Taking a cat for a walk is not as strange as it might once have seemed. In fact, according to the folk at Voyager Harness, more and more people are training their pets to walk on a leash attached to a cat harness. Should you do it too? And what are the benefits for you and your beloved feline friend if you do?
Why it’s Good to Take Your Cat for a Walk
Sadly, many cats are brought up to be house cats, despite the fact that these animals truly love being outside exploring. There is an obvious reason why humans keep their pets inside – they want them to be safe from harm. Moreover, the fact that indoor cats can live much longer than their outdoor brethren seems to back up this reasoning. But what if there were a way that you could allow your cat to enjoy the outdoors while ensuring her safety at the same time? Well, by teaching her to walk on a leash, you can.
Getting outside in the fresh air and exploring the world is not only fun for your cat, but it is also healthy. A break from the house will relieve your pet’s boredom and likely decrease any destructive behaviors (which are common in young cats). No matter how many scratching toys you buy, nothing beats the outdoors for fun and adventure in your pet’s eyes. Furthermore, going for walks with your pet gives you both the chance to enjoy some exercise, which is beneficial to health. Indoor cats usually get their exercise running about the house, but an occasional walk will improve their health and will help to prevent the onset of various problems in later life.
Taking your cat for a walk will give her the confidence to be outside, and you can then take day trips or even short vacations together. You won’t have to worry about your cat if you are heading to the countryside for the afternoon or feel guilty for leaving her behind because you know that you can just take her with you and she will be safe on her leash.
Should You Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash?
Now that you know the benefits of taking your cat for a walk, you may want to try it for yourself. But before you jump right in, it is important to be aware that not all cats will be open to the idea. In fact, older cats that are used to being in the house may have zero interest in leaving it. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.
Before grabbing your pet and trying to wrestle her into a harness however, you should get her used to it by leaving it around for her to smell and play with. After a few days, you can try to place the harness on your cat. Be gentle and never force it on to her. She might be amenable, but she may be completely freaked out and try to scratch to get away from it.
If she has allowed you to place the harness on, let her get used to it before trying to attach a leash. When she is ready for the leash, you should practice walking around the house for a few weeks before venturing outside. When you do go outside, stay close to your house for five minutes before returning inside again. You can then build up slowly until she is used to going for longer walks.
To conclude, walking a cat has many benefits but not all cats are willing to be placed in a harness and attached to a leash. You need to follow your cat’s lead on this one.