Talk:Cat flap/Archive 1

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The cat flap shown in the image seems to be installed too high. Our article quite rightly says "slightly lower than the cat's belly"... Can we have an image of a correctly installed cat flap, please? Lupo 06:52, September 7, 2005 (UTC)

Agreed, but it is the only catflap I have. I couldn't set it lower as it would weaken the frame of the door. In truth the cats don't mind it that much, but a better picture would be welcome. -- Solipsist 07:08, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
I'll see what I can do, but don't hold your breath. I put mine lower, indeed cutting into the frame, but since that is several inches thick in my door, it didn't matter. My door looks quite battered, though, not as clean as yours. Lupo 07:57, September 7, 2005 (UTC)

Isaac Newton

It is pretty well established that Isaac Newton invented the cat flap. I think it is mentioned in several of his biographies and there is an example shown in Grantham museum (the town near Newton's birthplace). However, we could use a well sourced reference. At the moment the statement looks a little tacked on.

There is also anecdotal discussion that he invented it to avoid having to open the door for his cat whilst doing optics experiments (which is plausible, and presumably to avoid loosing dark adaptation). And further that when his cat had kittens, he installed three more extra-small cat flaps which seems less plausible. -- Solipsist 07:17, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

I was a little more skeptical, and changed the wording. A rather intense google campaign could not turn up any sources, or description of why people think this is the case (and all of the sort of reputable .edu sources are careful to say "reputed", etc.) Of course, Cat Fancy would have you believe otherwise. :) If you know of a particular biography where this is alleged, we should include it. Sdedeo 00:05, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Well you shouldn't be too skeptical. I also thought all the web references were pretty rubbish, but I don't think it is just anecdotal. As mentioned above, the Newton - Cat flap connection is displayed in the local museum and I suspect it was also mentioned in Woolsthorpe Manor itself, although I don't recall seeing an original cat flap in any of the doors there - possibly few of the doors are original. Most of their furniture was genuine for the period, but not original.
However I would also like to find a more reliable reference from one of the Newton biographies. Unfortunately the copy of Westfall (ISBN 0521274354) that I read (some years ago) was from the library, so I can't check it easily. I've tried asking on Talk:Isaac_Newton, but so far no one has bothered to look up a reference. It is still possible that there is no documentary evidence recorded in Newton's papers. -- Solipsist 08:34, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
One has to be careful. The story is so cute and colorful that I think many otherwise careful people would be inclined to report it; as the story gets passed from source to source the "reputed" and "legendary" qualifiers get dropped. But if it's in an (academic) biography, we should definitely include it (and also reference the source.) Sdedeo 21:30, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Well I've had a chance to look at the Westfall book now, and there is no mention of cats or cat flaps in the index. I also scanned through the chapter on Newton's childhood at Woolsthorpe and although it mentioned a number of inventions and models that he made, they didn't include cat flaps.
I also had a more cursory look through the chapter on optics. Newton returned to Woolsthorpe to avoid the plague in 1665/66 and was experimenting with optics around that time and I would guess that this is the most likely time for the invention (assuming the annecdote is true). Some of the unsourced online references mention that Newton invented the cat flap to avoid his cat disturbing him during optics experiments (this makes sense, both in terms of Newton's character and to avoid loosing dark adaption). However, by this point Westfall is totally absorbed in discussing the physics and there is little comment on other aspects of Newton's life until much later chapters. -- Solipsist 15:50, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

This book reporedly asserts it. — Matt Crypto 10:26, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal below. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was: Move request not fulfilled due to lack of consensus (User:Robchurch)


Cat flapPet doorpet door is a pet neutral term for the opening, so the article should be there rather than at cat flap or doggie door. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 18:56, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Oppose I can't see any particular need to try and be PC here. It doesn't seem that likely that there will ever be many references to dog doors or pet doors. The whole point Wikipedia's naming conventions is that an article should be where editors would expect to find it without needing redirects and disambigs. In this case that would be cat flap. -- Solipsist 08:17, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose British English common usage. Even if common in the US see Petrol/Gasoline debate Talk:Gasoline#Petrol Redirect the Tram/Trolly Bus debate etc, etc. --Philip Baird Shearer 10:48, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support any pet can use this opening, not just cats. So it shouldn't be at cat flap. Foogol 14:50, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support: current name is not NPOV toward dogs. No Account 00:45, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. It's odd to say it isn't NPOV, I think, but it's also odd to have Doggie door redirect to Cat flap when Pet door naturally handles both. CDThieme 02:05, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose Cat flap is precise whereas pet door is too general (goldfish?). I can't really imagine Newton using any other term.
  • Support. Cat flap is overly precise; it's incorrect if the article includes doors for dogs. Jonathunder 22:38, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
I wonder whether you have read the discussion. Any mention of dog doors were only recently introduced following a VfD on doggie door. -- Solipsist 19:52, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I've read all of the discussion. (If you really are a solipsist I'll forgive you for doubting, but I doubt I can really convince you.) Jonathunder 22:35, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Neutral terms are preferable. —jiy (talk) 10:14, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Cat flap is the commonly used term and I've never heard the words doggie door or pet door before now. Leithp 19:37, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose Pet door? God give me strength... adamsan 19:50, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. — Matt Crypto 19:52, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. I wouldn't mind having an unbalanced name if it were truly the common, universal, everyday word. But I don't think I've ever heard "cat flap" in my life. Doops | talk 20:02, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Seriously - "Not NPOV towards dogs"? ROFL. - SoM 20:21, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose - ludicrous proposal. Jooler 23:20, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. The article talks about doors for both cats and dogs. Tree&Leaf 23:28, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. Besides being overly species specific (they're not even just for cats and dogs), the term is localized slang and means nothing outside the UK and maybe some Commonwealth countries, is too construction/design specific ("door" just means a closable opening to the outside, while "flap" infers a very specific construction/design), and is also too ambiguous (apparently at least in some Commonwealth countries "cat flap" refers to a closable lid over a car's gas cap). "Cat flap" makes me think of either a fight between or about cats. Waterguy 00:43, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. PC gone mad. --GraemeL (talk) 00:46, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Most of the "support" arguments above do not even reference political correctness, and those that do appear to be doing so tongue-in-cheek. Doops | talk 01:14, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Why can't dog door redirect to cat flap? Telsa 09:13, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I've never heard the term 'pet door'. -- Necrothesp 17:49, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Right; and some of us have never heard the term 'cat flap.' In such a situation, better to go with the more generic one, the one with more prima facie clarity. Doops | talk 18:52, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
But in the UK we just don't use the term 'pet door', so it's not generic to us! -- Necrothesp 00:23, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
And I, too, had never before heard of the term "cat flap"--that's why votes should be based on geographically wide-based research, not personal knowledge. Waterguy 18:59, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose I support British English usage as this is clearly what the article started with. We absolutely need to make wikipedia less and not more Americanised. Also cats are more independent so need a cat flap to retain indepence in a cold climate whereas dog's are much less independent (ie need a secure space, etc), so in practice cat flap is common usage. My experience is that dogs need to be prevented from using the cat flap, often with special security added to stop them getting out, SqueakBox 19:19, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
"Americanised?" I think you mean Americanized. Descendall 12:33, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Where British/American decisions can be made on logical grounds (where, e.g., one term is clearer than the other), there's no need to resort to "I got here first." And as for the close tie you see between the name and the notion that cats are the intended users — well, doesn't that suggest that if cat's aren't in actuality the only users, then the name should reflect that? Doops | talk 20:01, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I did see a dog flap more recently, in the country home of my aunt, but as far as I am aware the cat flap came first then the dog flap much more recently. Maybe that could be put in the article. Why not cat flap for dogs? indeed the common reaction on seeing a such a device is "oh, the dog has a cat flap", though I guess it would be impossible to market a cat flap for dogs, SqueakBox 20:15, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I think you're generalizing from yourself to the entire world. Living in a big city as I do, it seems to me that many people with cats treat them as "indoor cats" and never let them outside; while people with dogs often give them free rein in a fenced-in yard. (Cats can escape over fences.) Doops | talk 20:28, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. A "cat flap for dogs" is just silly. Longboat
    • Nevertheless Mr Socky, that's what many people would call it. Jooler 13:18, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose, this move isn't neutral towards non-domesticated animals (believe it or not, I've had a squirrel come through the cat flap in the past); I suggest "animal arrival and departure portal" as a preferable move. Rje 21:59, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Seriously though, whatever term is used some people will be upset. As this is called a "cat flap" by a sizable section of global English speakers I don't see why it should be changed for a phrase which is seemingly no more widespread, (the NPOV reasoning only really holds where direct offense can be caused, for example in the case of Eskimo/Inuit, it seems a bit spurious when a non-offensive term is generally accepted). I have to confess that I have never understood why people get so worked up about these frivolous semantic differences in our language. Rje 21:59, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Support both dogs and cats can use it. Foosher 20:31, 23 November 2005 (UTC)


It has been proposed to move this page to Pet door. The reason given on the WP:RM is

pet door is a pet neutral term for the opening, so the article should be there rather than at cat flap or doggie door.

This is going to be a tricky one. I can see that this change is coming about following the VfD on doggie door which resulted in a merge with this page. This seems to make sense, there is not like to be enough information to keep two separate articles.

