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Greetings from chilly Northeastern Québec. Thanks to your good advice about patience, the feral female I had trapped and gotten operated a few years ago has been coming in the house to sleep since Dec. 2012 She does spend the odd night outside, however in my old plank garage. I have an infrared lamp there connected to a dimmer suspended over a square TV box with some blankets in the bottom. A house thermostat turns it on at 38F. Warm at -35F . To prevent other animals ( especially skunks ) from coming into the garage, I wonder if I could train the feral to use a cat trap door made for a house. Has anyone ever trained a feral to push a door open to get in or out ? My inside cat doesn't need one.

Thanks for your time and patience.
 

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How feral is she?

I don't quite understand, do you leave a door open for her currently?

She should be able to learn to use one, Blacky was semi-feral and the only way she learned to start coming indoors was because of the cat door we had... she came for the food and stayed (eventually) for the warmth! At first she was freaked out indoors all she did was bolt outside -- the cat door being the only means of escape. We had to bring her in a few times before she got the idea it could work both ways.

Often people have success if they tape the door open for a while then slowly lower it more and more as the cat gets used to it.
 

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Some of my cats figured out how to use a cat flap on their own - possibly from watching the others. In your case, I would set it up, then tape it open. Once she is used to coming and going close the plastic flap. She will sniff around the edges and nudge it with her nose to get it to open. You could temporarily replace the flap with a piece of thin plastic. Once she is used to coming and going through that, replace it with the original heavier flap.
 
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