With their natural exploratory instincts and feelings of familiarity in their space, cats like to have access to all available areas. Which is why you might find yourself scratching your head when your darling feline chooses to spend a fair amount of its time parked opposite your front door. So, have you ever asked yourself, why does my cat sit at the front door?
Cats sit at the front door for a variety of reasons. The most common is to go outside (if they are indoor/outdoor cats), to see what’s outside and potentially escape (if they are outdoor cats) or to wait for their humans to come home.
Cats are intelligent, curious creatures and rarely do things without good cause. Whether or not yours is an indoor or outdoor cat, it is genetically wired to brave the call of the wild to hunt for prey. Once inside, cats understand that another world exists beyond that front door. In this article, we’ll dive into the various reasons why cats sit at the front door, and what you can do to address the behavior.
Why Is My Cat Meowing At The Front Door
Meowing at the front door is often your cat’s not-so-gentle suggestion that the door should be opened. They will emphasize this point by looking intently at the door, to you and back.
Cats, unlike rabbits or hamsters, are incredibly vocal. Their yowls, trills, and mews are their very expressive communication methods. Especially if your cat spends time outside, this is the most effective way your cat can let you know they are ready to pop back out again.
It’s also possible that your cat’s sensitive receptors are picking up tempting scents or sounds belonging to creatures on the other side of that piece of wood. She wants to see it for herself!
Why Does My Cat Constantly Meow To Go Outside
Is your cat a social butterfly? Some cats seek more stimulation than others, while some are more vocal.
If you’re trying to help your cat make the transition from going outdoors to becoming an indoor cat, it may take a little while to curb that interest. You can train your cat to stop meowing by the door as you would for any other undesirable behavior.
Encourage your cat away from the door and engage her with something fun. Use treats to reinforce the behavior you want, such as quiet playtime or using a scratching post.
This next one’s a tough one – ignore the meowing! Although your pet’s dulcet tones may be hard to tune out, not responding to the yowling will send the message that these habits are not encouraged.
Why Does My Cat Sit At The Front Door At Night
Cats are predominantly nocturnal. Those sounds and vibrations of scurrying animals are probably amplified for your pet during the night hours, triggering his predatory instincts.
Just because your policy might be “early to bed,” cats’ internal clocks can run on a different schedule. They might innocently assume that the magic hand will appear and set them free into the wilderness if they wait long enough.
If letting your cat out at night is not part of the schedule, don’t feel the need to respond to this waiting game. Eventually, this behavior should begin to dissipate as it is repeatedly not rewarded.
Why Does My Cat Try To Run Out The Door
As we explained before, the great outdoors is a cat’s biggest playground. Indoor or outdoor, cats want to be where the action is.
There are a few reasons why a cat might try to run past you as soon as the door is opened a crack.
Running communicates some kind of urgency. There might be something outside that has sparked your cat’s curiosity so intensely that they can’t wait to investigate. Maybe a passing dog? A neighboring cat?
If your cat lives strictly indoors, this darting behavior can be a sneaky attempt to get at the forbidden fruit. Your wily feline might try to take advantage of your arms full of groceries for that one chance at finally satisfying her desire to get outdoors.
This behavior can go from annoying to downright dangerous. There are, however, steps you can take to break these habits.
How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Wanting To Go Outside
The first step is to make sure you’re not reinforcing unwanted behavior by making the doorway a place for attention. When walking through the door, don’t stop there; continue to a further spot in the house for hugs and kisses.
Another solution is to place a training mat by the door made from a material that is uncomfortable to cat feet. Just remember not to step on it yourself when you’re not wearing shoes.
To compete with the allure of the outdoors, you’re going to have to provide alternatives for your pets that are just as inviting. Here are a few things you can do to arrange your indoor space:
● Attach kitty shelves or create comfy nooks next to windows, so your pet has easy access to outdoor entertainment.
● Buy or build climbing structures for exercise and exploration.
● Arrange boxes or paper bags (without the handles) for your cat to hide in.
● Leave some of your clothing around to offer your pet a recent whiff of your scent to help him feel he’s not alone.
● Make toys available. Some toys release treats when played with and so motivate cats to keep active with positive reinforcement.
● Purchase cat grass for your feline to chomp on to help promote their natural digestion.
● Do your best to shower your cat with attention when you’re home.
Tips To Prevent Indoor Cats From Escaping
You’re going to have to think faster than your feline in preventing him or her from doing the door dash. Here are a few tips you can use to keep your cat safe inside:
● Leave the house from another door than the one your cat is faithfully guarding.
● Distract her with a treat.
● Shut her in a separate room to minimize her chance of escape.
● Attach a note to your front door warning guests or workers not to let the cat out.
● If possible, try leash-training your cat or building a screened-in porch for safe outdoor encounters.
● Get your cat a collar with updated tags or even microchipped in the event they do escape.
Cats In Heat
If you haven’t already spayed or neutered your cat, you might want to consider it, especially if you already notice door-dashing tendencies. Cats in heat are more likely to seek out the company of other cats, no matter how far.
Getting your cat fixed will diminish his desire to mate, and he will be more content to stay at home.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, your cat may simply be waiting to greet you when you walk in the door. You are your cat’s favorite human, and your coming home is the highlight of her day.
If this behavior is ok in your book, enjoy the warm reception and show your appreciation with some kitty love.
You might notice that your cat takes offense at the closure of any of the doors in your house. Cats shun the concept of restricted access; they want the freedom to explore where they want when they want it. Doors with windows pose an even greater attraction for them as they like to keep an eye on what’s taking place in the outdoors.
The front door is the ultimate portal to untold exploration for cats, so let them enjoy it!