However arguments against the proposed change in page naming are;

  • Apart from links on discussion pages, the only current links in Wikipedia are to cat flap.
  • Cat flaps are far more common than dog doors, in fact I think I've only ever seen one dog door.
  • 'Pet door' is not in common usage in the UK, for British English you would use 'cat flap'.

I can't see any particular need to try and be PC here. It doesn't seem that likely that there will ever be many references to dog doors or pet doors. The whole point Wikipedia's naming conventions is that an article should be where editors would expect to find it without needing redirects and disambigs. In this case that would be cat flap. -- Solipsist 08:17, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't agree with your points.
  • There are not many links to cat flap at all.
  • Dog doors are common enough for doggie door to enter American vernacular, and at least common enough for online UK pet stores to sell them [1]. Just because dog doors may be uncommon in your parts doesn't mean we should pretend they don't exist. Personally, when I see a small opening in a human door the first thing that pops into my head is dog.
  • Pet door is simple and clear English that neutrally describes the topic. The device is a door used by a pet regardless of what you choose to call it in everyday speech. —jiy (talk) 10:14, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Lets reiterate...
There are not many links to cat flap.
Dog doors are common enough for doggie door to enter American vernacular
  • Which could well be the nub of the problem. If it is a British English / American English thing, it should stay at the British English naming — a) for the priority choice of English, and b) since Cat flaps were more than likely invented in England.
If you do a bit more checking on 'pet doors' sold in the UK, you will find that they are American products. They give no credence as to whether the name is actually used in the UK.
Perhaps it would be better to just WP:DRV doggie door and let sleeping dogs lie. -- Solipsist 21:06, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Let me clarify. When I said "There are not many links to cat flap at all" I meant that there are not many links to the device or concept at all. Meaning, it is not significant to say all links point to cat flap when only 3–4 articles are linking to the device or concept in total.
For your second response, you are taking words out of context. I mentioned doggie door entering the American vernacular only as a rebuttal to your argument that dog doors are uncommon. If openings tailored for dogs are common enough to have a specific term coined for them, then they obviously are common enough to honor their existence, at least in some parts of the world. Secondly, and most importantly, differences in British/American English is not the nub of this problem. This is not a simple lexicon variation like the color/colour and gasoline/petrol debates, where we default to the first editor's preference. Color and colour are synonymous, whereas doggie door/dog door/dog flap and cat flap refer to two distinct items. Look at the online UK shop again [2]. They are selling cat flaps and dog flaps as two seperate products. A dog flap/doggie door is not a cat flap; they are not synonyms. The only reason Wikipedia does not treat them seperately is because they are 95% the same device and serve the same purpose, so it is only reasonable and efficient to put them in the same place (hence why the articles were properly merged). The crux of this debate is not U.K./U.S. usage but the fact that the title cat flap is misleading, limited, and imprecise given the scope of this article. The scope includes both dogs and cats and all speakers of English; some dog owners not versed in British English may be bewildered that an article that describes both cat and dog devices would preclude dogs from the title but not cats. We should choose a pet-neutral term such as pet door over one that is potentially confusing for some readers. —jiy (talk) 23:34, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
Learn to accept being bewildered as most Brits are when first encountering things such as the word bathroom used for a room that does not contain a bath. In essence - get over it. Jooler 23:49, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't think there's any need for hostility or to call the idea "ludicrous". England + "pet door" in gives 92,400 results, so I don't think the idea is complete foreign to Britain. Tree&Leaf 00:01, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Ohhh pleaaassse, please do not try to use Google to justify ANYTHING. You can find plenty of hits for American words and phrases on Google for British sites that do not actually mean they are in anyway way shape or form common in Britain. For example try aluminum site:uk Brits use "aluminium" but Google give 1,230,000 hits for a word the Brits never ever ever ever ever ever ever use. Google is very far from a reliable guide to such matters. Many sites with a .UK suffix are actually copied and pasted from American corporate pages, or use American terms to attract American customers. Jooler 07:44, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
These situations are also not analogous. Bathroom is one sufficient term for describing both a room with a bath in it and a room that has only a toilet. Likewise, soft drink is one sufficient term for describing both soda pop and orange juice. However, you can't title an article soda pop and then try to encompass orange juice within it; you need a broader, beverage-neutral term such as soft drink. The cat flap situation can be interpreted in the same way. —jiy (talk) 00:48, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
It was not meant to be analogous, analogies always break down if you examine them too closeley. It was simply statign that you need to learn to occasionally accepting that a usage that you are not used to is acceptable to other people. Jooler 07:47, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
IMHO, neither analogy is very good. In the case at point, cat flap vs doggie door vs pet door, we have three different terms for what are essentially the same products. Using the bathroom case as an analogy is flawed, since in that situation, the same word is used for different things (as opposed to different words for the same thing.) And using the soda pop vs orange juice vs soft drink setup is also flawed, since they are three terms for three different things. Three different situations, which can't necessarily be solved in the same way. -- AJR | Talk 02:51, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
They are not three terms for three different things. Soda pop is a soft drink and orange juice is a soft drink but orange juice is not soda pop and soda pop is not orange juice. Likewise, a cat flap is a pet door and a doggie door is a pet door but a cat flap is not a doggie door and a doggie door is not a cat flap. —jiy (talk) 04:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I think if people in Britain have a flap for their dog they would usually call it a dog flap, or say something like we have a big cat flap for the dog. Jooler 07:49, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
The difference in the situations is that, by your own comment, cat flap/doggie door/pet door are 95% the same. A small dog can use a cat flap (as can some not-so-small dogs, according to User:SqueakBox's comment at Wikipedia talk:UK Wikipedians' notice board.) What I mean by "three terms for three different things" is that soda pop, orange juice, and soft drink are not synonymous, whereas cat flap, doggie door, and pet door essentially are (is there any difference between a cat flap and a dog door, apart from size?) -- AJR 16:04, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
By my own comment they are the same only in as much as Wikipedia merging guidelines are concerned. In the wild, however, they are different enough for people to distinguish them based on animal, and for stores to sell them as different products based on animal. Cat flap and dog flap AREN'T synonymous, just as orange juice and soda pop aren't. In our mind the differences between orange juice and soda pop are much greater than the differences between cat flap and dog flap, but at a certain level they are also '95%' the same: they are both liquids, they are both non-alcoholic (that is, they are both soft drinks), they both contain sugar, they both function to hydrate humans, etc. But that doesn't make lumping soda pop under the orange juice article make sense, just as lumping dog flaps under the cat flap article doesn't make sense. If we wish to discuss these items in the same article, a broader term is needed such as pet flap or soft drink. —jiy (talk) 22:25, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
See my above comment in the vote where I use the fact that my dog naughtily escaping through the cat flap demanded extra measures (that didn't really work) to try and stop him escaping. For me his illicit adventures (Friday evening was his favourite time) merely confirm my own belief that it should be cat-flap, ie it was most definitely not meant to be a pet flap, SqueakBox 19:26, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Note that one argument, given (for example) by AJR two comments above, is that "cat flap" and "pet door" are essentially just different names for the same thing, and that (according to them; myself, I am skeptical) "cat flap" is the more commonly-accepted everyday term. Another, given (for example) by SqueakBox immediately above, is that the thingummies ought to be called cat flaps precisely because they are in general meant only for cats. So argument 1 says that, even if all sorts of pets use them, a name is a name and doesn't need to be descriptive; argument 2 says that it's precisely because it's more descriptive that we should use "cat flap". There's nothing wrong with two allies having two rather different arguments, of course; I just thought it was interesting to note. As for me — although some may laugh or call it "PC gone mad", I think argument 2 does introduce overtones of POV into the article naming process, allowing move supporters such as me to claim the NPOV moral highground; so I'd advise move opponents to stick to argument 1. Doops | talk 20:21, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Pet door is a term I had never heard of before I came across this page, same with pet flap. I had heard of dog flaps, and perhaps the siolution is to have a separate article about dog flaps, SqueakBox 23:34, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
This move request followed a decision to merge doggie door aka dog flap with cat flap. See Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Doggie_doorjiy (talk) 23:40, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Terms from the leading manufacturers of the devices--both UK-based

Reilor claims to be "The World's Largest Seller of Pet Doors" [emphasis added] with specific lines of "cat flaps" and "dog doors":

Pet Mate (Note that this is the page aimed at the UK market--they have a separate one for North America/US, where they're sold under the Ani Mate brand name) uses the same terminology--click on "Pet Doors" and you get their page of "Cat Flaps" and "Dog Doors":

