Walk Your Cat

Cat on a leash

Some of us have cats that long for the great outdoors. But there are dangers out there for our kitties. One solution is to walk your cat, much as you would a dog. Here’s how.

First be sure your cat is current on all vaccinations before going outdoors – you don’t want to pick up a disease that may be lurking out there.

Choose from a variety of harnesses available for your cat. It should fit snugly without being tight. You should be able to stick a finger under the harness. Never attach a leash to a collar. If your cat makes any sudden movement, it could result in injury to the neck.

Attach the leash to the harness and practice walking indoors with your cat. This will accustom the cat to the feel of the harness and restraint of the leash. Never yank the leash as this can cause fear or injury to your cat.

Before taking your cat outdoors, make sure she is wearing a collar with an ID tag with all relevant information. It might be a good idea to have a chip placed too.

On your first trip outdoors it might be a good idea to take a friend along just in case you meet any dogs or other cats or you need help if your cat escapes. At first, limit the area where you walk. Your yard is a good start. If your cat is happy and cooperates, you can increase the area you walk gradually.

If your cat refuses to walk on the leash, be patient. If your cat is very timid or starts crying, go back indoors and try another time. If refusal persists, you might want to try one of the outdoor cat enclosures. Some even attach to the house.

I had 3 cats, only one of which liked to go walking outdoors. The other 2 were couch potatoes, content to enjoy the outdoors from a safe perch inside the house.

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