How to Walk a Cat on a Leash
If your cat spends his days inside the house, you may have considered the option of taking him out for some sun and fresh air.
We’re all used to the idea of walking a dog…but walking a cat? Not an easy proposition! Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything you need to keep in mind when you walk a cat.
To walk or not to walk a cat? That is the question
The first thing you should do is compare the pros and cons of taking your cat on a walk. You should only decide to take him out if you think he’ll enjoy it.
The question of walking a cat creates a lot of controversy among specialists. There are those who claim that just because of the mere fact that domestic cats go to the bathroom in a litter box, they should not be deprived of a good walk in the open air, especially if the animal has a tendency to want to escape.
Alternatively, there are also those who argue that taking these sensitive animals out of the house, in most cases, will cause more stress and fear than good.
As a result, our cats are stuck in the middle. Certainly, as always, we have to look for the happy medium between the two extreme positions and do what is best for the pet.
We’re now going to tell you everything you need to know if you want to take your cat for a walk.
What to do before taking a cat for a walk
First of all, you must get your cat used to using the leash. So, arm yourself with patience. Then:
- Show him the harness that you are going to use for your walks. For example, let him smell it, play with it and get used to it.
- Use a harness, never a collar. Ask the vet which model is the best for your cat.
- If the animal gets used to wearing the harness, then attach the leash and allow him to move around freely.
- Hold the leash and walk next to him, without forcing him.
Keep in mind that you should take the aforementioned points step by step, always in an enclosed place. Also, let at least a couple of days go by between each step.
In addition, we recommend that you reward the kitten with some of his favorite food, so that he has positive associations with the harness and the leash.
Issues to consider before going for a walk with your cat
After these tests, it is time to take the first step. Keep in mind that:
- Walks with your cat should be brief and taken in quiet places. For example, aim for a garden or a private park.
- You should avoid walking with him near the hustle and bustle of a big city.
- If you come across other cats or dogs, they may scare or hurt him.
- The animal must be properly dewormed and have up-to-date shots before you take him out of the house.
- If the kitten shows signs of stress or fear, do not force him. Take him back home as soon as possible.
- If you haven’t had your furry friend spayed, don’t take her out for a walk while she is in heat.
A walk in the park
Keep in mind that not all cats are the same, because they have been greatly influenced by the way they were raised. But even if these animals often go out alone, the act of walking on a leash can also scare them. This is because they are not in control of the situation.
At the same time, some cats prefer continuing to sleep calmly and groom themselves on their favorite pillows to walking around in strange places.
However, as we said at the beginning, a little air and sun are always a good thing so that the cat can roll around on the ground for a while or scratch his little claws on a tree trunk.
That is why it is best to get the idea of walking down the street with your cat out of your head. If you don’t have a yard or patio at your house or at that of a family member or friend, look for a park that is as unfrequented as possible and take your cat there in a carrier.
Options for a cat to have fun inside the house
If your cat resists going on walks or they stress him out too much, stop trying. There are always other options for him to have fun inside the house:
- Play with him daily.
- Install a cat tree.
- Try to find different hiding places (boxes, open crates, etc.) for him.
If you continue to feel the need to go for a walk with your pet, seriously consider the option of adopting a dog!