We all know how natural it is to take a dog for a walk, but… a cat? It doesn’t usually happen with cats, and yet this may be a pleasant experience, although also dangerous.
You should assess how it might affect them: it has pros and cons, like everything in life. Enjoying the fresh air might encourage the cat to broaden their territory and get into the habit. If this is the case, they will enjoy it.
It is true that the idea of a cat on a lead is strange, but if you are thinking of taking them out for a walk, you should use one. A lead, a harness and your every last scrap of patience, because it will be your cat that tries to dominate and decide on your destination, but you should teach them that it will always be you who makes the decisions.
Cats are domestic, and in fact, life expectancy is much greater among cats who only live indoors as compared to those who spend time outdoors. To avoid accidents, going for a walk should always be done with a lead. You should teach them this routine from when they are small: they will adapt more easily both to the lead and to their learning. Adult cats will be more reluctant, although you could also train them to go out for walks. You will just need a little more patience, persistence and sensitivity to achieve the end goal.
Adult cats will be more reluctant to learn this habit, although you could also train them to go out for walks. You will just need a little more patience and persistence.
If you have decided to take them out for walks, then you should buy a lead with harness that is designed to pull from the chest, not from the throat. The most common leads measure no more than 1 metre and should be lightweight. Ensure that they are specially designed for cats, because if not they could easily take them off. Before putting it on them, your cat should be allowed to get familiar with it, so leave it beside where they sleep so that they can touch it and smell it for several days. It will be after this that the time comes to put on the harness. Once habituated to the harness, it will be time to try the lead.
Try to make the first walks be in the home. Only when your cat is calmly coping with the harness and the lead, will it be time to go out onto the street. Train them in the street.
Hold the lead firmly, although not so that it pulls; and it should be you who designates the route. Give them instructions gently: they will understand you and at the same time, you will ensure that they do not get nervous. Patience and suggestion will be some of the keys for training.