A Leash Walk is Good for Indoor Cats

June 23, 2014 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

Some cats simply won’t have it, but many indoor cats very much like time outside on a leash. If you give this a shot, the main thing to know is that you should use a harness or walking jacket to put a leash on a cat. Leashes on collars can be dangerous for cats.

Another good tip is to start with places that are relatively free of loud noises or curious dogs.

Even though cats love it when they give it a try, getting started might take more training and patience than you would expect. You may need to train your cat to accept the harness. This might start with leaving the harness out in the cat’s favorite places so it becomes a familiar element of the environment. When you first put the harness on your cat, have cat treats ready. Treat your cat as quickly as possible and often when you first put on the harness. Expect to do nothing other than put on the harness or just introduce the harness a few times before ever attempting to go outside with it. At first, look for signs that your cat is “done with this” and let the training session end on your cat’s cue. Signs that your cat is done with this are flattened ears, a flicking tail, or crouching to the ground and refusing to move. Let your cat feel in control about when the harness goes on and off.

As you expand the time, distance, and venues of your cat outings, expect setbacks. If your cat gets spooked somewhere, just go back to a place that has worked before for a while.

Taking Your Cat for a Walk

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