Built a outdoor catwalk & cats wonĚt go thru door - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Built a outdoor catwalk & cats wonít go thru door

Hi Iím new here.

I spent the last two weekends building a catwalk to a future habitat but the cats are too afraid to go use it. I had to build the catwalk out a second story window across a patio cover, because I didnít have a better window to exit and I did not want to cut a hole through the wall.

The only window available was already being used by a cooler and fortunately there was just enough space to build an offset out and around the cooler.




Anyway I've tried coaxing them out with treats, toys and even tried pushing them out, but they just will not go. I leave the door flap open during the day but i have to close it at night because of mosqutios. What am I doing wrong?

Last edited by builder; 09-03-2012 at 12:59 AM. Reason: Added Photo
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 01:07 AM
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I am no expert, but my instinct says they are nervous about being exposed or about having no obvious places to hide if they walk out and something startles them. I would use a cloth or tarp to create a cover or a tunnel-effect near the window exit, and maybe start out with only allowing access to a short length of the whole cat walk, until they are comfortable with venturing out of the first part.

Our kitty is now allowed out on our secure deck, via doors propped open, but every once a while before it was permitted she would sneak out. At those times, she was so nervous that she skulked right along the length of the wall, and would hide under the covered grill if a noise bothered her. She is more confident now, but she still ducks for cover under the patio chairs or the grill if anything startles her. Your kitties would probably be happier if they could see and gauge areas of cover to use for safety...

Fran

P.S. Oh, and welcome to the Cat Forum! That cat walk looks amazing, I hope you post pictures when your gang starts using it!

Last edited by Fran; 09-03-2012 at 01:08 AM. Reason: add something
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Fran;870265]I am no expert, but my instinct says they are nervous about being exposed or about having no obvious places to hide if they walk out and something startles them. I would use a cloth or tarp to create a cover or a tunnel-effect near the window exit, and maybe start out with only allowing access to a short length of the whole cat walk, until they are comfortable with venturing out of the first part. .................................... QUOTE]
Oh wow! Thanks Fran, it never occurred to me to cover it and Iíll bet your right. I have just the piece of shade material that tore of a much larger patio cover. Iíll give that a try tomorrow. Thanks again

And I plan on making a video for YouTube when they actually come out.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 05:02 AM
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Yay! I think you have it! Great place you have built. Please keep us informed.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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I struggled with the idea of the cat door because I have a dog door that they have access to and I donít want them to go out that door. They are curious about the dog door, but it has two flaps to keep the cold weather out which confuses them. And also every time they get near the door, the two dogs get excited and want to play which scares them away. I intentionally chose a cat door that was different from the dog door so that they wouldnít tie the two together.
I was looking for a solution to eliminate the flap and have some sort of automatic door opener and I found a electronic one that required a collar, but we havenít been able to keep collars on 3 of the 5 cats. I wish they would wear collars because I have a real hard time telling them apart, because they are all black from above. The male is all black and the females have white patches on their bellys. Luckily one of the females has a crooked tail, but itís hard when they are laying down and you canít see those identifying marks.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Well I covered most of it until I ran out of material. I still need to fasten it down and thinking of sewing it on, but thatís going to be a real chore up on the roof. I wonder if maybe hot glue would work with the weather and all.








Also do you think I may need to cover it more? If so I'll need to buy more material.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 03:45 PM
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Just an idea, but maybe tack it down ever so often with a thin peice of wire. Loop through, twist and cut the ends. Might be eaiser. Make sure to keep the pointy ends to the outside.

tamara
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binkyhoo View Post
Just an idea, but maybe tack it down ever so often with a thin peice of wire. Loop through, twist and cut the ends. Might be eaiser. Make sure to keep the pointy ends to the outside.
Thanks, that worked sweet.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoofmaiden View Post
Try putting some smelly treats a few feet out into the run. Then just ignore them.

I have to say that you're taking a HUGE risk w/ that dog door. Cat door or not, eventually they would figure that out. I would get rid of the dog door or replace it w/ one of the ones that is activated by the dog's collar (so it opens only for them). Too risky otherwise!
I supose your right and I should look into a new electronic door. Thanks
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Wink I may have made a mistake by adding carpet.

They are just waiting in line to looking out the door, but they don't go out.

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