Bottom line: Even in the UK, "Pet Door" is a common, industry-standard generic term for specific products such as "cat flaps" and "dog doors", and the general consensus is that articles should be at generic terms. Waterguy 18:17, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Cat's eye (road), another UK-only term (even tho' they are used worldwide under different names), didn't get moved because no one could offer a common and/or generic alternative. In this case, "pet door" is not only common in many countries, and generic, the meaning is also self-evident from the definitions of the two words that make up the phrase. Waterguy 18:24, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Erm, no. Bottom line, you need to improve your research - your examples are not necessarily a good indication of common English usage, although it does indicate that some retailers are happy to use the term 'Pet door'. Pet-mate is a leading retailer of these things in the UK and US markets - indeed the cat flap illustrating the article is in fact one of their 'Cat-Mate's. However, just because they also make the 'Dog-Mate' and the completely unrelated 'Fish-Mate' doesn't mean that pet door is in common English usage. As much as anything they could be pandering to the American market.
A better approach is to consult some more authoritative sources on English language. I've got a 10th Edition of the Concise Oxford English dictionary here (pub 1999), which on p222 lists
  • cat flap - a small hinged flap through which a cat may enter or leave a building
but doesn't have entries for 'dog door', 'doggie door', 'dog flap', or 'pet door'. doesn't seem to have entries for any of these terms (although its difficult to be sure as their website kept timing out).
Encarta (surprisingly) has a definition for Cat flap, but non of the others (although they offer a nice quotation about dogs if you search for pet door :)
Overall, however, I'm not convinced that any of this discussion is helping much in reaching a consensus. On the other hand, I am becoming more convinced that the primary issue is that it is a BE/AE thing, overlaid with dog-vs-cat prejudices. -- Solipsist 21:59, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Solipsist is quite right. As I pointed out above, the Internet and more specifically Google is an extremely poor indicater of usage re: US vs UK. Very many sites are trying to sell their products to the customers in the US and elsewhere and pander to that market by using US terms. Jooler 22:17, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Who cares whether the usage is common? Fixed-wing aircraft isn't common usage anywhere as far as I know, yet that was the neutral term chosen for airplanes or aeroplanes on Wikipedia. The move does not concern regional usage, it concerns finding an adequate article name that represents the scope of the article, which includes both cats and dogs, not just cats.—jiy (talk) 22:40, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
There's a story behind that. The page was at aeroplane for quite a long time and relatively stable, but occasionalyl someone would come along and move it to airplane and it kept switching back and forth. Eventually someone merged it into aircraft (much to my disgust as I recall). This was all before we had an agreement about changing article names from British to American and vice versa. Recently it was de-merged into fixed wing aircraft. So another page using a British term was lost through American intransigence to seeing "foreign" terms. We ( the non-USians) have to put up with literally thousands of them on the Encyclopaedia . Jooler 22:48, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm even more convinced about this now. A cat-flap is extremely common among cat owners (we have one) and some might argue that it is an essential requirment, but unless you live in the countryside it's almost unheard of to have such a device for a dog. Perhaps some people have a hamster-door or a rabbit-hatch (sic), but basically we are talkling abotu a cat flap here. Jooler 22:30, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

You're overlooking the possibility that people might have fenced-in back gardens. Doops | talk 23:02, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Not at all. They are still far far less common than cat flaps. There are at least 5 cat flaps in my street and no dog-flaps. Jooler 23:05, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
How can you tell? The dog door I'm suggesting would be in the back door. I have no idea whatever which of my neighbors have flaps in their back doors, so I can't speculate on relative numbers; my point was simply to explain how a city-dweller might come to have a dog door/flap/whatever. Doops | talk 23:11, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Lack of dogs owners Jooler 23:26, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
You're basing an argument on what to call this article on what people on your street have, even though none of them have dogs?! (the preceding comment posted by User:Longboat)
No. I'm answering your stupid question with a stupid answer! The fact still remains that dog-doors or whatever are far less common than cat flaps! Jooler
Nothing personal, but we can't accept this as "fact" on your word alone. Doops | talk 08:13, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
If you're suggesting otherwise, or that some sort of statistical evidence is required to back this up, then you are simply being obtuse, unconstructive and disingenuous for the sake of an argument, and I would have to accuse you of disrupting Wikipedia to make a point. Jooler 13:14, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you feel this way. However, I assure you that my skepticism is genuine; I really and honestly doubt that dog doors are as rare as you suggest, or cat doors as ubiquitous. I could be wrong, of course; but I would be more convinced by data, by expert sources, or by the consensus of multiple editors including some from America (perhaps not just the language but also the doors themselves differ) and some not invested in this argument. I am certainly not being disputatious for the sake of it; I'm not that kind of person. I am perplexed by the notion that I am "disrupting the wikipedia to make a point" — a glance at my edits to this article (and there have only been a handful) can, I think, leave no doubt that they (even if you disagree with them) were entirely encyclopedic and made in good faith. Doops | talk 18:12, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

If we want stats they should be world wide and not exclusive to UK/US. I have no idea whether countries like Russia or other parts of Northern Europe, etc, use these devices (I think we can safely assume that only countries that suffer from cold weather use them), SqueakBox 18:36, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

A compromise: pet flap

I think a large number of voters are afraid pet door is an Americanism, which is probably a valid objection since the term appears to be widely used by American stores. However, as I see it the point of this move isn't a US/UK usage difference, but that cat flap is a confusing term for an article that also talks about dogs. Since at least some UK people seem to use the term dog flap for the canine counterpart to cat flap, how about moving the article to pet flap instead? This would honor the default UK preference and also clear up the confusing article name. —jiy (talk) 22:51, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Slightly tangential comment: I'm concerned by the suggestion, made several times above, that this has become politicized. If people are voting solely out of a desire to stop the perceived Americanization of the Wikipedia, then they're not being responsible voters. Each issue should be considered on a case-by-case basis. For example, as has been noted elsewhere, the smartest name for vest/waistcoat is "waistcoat" (the British one); while the smartest name for vest/undershirt is "undershirt" (the American one) — we can realize that rationally, not letting our own personal preferences interfere. Same thing, I hope, here. Doops | talk 23:07, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I suggest we make dog flap a separate article. Pet flap is hopeless, IMO. I also think removing the American systemic bias is a very important task within wikipedia. There may be other issues than the purely English-American differences in this case that should also be considered but I would describe voting on the basis of removing that particular systemic bias from wikipedia as being responsible voting, SqueakBox 23:41, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I had a philosophy professor in college who, unwilling to use "they" as a singular pronoun in example scenarios but also unwilling to use "he" as a gender-neutral one, was very careful to make a 50%/50% split. Half of all examples were "he", half were "she." However, used as I (like most people) was to the old-fashioned predominance of "he", it really didn't sound to me like a 50/50 split. See, the "he" examples just went in one ear and out the other, while the "she" ones stuck out as noteworthy; so in my perception the professor used "she" "most of the time." My point: it may seem to you as though the wikipedia has a US systemic bias; but to us Americans it seems just the other way. Being such an anglophile, it doesn't really bother me, mind you; but I am constantly amazed at how many articles use British spellings and so forth. (Of course I realize that British English isn't confined to the UK but spreads around the world; but even so the proportion seems high to me.) In this case, if "pet door" really is US and "cat flap" really is British and there really is no neutral word — well, that dilemma is insoluble. But "pet door" at least has the virtue of being species-neutral (unlike cat flap and doggie door). Doops | talk 23:58, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
This move request followed a decision to merge doggie door aka dog flap with cat flap. See Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Doggie_door. What is hopeless about pet flap? —jiy (talk) 23:50, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

It doesn';t appear that there was real consensus even back then, and a lot more people know about the issue now. Perhaps the irresponsible voting was those not thinking of or anticipating the consequences of their vote. Having seen the lack of consensus there I think more than ever that we should start a Dog flap article and see if anyone Vfd's it. There is clearly precedent for such a move given the controversy this vote vote has created. Thanks a lot for the info, SqueakBox 23:56, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

If we have two separate articles, which one will cover such a door when it is used for pet rabbits or skunks? Doops | talk 23:58, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Can you source that ther are rabbit flaps and skunk flaps? And if you can then I would answer the both cat flap and dog flap can say that there are also flaps for cat/dog, skunks, rabbits, etc, as htey would have to mention each other anyway, SqueakBox 00:10, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Um, it was a joke, merely intended to point out the humorous situations we could get into if we bifurcated the article every time the opportunity arose. (But yeah, it's a big world; so I wouldn't be surprised if rabbit hatches and the like exist.) Doops | talk 08:21, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Doops. If and when this article is moved then it makes sense to describe the "pet door" as a door for pets, but while this article is at cat flap, it looks just plain stupid to say the cat flaps are particularly popular with cat owners. While this is still at cat flap it should describe it as such (a flap for cats) and then elaborate on the variations for other animals. Jooler 07:47, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

