Having a cat with a dog door

I have 2 dogs and was thinking about getting an indoor cat. But then I realized the cat will go out the dog door too which I don’t want. Is there any way to avoid this problem? Don’t want an outdoor cat .

I’m seen dog tags that unlock the dog door when the dog wants to go out, but the cat wouldn’t have.

Our (always been an indoor cat, afraid of the outside world) kitty would never push his way through any sort of resistance to reach the outside. So this would be cat dependent.

I have a dog door. The cat’s use it but they never leave the back yard. I always assumed they do this bc they are taking cues off the dogs.

Or don’t want to leave their “protection”,.

Even with the unlocking tags only on the dogs, a determined cat will get out. Our cat regularly takes advantage of us letting the dog in or out, including by walking under the dog. I’m sure if we had a dog door he would have a repertoire of tricks for when he heard the dog unlock the dog door.

So, yes, very cat dependent.

And if the cat somehow got through the door behind the dog it would have no way to get back in unless it had the tag on its collar too.

I read an article online about a guy who had problems with a racoon getting in the pet door. He installed a camera and somehow used software to recognize the shape of the racoon and leave the door locked.

In a similar vein, I read about a guy who setup a camera and shape detection software so that his cat could only get through the flap if it was not carrying some dead animal

Seconding this. My father was once about to open a door to let the dogs out when he noticed that one of the dogs had eight legs.

One of the cats was hiding under the dog, all ready to go out the door with her.

It is indeed going to be very cat dependent.

When the dogs go through the dog door, do they go out into a fenced yard? If so, can you upgrade the fence so it will also keep a cat in? (This might take considerable upgrading; including something like chicken wire over the top of the fenced area.)

With those doors you can set it so that the door can be opened from the outside without a tag, but not from the inside. Theoretically that means neighbourhood cats, etc, could get in, but IME they don’t even try to.

A cat that’s always been indoors might not even try to go outdoors, or might refuse to use a catflap even if they’re happy to go outdoors - my current cat will go out any way except the cat flap. Also, it depends how you use the dog door - if it’s specific times of day, you could probably lock the cat out of the area with the dog door for those areas, at least while they head out.

Or raccoons. Happened when I was a kid with a manual cat door (no collars or anything). It was a young one, because the adults were generally too big to fit. I wonder if he saw our cats go in and out because the door wasn’t anywhere near the kitchen, which I assume was his goal, and was where we found him rummaging through one of the cabinets. The cat door was in a basement window and required jumping down from a platform onto the washer/dryer to get to the floor, then going upstairs to the kitchen. Clever little bastard.

I have a fenced yard. Not sure about upgrades since HOA would have to approve that.

From what I’ve seen, if the cat is accustomed to getting all needs met inside the house, they have no desire to get out. After a couple years, they don’t show any interest in getting out and may in fact panic if they find themselves outside. We do have one cat that was sort of habituated to the back porch and she’ll try and slip out when a person is using the people door, but she seems completely oblivious to the doggie door less than a foot away. FWIW, we’re using a double flap door and it may just be too much for her to wrap her head around.

Also, if the dogs are not accustomed to a cat, they may want to play with it whenever they see it, and the cat will most likely be shy of the beasts. In such a situation, kitty is more likely to try and establish a safe zone inside the house and have no curiosity about the flap.

Of course, every now and then you end up with a hyper confident cat who will go nose to nose with the dogs and show them a trick or two about the large cat flap by the back door. Not much you can do to discourage a kitty like that.

Depends a whole lot on the cat.

Indeed. Most of the cats I’ve lived with have regarded exploring (or patrolling or hunting) to be itself a “need”, which was not and could not be adequately met inside the house. They all, consistently, found ways to get in and out of the house when they wanted, and we very quickly learned to stop trying to stop them. And yes, they all lived long lives (18, 20, and 22, for the last three).

Indeed. Our vet has a section on each cat’s profile where they record if a cat is indoor only, indoor/outdoor, or outdoors only. For our cat P.K., that field reads, “escape artist.” I’ve had one other cat that was as determined and clever as him. With those cats, opening any door has to be preceded by identifying where the cat is, and making and implementing a plan for containment. My other cats have ranged from moderately interested in getting out, to panic at finding herself outside.