Do you live in an urban area, on a busy street, or are you just afraid that your shy mini tiger won’t find his way home? There are many reasons for not giving your cat unrestricted access. If your cat is used to living in an apartment and is sufficiently busy, it can usually live contentedly and appropriately without the “great freedom” under its paws. It is especially nice when she can sniff a little fresh air through a networked window or a secured balcony, or an outdoor enclosure. Another option is walking on the leash with a cat.
Leash walking with a cat – is that possible, and does it make sense?
You may now be wondering if a leash walk with a cat is something you could try. Before you buy a collar and start walking, you should carefully weigh up this plan and prepare well if you make a positive decision.
Fresh air – but not without ifs and buts
The thought of walking your cat on a leash in the garden or park is sure to be tempting. She can breathe fresh air, feel the grass under her paws and collect new impressions. After walking on the leash, your little adventurer is visibly exhausted and sleeps contentedly in his cozy bed – a great advantage of walking on the leash. With an individually adapted harness, the risk of an accident is lower than in unprotected open access. No question.
Risks of leash walking with a cat
Nevertheless, walking on the leash carries various risks that you should weigh carefully. Keep in mind that your cat will likely quickly get used to the luxury of fresh air around its nose and will be reluctant to do without it again. Perhaps you enjoy your walks so much that they emphatically demand more frequent and longer trips, at least in the mode in which you started. So if taking your cat for a walk is just a fixture, be aware of the additional responsibilities and obligations before starting the experiment. Think about how regularly you want to and can do around with her – even in times that are stressful for you, because your cat will probably look forward to your trips and do all sorts of jokes if you deny her this fun.
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Safety first – with the right dishes and good preparation
If you have decided to use the leash, make sure that you have a securely fitting harness. A simple collar is just as dangerous as an ill-fitting harness. Your mini tiger can transform into a professional Houdini if he is frightened by something or if he really wants to dash in the opposite direction to chase an exciting hand. A harness with a neck, chest and back section that we can individually adjust to suit your cat and securely closed is ideal. Also, make sure that you have good padding to enclose the pet’s delicate body comfortably.
Slowly getting used to the harness and leash.
If you have been able to find a suitable harness, give your cat the chance to get used to it at its own pace with lots of positive confirmations in your home. To do this, you put the dishes during a cuddle or brush session next to you, lets the cat sniff it, and praise or rewarded it for its curiosity. In the next step, you lay the dishes loosely on her back for a second, take them off, and reward her again immediately. Once she has got used to the new feeling on her back after a few practice units, you can extend the duration of the harness and give the reward while the harness is on your cat’s back. Only when it is relaxed for your cat to endure, do you secure one of the locks – also for a brief moment, followed by praise and a great reward. In this way, you can link the harness for your cat with positive experiences step by step. Depending on how happy you are to learn, it doesn’t take long to look forward to this new opportunity to get goodies. Take longer. Give your fur friend the time because the harness will be your insurance in the open air, which we should definitely wear relaxed .
During your first walks on a leash in the apartment, you both get to know this new type of movement. Your cat may be confused that it cannot move as freely as usual, and you will learn how to gently lead it on a leash – without being able to exert too much influence on its path.
The first real leash with a cat outdoors
Once you have gotten used to walking on the leash, your first “real” excursion can occur. Allow enough time to stay relaxed if your little explorer stays outside longer than planned. Allow the cat to explore the new surroundings, sniff extensively and scrutinize everything. Now and then, test whether we can still approach her by calling out her name and offering a treat. But resist the urge to want to influence them constantly. Your adventurer wants to memorize everything exactly, and you are more likely to disturb.
The idea that a cat, like a dog, would walk along the path you set on a leash is rather unrealistic. Rather, you will run from bush to bush or leaf to leaf; your cat will always give you a new direction and will only allow itself to be “steered” by you to a limited extent. So prepare yourself for “accompanied exploration” – that is, exploring.
The first walks should be a few steps away from your front door if possible. Little by little, you will expand your tour. The more regularly you do your laps and stick to a regular route, the more relaxed the excursions will be. Little by little, your velvet paw will also be able to cope with unexpected noises and movements.
Is walking on a leash really the right thing to do?
Finally, it is important to carefully consider whether a leash is an option for you and your cat. Often people lose interest or the possibility of regular walks with their cats – while the mini-tiger demands more and more of them. Carefully weigh up whether you really want to take risks and possibly even give your cat unrestricted freedom of movement later if your need for fresh air is too divergent. In the end, even a leash does not provide complete security. Your cat could squirm in a moment of shock that it flees with the leash. You should check all of this for yourself and decide accordingly carefully.
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