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Training Your Cat To Walk On A Leash

Aug 17, 2007
Can you train your cat to take walks with you on a leash outside just like a dog? Yes you can! Training cats, however is a whole different ball game from training dogs. With some Patience and persistence, however, you may have your finicky feline outdoors on a leash in no time.

The best time to start training is when your cat is a kitten, at this stage the cat doesn't have any programmed behaviors so you can try to mold him to what you want him to do. An older cat may be a bit more set in his ways and might require added patience for leash training.

One thing you will want to do is search out the leash that will be suitable for both you and your cat. There are many different leashes on the market to day. Some are retract able with a setting on the holder to be able to allow just enough leash out for the cat. On the other hand, you can just let the cat have as much as they would like. This is nice for walking and for letting the cat to play, with control that they do not run off or get in to much trouble.

Standard leashes are about 5 or 6 feet which should be fine. You want to get a leash that is lightweight - not one for a dog. Too much weight in the leash will make the cat uncomfortable and he won't want to go for walks.
Another item that you will need to consider is a harness or collar for the cat. A harness is the best for a cat. With purchasing a collar you will want to make it very narrow one and light. When looking for a collar keep in mind that you don't want it too tight on the cat, but not too loose either as you don't want him to slip his head out. Cat's won't respond well to jerking their collar so a harness is really best and should be loose and comfortable for the cat.

Once you get the leash, collar, or harness, you will want to introduce the cat to the item by playing with him. This allows the cat to get use to it and put its scent on these items. Next you want to try to put the harness or collar on the cat. Put it on as loose as you can get it, just place it him and depending on his reaction you can leave it on for a short time or if the cat does not want anything to do with it, then you might have to revert back to the "playing" stage. This step is very important, if you force the cat to wear the harness, they are not going to be happy at all with the harness or with you. Take your time with all the steps.

After the cat is wearing the harness loose, then it is the time to tighten the harness up until it is the right fit for the cat. At this point, you will want to give the cat time to wear the harness. Next attach the leash. Remember first to have the cat play with the leash. Put the leash on and get the cat use to having it on. Then you will want to start walking the cat inside, until the cat is doing well. Once the cat is comfortable with the leash then it is time to go outside for a walk.

When walking with the cat make sure there is not too much loose leash or they will be running in all random directions. There are many distractions for a cat outdoors - birds, squirrels and the neighbors pets might cause your cat to want to run around, but you must keep a tight leash so that your cat walks with you and is not dragging you all over the place.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for E Pet Center
where you can learn more about pets and caring for kittens and cats.
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