Kittie Food: Not to be Administered by Kitties
October 8, 2011 9:59 AM   Subscribe

How do I lock a bifold door and keep the kitties out? Human access is needed but keeping them out isn't needed at all.

Somebody has figured out that we keep the cat food in the closet and how to open the closet door. She just sticks her paw under it and pulls until it's open enough for her to slip through and knock the bags off the shelf. The worst part is that she can do it quietly now.

So we need a way to lock the closet door. Our current method is to put my toolbox on the floor. But then we've got to move the tool box to open the closet and my toes are fast becoming close friends with this heavy metal object.

Is there a good way to lock the door that our cat won't foil with her too smart for her own good intelligence?

One other caveat: When my wife stands flat footed at the door her hand gets to be a good 3-4 inches below the top of the door. She can reach the top, but I'm not sure how well she'd be able to undo any locks up there.
posted by theichibun to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
Put a door bolt over the gap between the doors. You can't bend the bolt, so the door can't fold open.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:03 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Stupid question: can you move the cat food to a higher shelf? Or to a different closet?
posted by pdb at 10:05 AM on October 8, 2011

Another idea would be to put the food, still in the bag, inside an unbreakable, locking tupperware container.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:06 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just put a simple latch halfway up the door. Attach the other side to the wall or the other bifold door. A flip style makes it easier to operate with one hand.

Or you could go hard-core and get one of these for $9
posted by fshgrl at 10:10 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

We have a big food tub (known as 'the motherlode') which is good not just for deterring cats, but also any other interested creatures. Refilling it in the cats' presence is highly amusing.
posted by holgate at 10:13 AM on October 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

This bi-fold door lock has a handle that looks like it may be within your wife's reach.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:15 AM on October 8, 2011

These cabinet locks would do the job without having to make any permanent modifications.
posted by lemniskate at 10:16 AM on October 8, 2011

Put a magnet latch at the top?
posted by yb2006shasta at 10:17 AM on October 8, 2011

Cats can open pretty much any door if they decide it is worth doing. It is worth doing when behind the door is a nice chewable paper bag filled with food. Get a container that they cannot open.
posted by jeather at 11:22 AM on October 8, 2011

If by 'bifold door' you mean two folding doors, four panels altogether, you can use what amounts to a big rubber band that loops over both handles. Like a longish bungie cord that will pass over both knobs and hook back to itself.
posted by bricoleur at 11:33 AM on October 8, 2011

The twist-on lid is a good one. My sister used it to defeat both her cats as well as their un-indicted co-conspirator, the yellow lab that can open cabinets after the cats do their magic with the latch.

As for the door, you could probably also get away with a pair of novelty "finger-cuffs," which are finger-sized handcuffs. Most humans should be dexterous enough to take those off your knobs, but no cat will be.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:02 PM on October 8, 2011

The problem I see with door latches is the noise factor. If your kitty is anything like mine, a latch like any that have been mentioned above will not be a deterrent, but more of a puzzle to solve. And usually, in my household, kitty puzzle solving occurs in the middle of the night when you're trying to sleep. I'm imagining Kitty attempting to open door once: "bang". Then he tries again: "Bang!", and again "BANG!" until all you hear is at 2am is "BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG".

I would put the food in a kitty-safe container. The tall one on this page is similar to what I use. Advantages are that it's tall and skinny and thus may fit in your closet, it's on wheels for convenient rolling out of the way, and you can pour from it into a smaller container. (I keep it in the basement, and regularly use it to refill a smaller one I keep upstairs in my kitchen cabinet.)

If you're intent on locking the door, search for "childproofing". OneStepAhead is a big player in that arena.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:21 PM on October 8, 2011 [3 favorites]

Another vote for a plastic container as the best deterrent. Right now, the cat knows the food is in the bag and can smell that it is in the closet. The plastic container makes it harder not only to get to the food, but since the cat can't smell it, makes the cat think the food is not in the closet, so it will leave the closet alone.

Works for us, with our very smart cat who can not only spill open bags, but happily chews throigh sealed ones as well.
posted by misha at 1:23 PM on October 8, 2011

OneStepAhead has bifold door locks that work wonderfully.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:16 PM on October 8, 2011

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