Any suggestions on creating a "doorbell" for my cat to use?
My cat comes to our (glass) sliding door or window several times a day and either sits outside and waits or scratches on the glass to be let in. For the most part, we see him at the door/window or hear him banging on the door, but sometimes he waits out in the cold.
I thought it might be cool to design a "doorbell" he can use so that even if we're in another part of the house, we can still hear when he needs to come in.
Right now, I'm thinking something that will register his weight, either outside the window or the door (he usually goes to the door first and then the window if no one comes right away), and that will ring a bell -- maybe a regular doorbell set-up, just messing with how the "button" is pushed?
It would be cool to design a little button/pad that he actually has to press (he's smart; he can figure it out), but placing something where he likes to stand/sit would probably work just as well.
Right now I'm going to start by looking into how doorbells work, and then whether I need to make a weight-sensing device or if I can jerry-rig an actual doorbell to respond to some kind of pad for him to sit on.
I don't know how much doorbell's cost, but I'm assuming they're pretty cheap. I could probably pick one (or two, if I need to do multiple trials) up at my local hardware store, but if anyone knows of online suppliers who provide free samples of doorbells or doorbell-like devices, or things that I could use for my pad, that would be nice.
I think my main qualifications for the pad/button are that it be easy for him to sit on/push, sensitive enough to read his weight (probably 10 pounds), and sturdy and weatherproof, since it will be outdoors in all seasons.