Can You Really Walk a Cat?

If you have ever tried to walk a cat, then chances are that you ended up carrying them on your shoulder or turned around to find them laying on the ground. Unlike dogs, cats are of a more relaxed mentality and may not seem fond of obedience. Training a cat to walk on a leash is possible and is also beneficial to their health. Here are some tips for convincing your feline friend to take a stroll around the block:

Brooklyn , New York  Queens, New York. 12/16/11.  Home. Cat Training:  Pix of Mac the cat on a leash in Prospect Park. Do not show owner.  Slug:  Cat Training Id : 30118477A.  Photographs by Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times.                              NYTCREDIT: Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

Use a Cat Harness

Cats’ motor skills can become neutralized through certain parts of the neck. It is important to start by purchasing a harness that has a leash attachment on the back rather than near or on a collar.

Incorporate the Harness into Daily Activities

Having the harness around during feeding time or when petting the cat will provide a sense of familiarity with things they trust and enjoy. Leave the harness near your cat’s bed or even near a bag of treats, so they can begin to associate it with pleasant things.

Let Your Cat Become Familiar With the Feel of a Harness

Start off by casually resting the harness over your cat’s back and shoulders to allow them to become accustomed to the feel. Once they are familiar enough and no longer notice, you can begin to attach it to their body.

Start Off in Remote Areas

Before you can begin walking your cat, it is important to let them learn how the leash works. Begin by doing certain activities within a leash’s reach. Follow your cat around the house while gently holding the leash. Keep a few treats with you for encouragement as you practice stopping and going in a familiar space.

Start Off Slow

Begin by going outside in a neutral and quiet environment. Your cat may not be used to the outdoors and may be sensitive to the elements of common neighborhood distractions. Continue to keep treats with you and praise your cat as they learn to adapt to the outside world.

Training a cat to walk on a leash is not unheard of, and it is actually quite possible. It is important to maintain trust between you and your cat and to have patience as they explore their limitations.

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