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Anti Door Darting Technique

scorpius

Chirps & Massive Headbutts
I thought I'd share my little process to avoid my F2's desire to door dart. My biggest fear would be his door darting out my home of course! He's like a silent snake, and he will door dart beneath your feet and you won't even know it! And I mean 17lbs of SV here and quick as a grey hound:). Here it goes, a bit paranoid, but I hope to avoid ever searching for him this way:

ADDT:
1. Always know where he's at in the home prior to leaving the house. And if I don't see him, I do a quick search. Overkill yes, but it gives me peace of mind.
2. Always look down as I open any house door. Seems simple enough, but generally we don't look down as we close doors (think about it, it's true).
3. Garage door exit. In this case, I never leave both the car garage door and house garage door open at the same time. Like a 'SV air lock', I only open one door at a time. And I generally avoid exiting the house thru the main door where there is no second containment (like a garage).

cheers.. dj
 
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Louie'sDad

Guest
I always do that. Cats are smart, and they always blindside their protector by going around to your back side before bolting.
Last week, I forgot to check behind me before opening the front door. One time. It just so happened that Louie was under my feet and got past me. Was a heart pounding 30 seconds. Lucky I had my cell phone in my pocket, so I tossed it into the house through the open doorway..........and he dove in after it. That's the first time he got outside since I brought him home 11 months ago.
One more thing: before entering your cat's living space from an off-limits room or a door opening to the outdoors, I always crouch down and put my hand and arm in the opening as the door swings open, because he's almost always right on the other side of the door waiting. Nine times out of ten, I have to push him inside before he rushes through the opening.
 
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Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
Good advice! We have double door systems on all three entrance doors; I screened in the porches for the two front doors and the back door has a small fenced in area. I realize that is not possible for some to do to their homes so being aware of your cat's location is important to prevent door darting. We still are mindful at all times of where the cats are when we exit or enter. One or two will run out to the screened porch, but never attempt to go out the screen door since they think they are outside already. Of course with the colder weather no one goes near the doors at all...
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
Like Pam, our front door is a double entry and our back door leads to an enclosure... and then there is the door to the garage as dj mentioned above.

Yes, get into the habit of looking down and around when opening the door for any reason..it's a good habit!

And when entering the front door I do it "defensively", when I crack it open I have my leg stuck into the crack and I look in to see who might be there before I open it further.
 
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Dantes

Guest
At some point, along with his other behavioral problems, Dante started door darting. This got copycat Duma into the game, which of course he loves, because after he goes out the door (and sometimes it's hard to tell that he's even gotten out!), I chase after him--what fun lol for him anyway. Luckily I am in a gated community on an island, so there's really nowhere for him to go, but the fact is that he doesn't really seem to want to go anywhere, not even within the community. On the few occasions I decided to see what would happen if I didn't give chase, he would run back and forth across the front door crying "come play with me"--it's pretty funny, actually.

Not long after it started, the door darting thing got a little out of control, so I tried training them. Before I leave the house, I turn in front of the door to see where they are. They now each have their own "spot" to go to. So I say "Dante, go to the kitchen" and "Duma, go to the stairs" and they each do their thing (and I watch carefully to make sure they get there and sit down properly) and they watch me as I open the door saying "good boys" and walk out. It took a while to get them to do this, and I have been clicker training them since day 1, but it's really worth the effort. Of course I need to be extra vigilant when a visitor is leaving the house, but I keep Da Bird nearby and it always lures him back if he knows he'll get some decent playtime if he comes back. I live in a condo and don't have a garage or an option for a screen door but this has worked out really well.
 

scorpius

Chirps & Massive Headbutts
Good follow up points and stories... and it should be said, I don't really think SV's are maybe any worse at door darting than other cats breed (don't know really)? But nonetheless, I never want to ever loose my SV's. That would be heart wrenching... dj
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
I think Savannahs are similar to other high energy intelligent cat breeds when it comes to door darting. But even my Brit makes an occasional run for it, he's just not as fast ;-)
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
Like Pam, our front door is a double entry and our back door leads to an enclosure... and then there is the door to the garage as dj mentioned above.

Yes, get into the habit of looking down and around when opening the door for any reason..it's a good habit!

And when entering the front door I do it "defensively", when I crack it open I have my leg stuck into the crack and I look in to see who might be there before I open it further.

Lol! We have that leg blocking technique perfected. I also thrust my purse or a package above my leg for added measure in case anyone thinks they are going to use my leg as a launching pad. I catch myself doing it everywhere; at work, friends' and family's homes....my cats sure have me trained!
 
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Dantes

Guest
I think Savannahs are similar to other high energy intelligent cat breeds when it comes to door darting. But even my Brit makes an occasional run for it, he's just not as fast ;-)

Exactly, Dante (ragdoll) is much more forceful and persistent (and a bit sneaky) whereas Duma is just fast, like lightening. Dante is easy to catch, i just lean down and pick him up, but Duma needs to be lured back in.

I havent walked forward out the door in a while :-/
 
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