Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

Guest Writer: Marisa South

Have you ever wished you could teach your cat to walk on a leash, like a dog? Wouldn’t it be amazing to bring your cat with you everywhere you go?

It could be a good idea because you and your cat would get to exercise together, and your cat would escape his boring indoor routine. However, do not use a collar, because cats have softer throats than dogs. A cat can easily slip out of a collar or choke if it gets stuck on a tree branch.


How to Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash
Image: Wutsje / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

A better option is to have a stroll with your kitty wearing a cat harness or a cat walking jacket because the leash is attached towards the middle, which is more comfortable and much safer for your pet.

To make sure you buy the right harness or jacket, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to measure your cat’s girth. Usually, you measure it behind his front legs.

How to put a harness on a cat and train him to walk outdoors 

Before you teach your cat to walk on a leash outdoors, you must make sure that your kitty will be OK with that. Some cats love going out for walks with their owners, while others hate it. You should first leave the harness or walking jacket with its leash on the floor in your home, and let your cat smell it and get used to its shape.

Once your cat gets used to this weird object, put the harness or walking jacket on him without the leash, and have some kitty treats ready to reward him. The first time you train your cat, he might freeze or try to remove the harness/jacket. You should hold the treat in front of him to distract him and get him to gradually get used to the harness/jacket. Each training session should be short. Training a cat requires lots of patience. Another good idea is to put the harness or cat walking jacket on your kitty right before his dinner. That way, he will be focusing on his food rather than try to get rid of the harness.

After a few days, try to attach the leash to the harness and let your cat wander around your home while you hold the leash loosely. Don’t force your cat to follow you where you want to go. Let him roam freely to get used to the harness with the leash attached. And don’t forget to give him treats to reward his good behavior.

How to Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

If you see that your cat is getting used to it after a while, great! But if he hates it, maybe you should give up the idea of wanting to train your cat to walk on a leash. The most important thing is your cat’s happiness and well-being.

If everything goes well, it’s time to go for a walk! Once you feel like your cat is ready, attach the cat harness or cat walking jacket safely around him and try to go for your first walk outside. A good idea is to always hold your cat in your arms when you leave the house, and when you get back, to show him that you’re in control and that you are protecting him. When you start walking your cat, it’s best to stay close to your home. Your cat might be a little scared at first, especially if there are dogs or loud noises in the street. Take it easy, and with time, your kitty will get used to it. A cat is not a dog; you won’t be able to run in the park with him or visit busy, stressful places. Just have calm, short walks with him, and let him smell and explore his environment.

Who knows, after a while, your cat might be the one scratching the door asking you to go out! In that case, always be careful that your cat doesn’t run away and end up getting lost.

I hope you enjoy having a nice stroll with your cat!


“How to Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash”

Guest Writer Bio: Marisa South is the general manager at Vet & Pet Jobs. Marisa loves reading, working out, cats, dogs, and anything related to animals.

Animal Bliss - A really cool blog about Animals - domestic pets and wildlife too.

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