Keeping critters out of a pet door? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 01/17/12, 04:53 PM
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Keeping critters out of a pet door?

In a couple months, I'll be heading back to SC to resume building our house. I'd like to get a pet to keep me company, but it will have to be a cat, since they can handle being on their own better than a dog.

I figured I'd just install a cat door in the barn so he can come and go as he pleases, but I'm worried about possums or raccoons getting into the barn via the cat door. I know they can be rigged so you can lock it after the cat is in, but it would be better if the cat has full access, especially if I'm away for a couple days. Our cat here at home does just fine while we're away; we leave plenty of food and water; but she has a litter box. I guess I could have a litter box, and lock the cat in the barn when I leave, but I'd rather not.

Anyone had any experience with this? What do you do?

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  #2  
Old 01/17/12, 04:58 PM
 
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They make pet doors with activation collars. Only your pet can go through. Some have more problems than others. Simple google search should find them. One brand is ideal e-cat.

Michael

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  #3  
Old 01/17/12, 05:29 PM
 
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I have a dog door and so far no pests have used it. I have one that is 4 years old. That is the best thing to going to keep from opening the door at odd times.

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  #4  
Old 01/17/12, 07:53 PM
 
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I was thinking about putting a pet door in our garage for our cats, but was worried about the same thing. Don't want any of those black and white 'kitties' visiting!

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  #5  
Old 01/17/12, 08:42 PM
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I've had a doggie door in the house for 20 years. Only uninvited critter to use it was a barn cat that decided it was a house cat. Never been a problem.

Did try a cat door at the barn. Only took the coons and possums a couple months to figure out that there was a pan of cat food inside the door. After the pan was empty they started making chicken dinners. Maybe if the food had been in a different corner of the barn, it might have worked?

Kathie

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  #6  
Old 01/17/12, 09:01 PM
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One of my best friends had quite the invader in her house through the dog door....her (now) ex boyfriend.

Needless to say that was the last straw

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  #7  
Old 01/17/12, 10:28 PM
 
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I put in a dog door and within a week the dog tried to bring a stick inside and made it half way. I came home and found the door blocked part way open. A few days later I discovered that I had a mouse in the house. No more dog door.

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Old 01/17/12, 10:35 PM
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I second the door with the activation collar.

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  #9  
Old 01/18/12, 04:57 PM
 
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Put a radio in their and tune in a talk station the pest will think they are not alone.

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  #10  
Old 01/18/12, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebitfarm View Post
Did try a cat door at the barn. Only took the coons and possums a couple months to figure out that there was a pan of cat food inside the door. After the pan was empty they started making chicken dinners. Maybe if the food had been in a different corner of the barn, it might have worked?

Kathie
When I put one on ours about a month later a Momma possum set up housekeeping in there and had her babies there, it was another month or so before I figured out why my three barn cats where going through so much food, when I walked in and there were SIX small possums eating the cat food...with the cats sitting there watching them!

Now they just get let out in the morning and called in at dusk!

Annie
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  #11  
Old 01/18/12, 06:12 PM
Brenda Groth
 
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we got a pet door just large enough our cats can get through ..racoons haven't been able to get thru or dogs or possum or skunks and even that big cat I wrote about in the post can't get thru it..our largest fits just fine.

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  #12  
Old 01/19/12, 06:20 AM
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Hmmm- I'm not getting that obvious solution yet. An activation collar would be OK, but I'm not crazy about collars on outdoor cats- too many chances to get hung up on something. I know they make break-away collars, but then Kitty couldn't get back in!

The other possibility would be to take him with me when I travel. I've read that cats can get used to riding in the car; it's a matter of a sometimes lengthy period of introducing the idea. We have a cat here in FL, where I would be traveling to, so bringing him here wouldn't be a problem.

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  #13  
Old 01/19/12, 10:27 AM
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Are you positive you want it to be an outdoor cat?
Mine are indoor cats and they do fine when we are gone, just make sure they have enough food water and clean litter.

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  #14  
Old 01/19/12, 03:46 PM
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Mush, At my last place, I put a barrel up by a front window, and then replaced a pane of glass w/ the pet door. For 11 years, I never got a wild animal visit. Where I am now, the pet door is at ground level, and we've had multiple unwanted visitors...Does yr. barn have any above the ground windows that a cat could reach? The barrel I used was about 4.5 ft tall, and while it took the cat a while to learn to use it, he was able to jump to the barrel from the porch. The barrel top later became his "front porch"! Good luck with this! (I, too, am leary of putting a collar on a cat for the same reasons).

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  #15  
Old 01/19/12, 06:04 PM
 
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ldc beat me to it. Use a window with a couple of steps up for the cat. He'll be able to jump from the ground to the first ledge, then up to the window, which could also have a little step in front of it. He's a cat, he'll love it.

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  #16  
Old 01/19/12, 06:27 PM
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Wouldn't a raccoon or possum be able to jump or climb up as well?

It can't be an indoor cat, because the barn is the only building, and it needs to be open most of the time while I work. It would be too hard to keep a cat in.

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  #17  
Old 01/20/12, 01:49 PM
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I have no doubt at all that what I saw coming thru any animal door would be a large black snake. No thank you!

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  #18  
Old 01/20/12, 04:16 PM
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my cats can jump straight up to climb thru the kitchen window when I take the screens out. It is about 10 feet up. possums and racoons climb but can't jump that high. So I recommend idc and maura's idea of a cat door in the window. put the cat thru the door a couple of times to get him used to it and then no problem. He may make kittie friends that could also come in.

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  #19  
Old 01/20/12, 04:30 PM
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We put a pet door in here when we first moved into the house. It lasted about 3 months until the first snake came throgh it at which time I purchased a new door and decided my house critters had me as their doorman.

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  #20  
Old 01/20/12, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motdaugrnds View Post
I have no doubt at all that what I saw coming thru any animal door would be a large black snake. No thank you!
I wouldn't have any problem with that. As a matter of fact, they're probably already in the barn-there's a pretty good gap by the sliding door.

There's no window, but I know where they are going to go in the future, so I could install the pet door right in the wall- a good ways off of the ground.
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