When most people consider taking pets for walks in the great outdoors, they immediately picture dogs happily wagging their tails as they trot by their owners’ sides. However, dogs are not the only animals that enjoy walking in nature. Cats can be trained to walk on a leash. Many enjoy exploring new environments in a way that gives them freedom while also remaining safe.
Leash training for cats begins as all pet training activities do – with a great amount of patience. As an owner, you must understand from the outset that cat training takes time. While some cats will immediately take to their new leash, most will need a little more work.
How to Choose a Harness for Your Cat
The next step is to find a harness and leash that work the best for both of you. Your cat will need to fit snugly in the harness without it being too tight. You may be wondering how to get the harness on in the first place. The best way is to make your cat associate the harness with food. Allow your cat to sniff the harness, and then provide a favorite snack or meal. Repeat this a few times and your cat will begin to view the harness in a positive manner. Soon, you will be able to place your cat in the harness with no issue.
Do not begin walking right away. Instead, allow the cat to get comfortable with the harness. Remove it, and then repeat for a few days. When your pet is used to the harness, you can begin leash training.
Attach the leash to the harness and practice walking inside. Do so gently, never becoming frustrated or attempting to force your pet into walking when he or she does not want. You can release the leash safely while your cat is still inside. As with the harness, this will need to continue for a few days or longer. Cat training often takes longer than dog training, which means more patience is required of the owners.
Know When Your Cat is Ready to Walk Outside
Eventually, your cat will be able to respond to your commands on the leash. He or she will walk with you while indoors, obeying very gentle guidance. When this happens, you are ready to go outside. A short walk, preferably near your home, is the best way to begin outdoor walks. You can experiment by going a bit further each day. Watch your cat for nervousness and fear. Give your pet reassurances and treats, always treating this new endeavor with great care.
Once you are able to safely walk with your cat, you will be able to go to parks, attend outdoor events and exercise with your pet by your side. You will also have greater ease when taking your cat to the vet and to boarding. However, having your cat leash trained is not necessary when boarding at Fon Jon. When your cat boards at Fon Jon, he or she will stay indoors at all times. We offer plenty of room to roam and play, regular meals and plenty of hands on care. You never have to worry about your cat’s happiness when you choose Fon Jon for boarding. Call us at 858-490-2117 for your boarding needs.