He (I think he is a he) is the best door opener, door handle user, for a domestic cat that I have seen on the internet. His caretaker says:
“You scare me.”
He is completely confident. Nothing gets in his way (note the tray of water in the second part of the video). He has a very positive, committed action when he tugs on the door handle.
There is no uncertainty. He is self-trained to a high standard and he has lots of experience. I know there are lots of door opening cats on the internet. It is a bit of a cult or fad but what does it tell us about the domestic cat other than his entertainment abilities and his intelligence?
It has to be that doors – a human invention – are a nuisance to cats. They can’t comprehend them. They have no idea why they exist. Why do they exist?
For privacy and security. The domestic cat has no concept of privacy although in the wild they find it in their own way through dens and dense foliage and remote places (snow leopard).
As for security that comes from the domestic cat’s abilities to defend when attacked but not through presenting barriers. If a cat is allowed outside, the door presents a barrier to policing his range which extends beyond the interior of the home.
If there is no cat flap (cat door) then he might go out when you open the door and soon after ask to be let in through the same door. This is not a perverse attitude but an inconvenient human contraption, the door, which just happens to get in the way.
The domestic cat is very adaptable and can live in a territory of one fifteenth of an acre but the barn cat might have a territory extending to 150 acres. The Australian feral cat’s territory is larger. For cats thoroughly used to inside living the door can be a strange barrier to exploring the outside – and even when open they won’t walk through it.
The door is an example of a clash of animal species behaviour: humans versus cats. Another clash concerns time. We are active during the day and sleep at night. The cats natural activity-inactivity internal clock does not overlap with our lifestyle and this is best noticed in unsocialised young cats who have not acclimatised to fitting in with human living. They want to be hunting in the evening and early hours of the morning, times when we are watching TV and barely awake in the morning.