Bringing your cat on a leash can be very useful and has many benefits for her health, especially if she lives in an apartment. The cat, wearing a good harness, does not suffer in any way. Of course, it takes a little patience before she gets used to it, so here are some effective techniques to make your cat get familiar to a leash!
Before deciding to train your cat to walk on a leash, it is imperative to make sure you have the right accessories. Better to opt for a harness rather than a collar, the most suitable harness model is the one that wraps the cat’s body like Ferplast’s Nikita models. As for the leash, the advice is not to use retractable models, again due to the sudden movements that the cat could make, but buy a traditional one such as Club by Ferplast.
How to get your cat used to a leash?
1) CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZE HARNESS. Make sure that the harness is as adaptable and delicate as possible, so that the animal only marginally perceives that it has something on.
2) PUT ON THE HARNESS AT HOME. In order for the cat to accept wearing the harness, it must become part of his personal effects. Leave it at her disposal so that she can smell it, bite it and play with it. Then slowly you can start putting it on at home, even if only for a short time. Reward the cat so that she positively associates the item.
3) USE THE LEASH AT HOME. Get the cat used to the leash step by step, as for the harness, put it inside the house and let her drag it on the ground, so that it becomes familiar and does not seems a constraint. We warn you immediately that the cat may not be very enthusiastic about it, so as long as she wears it, give her a treat of her favorites and some cuddles.
4) LET THE CAT WALK WITH HARNESS AND LEASH IN THE HOUSE. it’s time to take the first walks … indoors! Do some tests at home, from room to room, to see how she reacts.
5) SHORT WALKS OUTSIDE. When you see the cat quite confident and no longer afraid, leave the house. For the first outings it is better to choose places away from traffic and loud noises. Start with short walks, even just 5-6 minutes, just to let her experience the thrill of the novelty. You can only imagine what a riot of emotions the feline will experience if this is her first time outdoors! When you notice that the cat is feeling uncomfortable, do not force her, but pick her up and go home. You can always try again the next day.
Valuable tips to get your cat to use the leash
1) ALWAYS REWARD THE CAT. Positive reinforcement is the key to getting your cat used to the leash. Reward your four-legged friend every time she behaves well, when she lets you put on the harness while practicing at home, when she walks on a leash to the set goal. Doing so will encourage her and make her want to go out for a walk again.
2) LET THE CAT SETTING THE PACE. If you think that taking a cat for a walk is the same as leading a dog, you are very wrong! A cat will never be “commanded”, she decides the path to take and only in very rare cases – and with very cooperative cats – can you perhaps be the conductor! Felines generally do not walk alongside their human but rather stand in front. So don’t be too strict, nor get stuck if your cat doesn’t listen to you, it’s nature that guides her.