Keeping critters out of a pet door?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MushCreek, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. MushCreek

    MushCreek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,193
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Florida and South Carolina
    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?
     
  2. artificer

    artificer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    964
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    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
     

  3. Old Vet

    Old Vet In Remembrance

    Messages:
    11,515
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Arkansas
    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.
     
  4. julieq

    julieq Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,032
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Location:
    Southern Idaho
    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! :(
     
  5. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

    Messages:
    1,617
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    IL
    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
     
  6. Tiempo

    Tiempo Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,307
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    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 ;)
     
  7. JohnL751

    JohnL751 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    503
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    Missouri
    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.
     
  8. wolffeathers

    wolffeathers Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,231
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    I second the door with the activation collar.
     
  9. Old Vet

    Old Vet In Remembrance

    Messages:
    11,515
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Put a radio in their and tune in a talk station the pest will think they are not alone.
     
  10. GammyAnnie

    GammyAnnie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    461
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    N.W. Illinois
    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
     
  11. ronbre

    ronbre Brenda Groth Supporter

    Messages:
    7,817
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    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.
     
  12. MushCreek

    MushCreek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,193
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Florida and South Carolina
    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.
     
  13. mnn2501

    mnn2501 Dallas

    Messages:
    11,536
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    N of Dallas, TX
    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.
     
  14. ldc

    ldc Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,406
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    S. Louisiana
    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).
     
  15. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,958
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan's thumb
    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.
     
  16. MushCreek

    MushCreek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,193
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Florida and South Carolina
    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.
     
  17. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7

    Messages:
    9,421
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia
    I have no doubt at all that what I saw coming thru any animal door would be a large black snake. No thank you!
     
  18. the mama

    the mama loves all critters Supporter

    Messages:
    1,049
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Location:
    Union Co ,Florida
    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.
     
  19. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,999
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    Location:
    North Alabama
    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.
     
  20. MushCreek

    MushCreek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,193
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Florida and South Carolina
    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.