Everyone knows cats like the outdoors. If you want to take them out in a safe way, a leash might be the answer to your prayers. Taking regular outdoor walks can keep cats healthy and reduce boredom related behavior problems. Learning how to walk a cat may seem impossible, but with proper supervision, patience and consistency, you too can train your cat to walk on a leash.
Choose the Right Equipment
Before your kitty even takes his first walk on the leash, make sure you have the right equipment. You should have a basic leash, like a nylon leash that is suitable for your pet. While most cats can be trained to walk on a leash, kittens are naturally more accepting of wearing a harness. The two basic styles of harness are leads, which comprise a few straps attached to a leash and vests, which are are like little pieces of clothing for cats. It’s important to purchase a harness for your cat and not to simply attach a leash to your cat’s collar. Make sure the leash attachment is located on the back of the harness. Not the neck. It’s not safe to walk cats on traditional collars.
Choose a harness that fits securely and is snug but not too tight on your cat. Regardless of the harness you choose, fit is the most important factor. As a general rule, you should be able to fit a finger or two, but no more than that under the harness. Lightweight leashes that are four to six feet long are ideal for leash training cats of all sizes. Retractable leashes and leashes that are longer are okay to use once a cat is trained, but stick to a manageable length and leash weight at first.
How to Training Your Cat
Once a cat has reached the age when she has been fully vaccinated, it is safe for her to go on walks outside. Don’t rush things and take your cat right outside. Instead, try the leash in the house for a few minutes at a time. That way, your cat will get used to wearing the thing and won’t find it too weird. Simple. Don’t be alarmed if your cat goes limp, lies down, refuses to walk or walks strangely the first few times he dons his harness. While still in the safety of your home, allow your cat to drag the leash around to get used to being attached to it.
Choose a safe place like a park or quiet suburban area for walk. Doing so will make all the difference. Your kitty should be as calm as possible when you head out together. Don’t pull your cat by the leash, but a gentle tug to redirect it’s attention is okay. Every now and then stop and call her to you, giving her a treat and praise when she comes. Setting a regular time to walk each day will give your cat something to look forward to. Try to stay consistent. Encourage your cat to walk a little farther each day. You’ll know she’s ready when she’s walking comfortably around each area with his tail up. The more supportive and reassuring you are throughout this process, the better.
Pick Me Up
If you encounter a threat or something that could frighten your cat, such as a dog, pick up your kitty. Cats feel safer when they’re up high and have the visual advantage. Also be ready to give your cat a lift if he’s tired, the terrain is tough or it’s a particularly hot day. Stay away from things that may startle your cat, like busy roads and barking dogs, while outside. Never tie your cat’s leash to something outside and leave him.