4 steps to learn how to walk your cat on a leash
All cat owners would love to see their little furball follow them for a short walk. And many apartment cats would like to discover the outdoors for their greater good.
Did you know that it is quite possible to teach your cat to walk on a leash to get him some air? But a cat outside does not behave like a dog, it will prefer to hide, climb trees.
Learning to walk on a leash requires a lot of delicacy and patience. In the following, you will find all our advice and tips for walking your cat on a leash without breaking your head, and above all, without traumatizing him.
Walking your cat on a leash: a long learning process
By the nature of the cat, a walk on a leash with it is an activity that not only must be well prepared beforehand, but also which will require a lot of patience. Some cats even develop an extraordinary dog walking ability.
In fact, in order to avoid doing more harm than good to your little feline, you must first of all carefully select the equipment that will be used for the ride, in particular a harness and a leash. Then you will have to familiarize kitty with these equipments.
Finally, the most difficult and which will require a lot of patience: you must gradually get your little furball used to going outside. No need to tell you that you will have to go gradually, at your cat's pace, without trying to force or put pressure on him.
Of course, don't forget to reward him with a treat every time he behaves well. As you will have understood, it is a long process!
How to learn to walk your cat in 4 steps
To be able to walk your cat without too much difficulty, it is important to respect and apply with patience and gentleness these 4 steps:
1. Choose a harness and a good leash
Compared to the collar that could cause injury to kitty if he pulls on it or wants to get rid of it, the ideal is toopt for a cat harness. Indeed, attached to your cat so as to hold it over almost the entire body, the harness evenly distributes the tension of the leash, thus limiting the risk of panic and then injury.
As for the left, choose a modelsufficiently long thatso that the cat can easily move and can feel free, start with a leash minimum 1.2 meter and 5 meter maximum juqu'à lie if the cat is accustomed .
2. Get the cat used to the harness
The ideal first step is to create visual, tactile and olfactory contact between the cat and the harness with leash. To do this, leave the harness and let it in places frequented by your cat, so that he can see them, smell them, play with them and imbue their scent there.
Subsequently, he will have to put the harness on him so that he gets used to the presence of the latter on him. Attach the harness to your cat for a few minutes or even an hour (depending on his reaction to wearing the harness) per day, for several days, preferably when he is relaxed. Do not hesitate to reward him, which will further amplify his ability to get used to the presence of the harness on him.
Once your little feline is used to the harness, you can add the leash to it. By going gradually and patiently, let him move as he pleases, until he becomes completely used to the presence of the leash.
3. Start in a quiet place With
your cat familiar with the harness and the leash, it is time to start walking. For a start, start in a quiet place like your veranda, then the garden or the courtyard of the building, etc ... The goal is to gradually familiarize your little feline with the outside world while protecting him from noisy areas, because the slightest noise unusual he will be faced with could terrorize and traumatize him for life. And because of that, he'll never want to go outside again.
4. Increase the time and number of walks
Once your cat is familiar with the outdoors, you can gradually increase the time, number of walks and places to walk. For example, you can change from a 5-minute walk per week to 3 walks of 15 minutes each per week.
2 golden rules to not frustrate the cat from the walk
The worst case would be that on the first outing your cat is terrified, even traumatized for life and no longer dares to step outside. So, here are 2 rules to follow to avoid such a situation:
Do not force it to move forward and out
Not being used to the outdoors yet, the cat may show some reluctance to leave the house or else once out does not advance and remains to observe around him.
Just do not force him, because if he gets scared following an event on his first outing, he will fully integrate this frustrating event, and know it, he will not repeat it more or more so easily and will prefer to stay in his corner. home, despite your best efforts.
Never Pull on the Leash
As the cat is an independent animal, it will never appreciate that you pull on the leash to give it direction. This will only create kitty frustration and cause him to rebel.
In addition, if any element causes panic in your feline and he gets agitated, do not pull the leash to direct him towards you, because he will be totally lost between the element that makes him panic and you. who pull him in your direction in spite of himself. Instead, take him in your arms and stroke him to reassure him, and once calm, put him down again and get back on the road.