If you want your kitty to join you on outdoor adventure even if it’s just in the backyard or on the porch, you first need to find him a harness that fits comfortably and teach him to walk on a leash. Leash walking won’t only come in handy when you’re outside, but also when you’re traveling or taking your cat to the vet. It’s also a great way for your kitty to get exercise, and it can alleviate boredom-related behavior problems. Plus, it can be fun for both of you, if your kitty enjoys it.
What you need for training:
1. A well-fitted cat harness. Do not use a small dog harness.
2. Nylon or lightweight cloth leash. Avoid flexible or chain leashes.
The training Steps Include:
- Familiarise your cat with the harness indoors: wear the harness without a leash and keep it on for a short time. While the harness is on, give treats to the cat. Repeat the process and gradually increase the time your cat wears the harness till it is comfortable with it.
- Familiarise your cat with a leashed harness indoors: After your cat is used to having a harness on, attach a leash to the harness and let your cat walk with it with no tension/restraint.(This means you hold the leash behind and follow your cat’s movement). Reward with a treat when it is wearing the leash and harness, then gradually increase the walk time.
- Get your cat familiar with leash tension indoors: With your supervision, let your cat drag the leash around indoors. Your cat will get comfortable with time moving with the leash . .
- Start walking on a leash indoors: Follow step 2 above allowing your cat to take the lead while you follow. After some time, gently try to lead with the leash in the opposite direction and let your cat follow your lead. You can drop some treats in the direction you are leading
- Start walking on a leash outdoors: After your cat has mastered the craft of walking indoors, you can introduce outdoor walking. Start by walking to the door and through it and encourage it with some treats. Ensure the weather is favourable, and avoid busy roads or dog barks.