The Daily Cat: Training
The Dos and Don’ts of Walking Cats
From the Editors of The Daily Cat
When used correctly and with the right cat, a leash can provide both you and your pet a safe way to spend quality time together outdoors while getting exercise too. Here are the requested do’s and don’ts:
- purchase a lightweight leash and harness specially designed for cats.
- allow your cat to get used to the leash by laying it next to sleeping areas or other spots your cat frequents. Your cat can then learn that it is not an object to fear.
- reward your pet with a treat after first placing the harness on your cat. Remove the harness when the cat seems agitated or uncomfortable. Allow time for your cat to get used to the feel of the harness.
- take your cat on indoor walks for a few days until venturing outside.
- use a harness that’s too tight or loose. Ideally, you should be able to fit just two fingers between your cat and the harness.
- force the leash and harness on your cat if your cat is experiencing high stress and discomfort. Some cats adapt better to the equipment than others.
- aggressively pull the leash: Your cat will only learn to hate it more.
- attempt to walk an elderly cat or one with health issues before first consulting with a veterinarian.