Feline Home Invaders
If you have a cat flap in your home then you soon get used to hearing the sound of the flap opening and closing as your cat lets himself in and out. This is particularly true if you have more than one cat as the flap can be clattering away regularly throughout the day. Flaps can also be disturbed by the wind on stormy days.
Quick Witted Cats
Cats are adept at learning when it suits them and this means they are quick to pick up on anything which proves useful in obtaining food. This includes the fact that a cat flap means that there is a cat in the house and so there will be cat food on offer too. Once a cat has learnt to use his own flap he may well attempt to use flaps elsewhere.
The Fat Cat
For years my home was invaded regularly by an enormous cat called Clyde which clearly had an eating disorder. He would consume anything on offer. I had three cats at the time and Clyde would eat from all three of their bowls when he had squeezed himself through my cat flap. My cats became so used to his visits that they stopped making any attempt to scare him off and just meekly accepted his presence in the house. My cat food bills were rapidly going through the roof.
A New Invader
Then Clyde’s owners moved away and took their obese moggie with them. For the next two years I received no unwanted visitors. By this time I only had one cat which was perched on my lap one evening when I heard the cat flap bang shut. Oh dear! It wasn’t windy outside and my only cat was with me so who was in the kitchen? I sneaked a peak and discovered a white cat from a few doors away making light work of my cat’s dinner. I was annoyed but comforted myself with the thought that my cat was probably visiting other homes too.
Since then the white cat has been a regular visitor but I think that my moggie, Paolo, has now had enough of the invasions. At night, he has taken to sleeping on the kitchen top immediately adjacent to the back door. I think he is waiting for the white cat to enter so that he can chase him off.
Magnetic and Electronic Cat Flaps
I must now consider a change of cat flap as once a cat starts paying me visits they rarely stop. If past experience is anything to go by, Paolo will soon grow tired of lying in wait and just accept that the cat comes into the house.
Magnetic cat flaps are useful investments which solve the problem of uninvited guests. These flaps are activated by a magnetic key which your cat wears on his collar. Only your cat or cats can enter the home. If your cat is microchipped then you could also fit electronic cat flaps which are activated by the chips. These clever pieces of equipment can be programmed for use by up to nine cats and have timers so you can dictate when they are able to go out.
I am facing the expense of a new cat flap but this could be cheaper in the long run than feeding every cat in the street.