Perched on the windowsill, your cat seems to be dreaming of big spaces and new hunting grounds to conquer. You wish to accede to his desires while fearing for his security… The idea of walking him on a leash crossed your mind but you dare not take the leap. Be aware that this solution is quite possible by taking certain precautions. Our advices.
Is your cat made for walking on a leash?
Walking on a leash is not suitable for all felines and ideally, they should be accustomed as soon as they are older. young age. Before committing to this process, you must take into account the character your pet: if it seems to you that, faced with the bustle of the street, its temperament fearful risk making him panic to the point of wanting to flee, it is wiser to abandon your project. On the other hand, if it is curious of everything and daring, then new horizons open to him. First weigh the pros and cons of walking on a leash:
The disadvantages of going on a leash
Bad encounters. During the walk, you will probably have the opportunity to meet congeners. Outside of its comfort zone and its usual smells, nervousness and anguish can overtake your feline and lead it into a fight. The presence of dogs likely to arrive at high speed will also be one to watch;
Parasites and injuries. During the walk, you must constantly ensure that your little companion does not swallow what is on the ground at the risk of catching parasites or injuring himself. In all cases, contact with the outside world requires that it be up to date with its vaccines and its antiparasitic treatments.
The advantages of a walk on a leash
A shared happiness. Your cat will discover new stimuli and sensations that he will love. On your side, you will be delighted to see him marvel when he treads the grass, sniffs the flowers and jumps after the butterflies. Beautiful moments of complicity in perspective ;
Good for spirit. For an active and curious cat who spends his days lurking behind the windows or the balcony, leaving his four walls will be a great boost to his morale. By responding to his thirst for adventure, the experience will greatly benefit him to the point of becoming essential! Before committing, be sure to be able to schedule outings regular ;
Physical activity. Despite the many games available to him, an indoor cat does not spend as much energy as a feline who has the opportunity to explore the surroundings. The walk will allow him to practice physical exercise and will be particularly beneficial to an animal suffering from overweight or obesity.
Get the right equipment
To walk a cat on a leash, it is best to get a harness because the attachment of the leash is located at the level of the shoulder blades and thus makes it much more comfortable to wear. A necklace can slip over the head and as such does not present the conditions of security optimal. In addition, a necklace is likely to get caught on a plugged and prevent your cat from getting out of a bad situation if he has escaped. You will easily find on the market harnesses adapted to the size of a cat. If your feline is large, find equipment intended for small dogs. Take a thin leash and slight to facilitate the movements of your animal. A retractable leash is possible but it will be necessary control its operation in order to block it and shorten it quickly in the event of danger.
Get your cat used to the harness and leash
The first step towards walking on a leash is to get your cat used to the harness and leash so progressive :
- At first, have him wear the harness at theinterior from home a few minutes a day;
- Associate the harness with an action positive : Offer him treats or play with him. You can also put him just before his meal because while eating, he will forget his equipment;
- When your cat has settled into wearing the harness, you can add the leash ;
- Walk your cat in your home, letting him go as he pleases. Reward him if he stays calm ;
- Over the days, impose your own directions without pulling sharply on the leash. Continue to reward him after the sessions.
Take the cat’s first walk on a leash
Once your cat is familiar enough with the harness and leash, you can start first outdoor outing:
- Pick a location quiet and little frequented;
- Once outside, gently put your cat on the ground, let him observe and sniff your new surroundings;
- If he stays motionless and refuses to move forward, sit by his side and stroke him to reassure him;
- Do not force him to anything or pull on his leash. You can encourage him by using sweets ;
- First, plan outings short (ten to fifteen minutes) and always in the same place;
- Little by little, your cat will gain trust and will begin to venture a little further on its own. Praise him with the help of hugs;
- Gradually increase the duration walks when you feel your cat comfortable;
- If your pet panic, is agitated, struggles, it is because he is not yet ready for this new experience. Take him in your arms, stroke him and talk to him for the to reassure. Do not insist and repeat the operation another day;
- You do not notice no progress after several attempts ? So the great outdoors are not for your feline. You have to give up the idea of going outside and let your companion enjoy thesoothing atmosphere of its “home sweet home”.