Housecats can enjoy the outdoors, but letting them loose outside can present too many risks. Taking your cat outside on a leash and harness is a good way to mitigate the risk, and still enrich your cat’s life with an outdoor environment. And, it gets you up and moving with them! Here are some tips for walking with your cat:
It is recommended to purchase a harness instead of a collar to attach to the leash. A standard collar could strangle a cat that tries to climb a tree. Kittens especially are super flexible and could maneuver their way out of standard collars, which you don’t want to worry about either. There are harnesses sold especially for cats.
Many cats will respond to food treats, praise, and petting, so feel free to take it slow and train them using these rewards when it comes to walking on a leash. Take it slow and pay attention to your cat’s response mechanisms, but know that he probably desires to please just like a dog would!
Don’t go outside before your kitty is used to the leash and harness. Give her immediate rewards for tolerating the harness. Try leaving the leash and harness near the food bowl at meal time so that she forms positive association with them.
Above all, know your cat and expect some setbacks. Don’t hesitate to try some indoor games as well!