It’s no secret that many cats yearn to explore outside. But letting your feline friend roam unsupervised can be dangerous due to cars and wild animals. The best way for your kitty to have safe outdoor time is on a walk! Although much more commonplace and essential for their canine counterparts, walks can be just as enriching for cats! Here are a few things to consider if you want to begin training your cat to walk.
Unlike dogs, cats don’t need to be walked. Think of it as more of an enriching activity. If your cat doesn’t express interest in going outside and hates the idea of walking or wearing a harness, don’t force it on them. Walks and outdoor time should only be for cats that want them. Excess energy, mischief-causing, and spending a lot of time at doors and windows are all indicators that your cat may desire some outdoor enrichment!
Gearing Up For Adventure
Cats should only be walked using a harness and leash. Collars can be squirmed out of easily and can cause strain on the neck. Make sure their harness fits snugly but if you can’t fit two fingers underneath it, it’s probably on too tight and you may need to loosen it slightly. Start slowly by fitting them with the harness around the house and rewarding them with a treat for wearing it. If they appear agitated or uncomfortable remove it. Remember, this is for your cat’s enjoyment!
Taking The Lead
When outside with your cat, make sure you let them take the lead. Pulling them will lead to stress and discomfort. Wait until they become more comfortable with the leash and harness as well as their outdoor surroundings before attempting to guide them. Although outdoor time is a great way to get important exercise for your pet, try not to think of walking your cat as a workout. If they just want to sit in the grass and watch the trees, let them! One of the best reasons to get your cat outdoors is because of the enrichment that an indoor-only lifestyle lacks. As long as your cat is enjoying themself in a safe way, your job is done!
Walking a cat is certainly not as natural as walking a dog. Dogs adapt quickly to leash training and most don’t mind wearing collars and harnesses. Make sure to be patient with your cat and take things slow, especially if they are more than a few years old. With time and a little positive reinforcement, they can learn to be great walkers.
How We Can Help
Pet and Home Care offers cat walking services! If you need help training your cat or already have a cat that enjoys being walked, we would love to meet them! Give us a call at (301)-PET-CARE or visit us at petandhomecare.com/services to hear more about how we can help enrich the life of your cat!