How to Leash Train Your Cat

Because it’s so much safer for cats to enjoy an indoors-only lifestyle as they are protected from predators, traffic and disease, they often lose out on fresh air and sunshine.

But you can give your feline the best of both worlds by training her to walk on a leash.

The first time you put a leash on a fully-grown cat and say “Come on, let’s go!” chances are your kitty will lie down and refuse to budge. And if you do manage to coax her outside, she will undoubtedly charge under a bush and leave you searching amongst the foliage trying to work out how to extricate her. Simply put, cats don’t take to walking on a leash the way ducks take to water.

But if you begin a walking program from kittenhood, a cat can be trained to enjoy outings as part of her exercise routine. And when it comes to grown cats, the answer is lots of patience and taking it slow. As little as ten to 15 minutes of exercise a day will bring positive results for your indoor kitty. Spending daily quality time playing with her will also strengthen the bond you share.

Having the right harness will definitely make leash training much easier. Look for a soft mesh harness that will go over her head and sit comfortably on her shoulders and Velcro tightly closed. There are special cat harnesses that come with a leash attachment.

Avoid designs that have hardware that fasten under the tummy because there’s no way your cat is going to lie on her back and let you fasten her in securely!

Start off by putting on the harness and letting her wear it around the home. Next, add the leash and let her drag it around for a while. After several such sessions, slowly pick up the leash and get her to walk on it indoors.

Before you head outdoors, scout out your neighborhood to ensure you can find a quiet route that is not heavily populated by dogs that may spook her, or too much traffic. If you have a garden, then go no farther than taking her out and about within the confines of your own walls.

Going for regular walks is great feline exercise. Cats can be trained to go the distance and can make great walking companions.

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