Why Do Cats Hate To See Closed Doors?

Something had me thinking about Boots, a feline patient I’d treated for many years. Boots came up missing last year, his owners assumed he went off somewhere in the woods to die.

Two things stand out in my memory about Boots. One is that he was a grouch. He was one cantankerous patient and did not appreciate that we did our best to keep him well. When he came for an appointment we made sure we had everything ready in advance because his mood declined with each tick of the second hand. Either you finished with Boots in the first seven minutes, or you were finished until next year.

The other remarkable thing about Boots is that he absolutely hated to have doors closed in his house. Of course, with his bad attitude, it was necessary to close him up in a room to capture him and put him in a carrier for his doctor visit.

I always thought that was an interesting trait, and our Martha does it, too.

Martha, like Boots, thoroughly dislikes closed doors.

Martha, like Boots, thoroughly dislikes closed doors.

Just the other day it finally occurred to me why cats do that: We close doors to contain our cats into a single room for easy capture! Then we put them in carriers or administer medication to them! We know how smart our pets are, it surely doesn’t take them long to pick up on these cues and figure out that a closed door means something is coming that they don’t want to happen.

Some mysteries are solved with simple common sense.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

PS: MyPetsDoctor.com readers were surely surprised to receive a headline this week with no text! There was a glitch that we think we have solved, and the above post is the one that should have come out then.


  1. Mandi Baker says:

    Does anyone else have this problem? We rescued a cat from a parking lot in 2011 when someone threw some out. They where still nursing age. We have had her for a while. She is the sweetest thing, she wants to be held like a baby, she sticks her arm up and want you to rub the arm till she “falls asleep”. She cries to go to bed. One thing she absolutely does: she hates to have a door shut… any door!! She will either paw till she can get it open, jump and hang on the handle or wiggle herself till the latch comes open, and once the door is open she just walks away with no interest.

    • You just didn’t know how close you were to the answer, did you Mandi? It’s a matter of opinion whether it’s a “problem” or just a quirk. Become a subscriber and you get get interesting posts like this all the time. Best wishes, Dr. Randolph

  2. Emily says:

    Well my cat hates to see closed doors in the house and she is just so nosey she will scratch and scratch in till we will just open the door!

  3. Charlie says:

    That isn’t the only reason cats do that. I never close my cats in rooms to catch them for veterinarian’s appointments. However, my cats will still paw at the bathroom door when it’s closed, or the sunroom door if I accidentally close it.

  4. Ann Crowe says:

    How well we know about closed doors, especially with Mopsy. She is getting better – I think; but she is so smart and only if I could just hold her for a minute or longer. We’ll continue to love her just the way she is and we keep wishing that one day – she will come and lay on our laps. HA!


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