Take the cat on a walk, Step by step
Not every cat will agree to being walked on a leash, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your kitty a chance. Especially if they are an indoor cat. Can you imagine never leaving your house?
Walking your cat on a leash will give them a more enriching life. And when your cat is happy, you’re happy because they aren’t so bored that they tear open any bag left on the counter and drag it around the house. And imagine a world without a litter box - what if your cat didn’t need one because they did their business while on a walk?
Yes, walking a cat on a leash sounds perfectly normal. But how? Honestly, it is similar to teaching a puppy to walk on a leash - introduce the harness, start slow, use treats, and try to get them to follow you. Remember it takes time and patience. Don’t be surprised if your cat is freaked out by that green spiky stuff they are forced to walk on - they’ll learn to love it.
Here is a step-by-step list on how it’s done:
Get your cat used to the harness. This may be easy for some, but if it proves difficult, take your time. First, put the harness on without buckling it and give your kitty a treat and some love. Treats will help them associate the harness with good things. You may need to do this daily for a while before taking them outside, just be consistent. Another trick is to put it on before feeding time and let them eat with the harness on. Once you can buckle the harness and your cat will wear it without being bothered, it’s time for step 2.
Indoor walks. Try walking them around the house for a bit. Bribe them with treats or their favorite toy to get them to move around, if necessary. Once they seem comfortable with the leash and you can somewhat keep their attention, move on to step 3.
Get outside! Once you get outside, don’t expect to walk very far. Cats are very curious and usually just want to explore nearby and not follow you when you ask them to. Continue to bribe them with treats or a toy. If they have never spent much time outside, this is a whole new world to them and they are curious about every inch, so give them some time.
Once you can get them walking, try to go a little further each day. Make sure to keep an eye out for dogs and pick your cat up if you think that they are uncomfortable. Keep treats with you, and maybe a poop baggie too.