Cats are sweet, mischievous little creatures with boundless curiosity. They love to explore, and one of their favorite things to do is opening doors. It’s amazing how they learn to do it all on their own.
As a cat owner, it can be entertaining to watch your furry friend attempt to open doors. You might even clap for them. However, this behavior can actually be dangerous for your cat. They may wander into restricted areas like the kitchen or even escape outside. It can become quite annoying for you over time.
Then how do you stop cats from opening doors? The best approach is to cat-proof your doors, teach them specific “Stop” commands, and give them plenty of attention. But first, it’s important to figure out why your cat tries to open the door. Once you understand the reason behind their behavior, you can find ways to discourage it.
We understand that all of this may require some time and patience on your part. But we are pretty sure you’re willing to do whatever it takes for your beloved furry companion.
Why Do Cats Always Want To Open The Door?
Cats are clever pets and can learn things quickly. Opening doors is a very usual and common behavior among cats. But it can be concerning if there is any chance of getting hurt.
Cats’ cunning behavior lets them open doors easily. They can easily open lever doors by timing their jump and using their agility. Likewise, if sliding doors are not fully closed, your cat can push them open.
All of these seem familiar, right? But why do they do that? The reasons can vary, and not every cat tries to open the door for the same reason.
For example, if your cat tries to open your bedroom door at night, they may want to sleep with you and sometimes search for or chase something they might do.
Let us see some more possibilities as to why your cat wants to open the door.
They are Curious Creatures
Cats are naturally curious. Investigating their surroundings and exploring things is their favorite thing to do. They have a knack for opening doors. They are eager to discover what is on the other side of the door. So, they also observe your movement. With their incredible memory, they can remember the tiniest details. They watch where you go and how you open doors. Then they try to imitate you.
Sometimes, cats try to wander in the kitchen or pantry for food. They may know that you gave them treats or food from your kitchen. Now, if they are hungry or crave cat food, they try to open the door and get some food.
Cats love their human companion. Sometimes they become obsessed with their owners. They love to stay with their human parents and want most of the attention. If they feel a lack of love and attachment, they can try to wander into the bedroom. Or somewhere you spend most of your time.
They have superior senses
Cats are equipped with excellent senses that drive them to explore. When they get the smell of cooking fish or something delicious from another room, they will attempt to reach the room. For this, they want to open doors or jump in the room.
Same, they can catch sound. They have a sharp sense of hearing. If they hear some noise, they will go to great lengths to get to it.
The bond between cats and humans is incredibly heartwarming. When you adopt a cat or raise kittens, they quickly see you as part of their family. They love you and adore you, just as you do to them.
That’s why when they are separated from their human parents, they experience separation anxiety.
Due to your busy schedule or a hectic day, you might not be able to spend as much time with your cat. They may start to feel loneliness and anxiety. In their stress, they may even try to greet you by opening the door and jumping on you when you come home.
Attempting to escape
If your cat senses danger or finds itself in an unpleasant situation, it may attempt to run away. This is their way of trying to find an exit door, opening it and escaping. Cats might feel threatened, especially when you introduce new pets, dogs, or unfamiliar people.
On the other hand, these sneaky creatures often wander away from home for days. They are self-reliant and enjoy exploring. Thus, they let themselves out by opening the door.
They are territorial
Cats, like other animals, have territorial instincts from their wildlife. They want to protect their area and mark their territory. And guess what? Your home has become their territory now. They want to roam and access every corner of your home. Whether it is a garage, store room or bedroom. Doors are like obstacles for them. Hence, they want to open and freely roam around the entire house.
9 Ways To Stop A Cat From Opening Doors
Now that your cat has figured out how to open doors. It is time to stop them. Before you figure out the reason behind their behavior, give your cat some time and observe. After a while, you can find out the cause. Then, apply the appropriate solution.
To stop cats from opening doors, maintain their diet and food routine. Give them proper litter training so they do not roam around the home. Also, give enough time and love for mental stimulation. More importantly, play with your cat regularly for physical stimulation.
Here are 9 ways to stop a cat from opening doors:
1. Put A Hook And Eye Latch-Up Higher On Door
First of all, you can install a simple hook and eye latch at a height on the door that is out of your cat’s reach. Cats can jump at a good height. So, measure the height, then reinstall the hooks. This effectively prevents cats from being able to open the door by jumping.
2. Installing Different Door Locks
Reinstalling hooks or latches can destroy the outlook of your look. If you do not want this, then consider installing door locks.
- For the lever doors, there are many door locks or door knob covers available. You can search in nearby stores or online, like Amazon. These locks come with strong adhesive, and sticking them to the door is easy.
- For the slider doors, use a stick-on magnet on the side of the door frame. These magnets are strong enough, and your cat won’t be able to move or slide the door.
