Door Darting: How to Stop Your Cat From Getting Out

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

Do you have a cat who loves to sneak up and run out the door when you open it? This can be stressful because you don’t want your kitty to rush out and get lost or hurt.

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What are some of the ways you can train your feline friend to stay inside the house and stop bolting for the door? Read on for a few helpful tips.

First, Make Your Pet’s Home More Interesting

Filling your pet’s environment with plenty of fun things to do may be helpful. A bored cat might be more likely to try to find exciting things on the other side of the door. So, setting up cat trees and wall or window perches, as well as giving your pet a variety of toys to play with, could all be good ways to make her feel totally content with staying inside.

Keep Your Cat Occupied Away from the Door

If the doorbell rings and your cat knows that you’re about to open the door, grab some treats or her favorite catnip toys and use them to keep her occupied in another room. Puzzle toys can also work well as a time-consuming distraction because they challenge your kitty and reward her with yummy food.

In addition, you can use this strategy when you’re about to leave. It might work at keeping your cat from following you and trying to sneak her way out.

Avoid Greeting Your Kitty at the Door

Do your best to avoid giving your cat attention when she’s close to the door. This is a strategy that’s worth trying if your pet typically follows you to the door or runs to it as soon as she hears you turning the doorknob.

The goal is to train your kitty to stay away from the door while you’re entering and exiting, and it might be helpful to discourage your cat from spending time near the door even while you’re home. In other words, make it an area that she generally doesn’t have a reason to be in. That way, it’ll be less likely that you’ll find her relaxing right by the entrance.

To start, don’t put anything that your cat would use near the door, such as toys, cat beds, cat trees, etc. Instead, keep them a good distance from the door so your kitty can establish those spaces as her own. And, as mentioned above, you can guide your cat to specific rooms and distract her with treats and toys before leaving. Then, upon entering, you can do the same by guiding her to a secure area where you can greet her and give her praise for being a good kitty that didn’t run out.

Certain Products Might Help

Finally, if necessary, you might need to use deterrents, such as double-sided tape, sheets of aluminum foil, or a motion-activated spray that’s designed for safely training pets. These tactics might help keep your kitty away from the door so you can have some peace of mind.  

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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