Did you know that your cat can be trained to walk with a leash?
Cats have always been associated with humans. Just like us, cats are very adventurous. They like to wander and explore the beauty of their environment. They can also feel bored if they are restricted from going out and only stay indoors. Keeping cats indoors is best because as concerned owners we have to keep our cats‘ safety as a top priority. Cats that are strictly indoors are said to be safe from the dangers of the traffic, getting lost and from risks of fights with other cats, dogs or other animals.
Some cats must stay indoors and some cats are allowed outdoors, to come and go as they please. They can explore the outside world especially if their owners will provide them a pet door for them to slip in and out of. Cats that are free to explore and wander around their environment are considered to suffer less psychological problems due to being confined within a house compared to those indoors cats. For this reason, it would be helpful if you let your cat go out for some time. Or, if you like to ensure your cat’s safety, teach them to take walks on a leash outside.
Training a cat to walk on a leash
Cats are born to be intelligent. They can be taught and can be trained to do various tricks and exercises. Walking with a leash outside is one of the things that they are capable of. However, teaching them to use a leash is different than training a dog to use a leash. In training a cat to utilize leash, you will have to exert extra effort with great patience and persistence.
Training your cat while it is still a kitten is the best time to start. At this stage, the cat does not have any set behaviors so you can try to mold him in what you want him to do. Implementing this technique to the older cats can be a bit more difficult than doing it with the young ones since adults may be a bit set in their ways and might require added patience for leash training.
Beforehand, one thing you will want to do is search out the leash that will be suitable for both you and your feline. There are numerous distinct leashes on the market to choose from. Standard leashes are about five to six feet (5-6 ft.) and should be lightweight. Too much weight on the leash will make the cat uncomfortable—leading him not to go for walks. Another item that needs to be considered is a harness or collar for the cat. Choose the best and comfortable collar for your cats. In purchasing a collar, choose one that is not too tight on the cat but not too loose either as you do not want him to slip his head out.
Once you get all the items mentioned above—leash, collar, or harness – you have to introduce these things to your cats so that they will get used to them. How? Simply by letting them play with them. Once your cat is used to these materials, then you can start training.
How to walk a cat on a leash
First thing that you have to do is condition yourself and expect to spend time and effort into training your cat’s new leash behavior. Cats have distinct personalities; most can be persuaded to walk on a leash while some may never do so. For that reason, you should also be prepared for your cat to never accept the leash.
Second, after your cat is used to the materials, try to put the harness or the collar on the cat. Put it on as loose as you can get it and watch your cat. Depending on his reaction you can leave it on for a short time or if the cat does not want anything to do with it, then you might have to relapse back to the playing stage. This step is very essential if you force the cat to wear the harness, they are not going to be happy at all with the harness or with you. Take your time with all the steps.
After the feline is wearing the harness loose, then it is the time to tighten the harness up until it is the right fit for the cat. You will need to give your kitten time to wear the harness. Next, attach the leash and have the cat play with the leash. Put the leash on and get the cat used to having it on. Then, you will want to start walking the cat inside until the cat is doing well. Once your cat is comfortable with the leash, then it is the best time to go outside for a walk.
Make sure there is not too much give with the leash or they run in all random directions when you’re walking with the cat. There are some distractions for a cat outdoors like birds and neighbor pets that might cause your cat to run around. That is why you must keep a tight leash so that your cat walks with you and is not dragging you all over the place.