Q: I have recently acquired a cat and I want to encourage her to go outside. Should I install a cat flap?
A: Cat flaps are rather a mixed blessing! They certainly provide access to outdoors when owners are out at work but they also represent an "open house" to all the other cats in the neighbourhood. A cat's home represents its den and invasion by strange cats is extremely distressing for most cats. If you live in an area with many cats within the territory it may be advisable to think twice before fitting a catflap or invest in an exclusive entry microchip catflap. If you do fit one it's important to make sure that it gives access to an area outside where your cat is not easily ambushed. Narrow side passages can be a problem if next-door's cat is waiting to pounce!