Have you ever wanted to take your cat outside to explore with you? If you’re willing to be patient, introduce your cat slowly, and provide a lot of positive reinforcement, you can take them on walks with you in no time!
To decide if your cat would be a good candidate for leash training, think about their personality. Are they curious when you open the front door or do they run away? Have they responded well to strangers or other cats and dogs? If not, you can still take them just outside the front door. Some cats enjoy rolling around in the sun outside even if it doesn’t mean they get to go on a long walk to get there.
If you’ve decided your cat would be open to exploring the outside world, look below for four tips to successfully leash train your cat.
1. Get the Right Equipment
Measure your cat to ensure that their harness will fit snugly, but not be too tight. Try laying treats on the ground under the harness, then place it on them for five minutes and pet or play with them.
Continue to increase the amount of time you leave the harness on, and always make sure it’s a positive experience that your cat will look forward to by incorporating play, petting, or treats.
2. Start Indoors
While you might be excited to get your cat outside, don’t rush it! Begin by placing the leash on the harness and letting your cat lead the way. Then, when they’ve become comfortable with that, you can try calling them to different parts of your home and tug on the leash gently, encouraging them to follow you.
Cat Harness and Lead Set for Walking. Escape Proof, adjustable and lightweight.
Cat Harness and Leash Set for Walking. Escape Proof with 59 Inches Leash.
Moon and Star Pattern, glow in the dark cat Leash with harness set.
3. Head Outside
When going outside for the first time, make sure that you pick your cat up instead of allowing them to go out on their own. Otherwise, they may think they can walk out the front door whenever they want, leash or not!
Bring your cat’s carrier with you in case they get startled. If a dog approaches, or there’s a sudden loud noise, you want to be able to get your cat to safety and prevent them from trying to lurch away.
Keep the carrier on the ground near your cat the first couple of trips outside so they know they have somewhere to run to if they get overstimulated.
4. Provide Supervision
You will need to be beside your cat each time they are outside to ensure they stay safe. Encourage them to explore new areas, but be sure you’re nearby in case they get into a sticky situation and need to be comforted or picked up.
Keep these steps in mind the next time you are interested in leash training your cat, and remember to let them pick the pace of the training sessions!
Leash training your cat does have its benefits and can prove to be helpful when having to travel with your cat.