- Or you can attach a rubber door stopper jam. Position the door stopper near the door jam inside the room. Ensure that the stick passes through the doorway. Shut the door and use the stick to pull the rubber stopper into position.
3. Attach A Cat Door Screen To The Door
A cat door screen can prevent cats from jumping on doors. This is a special type of mesh or screen attached to the door. Cats can not open the door themselves with a door screen.
Careful about the quality of the screen. Because your cat can rip or tear the screen. Another trick you can adopt is installing pet screen fabric. This is a much sturdier material and can not easily be pulled.
4. Install A Decorative Doorstop
Adding a decorative doorstop brings a stylish touch to your home. There are also functional benefits.
The doorstop holds the door in place. This prevents the mischievous cats from opening the door. For this, first, you need to decide where to install the doorstop. Usually, people install door stops on the baseboard or wall behind the door. The distance should be 1-2 inches from the door’s edge when fully open.
Align those holes with any pre-drilled holes (if applicable) and securely screw the doorstop into place. If you’re using wall anchors, follow the installation instructions.
5. Provide Your Cat Interactive Toys
Distracting your cat with toys and scratching posts can reduce its interest in trying to open doors. Give your cats interactive toys so they always stay mentally stimulated. Bring toys like puzzle toys, treat dispensers, small bird toys, mice that can move, anything emitting light or your cat’s favorite toys. Keep her entertained.
Another way is having a pet tree inside your home. Cats enjoy climbing and observing their surroundings from high places. Give your cat a cat tree so they can fulfill their curiosity.
6. Use Cat-Proof Barriers To Block Access
Cat-proof barriers, like baby gates or specially designed pet barriers, can be used to block access to doors.
Bring baby gates with cat-proof features, such as height and materials. So that cats cannot easily climb or jump over. These gates provide a clear visual barrier. You can install it temporarily or permanently as needed.
Pet barriers can be a versatile option. Either free stand or wall mount. Adjust the barrier to fit different doorways or openings. These customized barriers often have pet-proof latches that cats can’t manipulate to open the barrier.
7. Commercial Cat Repellents
Many cat repellents do not harm the cats but prevent their specific behavior. It can be sprayed, smell something that the cat hates or scat mat.
Cats hate most banana peels, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, or garlic smell. So you can use these smells around your door for a few days.
Scat mats are also beneficial. It ensures the safety of your furry friend by giving a gentle shock when touched. They can be placed under furniture, near doorways, and in other areas where cats tend to sneak in and out. You can purchase them online or at a pet store nearby.
8. Lock Closet Or Cabinet Doors
Cats do try to open the kitchen cabinet door or your closet door. Whether for food or out of curiosity, it can harm them. While trying to open the cabinet door, something from inside can fall on your cat. So, remember to lock the doors always.
9. Patience And Training
Behavioral training for cats or any other pets teaches them how to socialize and behave well. So, along with trying different ways. Consider training your cat if you are in the training phase with your cat. You can teach your cat not to stop opening doors in your behavioral training sessions.
Familiarize them with the “Leave It” command using a clicker. Say “leave it” when your cat approaches it. When they move away from the door, click the clicker and reward them. With practice, your cat will associate the command with leaving the door alone. This way, you’ll reinforce their good behavior and teach them that staying away from doors comes with tasty rewards.
One way to achieve this is by using negative reinforcement or something that scares them. It can be spraying a few drops of water on their paws when they attempt to open the door.
Here, you will need a lot of patience. Slowly but surely, you will get a positive result.
Cats being curious and clever pets push them toward learning how to open doors. Once they know it, then it becomes problematic both for the pet owners and the cats.
This is why it should be prevented. So, as a pet parent, if you are concerned too. First, consider making the doorways cat-proof. You can use barriers, lock covers, or cat repellent. But what is most important is training them. So they do not repeat the behavior if they get the chance.
For your part, try to stay calm and patient. These little creatures can not understand our language. So they may require more time to learn.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can polydactyl cats open doors?
Polydactyl cats have extra toes on each foot. Because of the extra toe, they can grip the door handle easily. Also, it makes them handy in congested places. Even polydactyl cats hold the door for their owners. This shows more companionship.
How long does it take to train a pet cat to stop opening doors?
The amount of time varies from cat to cat to train. This depends on individual cats’ natures or training techniques. Some may take a few days. But others can take weeks or more time.
Can specific cat breeds be more likely to open doors than others?
Breeds such as Bengal, Siamese or Maine Coon are more intelligent. They can learn more quickly than other cat breeds. So, these breed cats are more likely to open the doors. They are great at problem-solving. But all cats can open the door out of curiosity.
Is it safe to use a deterrent to keep cats away from doors?
It is safe to use a deterrent like water spray or any cat-friendly device. But this is not recommended. The reason is your cat may get frightened. So, it is better to use positive reinforcement.