Safely Turn Your Indoor Cat into An Outdoor Cat -- Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash
Ever wish your indoor cat could be an outdoor cat and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells while staying safe? According to Training a Cat to Walk on a Leash | NYTimes.com, more and more animal behaviorists, such as trainer Jackson Galaxy quoted below, are convinced that training and walking cats is not only possible, but good for the cat.
First equip yourself with a cat leash, such as this Come with me Kitty Harness to obtain gentle and comfortable control of your cat or kitten for your outdoor excursions. Next, follow these tips from Jackson Galaxy for training your cat on a leash:
1. Know your cat. If it doesn't mind being handled, is pretty confident and not easily spooked, it's probably a good candidate for leash training.
2. Get the right gear. It is not safe to walk cats on a traditional collars; if they escape up a tree, a breakaway collar will detach, while a standard collar can strangle them.
3. Hungry is good. Many cats respond to food treats, so start with a hungry cat. Cut treats into tiny pieces, because when a cat gets full, it will stop working. Only give the cat treats when you're doing the training, and limit the overall amount.
4. Start small. In the first session, place the harness on the cat with confidence, and fit it snugly but not tightly. The moment you've finished putting it on, give your cat a treat.
5. Set goals. Push the cat a little farther each day, by breaking up leash walking into small steps. When it walks around each new area with its tail up, it's ready for the next step.
6. Expect some setbacks. If the cat is afraid of something, try to redirect its attention to another area. If the cat completely freaks out, retreat to the previous area you were walking until it is confident again. Try not to pick up the cat, which erases its confidence.
7. Be careful if your neighborhood has lots of off-leash dogs; consider taking the cat to an area that's more protected.
Come with me Kitty Harness is available in many colors:
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Posted by Molly & Jessie at January 2, 2012 12:04 AM