Can You Really Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash?

How to Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

Can You Really Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash?

Guest Writer: Ron Burg

If you have ever tried to walk a cat, then chances are that you ended up carrying them on your shoulder or turned around to find them laying on the ground. Unlike dogs, cats are of a more relaxed mentality and may not seem fond of obedience. Not only is it possible to teach your cat to walk on a leash, but it is beneficial to their health as well. Here are some tips for convincing your feline friend to take a stroll around the block.

Can You Really Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash?
David DeHetre, Flickr

Use a Cat Harness

Cats’ motor skills can become neutralized through certain parts of the neck. It is important to start by purchasing a harness that has a leash attachment on the back rather than near or on a collar.

Incorporate the Harness into Daily Activities

Having the harness around during feeding time or when petting the cat will provide a sense of familiarity with things they trust and enjoy. Leave the harness near your cat’s bed or even near a bag of treats, so they can begin to associate it with pleasant things.

Let Your Cat Become Familiar With the Feel of a Harness

Start off by casually resting the harness over your cat’s back and shoulders to allow them to become accustomed to the feel. Once they are familiar enough and no longer notice, you can begin to attach it to their body.

Start Off in Remote Areas

Before you can begin to teach your cat to walk on a leash, it is important to let them learn how the leash works. Begin by doing certain activities within a leash’s reach. Follow your cat around the house while gently holding the leash. Keep a few treats with you for encouragement as you practice stopping and going in a familiar space.

Start Off  Slow

Begin by going outside in a neutral and quiet environment. Your cat may not be used to the outdoors and may be sensitive to the elements of common neighborhood distractions. Continue to keep treats with you and praise your cat as they learn to adapt to the outside world. Training a cat to walk on a leash is not unheard of, and it is actually quite possible. It is important to maintain trust between you and your cat and to have patience as they explore their limitations.

About Guest Writer: Ron Burg

Ron is a professional pet sitter who is crazy about dogs! When you are in that crazy moment and can’t figure out how to handle your doggie, then Ron is your guy. If you would like to connect with him, you can reach him through their website, Buckhead Paws

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Can You Really Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash?
Trish Hamme, Flickr

A QUESTION FOR YOU:

Do you walk your cat?

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6 thoughts on “How to Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

  1. I am glad I found this article. My husband I were just talking about doing this for out cat since she is very overweight. She sleeps all day and does not do much else.

  2. i think it is so funny when i see this. i had a fellow employee that used to walk her rabbit on a leash. this was many yrs ago. i laugh when i see people bring their cats in for the halloween costume contests. the cats dont really like this of course there are dogs everywhere. hopefully people would use harnesses and not collars b/c it would be so bad for their necks, if they were pulled on. they might hurt their windpipes.

  3. We walk one of our cats. He came into our lives as a barely 4 week old kitten. We started walking him at 6 weeks. He took to it like he had been doing it forever. We just have to say “go for walkies” and he will go get the leash and harness. We lay the harness down on the floor and he steps into it and we then snap the closures, off we go for a walk. We haven’t had as much luck with our other cats. The newest is doing better. We believe male cats do better with harness walking than females. Just our opinion. All females failed and the boys walk or at least starting to walk in our household.

    • That’s all fun stuff! I think it’s cool to see cats out walking with their people. I had a cat that used to just follow at my heals for a walk around a city block. Then, later, when I moved to the country, I had cats that used to walk down the dirt roads with me.

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