Don't expect your cat to accept the harness straight away.
We just adopted a blind bengal cat that had run away from his cattery. He needs mental and physical stimulation so I thought I’d try walking him. Would you suggest a vest or a harness?
So, why dress Kitty up in a harness and get it outside to begin with? Should you even try to leash train your cat? Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons, and then try to explain how to achieve this rather extraordinary feat.
Let’s assume you have a cat who’s a prospect for walking — or a kitten you can raise to accept a walk as part of his normal routine. Get the harness — a cat harness is a must, because a cat can slip out of one made for a — and introduce your cat to it very slowly, with lots of treats and praise. When you see that your cat is comfortable having the harness around, work up to short periods with it on — again, with treats and praise. I’m guessing by now you’ve realized why most cats don’t get walked. In fact, those harnesses and leashes are probably more often used as safety devices to prevent a cat from escaping when you’re going somewhere like the veterinarian’s. I have seen them on as carry-on luggage with their owners. In such circumstances, having a cat wear a harness with you holding the leash is a very good idea just in case your cat gets loose. Walking a cat isn’t like walking a dog. While you train a to go where you go without pulling you off your feet — or you should do that, anyway — walking a cat is really about accompanying a cat while he wanders around. Try this in the house at first to get your cat used to having a leash on. When he seems fairly accepting of both harness and leash, graduate to exploring on leash in your own safe yard.YUMMM Fried Apple Pie Tacos - Learn how to make them here:
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Give your indoor cat quality time outside by going for a walk.
Step 1: Use a harness and leash
Use a small, H-type harness that fits the cat, and a cotton or nylon leash. A harness fits if you can barely get a finger between the cat and the harness.
Step 2: Get the cat used to the harness
Get the cat used to the harness by putting it on them without buckling it.
Put the harness on the cat during playtime when the cat is more likely to be comfortable.
Step 3: Reward the cat
Reward your cat with plenty of treats and affection. Petting your cat during your training sessions will help your feline friend associate the harness with positive feelings.
Step 4: Buckle one loop
Continue putting the harness on the cat each day until the cat ignores it. After that, you can buckle one of the harness's loops for 30 seconds.
Step 5: Build up to three loops
Build up to buckling the entire harness, one loop at a time. The process can take several months. Once your cat is comfortable with the harness completely buckled, let them walk around while wearing it.
Step 6: Add the leash
Add the leash when your cat is comfortable with the harness. Let them walk around with the leash for as long as it takes to get used to it.
Step 7: Go for practice walks
Go for practice walks around the house for a few days.
Step 8: Go for the first walk
Go for a walk when your cat is used to you holding the leash. Let them lead you on the first few walks. Bring treats along for encouragement.
Make sure it is quiet outside when you go for your walk. You don't want your cat to get spooked.
[Tug the leash lightly] Tug the leash lightly to lead the cat on subsequent walks.
Step 10: Be patient
Be patient. Teaching a cat to walk on a leash takes time. Take the training process day by day, moving on to each step only when your cat is ready.
Did You Know?
Only 20% of pet cats are adopted from shelters. Otherwise, it’s more than likely your cat will be just as happy if he never sees a harness, much less wears one. If all you're trying to accomplish is getting your indoor cat some access to the outside, that's probably better accomplished with a .Felines can be trained to walk in harnesses and on leashes, just like dogs. All it takes is some gentle and patient cat training. Success is more likely if you start when your cat is a kitten, but if your cat doesn't enjoy it, there are plenty of other ways to have fun together!