Dogs aren’t the only animal that can be walked on a leash. While less common, cats can be trained to walk down the road with a lead around their neck. However, some cats are more difficult to train than others, so it’s worth knowing a few tips and tricks before you take them around the block.
Assess Your Cat’s Breed, Age & Temperament
What many people may not know is that some cat breeds are easier to train on a leash than others. Also, age plays an important factor as kittens are more energetic and easier to train, while older cats can be finicky and set in their ways.
You’ll also need to think about your cat’s personality and whether they would suit a guided walk. For example, is your cat adventurous? Bored? Playful? Or do they laze in the sun all day? Before you head to the shop, consider your cat’s characteristics and whether they can turn into the leash-walking type.
Choose a Harness
Once you’ve decided whether your cat will take to the leash, you’ll want to choose a harness. Cats are super bendy and can squirm out of a leash, so you’ll need to attach it to a harness to ensure this doesn’t happen.
To choose the right harness, measure your cat’s neck, chest, and torso so that you don’t buy one that’s too big or too small. Comfort will matter greatly when it comes to training your kitty on a leash, so this may require a bit of trial and error. To assist the process, you may even want to ask for help from vets in Goodyear AZ.
Introduce Kitty to the Harness
Next, introduce your cat to the harness. To ensure the highest rate of success, take your time and don’t rush. For example, start by leaving the harness near their food bowl or bed. You could then take it a step further and allow your cat to sniff the harness and become familiar with it.
Depending on your cat’s sensitivity, this introduction phase may take a few days. It’s also important to prepare yourself for the possibility that your beloved feline will outright ignore or reject the harness. If that’s the case, you could employ the use of a clicker or spray the collar with a calming scent to entice them.
If your cat takes to the harness, then you’ve won half the battle! Once you’ve familiarized them, try putting it around their neck. Experts suggest that you hold the harness towards their head with the loophole open. Your cat may slip right into it, or they may squirm. Either way, it all boils down to your cat’s temperament and personality.
If you’re struggling with this step, try using treats to encourage them into the harness. Once they’re in, try attaching the leash and walking around your home. Depending on your cat, these steps might take a few hours or a few weeks. But like anything, practice makes perfect. If you can get kitty to walk around the home happily and calmly with the leash and harness, try heading outside to see what happens. Just be sure to take them to quiet, safe areas as there’s a risk that they’ll bolt!