Exploring the great outdoors offers plenty of benefits for cats, but it also comes with a host of dangers. Many cat owners are turning to leashes as a safe and fun way to exercise and bond with their cats. While the idea of training a cat to walk on a leash may seem impossible, it can be easier than you might think.
If you want to walk your cat on a leash, start slow. Make sure you buy an appropriate harness for your cat, because collars can be dangerous if your cat climbs a tree. Let your cat sniff and see the leash for a few days, and try it on her during dinner or while she’s eating a special treat so you can adjust it without stressing her.
Begin training indoors, where it’s safe and free from distractions. Let your cat wear the harness around the house for a little bit, and give her plenty of treats. Play with her while she wears the harness to get her used to moving with it on.
Add the leash so she can drag it around and get used to the feel. When your cat is ready to venture outdoors, carry her outside to a quiet area. Don’t try to force her to do activities you think are fun, and instead let her make the decisions. Some cats prefer to lounge in the sun or sniff grass. Always supervise your cat to prevent tangles or accidents.
Some cats love going outside and may try to bolt out the door whenever you open it. Carrying your cat outside each time and making sure she never goes out without her harness can help prevent this. Other cats may never take to walking on a leash, and that’s okay too. If your cat freezes up and refuses to move, give it a little time but then consider other options. Enclosed patios or cat-proof fencing can be a good way to give your cat safe outdoor time without using a leash. Taking your cat outside on a leash is a fun and adorable way to exercise. For more never-ending kitten cuteness, watch this video.
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