That puts you into "Argument 2" school. (See my post above where I outline both arguments.) But many of your colleagues opposing the move are instead using "Argument 1" which is that "cat flap" is simply a name and needn't necessarily imply "cat." Unless and until the article is split, argument 1 is the de facto reality; the page remains about the phenomenon itself — which is why I've tried to write a neutral-in-tone intro. Doops | talk 08:21, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Neutral for cats!? - give me a break. Jooler 13:15, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Squeak, it appears that doggie doors are generally constructed and operate in a completely different way anyway. The articles should be de-merged Jooler 07:50, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
As was done for Full English breakfast and Irish breakfast, you mean?
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

page content

Hi. Two things: 1) Obviously most of the discussion on this talk page has been about the article's name, and a US/British English split has emerged. But occasionally, in the course of that discussion, I've come across hints that there may also be an actual difference in US/British pet treatment. (Full disclosure: I am American; my family has a dog and a cat and no pet door for either — we are bad humans and have never trained either pet well enough to trust it outside.) Some British editors have painted a picture of a world where cats are allowed great freedom while dogs are kept under human control. I have no data or evidence to the contrary, but some hints in posts by other editors, as well as my limited knowledge of American pop culture (the dog running free in the yard is a staple, for instance, of comic strips), make me wonder whether the picture they're painting might be a local, not universal, one. Doops | talk 18:35, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, it's certainly a pretty universal picture in Britain. I've very rarely encountered any family who kept their cat inside - most British cats are allowed to go where they please and most British people would consider it extremely odd to confine a cat to the house. Almost every family with cats either has a cat flap or leaves a window ajar for the cats to get in and out. Dogs, on the other hand, are not usually allowed outside the garden except on walks (the majority of British houses have a walled or fenced back garden). The only normal exception would be farm dogs, who are usually allowed to roam freely. -- Necrothesp 00:36, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand. If the majority of houses have a walled or fenced back garden, why do they not have a dog flap (or whatever you like to call it) in the back door for the dog to use? Doops | talk 04:46, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
I would suspect that most people would think, if a dog can get in (let's say labrador sized), then so could a burglar. Trust me, dog doors are extremely uncommon, in Britain. Jooler 11:51, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Indeed. Of course the only one I saw was locked at night or if nobody was in the house, and was in a very rural situation. Probably 100's of cat flaps and 0-1 dog flaps in your average small British town, SqueakBox 14:29, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Indeed that is the English custom, see below. Hence the British custom should be adopted because it is far more of a British tyhing, and the cultural differences (that seem enormous) should be mentioned, SqueakBox 01:08, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Because most British dogs would require rather more than a small flap to fit through. More like a door split in two horizontally. - SoM 13:58, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

The dog flap I saw in Wales was enormous, and still only the smaller Cocker Spaniel of the 2 dogs could use it, the full size poodle couldn't. My dog who used to escape through the cat flap was a bit of a Houdini of the dog world, SqueakBox 14:11, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Yup. Our (large) springer spaniel managed to get through the cat flap on a couple of occasions, but only when she was very frightened by something outside and pulled off an enormous feat of escapology - we never worked out how she did it. The British are fond of big dogs - try getting a labrador or alsatian through a flap in the door! Also, most British people wouldn't like their dogs coming in and out of the garden as they chose - Britain is a wet country! Cats don't seem to make so much mess. -- Necrothesp 11:27, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

2) Here is Jooler's version of the opening ¶: A cat flap is a hinged flap set into a door or a window to allow a cat to enter and exit a house on its own without needing a human to open the door. Cats are independent creatures who like to come and go when they please. Some smaller dogs can use cat flaps and larger similar devices are also available for dogs to use, but as dogs generally usually require more human attention when out of doors such devices are far less common. The broader term pet door may be used to encompass both devices. It seems glaringly obvious to me that this is not encyclopedic in tone. It makes blanket assertions with no support, and it appears quite plainly to be written by a cat-fancier. I'm usually quite good at writing bits of articles to make them more NPOV; but here my attempts were greeted by laughter. Obviously the ideal course is right down the middle; but I think it's better to err on the side of a wishy-washy encyclopedia with too many weasel words rather than the side of a reckless encyclopedia which isn't trusted. Another point: as long as "doggie door" and "pet flap" redirect here, this article is about them too and they should be in the first sentence. Finally, I just have to vent my frustrations at the fact that I tried to make a compromise wording and was reverted 100%. That is not good community spirit. Doops | talk 18:35, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

09:40, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

cat owner cultural difference UK/US

Ok I have to say, that before I came to this page. I had no idea about this, but it appears to be true, that there is indeed a different culture to the keeping of domestic cats in the US and the UK. I found the following page which describes the situation fully. - - see also Jooler 20:45, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for that. I had no idea US culture was like that, keeping many cats indoors all the time, and rescue agencies insisting on it for rehoming. Keeping to the point, does this not mean that cat flaps are a rarity in the US? as Americans don't want to give their cats the freedom and independence that a cat door gives to cats, SqueakBox 23:11, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
That's right, SqueakBox, Americans don't want to give their cats freedom and independence. They're vicious sadists, really. :) Doops | talk 04:47, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Concomitant with the question of whether there are fewer cat flaps in the US is the question of whether there are more dog doors. Data, anyone? Doops | talk

as per google, there are far far more- [3]Joeyramoney 10:02, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Hey, chill out Doops! I never said Americans are vicious sadists (in that your country is no different from every other in the world, ie there are some but not many). I merely stated the door gives that freedom and independence. It appears the US is more dangerous outside for cats, both due to natural predators and that there is a much greater hunting culture and young kids can get hold of guns so easily. It appears both American and UK cat owners tend to condem the cultural differences of the other country, which is not a good thing. The reality is there are far fewer dog flaps per se, so whether there are also more in the UK or the US is not really relevant to the naming of this article, SqueakBox 13:36, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
Um, it was a joke. I was just teasing you because you wrote "don't want to give their cats the freedom" instead of using neutral language; but I wasn't trying to suggest that this was intentional on your part. As for the dog doors, I think that if they are more common in the US than you and Jooler realize, then that is indeed relevant both to the titling of the article and even more so to its content — which is, at present, still written in Jooler's rather (in my view) unencyclopedic terms. Doops | talk 17:47, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Cool. We definitely need plenty of humour here. By all means bring any evidence about US habits in this area and we can go from there, SqueakBox 18:33, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't know about the US but in Calgary we don't let the cats out very much because:

(a) there are bylaws which mean that you may be prosecuted if your cat digs up other people's gardens and the city trace it back to you;
(b) cats that go out at night often don't come back: there are animals round here like cougars and coyotes that eat cats.

So if you want your cat to have a long life, you buy a litter tray and keep it inside... -- Derek Ross | Talk 23:42, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

On the issue of cultural difference regarding the liberty of cats. I would like to mention my sisters encounter with the RSPCA (being in G.B.), who tried to confiscate her cats, citing cruelty because she did not give them outdoor access. Indeed most stray cat sanctuaries in the UK (where the majority of UK cat owners get their cats from) will not rehouse cats in homes without outside access, either through a catflap or an open door/window. - Dogs on the other hand are subject to much legislation in the UK which would see the owners liable to criminal proceedings, should they allow them to be outside unsupervised. The status of the two animals in the UK is very different; Dogs are subject to control legislation, require a dog license, are notifiable if hit by a car, and must wear a collar by law in a public space, Cats are not subject to any of these legal requirements - in fact they are only subject to anti-cruelty legislation. I would like to add that I have never seen a dog flap in the UK, and as I am currently researching a new larger catflap at the moment, can assert that most petshops do not stock dog flaps at all, whereas there are several brands of catflap widely available. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 09:43, 13 November 2009 (UTC).

Um, dog licences haven't existed in the UK for nearly quarter of a century ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 07:56, 31 August 2010 (UTC)


Hi. I am very annoyed at the territorialism of certain editors of this page. I accept that there was no consensus to move and so the page will remain here under this name. That does not give the move-opposers ownership of the page and the ability to veto any changes made by erstwhile move-supporters. So long as dog door and pet door redirect here, the article has to be written in a way that reflects that fact.

However, I believe in not acting rashly, and so I've avoided the page for a couple of weeks so I could come back with a fresh mind. Today I looked at the article as I found it and did the best job I could of revising it. A glance at the edit history will show that my changes were evenhanded and in no way pugnacious. Wholesale reversion of good faith edits is not what the Wikipedia is about. Doops | talk 21:36, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't see how the passage of a week or two makes any difference. Earlier you put up for dicussion on this page the text that you objected to and asked for comment. No comment was passed, you might think there fore that there was no other objection; and yet you decide to destroy this version and yet again revert a variation on your version. Pray tell me, how do you characterise this as a compromise? As long as this article is entitled cat flap, describes the invention of the cat flap and is illustrated by a cat going through a flap it should talk about cat flaps and then elaborate about far far less common variations for other creatures. Jooler 07:53, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I often find that taking a step back helps me to look at things freshly and more objectively; that's why I took a week or two away from the article.
yet you decide to destroy this version and yet again revert a variation on your version. Um, no. Please take a look at the edit history; my first edit to this page since November 16 was in fact cleaning up after an anonymous editor (User: who had taken this article quite far away from your favored version. In cleaning up his/her edits, I actually (among other things) *moved the alternate names into parentheses* and *restored mention of feline independence* and *changed an instance of "pet door" to "cat flap"*. All three of these may in fairness be said to have moved the article in a Jooler-like direction. Not all the way to your favorite version, of course; but a compromise. (Note: it is doubtless true that my compromise today is similar to the one I proposed several weeks ago. But I absolutely did not go back in the history today to consult my old version; that would defeat the whole purpose of taking a break. I honestly was writing fresh.) Then User:SoM revised me; and I revised him/her; and we had a nice little collaboration going. Hence my frustration.
As for the issue itself -- pet door and doggie door redirect here. And these are (as many of the anti-move voters commented) just alternate names for the same basic thing. Sure, maybe the details of implementation are different; but the same at heart. So what's so terrible about a simple, direct, unflustered opening which gives "cat flap" precedence without relegating the alternative terms to second-class citizen status? Doops | talk 09:42, 2 December 2005 (UTC), substantially revised Doops | talk 11:37, 2 December 2005 (UTC)


