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A little bit about my situation first:
The doors in my house will not easily allow a cat door to be installed, but because I live in an area with no foxes, coyotes, etc., because I have three dogs that periodically roam the yard, and because I live far from the road, I would like to allow my cats to have greater freedom outside. I generally work from home and I can't hear when the cats meow at the door to come back inside so I would like a way for them to be able to come and go as they please.

Luckily for me, one of my doors is broken and does not stay shut unless the deadbolt is engaged. I tied a string around the door knob and let it hang down to the floor so that by pulling on it a little bit one could open the door.

So here is my question:
Would it be possible to train my cats to pull on the string when they want to go outside, and then push up against the door when they want to come back inside? Does anyone know how I might go about training them to do this?
 

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I have no idea.

I'm trying to get Cali to unlearn how to open doors, cabinets, wall safes......
 

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I can't comment on the training aspect, but have you considered some alternate means for the cat to get in and out? Perhaps some type of a cat tunnel that runs from an open window to the yard? Maybe this would be easier than installing a cat door in your circumstance.
 

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I am not sure if you have a house with an attached garage but how about putting one in the garage? Then you could check the garage now and then and let them in.
 

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...You do know they wouldn't be able to CLOSE the door, right? So mice, and squirrels, ect would have a welcome mat set out for them.

I can see why it's tempting, but it's extremely impractical. If you still have to get up to shut the door (because you'll never get the cats to do it! lol) you might as well just open it for them.
 

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The doors in my house will not easily allow a cat door to be installed,...
Let's put it this way,... it'll be a lot more easy to install a cat door in one of your doors than it would to teach a cat to pull on a string and push against the door to go out and come back in, respectively.

It isn't that a cat isn't smart enough to do this, they just aren't that easy to train when it comes to this kind of stuff. Especially when they know, from prior experience, that there is a far less laborious and complex method to getting outside and back in again, which is calling for you to open the door for them! lol

Have you thought about having a cat door installed in the wall instead of the door? Some people do that. Or maybe having a cat door installed in a window?
 

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...You do know they wouldn't be able to CLOSE the door, right? So mice, and squirrels, ect would have a welcome mat set out for them.

I can see why it's tempting, but it's extremely impractical. If you still have to get up to shut the door (because you'll never get the cats to do it! lol) you might as well just open it for them.
The door in question is a heavy metal door (one of the reasons it would be so annoying to install a cat door) that swings closed on its own, so that is not an issue. My dogs already use the door to get back inside when they have been out for a while and it works just fine.

Unfortunately all of my doors leading to the outside are either metal doors or glass-paned doors, so there is nowhere for me to install a traditional cat door. A tunnel from a window to the yard might work, but most of the windows are either surrounded by bushes that would make installation a nightmare or are too high up. I would also rather not worry about insulating the tunnel so that I don't lose heat during the colder days.

The odd thing is, one of my cats has already figured out how to wedge his paw underneath the door and pry it open to get outside, and then push against it when he wants to come back in. Ironically enough however, this is the cat that likes going outside the least...
 

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Yeah, I think this is a behavior that either is, or is not, a cat's natural tendency. And if it is not, I don't think you'll have much luck teaching it. My Punky who I lost in October never met a door he couldn't open (unless it was locked). He would work at it, jiggle it, paw it, push on it, etc., until he got it open. My newest cat Sunny is much the same. In fact we have had to install toddler proof latches on the kitchen cabinets for this reason.

On the other hand, Penny who we've had for 7 yrs. has never once, that I know of, felt the need to open a door, not even when it would get her something she likes. Mystique who we've had for about 3 months is the same - so far she has shown no tendency at all to open doors or even show any curiosity about how they open.
 

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Ive installed cat doors in concrete block and frame houses and even a wooden door. Its not that hard to install a cat door. Plus if you move it is not hard just to take it out and redrywall and side over it.
 

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Holy cow, only someone who works in construction would say that! I can barely change a light bulb! :grin:
 

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I use to have a door with two glass panels. I replaced the bottom glass panel with a metal panel. Got myself a jig saw , cut out a hole and installed a cat door.

If you HAVE to leave the glass panel unchanged you can get a glazier in to make the cuts to a cat door that's made to be fitted in glass panels. They sell them at pet stores and or online, even on ebay! This way you don't lose heat through the window with a tunnel and you can give the cats easy access to the area you want them to go with no bushes in the way.
 

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You could install a wireless webcam so you could see outside. Staples has one for about $100 that's motion activated and will send you emails when it's activated.
 

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How to teach a cat to open a door.....figure out what they are doing in the other side of the bathroom door when you go in there, then convince them to do that to the outside door.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Very cool Bill! Note to self: Go to Staples to check out webcam so I can watch wild life and illegals running thru my yard!
Haahahahaha!!! breathe!!! Haahahahahah!!!! :grin:

Regarding the original question about the pet door. A metal door, heavy enough to be an access boundary door would probably be too difficult for a cat to open. You could install a handicap push button and automatic door opener but the expense would be ridiculous and still no guarantee that the cat would learn to use it - AND close the door behind him.

I would temporarily replace the door with a wooden door and store the original one in the garage or a closet somewhere. You could easily cut a cat door opening into a wooden door and not mar the heavy metal one - which is important if you are renting.
 
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