A walk will bond and strengthen the bond between you and your cat. It is also a way for you to stimulate and create new joys for your cat. However, the outside world is not as gentle as how you treat your four-legged friend. And it’s also not so familiar that your cat can easily explore every nook and cranny like your house. And that’s why the leash is so important. Through this item, you can control the pace of movement, adjust the direction of the adventure and thereby minimize the possible risks. But no animal naturally likes to attach a leash and harness to its neck. That’s why you need to be careful when walking your cat on a leash for the first time. And believe me, this is easy but not everyone can do it.
What you should do when walking your cat on a leash
The right time to train
I will be frank with you. This is like a training session and it only really works when both parties cooperate. Although it was domesticated a very long time ago, in essence, the cat still retains the wildness inside it. So let’s say leash and harness are synonymous with confinement in their understanding.
The best age to train cats to walk with a leash is when they are young. At this age, they will more easily accept changes. This will help form more stable habits. You will save more effort and time.
Of course, this can happen with adult cats if they obey because learning happens very quickly.
What do we need?
Make sure you have the tools and means to enter the training. You won’t need anything but a leash and harness, but for them to fit your little one, you’ll have to consider a lot of factors.
As a general rule, the harness should be snug, soft, and snug against the cat’s body, not the neck. Leash only needs to be able to connect to the harness and be able to quickly retract in some emergencies.
However, depending on your cat’s body type, coat thickness, and personality, you can choose harnesses or wraps. The swaddles can be a bit difficult to control when the subject is a fluffy or overweight cat, while a harness will be a “jailbreak” opportunity for a slim or short-haired cat.
If that’s the first time you’re trying to connect your cat to a leash and a harness, the jitters are understandable. But don’t worry too much about it, the important thing you need is patience. Start!
1. Let your cat get to know a new friend
The quickest way to do this is to let your cat smell the leash and harness. And if you pay closer attention, this is also the way cats often use to communicate with their fellow humans besides meowing. You can place the leash right next to your cat’s food bowl for a few days to get them used to the smell of the string.
With that, you can simulate putting on and removing the harness from the cat’s body. You can use your hands to let them understand the movements you will make later. This should go on for a day or two until the cat gets used to the new companions.
Place the harness on your cat without the leak attached. You should start with short intervals first and observe your cat’s expression. This should be accompanied by treats and gentle caresses to increase the cat’s enjoyment and eliminate unnecessary anxiety.
The moment the cat meows is also the time when you should remove the harness and set it free. You need to repeat this regularly with increasing time.
2. First steps…
Along with letting your cat get used to the leash and harness, you can let your cat try the feeling of walking with the “holding tools” on her body. Take the pressure off the leash completely and let your cat walk around the house. Negative reactions, such as trying to get out of the harness, are likely to gradually subside.
Then install the leash and let the cat roam the house. Your job now is to keep your distance (to the point where you can pick it up whenever you want). The exercise should end when your cat has meowed in annoyance. And of course what I encourage is the words of encouragement, the pats, and the treats.
3. Add a bit of direction
The game will continue but now you are the one who takes the initiative. Instead of letting your cat roam with a loose leash, try gently guiding her in the other direction. You will of course encounter resistance but hold on until our four-legged friend softens.
You can make things easier with a little food spread on the floor or in your hand.
4. Come on adventurers, are you ready for the new world?
The process of walking your cat indoors can take from a few days to a few weeks until the cat has enjoyed walking with the supervision of a leash.
That’s also when you open up a new world for them. I let Alesha (my British Shorthair) take her first steps out. I think you should also let your cat take the initiative in that. Don’t go through this process by opening the door and violently pulling your cat out. No! This only causes bad psychological phobias for your cat. If your cat shows timidity in this situation, try again in a few days.
The first place that you should prioritize is your garden or front yard. And remember that you are now in charge of the show.
The next walking places you can visit are the street you usually walk in or the central park not far away.
You should choose days with dry weather and a mild climate so that both of you can have the most fun experiences. Besides, don’t forget to bring treats and drinks.
Things need to notice
There are always dangers lurking outside when walking your cat on a leash. No matter how hard I try, I can’t always keep an eye on Alesha when she comes to the park. Don’t leave them free for too long because bad dogs or people will love it.
When walking your cat, pay attention to areas with aggressive dogs. With their ambush behavior, they will scare your cat to the point of jumping up there.
Besides, if you choose your garden, try to pull your cat away from plants that can harm cats like Amaryllis, Autumn Crocus, English Ivy, Lilies, Pew…
Walking your cat on a leash is an activity that can bring joy and health to both you and your furry friend. And of course, doing it for the first time will bring extremely special emotions. Good luck!walk-in
Thanks for reading!