Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cat Doors

Those who know me, know that I oppose the tradition of free-range cats on environmental grounds. I believe the evidence shows that free-range house cats are an environmental menace, but for some reason owners and those who don't claim ownership, think that cats have some sort of God-given or Darwinian right to roam free to ravage the countryside.

I don't hate cats. I own two of them; one rescued from a divorcing couple; the other from a pound. But unlike other owners, I don't let my cats roam outside. They are indoor cats and interestingly enough, they are doing quite well.

Anyway, my point today involves the quest by free-range owners to have a catdoor that allows cats and only cats to enter the house whenever they want. Traditional doors are problematic because other animals, like opossums and raccoons, can use these doors too.

Electronic doors normally use a collar that signals the door to unlock. The idea being, the cat's collar will act as a passkey thereby preventing unauthorized animals from entering. Unfortunately, I haven't heard of a door that is strong enough to keep out raccoons. Raccoons don't care about the collar and simply pry open the door and enter.

I recently learned of another electronic door, "The Pet Porte" that is signaled by a microchip in the cat. This device offers the advantage of not requiring a collar on the cat, which I guess some owners think is too burdensome for the cat. That is all well and good. My question stands as "Is this door strong enough to prevent raccoon entry?" I have contacted the company. I'll let you know what I have learned.

In the meantime, I would love to hear from anyone who has heard of a cat door that is strong enough to prevent raccoon entry. Even though I am against free-range cats, owners should be protected against wildlife entry.

Stephen Vantassel, CWCP, ACP

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