Sigh. The unencyclopedic personal opinions are back again — authors waxing poetic about cats & dogs and the differences between them, making blanket *assertions* about their nature. We've got the unsourced "very much rarer" statistic again too. For now, let me content myself with pointing out that the word "ablutions" is being used wrong. OK, toodles for now (I've got to dash off to a doctor's appointment and I have to perform my ablutions — i.e. take a shower — first.) Doops | talk 16:33, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Fixed, I hope. Doops | talk 00:33, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Cat flap vs. pet flap

Any pet can use a it, so it doesn't belong at cat flap. Please don't be stupid and move it to cat flap when any pet can use the door. Robin Williams 01:57, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

We had this discussion at ludicrous length a couple of months ago. Markyour words 15:05, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Please tell me what logic there is at having this at cat flap rather than pet flap. Saying this article should be at cat flap rather than pet flap is plain stupidity. Any pet can use the opening. Are you not aware of that or something? Robin Williams 15:15, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Please tell me what logic there is at coming in and moving this without agreement. Ignoring the previous history of this article is plain stupidity. You can't make a page move stick without consensus. Are you not aware of that or something? -- Derek Ross | Talk 23:49, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, we are unlikely to get a reply. The User:Robin Williams has been permanently blocked for trouble on other page moves and username problems. -- Solipsist 07:13, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Ah. Oh well, it was intended as a rhetorical device to show him the inappropriateness of his comment, anyway. So it doesn't really need a reply. A permanent block seems pretty harsh though... He must have caused a fair bit of disruption. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:28, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Oh, it was because of his user name too. I see. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:32, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was don't move. —Nightstallion (?) 13:26, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Requested move

Voting 2

Cat flapPet flap – I've been moving this article to pet flap, because any pet can use it, not just cats, but Markalexander100 keeps being an idiot and moving it back to cat flap when clearly any pet can use the door, not just cats. This should be moved to pet flap. Markalexander100 is just being stupid. Robin Williams 15:12, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one sentence explanation and sign your vote with ~~~~
I happen to agree with the proposed move; but please avoid personal insults. And he's quite right to revert you, insofar as we had a big debate on this a few months ago (which our side lost), making the present name the default, at least for now. Doops | talk 15:23, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Surely that's an Oppose vote then? --Lox (t,c) 12:59, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support though please remember WP:NPA in future, Robin Williams. --Lox (t,c) 20:36, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose I don't know what I was thinking when I voted, I still stand by my WP:NPA comment. Sorry! --Lox (t,c) 20:51, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support as per Lox. Science3456 21:01, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - pet flap is patently a term that is not used by anyone. Please stop making things up and moving pages against consensus. -- Solipsist 19:36, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  • oppose again Jooler 22:53, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose again - we can't keep having votes called in the hope of changing the result of the prior one. --Telsa ((t)(c)) 14:03, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
  • oppose. "cat flap" has 232,000 google search results. "pet flap" gets 868. [4] Agnte 17:06, 7 February 2006 (UTC)


This is rather silly. User:Robin Williams causes trouble by moving the page against concensus, even after being warned to be more careful and after making several personal attacks. Now I know that Doops has, but has anyone else actually bothered to do some research? There is a case to be made to move this article to pet door (as discussed above), but it is quite easy to establish that _nobody_ actually uses the term 'pet flap'. People are clearly voting without thinking.

The point is Wikipedia is about writing an encyclopedia. We don't go round making up new terms and neologisms just because some editors have got some concerns over whether the term 'cat flap' is neutral with respect to other pets. In my experience, based in the UK, just about everyone I know, who has a cat for a pet also has a 'cat flap' — none of them would even consider calling it anything else. Of the people I know who have dogs for a pets, only one has a 'cat flap' and that is because they also have four cats; their sheep dog is actually too large for any type of pet door. I thought one of my neighbours with a small scotty dog, had mentioned that they had a 'doggie door', but I talked to them today and it turns out they don't. In fact they even suggested that if they did have a door for their dog, they would probably still call it a 'cat flap'.

We've got over three hundred years of history of this device being called a cat flap. Larger 'Pet doors' do exist, but appear only to have been introduced in the past decade or so and would appear t be quite rare. Before continuing, please go and find a dictionary or encyclopedia that has an entry under 'pet flap'. Try to determine when the first dog door was installed. Take a photograph of a doggie door and release it under GFDL. Gather some statistics to back up your case — in other words, do some research and contribute to the article. -- Solipsist 19:36, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Guilty as charged, I don't know WHAT I was thinking when I voted. I've changed my vote now, sorry! --Lox (t,c) 20:54, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

yeah, I know it seems that you've gone over this

but "Cat flap" just doesn't work. to be honest, i have never even heard that term in my life. i suggest moving it to pet door or dog door, as the latter gets far more google hits- [5]. if you're going to use a term everyone actually uses, "dog door" quite obviously works much better, and that is the term i have always heard. i'm not sure why people are making a big deal over this. edit- what the hell? this does not even warrant a discussion on the matter! okay, one more they're about equal. it seems that "cat flap" is actually the worst possible title for this article. i propose that it is moved to "pet door" or "pet flap", and we add a picture of a dog door, and elaborate on them a bit, since this article seems to be geared towards cats, when dog doors are more notable, at least on the internet.Joeyramoney 09:47, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

There's been enough debate on this already, but to answer your question about "why people are making a big deal over this", I'd encourage you to think outside of your own experience. For many people, "cat flap" is the term they've always heard, "cat flap" quite obviously works much better, and they have never heard "dog door" in their lives. — Matt Crypto 10:11, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
did you see the google links? it is not often used. most people, it seems, use another term. no, "cat flap" does not obviously work much better. it is easier to just use pet door or something like that and get on with our lives. Joeyramoney 10:32, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I was addressing your argument from your personal experience, but this is a dead horse, and not worth flogging. Reread the above discussion (and if you want to use Google results, use quotation marks like this: [6]). — Matt Crypto 10:38, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
There will be many terms you have never heard of in your life, you know. That does not make them invalid :) The term "Cat Flap" is widely used. But the whole discussion is ludicrous. Leave it as one or the other, redirect the one it isn't to the one it is and perhaps move on? Life's too short to get into a flap about this flapdoodle. Fiddle Faddle 10:12, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
well, my point is that the majority of people, at least on the web, use another term. it's easier to use something like "pet door" and just move on. there is no reason to keep it at cat flap. Joeyramoney 10:32, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was don't move -- Solipsist 19:34, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Requested Move, again

Voting 3

move "cat flap" to "pet flap", not only neutral, but gets about as many google hits- [7], or pet door, which gets far more- [8], and means the same thing. oh, and someone correct me if i'm out of line for listing two move possibilities, i've never done this before. i would like a good discussion as to why "cat flap" is the best word for this. it seems that if we just stuck with something neutral like "pet flap" we could all just calm down and get on with our lives. Joeyramoney 11:12, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Oppose, again, as per previous discussions. (N.B. you need to use quotation marks in your Google tests). — Matt Crypto 11:20, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
comment- ah, my bad about the google thing. but you gave no valid reasoning to your stance on this page other than "to a lot of people, 'cat flap' sounds best". well, to a lot of people 'pet flap' sounds best. this isn't just about cats, my man. Joeyramoney 11:32, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but to a lot of people "cat flap" sounds best...the point I'm trying to raise your awareness to is that not everyone in the world is like you, and arguing from your own limited personal experience is flawed (e.g., you wrote "dog door quite obviously works much better, and that is the term i have always heard. i'm not sure why people are making a big deal over this"). Since there seems to be a US vs UK vs wherever else difference here, I suggest we use the conventional solution for such matters, which is to stick to whatever was used first. — Matt Crypto 11:43, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - FrancisTyers · 12:08, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Google is a US serach engine and thus always gives US centred results, surely you arent proposing to build an encyclopedia based on what Google say? Ras Billy I 15:55, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose pointless Don Quixote like discussion- Cat Flap Fiddle Faddle 16:25, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose because a decision has already been taken in the near past and no valid reason has been put forward for revisiting that decision. Wikipedia could be become chaotic if each decision could then be immediately set aside because of individual personal whims. No new evidence has been adduced. Whether one or the other is American or British is wholly irrelevant. Velela 18:13, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, until someone bothers to do some real research that improves on what I've already done. -- Solipsist 21:41, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
  • Good Grief Why not vote on whether to have a new vote before voting on the vote? Fiddle Faddle 11:28, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
too much voting. Joeyramoney 11:32, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

You do realise that no-one has to vote on this re-proposal. It was a very short time ago it was settled. This vote and counter vote flapdoodle will just lead to page protection in the end. Far better to ignore it, settle on the previous resolution, and get on with enhancing the article. We could, I suppose, also call it a burglar door. Fiddle Faddle 11:47, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Haha, such a flap about cat flaps --Aimaz 12:06, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

There is being bold and there is vandalism

The move of the page wignored any consensus, was draconian and high handed. The fact that this was ignored means I cannot easily Assume good faith. I have no idea how to revert this, however. Do we need an admin? Fiddle Faddle

Moved back due to no consensus. I've taken the liberty of reverting the other changes too. - FrancisTyers · 12:46, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Proposed move

Cat flapDoor flap. It's basically a flap built into a door. The door can be used for any pet. You all obviously find it very difficult to understand that. It's surprising how many stupid Wikipedians there are. Helicoptor 12:54, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one sentence explanation and sign your vote with ~~~~
  • Oppose move obviously, as cat flap is by far the best known term for this. We don't decide what words should be used, we just report what common usage is, and I've never heard the term "door flap" before. Also, I would point out that comments like "It's surprising how many stupid Wikipedians there are" are unlikely to make people come round to your way of thinking, and could ultimately get you blocked by some admins (although not by me, I find you hilarious). — sjorford++ 14:44, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose: One of the cat flaps pictured in the artcle is a flap built into a wall. Pet door might be better name. --Silvestre Zabala 21:02, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, although I agree with your last point. — Matt Crypto 13:48, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

The proposed move to Door Flap

This is a blatant nonsesne. It has been proposed by the person who moved the page unilaterally with no consensus. The proposal was made after it was, correctly moved back. This is a total waste of time.

