Does your feline friend often scratch or meow at the door? Does she spend hours at the window, watching birds and squirrels? If so, your furry friend may enjoy being walked on a leash. While we normally associate leashes and walks with our canine pals, some of our feline buddies also enjoy a nice stroll. But should you walk your cat? Read on for some tips from a local veterinarian.
Why Walk A Cat?
Kitties are much safer indoors. If Fluffy is allowed to roam freely outdoors, she faces many risks: cars, predators, toxins, weather, and other dangers. Walking your furball on a leash will allow her to get a taste of outside life without exposing her to these hazards. Walking is also great exercise for your furball.
Our adorable feline friends all have their own unique personalities. Some kitties are bold and friendly, while others are more timid. Consider your cat’s temperament before attempting to walk her. Shy, anxious cats, and those who don’t like being handled, may become very frightened outside. Cats that were once outdoor kitties, and those brave furballs who fear nothing, may really enjoy going for walks.
While leashes do work for some cats, you may find your furball more accepting of a harness. You’ll want to be sure the leash snaps on at the back, rather than at Fluffy’s neck. You’ll want to train your kitty indoors before taking her outside. Start by getting her used to the harness.
Let her sniff it and play with it, and give her lots of treats and cuddles, so she forms a good association with it. Then, let her wear it indoors. It may take a bit of time for her to accept this strange new piece of gear, but be patient. When she is used to the harness, attach the leash, and let her drag it around. Make sure to closely supervise your furball whenever she is wearing her harness and leash!
Fluffy’s safety should always come first and foremost. Always carry your kitty outdoors, and only put her down in safe areas. Never leave your kitty tied to a tree or post. You might also want to avoid walking near trees, at least at first, just in case Fluffy decides to go for a climb.
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