Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
If you’ve ever been around cats, I’m sure you’ve experienced a situation where your cat meows at a closed door incessantly or tries to reach you by pawing under the door.
Let me tell you, in our household, it seems like Kalista just can’t get enough of us and we can’t seem to get even a few minutes of privacy. As soon as she hears a door open she comes running across the apartment to see what’s inside and if we close the door too soon she begins meowing until we open it again.
She also seems to hate it when we close the washroom door and will meow until we’ve done our business. It’s a bit heartbreaking to hear her cry as she reaches further and further into the washroom, but sometimes we just need a minute for ourselves, you know?
So what is it about closed doors? Why is it that cats seem to hate doors? More specifically, what are doors like for cats? Do cats forget what’s on the other side?
CATS ARE TERRITORIAL AND NEED TO SCOUT THEIR HOME
Cats are territorial and need to know everything that’s going on in their home. Cats will mark their territory by kneading or bunting their favourite objects in hopes of getting their scent on as many things as possible.
Cats will patrol different parts of the home to make sure they are safe. Cats may stand by the door and meow or paw at it until it is opened. Cats may also come to their owners to ask them to open doors that are closed. Avery, my sister’s cat, actually used to do this with her closet door
YOUR CAT HEARS SOMETHING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR
Cats have a much more acute sense of hearing than we do and oftentimes when they run quickly towards a door it’s because they are trying to investigate what’s on the other side. Chances are they can hear someone else in the building, or they may even hear another animal.
The most common reasons we find our cats do this is when they hear birds outside, which gets both of our cats so excited that they charge my office doors, actually prying them open. The second most common reason is the noise of our building’s elevator. Both cats have begun to associate the elevator to my partner coming home from after work and between 3-4:30 PM they will run to the door every time they hear the elevator motors running. It’s truthfully quite sweet, especially because both cats will come back and sit next to me after a few seconds if my partner doesn’t unlock the door. As soon as the motors start running again though, you can count on Kalista and Beau scurrying to the front door.
YOUR CAT SMELLS SOMETHING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR
Similar to hearing, cats can also smell a lot better than we can and can even smell things long after they are gone.
What do I mean by that? Well, have you ever eaten a piece of chicken with your hands and tried to wash your hands immediately after? Chances are your hands still smelled like chicken, right? Well, even if you scrubbed your fingers thoroughly and got rid of the smell to the point where you couldn’t tell that you just had chicken, doesn’t mean that your cat can’t tell?
Beau will often go sniff the area Kalista ate in about an hour later. He’ll continue to sniff the area in hopes of finding some residue wet food or kibble. At first, I didn’t realize why he was doing this, but it clicked while I was writing the article about why cats bite and lick our fingers. It seems like chicken fingers aren’t the only smell that lingers after being eaten!
YOUR CAT KNOWS YOU’RE THERE AND WANTS YOUR ATTENTION
By now you all should know how sweet and attention seeking our youngest cat, Kalista, is. Kalista will always make sure she gets attention every time she wants it, even if it’s a bad time for us. She can commonly be found nipping at our legs or rubbing herself against us and as mentioned, whenever a door is closed and we’re on the other side, she’s the first cat to start pawing under the door begging us to open it.
Cats, similar to humans, seem to experience the typical “you want what you can’t have” and suddenly realize that their owners exist as soon as they close a door. It’s funny because a new development for Kalista has been her jumping into the shower with me because she misses me. You’d expect that every cat hates water, but little Kalista doesn’t seem to mind as long as it means that she gets to be with me.
YOUR CAT IS MERELY CURIOUS
Remember that old saying “curiosity killed the cat”? Well, it exists for a reason! Cats are incredibly curious about their surroundings as knowing what’s in every nook and cranny makes them feel safe.
That being said, many cats will stand by their owner’s feet to peer into an open room and may even be known to slip into rooms without their owner’s knowledge.
Kalista is also one of these cats. She’s broken into our laundry room and my office on many occasions. On the flip side, we’ve also locked her in rooms before because she has slipped in quietly or immediately hid out of plain sight. Every so often we’ll open my partner’s office door and Kalista will come out excited, spewing out meows as if we locked her in there for hours.
For the most part, all the reasons your cat may want to know what’s behind the door is based on their instincts. Your cat is just trying to make sure that they are aware of everything going on in your home, including whether or not there’s an extra piece of dinner behind the door.
It is important to make sure that all doors are cat proof if there’s a reason why that door is closed. That being said, make sure that you are using doors with latches or for extra safety, you can use doors that have locks that slide into the wall.
So I’m curious pet parents… what rooms are your cats attracted to? Is there a door they always meow at? Which one is it and what do you think the reason is?