For the record:

Strong oppose Fiddle Faddle 12:54, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

No the moving back was not correct. Non neutral terms are wrong on Wikipedia. That's why fire fighter and mail carrier are not at fireman and mailman. That's why it's world government and not western government Helicoptor 12:56, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
  • When a vote is taking place a unilateral move is tantamount to vandalism. the word "cat" is neutral, by the way. Fiddle Faddle 13:02, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
No it's not. It only refers to cats, while the flap can be used for any pet. Just like world government is at that title because it refers to the whole world. It would be stupid to have that article at western government and include the whole world, just like it's stupid to have this article at cat flap and include other pets. Helicoptor 13:03, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Regardless, your move of the page, unilaterally, while a discussion was in progress, was tantamount to vandalism. There is no way you can justify such a move, especially since the talk page hre in the latest pointless ballot in this topic was majority opposed. As a wikipedia editor you have rights and responsibilities. The right is to make edits and to be bold. The responsibilities are to make edits in accord with community consensus. It is also very close to personal attacks to accuse many of your fellow editors of being stupid (above). Fiddle Faddle 13:09, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Please don't feed the trolls

It should be noted that Helicoptor and a suspected sockpuppet are the sole supporters of a similar bit of nonsense it trying to move the aluminium article. The next time someone tries to move this article with little or no justification, it is worth remembering that trolls lurk in these parts. -- Solipsist 19:28, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Could we create a Troll Flap? Fiddle Faddle 19:44, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson once tried to fit through a cat flap and got stuck.--Taida 02:54, 3 July 2006 (UTC)


i just came across this page rather randomly. i'm amazed to see such an insane argument over terminology, especially when it has produced a consensus in support of a clear misnomer. but language issues seem to invoke irrational emotions in a lot of people. i added some text at the beginning trying to clarify the terminology; i hope someone won't revert this out of some misplaced language patriotism. let me add a few comments that i hope will clarify the situation; perhaps after a few months people's tempers will have cooled and a better name (e.g. "pet door") can be used.

  • "cat flap" is meaningless to most americans -- including me, although i've lived in numerous houses with both cat and dog doors. (in fact, when i first saw this term on this page, i completed misguessed what it was referring to.)
  • wikipedia usage of english is supposed to be dialect **neutral**; that specifically means "not british or american". british english is *not* a neutral dialect.

Benwing 05:18, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

... and do you have anything new to bring to the discussion? When no neutral term can be found, the dialect of the original author is used. In this case that is British English. Let me assure you that "pet door" is not a term that is used in the UK no matter how neutral you think it might be.
But I'm comfortable with the changes that you made to the lead para, which are all for the good. -- Solipsist 08:27, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was no move, version 4.0. -- tariqabjotu (joturner) 03:47, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Proposed move

Cat flapopening for pets. Since apparantly any term for this is regionally specific, we should just use the definition, rather than any terms for it as the title of the article. The device's definition is an opening for pets. Voortle 13:21, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one sentence explanation and sign your vote with ~~~~
  • Oppose. To quote Solipsist above, Wikipedia convention is that "when no neutral term can be found, the dialect of the original author is used." — Matt Crypto 13:24, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Just using the defintion would be better though Voortle 13:27, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Not really. By that reasoning, we might also move, say, potato chip to slim slice of a potato deep fried or baked until crisp (some varieties of English use "crisp"). A term used by a subset of English speakers is better than a term used by nobody at all. — Matt Crypto 13:41, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Re dialect, see comment below. Regards, David Kernow 01:15, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. See excellent arguments against all the other moves. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 22:52, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose CFL. - FrancisTyers · 11:35, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Being from America, I think "cat flap" is pretty ridiculous. But "opening for pets" is even worse. Kafziel 12:47, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per reasons in previous failed move request discussions (google prefers "cat flap", etc.) Ratarsed 13:14, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose "opening for pets" is not what people will look for. I don't see why we can't stick with Cat flap and have Cat door redirect here. SillyWilly 19:45, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, please don't waste people's time again with these votes. --Dhartung | Talk 11:21, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose cat flap is common usage TVGH 15:30, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Move to "pet door" ^cat flap is not common usage and is UK- centric. Joeyramoney 03:26, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
    • *sigh*. In the UK, "cat flap" is common usage. It may not be common usage where you live, but there are other (pesky) countries besides your own. — Matt Crypto 21:01, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Move to Pet door with redirects from Cat flap, Cat door, Doggie door and any other regional variants. Regards, David Kernow 07:37, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - respect dialect of original author as there is no universally acceptable alternative, with other variants as redirects. BTW in the UK if you are buying "one of these things" for your dog (or rabbit or whatever), you still ask for a cat flap. Jameswilson 00:43, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
  • This primacy given to the dialect of the person who happened to start an article... somewhat contingent, isn't it...?  In instances such as here where (a) it seems significant time and effort has been expended arguing over something with various names that (b) depend on what the reader happens to find familiar, surely a solution is to find a name that favo/urs no particular region...?  Hopeful, David Kernow 01:15, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

damn issue of terminology

It's obvious to me that people are going to keep complaining until this article gets moved to a dialect-neutral term, so I think this may as well happen sooner rather than later.

Those of you who claim, as Solipsist did, that "when no neutral term can be found, the dialect of the original author is used", should consult the link [9], which *actually* says what the policy is. The relevant points are:

  1. The general section is clarified by a list of specific guidelines, with the text "The special cases are clarified in the following guidelines. They are roughly in order; guidelines earlier in this list will usually take precedence over guidelines later".
  2. Partway down the list: "Words with multiple spellings: In choosing words or expressions, there may be value in selecting one that does not have multiple spellings if there are synonyms that are otherwise equally suitable. In extreme cases of conflicting names, a contrived substitute (such as fixed-wing aircraft) is acceptable."
  3. At the bottom: "If all else fails, consider following the spelling style preferred by the first major contributor (that is, not a stub) to the article."

Note, most importantly:

  1. Using [in this case] British English is not the policy but the *last resort*.
  2. Using a contrived term is considered preferable to forcing a dialect-specific term.

I'd add that this goes doubly in a case like this where the term [may be considered] a misnomer ("cat flap" vs. "pet flap" or whatever).

Whether you use "pet opening" or "hole that you cut out of your door so your animal can go through" or whatever is not important, but let's *please* not maintain a status quo that obviously is causing extreme conflict!

Benwing 10:21, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for that Benwing, but it doesn't help much. Probably the only example of a naming dispute that has been resolved by an obtuse 'neutral' name selection is Fixed-wing aircraft and in that case it is a term that is correctly use to describe a superset of the particular item under discussion that is used in all territories, if only in technical circles. For a good counter example check the history of naming disputes for gasoline vs. petrol. Your best entry point is probably Talk:Gasoline/archive2#Article_name (warning its tedious, though occaisionally amusing). This includes similar tongue-in-cheek neutral encompasing terms such as Volatile flammable mixture of hydrocarbons (hexane and heptane and octane etc.) derived from petroleum; used mainly as a fuel in internal-combustion engines.

So no we are not going to move to some made up neologism. That would just be nonsense, not befiting of an encyclopedia. There really isn't as much of a dispute as you imagine. Half the discussion above is initiated by trolls.

Now all of this would be less irritating if some of the US editors adjitating for a move actually bothered to do some research. So far the only substantive editors to have contributed to the article have been British (with an honourable mention to User:Doops who, as a US editor, has made some substantive contributions to the talk page). Here are some questions for you to research;

  • When were the first domesticated cats introduced into North America.
  • What is the etymology of the term 'pet door' - when and where was the first recorded use.
    • Similarly 'cat door', 'doggie door' etc.
  • Take a photograph of a larger doggie door in comparison to a cat flap - US editors claim they are common so this should be easy.
  • Take a photograph of a dog using a doggie door (be warned, never work with children or animals - I've taken the photograph of a cat using a cat flap and I can tell you its not as easy as it looks)
  • Take a photograph of some other pet using a pet door.
  • Come up with a verifiable reference for the invention of the cat flap (afterall, this and the Newton story is what led me to write the article in the first place and it still needs answering)

Again, I've mentioned this before, but whilst plenty of editors imagine they know what's what without doing any research and are willing to argue the toss over naming issues, no one has bothered to do any work.

