Surely you’ve thought more than once about having outdoor adventures with your cat, even if the walks are limited to a backyard or porch. You should know that it is good to take the cat outside.
That is why I will show you in this article the steps to follow to walk with cats . The first thing is to find a harness that fits comfortably and teach him to walk on a leash. Walking on a leash is not only useful when you are on the street, but also when you are traveling or taking your cat to the vet.
The walks will be a way for your cat to exercise and can avoid the behavior problems related to boredom. Keep in mind, it can be fun for both of you, of course if your cat enjoys it.
Walking outdoors can be a lot of fun for cats: it allows them to see new things, smell and smell. If the cat is not comfortable walking, there are good strollers that allow cats to see and smell things that they do not have at home.
Most cats can be trained to walk on a leash , but certain feline personalities are more accepting of new experiences, such as putting on a harness and walking outdoors. The best time to introduce your cat to a harness is when it is a baby, it will accept it better; However, older cats can also learn to walk on a leash if you are patient and make leash training a positive experience.
However, don’t forget that walking on a leash and venturing outdoors is not for all cats . Some cats may never feel comfortable on a leash or outdoors due to their age, health, or personality, and you should never force your pet out of their comfort zone . You can also help your cat stay happy, active and stimulated by having “her adventures” inside your home!
If you think your cat is a good candidate for leash training, read on for tips on how to get started training him.
Steps to follow so that your cat can go for a walk with you on the street
Little by little introduce your cat to the harness
The key to getting your cat used to a harness is to make it a positive experience, and the food you feed your cat can help you with that . You can start by leaving the harness next to your cat’s food bowl, or simply holding out the harness so he can smell it and then feeding him.
The new noises can be alarming to some cats, so practice adjusting the harness to get your cat used to the new sounds.
Try putting the harness on your cat
Now that your cat is aware of the harness, slide it over it, but don’t buckle it yet . Provide more treats as a distraction and help your cat associate the harness with a positive experience.
Put the harness on just before lunch so dinner distracts you from the new sensation and keeps you from concentrating on taking it off. Do this for several days in a row until you feel comfortable with it.
If your cat is comfortable with this step, he can buckle up the harness and practice adjusting. You should be able to get a finger or two under the harness, but no more than that. Be aware that cats can come out of the harness when they are scared, and you don’t want your cat to wander away from you outdoors.
Leave the harness on for a few minutes and then provide him with another food reward. Do this for several days, paying attention to how your cat reacts to the harness. If he’s comfortable, leave him a bit longer, but if he gets upset, give him a distraction and remove the harness. Try again later with something better, maybe a delicious canned food or tuna, and remove the harness before your cat reacts negatively.
It is completely normal for cats to stand up, refuse to walk, or walk very strangely the first few times they wear a harness. Your cat has probably never had the sensation of something on its back before, so it will take some time to get used to the harness .
Attach the strap with the harness
It may take several days or even weeks for your cat to feel comfortable in the harness, but once your cat is used to putting it on and walking normally, it’s time to put on the leash.
Take your cat to a room where it is not likely to hook its leash on furniture or anything else, and then attach the leash. Do not take the leash, let it move with it inside the room, while you give it treats. If the cat is alarmed by the noise of the chain dragging, it is best to hold the leash and let your cat walk freely.
When your cat is comfortable with the feel of the leash, try walking her home, keeping the leash loose in your hand . Keep providing lots of treats and praise throughout this process.
After some practice with this, it’s time to try gently guiding your kitty . Put some pressure on the leash and call your cat. When you do, reward him with a gift. If you’ve done any clicker training , you can also use a clicker to reinforce that you’ve performed a desired behavior.
Going out with your cat
If the most that your cat has been outside has been looking out the window, it is likely that it is on high alert when you take it outside for the first time, so do things slowly, do not scare it.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to take your cat far from home to help him get used to nature. You can start in your backyard, and if it’s fenced in, that’s even better.
Stay by his side and let him decide when he’s ready to do some exploring. Keep the leash loose and follow behind your cat, but don’t force him to venture further than he thinks.
Be prepared for a possible ‘freak out’ episode if your cat gets very scared. You can bring a towel that can be used to quickly wrap the cat if it panics and bring it indoors.
The first exits to the outside should be near the open door of the house. Your cat should know that she can seek safety indoors whenever things get “dangerous.” After a few trips, this will no longer be necessary.
Keep in mind that walking with a cat is different from walking with a dog. Cats don’t require long walks, they are more likely to prefer sniffing around your yard and dozing in the sun.
Anyway, it is important to pay attention that your cat is comfortable, do not force him out of his comfort zone.
Additional tips for leash walking
Don’t let your leashed cat walk out the door alone. Always accompany him.
It is always recommended that owners accompany their cat outdoors, rather than letting the cat do it himself. The reason is to reduce the tendency to run towards the door when the leash is not hooked – a cat that is used to walking on its own when the leash is on will probably try to do that at other times as well, and that is very dangerous.
Do not put the harness when your cat is crying because it wants to go out.
Don’t take your cat out when he’s crying to get out. Otherwise, you will reward the crying behavior, use it in the future, and take advantage of your weakness.
Never leave your cat outside unsupervised.
Don’t leave your cat alone on a leash, even if you plan to walk away for just a minute. Your cat could become entangled in the leash and injure himself, resulting in a negative experience forever. Don’t forget that cats are not dogs.
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