My Bengal kitten has finally figured out the dog door, HELP!

5981kristin

Member
Feb 9, 2006
129
1
Scottsdale, AZ
Hi all,
My beautiful 4 month old Bengal kitten Leon has officially learned to use the dog door. I have spent countless hours searching this subject on the net and have yet to find an ideal option that allows the 4 dogs to go in and out as they please, but one that keeps my kitty in the house at all times. Here's the thing, I do NOT want Leon outside ever for many reasons including the fact that he is such a gorgeous Bengal I'm afraid someone might spot him and steal him. I don't want him running away, getting hit by a car, etc., but the dogs still need to go outside while my boyfriend and I are away from the house. Here are the few options I have found...

1) Put in a new dog door that allows the dogs (who would be wearing key collars in and out) but that does not allow Leon out. My problem with this is that Leon is quite smart and may realize that if he sticks close enough behind one of the dogs he can sneak out with them.

2) Trying to teach him not to use the door. Not even sure if he can be trained to stay away from it though.

3) An invisible fence that allows him in the backyard but not past the invisible fence perimeter. Still not too comfortable with him outside at all though.

4) Keeping him in "his room" while we are away, which just isn't fair to him.

I find it hard to believe that I am the only person who has faced this challenge before and I know someone out there has the perfect idea. Please if anyone has dealt with this problem or has any ideas or input it would be GREATLY appreciated.

And just for fun, here is my Leon...



 
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Sybaryte

Member
Jul 19, 2008
3,906
0
Nope, you're not the only one. Especially with a kitten, I would NOT let him have access to the backyard. An older cat that doesn't jump well, etc. may be a different story.

You're right about #1 and forget about #2. :P Ixnay on #3 - invisible fences are known for keeping critters out, not for keeping your guys in.

Bottom line, #4 is the winner! That's exactly what I do but I try to keep it interesting. Put a cat tree by the window. Plenty of toys. A kitten is better off with a companion so adopt another one - preferably a rescue. When you're home and can close the doggy door, cats get the run of the house. It works, believe me....been doing it for years. Cats are happy. :biggrin:

P.S. The only thing that isn't fair is putting him in the path of danger.
 
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5981kristin

Member
Feb 9, 2006
129
1
Scottsdale, AZ
I'm glad to hear I am not the only one who has faced this obstacle! We've had him now for about 2 months and have been keeping in his room while we are gone and letting him have the run of the house when one of us is home. He's really good about not using the door when we are home, he just sits at the door and longingly watches the dogs outside. I think we will continue to do it this way seeing as he appears to be happy as a clam when he's in his room. Thanks so much for the feedback!
 

Irishgal

I run with scissors
O.G.
Apr 22, 2006
15,382
2,793
Long and Low Farms
My friend has a bengal kitten and that cat has figured out how to open doors, turn on water, get into the cabinets and take out items...

Good luck, wish I had some ideas.
 
Oct 21, 2008
4,513
3,502
More possible options:

- Lock the dogs OUT and Leon inside when you're not at home - this works only if you have a locking dog door & the dogs have shelter in the yard.

- build a secure kitty run for Leon in the yard. I've had one built for my cats with trees to climb etc., and it connects by a walkway/gangplank to a cat flap access into the house so they have indoor/safe outdoor access at all times.

A friend of mine has three Bengals now. They're amazingly active and need lots of stimulation and exercise otherwise they're impossible to live with.

Good luck! Leon is gorgeous :smile:
 

5981kristin

Member
Feb 9, 2006
129
1
Scottsdale, AZ
More possible options:

- Lock the dogs OUT and Leon inside when you're not at home - this works only if you have a locking dog door & the dogs have shelter in the yard.

- build a secure kitty run for Leon in the yard. I've had one built for my cats with trees to climb etc., and it connects by a walkway/gangplank to a cat flap access into the house so they have indoor/safe outdoor access at all times.

A friend of mine has three Bengals now. They're amazingly active and need lots of stimulation and exercise otherwise they're impossible to live with.

Good luck! Leon is gorgeous :smile:
All good ideas, the only problem with the first one is that it's about 115 degrees here in AZ right now!!! The secure fence is a strong option and one that I have considered. Thanks so much for the great ideas!
 

sooner_girl20

Member
Jun 18, 2007
1,006
1
everyone has great ideas! Nothing more to add, just that your kitty is probably the most beautiful cat I've ever seen, and I mean that! I can definitely see your reason for concern for your precious baby. Let us know what you end up doing!
 

5981kristin

Member
Feb 9, 2006
129
1
Scottsdale, AZ
everyone has great ideas! Nothing more to add, just that your kitty is probably the most beautiful cat I've ever seen, and I mean that! I can definitely see your reason for concern for your precious baby. Let us know what you end up doing!
Thank you so much! I have always wanted a Bengal cat and happened to find a woman who was selling kittens from a litter for WAY less than they usually go for (which can be up to $1,800!) so I gave her a call and it just so happened that she had sold them all except one (Leon) who was born with a deformed rib. She didn't feel comfortable selling him but was willing to give him away to the right home. That right home happened to be mine! His rib is fine and the vet couldn't even tell that he was born with something wrong with it. I am so lucky to have Leon, he really is a great boy!

I think for the time being and near future we are going to put Leon in his room when we are gone, but we are going to make it (which used to be an office) into a nice little retreat for him. We put one of those cat sitter dvds on our tv that's hung on the wall and he sits on the table for hours watching it, so I think he's pretty happy in there. And when we're home he's allowed to roam the house!

Thanks everyone so much for your ideas and feedback, I really appreciate it. It's nice to know I have a huge community of people that love animals (and shoes and handbags :P) as much as I do to chat with!
 

Brooke11

polisher
Apr 13, 2008
3,780
0
east coast
Oh no! The key collar idea sounds good, but there would be the chance Leon could slip out with one of the dogs. There are cat containment systems -- my mom lets her cats go outside because she has a fenced yard with this 'cat fence' on it -- it angles inward so the cat can't jump over it. One of her cats has learned how to grab onto the cat fence and do a back flip over it (she's very determined), but I know it is very successful for a lot of people. So that may be an option, possibly combined with the keyed dog door, so that if she does get out, at least she won't escape. A friend of mine has a small dog door that can be sent to go inward/outward, only inward or only outward, or locked shut. Perhaps you could get one of those and set it to only go inwards, put the dogs out in the am and when they want to come in, they can -- but then they would be stuck inside the rest of the day. And another option would be to put your cat in a room or part of the house that you can close off from the dogs and dog door. That way he won't even be near the dog door. I hope you're able to figure out a solution!
edit: just read your last post -- I'm so glad you all found a solution!
 

candice19

Member
Oct 21, 2007
872
0
I don't own a cat so I would have NO clue if this works.... but what about apply one strip of double sided tape to the door, from left to right - that way if your kitty was to go through the door, it has to rub up against the tape. Don't cats HATE tape?
 

Nyria

Diggin TPF
O.G.
Aug 20, 2006
12,158
12
Alberta, Canada
No ideas - just wowza - gorgeous kitty!
(I think it should be a rule here that if you post anything in this area you have to put a pic of your animal lol)
 

LOREBUNDE

O.G.
Nov 19, 2006
6,543
96
Florida
The only thing I can think of is put Leon in a separate room while you are gone. Not fair but can't think of any other options right now. He is sooo beautiful! I would love a cat like that. I can certainly understand why you wouldn't want him outside.