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One of the joys of owning a cat is watching it explore and learn about its environment. Sometimes, however, you might find that your cat is too smart for its own good! Having a cat that has taught itself to open doors can end up being a nuisance, and you might wonder how to keep cats from opening doors.
The best way to keep your cat from opening doors is to “childproof” doorknobs by adding an extra lock or changing the type of doorknobs you have.
It may take a bit of creativity, but you should be able to set up an anti-cat system. Next, we’ll dive into why cats open doors, how normal it is, and how you can effectively stop the behavior.
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Is it normal for cats to open doors
It is normal for cats to open doors. Although not all cats by nature know how to open doors, it is not uncommon for cats to learn this behavior on their own.. Cats are curious creatures, so when they are motivated to enter a room or get close to their owner, they will go out of their way to get what they want!
Most cats will quickly learn to push open doors that aren’t fully closed to get through, but that’s another skill for your cat to learn to open a fully closed door!
Many factors go into determining whether your cat learns this behavior. If you live in a house where the doors are high enough, your cat may not be able to reach the handle.
It will also depend on how lively your cat is. Some cats love to jump and climb, while others may have a more sedentary personality and not be interested in this type of activity.
Why does my cat keep opening doors
When your cat keeps opening doors, it’s probably because she’s upset about being left out of a room. Spend time analyzing the doors your cat repeatedly opens to determine their primary motivation. Are they trying to break into the room where you store their food? Or do they try to come into your office during the day to spend more time with you?
This should give you a pretty clear idea of your cat’s motives for the cunning behavior and should help you take steps to fix the problem. It can be as simple as avoiding unnecessarily closing doors during the day so your cat doesn’t feel locked in and isolated.
Plus, some cats just enjoy the challenge. They like to explore and want to be a part of everything that happens.
Cats are also hunters at heart, and with that comes the desire to “patrol” their area. They always want to inspect their surroundings to fully know what is going on (Door Buddy). Leave the doors open when you can give your cat the freedom they crave and make them much happier.
Are cats smart enough to open doors
Cats are smart enough to learn to open doors when motivated to do so.! Cats are very intelligent animals and will adapt and learn skills that will be useful to them in their home environment.
Their skills date back to an earlier time when cats were an undomesticated species. As wild animals, cats had to be aware of their surroundings and always be on the defensive. Admittedly, your house is far from being a wild jungle, but your cat still considers it his territory to be protected.
Being able to open a door allows your cat to thoroughly inspect their home environment and stay alert to anything that is going on.
Additionally, cats are very social creatures and will go to extreme lengths to make their presence known if ignored. A cat can learn to open a door when it knows its owner is behind the closed door and wants attention.
How can I prevent my cat from opening the lever door
Having a lever door can be very frustrating if your cat has figured out how to open the door with their paws. It can be noisy and there are times when you need your cat to stay out of a certain room. If the door locks, consider keeping the door locked while you’re inside. However, this may not always be a viable solution if you have lever doors throughout your home or cannot keep them locked.
If so, evaluate your other options. If you own the home you live in, consider replacing the lever doors with a knob type handle instead. Buttons are much harder for a cat to grasp, and they are less likely to consistently open the door.
If you are renting out your home or don’t want to change the handles, your best bet will be to get an additional type of external lock to go around the doors.
Can cats open screen doors
Cats can open screens using their claws. Sliding screen doors are the easiest for cats to open. Depending on the type of screen door you have, your cat may learn to open the door. Sliding screen doors are the most accessible type of screen door for cats to learn to open. Especially if you don’t keep a screen door completely closed, your cat will learn to push the screen over time.
Also, some cats like to climb using their claws on screen doors, which can inadvertently open the door. Your cat climbing on your screen door is also problematic as it is likely to rip or tear your screens. If you have ever encountered this problem, you can install a pet mosquito net fabric made of a much stronger material to avoid further tears in your mosquito net (Youtube).
Can polydactyl cats open doors
Yes, polydactyl cats can easily open cabinets and doors. Polydactyl cats have extra toes on each paw that act like a thumb. Those extra toes give them leverage to grip buttons the same way a human would!
Thanks to these extra toes, polydactyl cats are much more likely to mess up more than a “typical” cat with four toes on each paw. Your polydactyl cat can turn on light switches, open drawers, and engage in all kinds of activities you would never expect from a cat.
5 tips to stop cats from opening doors
Once you have recovered from the surprise of learning that your cat has learned to open the doors to your home, the next step is to figure out how to prevent this behavior when it is unwanted. Here are some tips to prevent your cat from continuing to open doors on its own:
- Do not leave doors closed when not necessary. Without the temptation of a closed door, your cat is less likely to be interested in doors.
- Invest in an exterior latch for your doors. These usually consist of a plastic adhesive that sticks around a door and you have to press a button to unlock the latch. It will work to outsmart your cat and solve the problem! They are also useful if you have young children at home.
- Working on behavior training to teach your cat to jump to open doors is not an acceptable action. Similar to other discipline trainings, when you see your cat open a door, be sure to scold it and indicate that this is unacceptable behavior.
- Add a doorbell or attach something that will make a loud noise to your doorknob. Loud, unexpected noises bother cats, and this should scare them away from continuing to try to play with doors.
- Spray around your doorknob a scent your cat doesn’t like. Cats generally dislike scents like bitter apple, lavender, and peppermint. The spray should deter them from wanting to get too close to the door when moving forward.
Finding out that your cat knows how to open doors may seem overwhelming at first, but there’s no need to worry. Just as a cat can learn a behavior, you can take steps to stop its door-opening antics. At the very least, be flattered that your cat goes to great lengths to be in the same room as you!