Finally Benwing, today you have introduced the term 'cat door' to the article as being specifically American English - what is your source for that? Other editors on the talk page here, have claimed that there isn't a British English/American English distinction in the choice of terms. Some have claimed that the American English usage is actually 'Pet door'. As I've mentioned above I've got two copies of the Concise Oxford Dictionary which only refer to 'cat flap' and nothing else (similarly Britannica). So what is your research? -- Solipsist 20:11, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I've added an etymology section. It isn't really etymology, but definition and notes on the first uses of each term. I hope this clears some things up. - FrancisTyers · 20:46, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for that - that is a positive contribution (one small point below). -- Solipsist 21:09, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Changing the word to another by moving the article clearly would not resolve the issue, and given the enormous opposition to such a move I am curious if not baffled as to why anyone would think it would, SqueakBox 21:39, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, I was hoping a non-partisan approach might yield a solution... Fortunately, this article is not a core topic!  Regards, David Kernow 00:22, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Solipsist, personally I don't know whether "cat door" is specifically American; but I'm surprised you even bring this up. If "cat door" were neutral, surely this entire debate wouldn't exist. However, you seem to have confused the issue of British vs. American and of neutral vs. cat-specific.

Also, what is the possible relevance of [a] photos of cat doors, dog doors, etc.; [b] research about when cats were brought to the U.S.; [c] who invented them; ??? None of these have anything to do with the question of the commonly used term for this contraption.

Furthermore, the fact that two British-written sources use the British term is hardly surprising; alas, my American dictionary (Webster's New World) has no "cat flap", "dog door", "cat door", "pet door" or any other term I could find. Benwing 08:54, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

well, i looked at some of that gasoline vs. petrol dispute; yuck. i'm afraid this problem will reappear over and over until wikipedia finds a proper solution. i bet the same silly arguments have been used on the aluminum/aluminium pages, color/colour pages, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum: "more countries speak British English!" "more speakers speak US English!" "americans are dominating the world, we need to fight back!" "shut up, you stupid yankee basher!" etc. etc. etc. i think the best solution, as proposed by someone on that page, is the use of country-specific language tags; i bet this is communicated by most browsers and if not, wikipedia could certainly make a good guess from the IP address. this way, there is not necessary a "single accepted" title for anything; an article can have multiple titles, all equally valid, and you get the one that applies to your country.

personally i don't really care that much, but i don't think that perpetually stationing an army around each such page to protect it (as is currently the case in gasoline/petrol) is going to help much. my concerns are mostly (a) the title is a misnomer, please get "cat" out of it; (b) i've (or had) never even heard of "cat flap", and totally misguessed what it was; i suggest the same will happen to other americans, and this is non-optimal. for a term like "pet door", at least most users, whether UK or US, will quickly figure out what this means and not get confused, which is a strong argument in its favor in comparison with the current term. (note that neither issue comes up with alumin(i)um and colo(u)r, and i suspect not in gasoline/petrol, either.)

Benwing 09:11, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

But the word "pet door" doesn't appear in any dictionaries, American or English — at least not the ones I've consulted — if you have more information in this regard, please add it to the article. The words "cat flap" and "cat door" appear in both American and English dictionaries. Its a fortunate thing we have redirect pages. - FrancisTyers · 10:07, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Incidentally, I don't care much about gasoline/petrol, but the status of "Georgia" gets me slightly worked up to say the least :) - FrancisTyers · 10:13, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Posted at: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Style issues

Catflap has been suggested to be moved to Pet Door several times, as cat flap is uk- centric, not as common usage, and obviously biased towards cats, while dogs use them as well. i see no good reason to not just move the bloody thing, aside from the gang of brits on the talk page who seem to obsess over this and impose their regional POV. Joeyramoney 03:30, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

No comment. - FrancisTyers · 11:42, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

However, you seem to have confused the issue of British vs. American and of neutral vs. cat-specific. No I don't think I've confused any such thing. Previous editors have suggested page moves and argued on both issues. The actual situation appears to be that both are inextricably linked. If you want to move to 'pet door' on the basis that it is pet neutral, then you have a problem because that term isn't used in British English. So you would be converting from BE to AE. These issue have been previously discussed here.

More interestingly, it is possible that a significant part of the problem is suggested by the indoor/outdoor article User:FrancisTyers added yesterday. That indicates that US cat owners rarely let their cats outside and so typically don't have cat doors, whilst 88-92% of UK cat owners do allow their cats outside and so cat flaps are common in the UK. It is quite possible that the opposite is the case with doggie doors, in the UK they are distinctly rare whilst they may be the more common form of pet door in the US. If that is the case, it would explain why the two issues are so inextricably linked - of course someone would need to do some research to find the appropriate statistics.

Also, what is the possible relevance of.... - because most editors who come here suggesting page moves haven't bothered to do any research at all. They just think they know the answer on the basis of heresay, or if we are lucky, a couple of poorly interpreted Google searches. Few if any have bothered to open a dictionary, look at another encyclopedia, or check into the history. We now have several different claims as to what is common usage in America and I don't know which is true, whereas the choice of 'cat flap' is quite unequivocal in the UK. Unfortunately if you now say personally I don't know whether "cat door" is specifically American and you haven't checked a dictionary first, it makes it difficult to support your edit yesterday. Is 'cat door' specifically American English?

There are other issues at play. Other editors here have claimed that doggie doors are as common as cat flaps. I'm pretty sure that is not true in the UK. In my neighbourhood I know of five people with cat flaps. And I've a couple of neighbours with dogs, although only one has a dog small enough to use a doggie door - as it happens non of them have doggie doors. In fact I don't know of anyone who has got a doggie door in the UK, but that is just my experience. So I've tried to get a picture but couldn't. I'm sure they exist; I've seen them in catalogues. But if cat flaps out sell doggie doors by a factor of 10:1 and predate them by a century or two, then the object is a 'cat flap' and 'doggie doors' are a footnote.

Now as I say, it may be that the relatively popularity is reversed in America, South Africa, or Australia, then we have a problem similar to some of the other intractable naming disputes. And you are right, in the long term a software solution with language tagging might resolve things, but until then we will just have to let sleeping dogs lie. -- Solipsist 12:35, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

what i mean by personally I don't know whether "cat door" is specifically American is that i don't know whether it occurs as well in the UK. you should know that, right? if it's UK as well then i have no idea why the UK'ers are objecting; if not then why are you making a big deal of it? Benwing 04:07, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Then it is probably OK. 'Cat door' is not in common usage in the UK, although the OED doesn't appear to flag it as a US only term. -- Solipsist 08:26, 9 August 2006 (UTC), which I understand is an American dictionary has Cat flap as the main term and "cat door" listed as a synonym. - FrancisTyers · 08:56, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree this is a risible debate but the problem is that the Americans dont seem to be able to agree on a universally-accepted US term to fight it out against the much-derided British cat flap. Once they do so, would it be within the rules to have the article entitled, say, Cat flap/Doggie door, with cat flap and doggie door both redirecting to there? Jameswilson 02:08, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Authorative source on Newton

With respect to the invention by Newton: I don't think you can say no authoritative source exists'. As mentioned above, the online references such as 'The Daily Mews' are mostly rubbish, however the suspicion is that the invention is mentioned in Newton's papers. The Grantham museum has an exhibit based on the Newton cat flap invention and I've returned to quiz them as to their source. The curator on the door was non-specific, but was keen to assert that one of the Newton biographies does mention it. I've previously read the Westfall biography and more recently looked through it for explicit mentions of cat flaps but can't find anything there. From memory, the book Newton for Beginners (ISBN 1874166072) does mentions it, but that's a tertiory source and I don't consider it to be sufficiently reliable to be worth citing. -- Solipsist 21:09, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Indeed, the wording is bad, and I would happily replace it with better. Incidentally, I've checked JSTOR and they have nothing on cat flaps and Newton. I'm currently searching through Google Scholar, and have found this, "I responded, and went on to say that my love of cats had enabled me to invent the cat flap during my experiments with the spectrum of white light." [10] but its not a particularly good source either. - FrancisTyers · 21:27, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Nothing on Google Scholar, nor on Google Books. Looks like someone gets the job of actually "reading" about this :) - FrancisTyers · 21:31, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Heh, I also just used Google Scholar, and got the above quote but little else ;-) We could start trawling the biographies, but a faster method might be to try and identify a Newton expert and e-mail them. — Matt Crypto 21:33, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Well I tried asking the Newton experts here, but it didn't help much. You might have hoped that some of them had read a Newton biography or two ;-) -- Solipsist 21:56, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, one would *grin*. I'd suggest contacting these people. If anyone does, please drop a note here. I'm quite busy at the moment, but if noone else does, I'll attempt to contact them later this week. — Matt Crypto 22:01, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

worldview and pov

i added these tags as the article largely discusses pet doors for cats, while dogs use them just as much, and of course the term for the article is only extant in the UK, while more POV and commonly used phrases exist. we can just change the bloody title any day now, folks. i'm not sure why you guys have your hearts set on it. Joeyramoney 20:26, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the tags. If you have read the discussion above you will see that there is no more problem with a world view than with respect to the choice of gasoline vs petrol.
If you believe that the only problem is to do with the relative frequency of the use of cat flaps by cats or dogs, you will have to substantiate your claim that they are just as frequently used for dogs with some references. -- Solipsist 21:13, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
according to a simple google search, "dog door" brings far more matches than "cat flap". [11]; [12]. when you google "gasoline" vs. "petrol" the difference is much smaller, so the two are not comparable. anyway, the article is just called "Gasoline" now. i don't know how to make this any clearer- "cat flap" is pov and not (as) common usage. "dog door" appears to be a far mor common term. "pet door" will not bring up a single problem. the united kingdon is not the center of the world, buddy. not everyone talks like you. Joeyramoney 22:57, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Shrug. There's many differences between UK and US English, and on various Wikipedia articles, sometimes we use a US version of a term, sometimes we use a UK version. Normally, we use whatever got there first. And that's what we'll do here, end of story. As an aside, the curious thing is that, on Wikipedia, whenever a UK term gets used, there is pretty much always a constant pressure from certain US-English speakers who just can't stand the idea of putting up with something different from their own experience. There's typically not an equivalent pressure the other way round. — Matt Crypto 07:36, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

