittens, instantly solving his feline access problem.
Whether or not this intriguing tale is true, cat flaps have become a must-have accessory, giving independent felines the option to come and go as they please rather than always having to ‘ask’ their human to let them in or out.
And, while most cats cotton on to how cat flaps work with minimal fuss, some felines are rather more suspicious of these curious contraptions and need a little help from their human to show them what to do.
Pet rehoming charity Battersea has these top tips:
There are several types available including:
MANUALLY OPERATED CAT FLAP
The most basic type of cat flap that opens when your cat pushes against it. However, this type of flap offers access to all cats that try to use it. This can make it difficult to stop other cats from coming in to your home, so may not be ideal if you live in an area with lots of neighbouring cats.
MAGNET AND INFRA-RED OPERATED CAT FLAP
This type of cat flap is operated via a magnet or infrared device attached to your cat’s collar. When the collar is within reading distance of the cat flap, the device will unlock the flap, allowing your cat access. These cat flaps may help to deter unwanted cats from getting in, however, if your neighbour also uses a magnet operated flap for their cat, they may also be able to enter your feline’s flap too, which could cause all kind of confusion...
MICROCHIP OPERATED CAT FLAP
This type of cat flap is operated by your cat's microchip and is also suitable for multi-cat homes as, once programmed, can remember several different microchips. These cat flaps are the best method of preventing other cats from entering your home as the reader will only respond to microchips that have been pre-programmed.
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Sources: science.howstuffworks.com, battersea.org.uk