I had divided schedules for about the first 6 months of the 'kitten's' lives.
We have a cat flap that uses a magnet to keep the door from swinging freely and the wind blowing it open.
That magnet has a little bit of pull to it in order to be effective, so a tiny kitten, even an inquisitive one would not be able to push past the 'break point' until they were taught.
My oldest cat 14 years, was free to go in and out of the cat flap, no point keeping her locked in.
I guess the kittens thought my oldest was capable of magic or something. They would watch as she slid out the door and occasionally see her as she came back in, but they weren't able to figure out what was going on with the door. Everytime they went to the door it didn't do anything for them!
Finally at around 6 months one of the kittens figured out to push against the door, the magic went, 'poof'. I had to train the kittens what outside life was about and coming in at sunset.
We accomplished all that and for the longest time the kittens got locked in at night and I would allow the oldest one to go out up until the time I went to bed. That was because the oldest one use to hate a litter box.
Over the past month or so, the oldest one has discovered litter boxes and their comfort compared to the flower bed outside!! So, now they ALL get locked in at sunset and let out again in the morning.
But my house is far from a "busy family", So I'm not exactly sure that I have any advise/tips to offer. But I think a cat door is definitely going to be needed. maybe one with those magnetic tags that unlock the door for the cat wearing it on the collar. Then don't put one on the kitten, and it won't be able to get out? It's an idea
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