I hope we are trying to write a decent encyclopedia, not one based on Google. Using google stats to prove something is both original research and not a source. Find a source for your claim that dog door is more common than cat flap (couldn't disagree more). Also the gasoline petrol argument seems to have resolved in favour of the choice of the original editor, which in this case was cat flap, SqueakBox 23:43, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

how is google irrelevant? Joeyramoney 04:11, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Well for one thing you don't appear to know how to do the correct searches, nor interpret the results - you really need to include quotes around your searches. The searches you are trying will return pages that just include the words 'dog' and 'door', so for example at the top of page 28, Google returns a page that includes
A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.
and I dare say there are many many others like that. For more on the problems and biases of using Google see Wikipedia:Search engine test.
Now if you do try some better Google searches you will still end up with more results for 'dog door', unless you limit you results to UK sites in which case you get the opposite result. Google does have its place, but you need to know how to use it and even so it often amounts to original research. If possible, it is better to use more reliable sources, such as a dictionary.
Now the choice of article title has been tested four times since last November and every time the concensus is to stay at 'Cat flap'. So apart from the choice of article title, what exactly are your reasons for thinking that this article is POV or has a limited world view? The article discusses both cat flaps and doggie doors, points to some of the international variations and generally refers to 'animal' throughout rather than either dog or cat. -- Solipsist 07:57, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Did you find "dog door" in any dictionaries yet? - FrancisTyers · 08:01, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

keep it Cat Flap

Can I propose this article be kept as Cat Flap and all you Americans stop moaning about the correct use of ENGLISH!Oxyman42 00:19, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm an American, and I opposed moving it last time. (Grumble.) The problem is that the Brits consistently use Cat flap, while Americans use cat door, doggie door', and pet door almost interchangably, making cat flap clearly the most commonly used name. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 15:42, 4 September 2006 (UTC)


hopefully some of the silly bickering will stop now that dog door has its' own article. either you have an entry for both cats and dogs or seperate entries. having an article that pertains only to cats in highly POV. i don't think we could get much more NPOV than this. 21:41, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Oh just wait for some highly intelligent editor to propose a merge! Fiddle Faddle 22:02, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

% UK cats outside

The messy cats article cited at the end of the introduction states that 82-92% of cats in Britian have access to the outdoors. The messy cats article does not explain whether or not feral cats are included. Therefore, the use of the messy cats article to verfiy the statement on this wikipedia page that "particularly in the United Kingdom where it is believed that about 99% of all cats (including ferals) have access to the outdoors, many of these via cat flaps" is confusing to me. Have I missed an embedded number on that page? Did someone mean to link another page? If there is no response to this comment, I will edit the introduction to better reflect the cited article. Enuja 01:46, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Well the article used to say 90%. User:SqueakBox up'd it to 99% in August. I'm not sure why, so I've restored it back to 90%. Mind you, I'm not sure it makes sense to mention feral cats at this point - it might be necessary to qualify the statistic correctly, but almost be definition I doubt that feral cats will be using cat flaps. -- Solipsist 09:26, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I got a bit carried away, and did more than just cut down the 2nd paragraph in the introduction to better reflect the source. I tried to cut out as much superfluous language as possible. I still couldn't glean any info as to how ferals fit into the 88-92% outdoor access statistic, so I just removed the mention of ferals entirely. Maybe the "features" section should be divided and ferals getting into houses through cat flaps put into a "drawbacks" section? I'm not sure, because many of the features directly address drawbacks. I took out all of the definitions of cat flap and cat door in the etymology section, as the very beginning of the article defines these synonyms quite well indeed. I didn't do anything to the last 3 paragraphs (last 4 sentences), as I'm not sure what to do with them. I haven't found any sources yet, and those things aren't really "features" of cat flaps, just interesting little tid-bits tacked on to the end of the article.Enuja 22:37, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Looks good to me. At the moment, I don't think we need to mention feral cats - I doubt that it is common for feral cats to enter a house via a cat flap. On the whole cats are uncomfortable with entering another's territory, although I imagine it does happen occaisionally, especially if a feral cat learns that there might find food inside. If someone can find a useful reference on the subject we could re-add it. Mind you I did once find a wood pigeon tapping at my girlfriend's cat flap - which seemed particularly unwise. -- Solipsist 07:54, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Third law of motion

I removed this sentence:

The pendulum effect of the cat flap also demonstrates Newton's Third law of motion.

Well, I suppose it does; it also demonstrates the other two laws and the law of universal gravitation and Lagrange's principle, and so does everything else in the world. It's not a good demonstration, as far as I can see. What's worse is that the phrasing makes it sound as though it's the back-and-forth motion of the pendulum that demonstrates the third law (action and reaction respectively?), and that's totally wrong. -- BenRG 13:44, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Cat flap sources

I'm going to plead that we find a decent source for the claim that Newton invented the cat flap. It's not hard to imagine how this could be distorted, even if it's based in fact. The sources recently offered include:

I don't think any of these support the claim adequately for it to be included in Wikipedia. — Matt Crypto 19:16, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

For context the statement removed was "It is claimed the cat flap was invented by Sir Isaac Newton when he was conducting experiments on light and prisms in his attic. His carefully controlled lighting conditions could be maintained and allow access for his cat" - Firstly it doesn't assert that he did, simply that it is claimed - widely as it happens, if it's mentioned by an eminent doctor and public personality and the BBC. I'll conceed "The daily mews" (possibly one of the wierdest journal it's been my displeasure to read) isn't really going to cut it as reliable. But to assert that something is widely claimed, from a Doctor and the BBC seems hardly to be contravening WP:V or WP:RS--Joopercoopers 19:25, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
What will you accept?

How about a compromise - this is either true or a widely diseminated urban myth. I'm happy to include it as 'disputed' information and caveat it as such. But you'll need to find a reliable source for it's disproof. Never thought I'd be arguing about cat flaps and Newton at wikipedia but here I am. :-) --Joopercoopers 19:34, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Whether or not this is true (I suspect it's false), it clearly has urban legend status. I don't think it's appropriate to describe an urban legend as disputed. It makes it sound as though there's a debate over whether it's true, but in fact all of the cited pages simply report it as fact without any justification and without any apparent awareness that sources of trivia can be unreliable. Many of them probably got it from this very Wikipedia article. Someone needs to look in the index of some biographies of Newton and change the paragraph to either "Newton invented the cat-flap [cite biographies only]" or "Newton is widely credited with the cat-flap [cite web pages], but his biographers make no mention of it [cite biographies]". Nothing less well-sourced deserves to be in the article. -- BenRG 20:22, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Heh, yeah, Wikipedia conversations somehow always seem to descend into absurdity at some point ;-) (And at least it's not the wretched "let's rename it doggie door" debate.) So, apologies for taking it a little too seriously. Apparently, a variant on the story seems to be that Newton cut a hole in his door for his cat, then the cat had kittens, so Newton cut some smaller holes as well...! Well, in Stories of the Great Scientists by Charles R. Gibson (1921), the story is mentioned and judged to go against written evidence that Newton didn't keep cats or dogs[13] (see also Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Science/2007_January_30_to_31#Newton.27s_cat) Perhaps we could just add a sentence or two to summarise what Gibson says? He at least directly analyses the claim. Other biographies, as BenRG says, might help us out a bit more. — Matt Crypto 20:41, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

What's the point in them?

I mean, why is having a flap there that the poor cat must push open any better than just having a cat-sized hole in the door that the cat can simply step through? 22:57, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

  • rain
  • wind
Fiddle Faddle 23:03, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Neutral terms

I have heard of “gender neutral” and being neutral in a conflict but “neutral terms”, what on earth does that mean? Does is it mean something like unbiased and if it does, why not just say unbiased? What is the point of making up slang phrases that only serve to confuse most people? What is the point!

Can I get the "getting in a flap on the subject" joke in first? (And can someone archive part of this talk page). Jackiespeel (talk) 18:06, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Given that 'cat flap' produces any number of entries on a web search, under that term, dog flap, dog door and pet door, retention of the term is appropriate: and cats seem to be in the predominant, so this is probably the best heading.

However, cats invented the 'yowl-initiated, human-operated door opener' many centuries previously... Jackiespeel (talk) 15:48, 21 August 2009 (UTC)


I've archived older discussions - the vast majority of them were debates as to whether the page should be deleted, or moved (with redirects) to "pet door", "pet flap" or other non-species-specific idioms. After extensive discussions as to whether to delete or merge this page, the consensus was to leave it: unless there is a compelling new reason to resurrect these discussions, I propose that we let it lie ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 08:20, 1 September 2010 (UTC)