Step 2 - Preparing to Train Your Cat
There is no right or wrong way to train your cat as it really depends on your cat.
What we can share is how we and others have trained our cats to walk on a leash.
It is easier to train young kittens rather than older cats to explore the world with you.
However, it is still possible to train an older cat to be an outdoor cat. It’ll just take longer and may require more patience - but would be super rewarding.
No matter what cat you are training, remember your cat sets the limits. You don't want to stress them unnecessarily.
Just like people, every cat has their own unique personality. They each have their own likes and dislikes. Some people love hiking, while you couldn’t force others to go on a hike. Your cat is the same.
The Right Tools:
With going outside, there is always the risk that you and your cat will become separated. To make sure you can find them again, make sure they are microchipped and their details are up to date. Also ensure that they have identification on their collar with your number. Did you know that in most Australian states, you can be fined for not having identification via a collar and microchip?
Harness & Leash
Before you start training your catexplorer, you will need the most important tools: the harness & leash. We go into more detail about them here.
If you aim to backpack train your cat, we recommend starting this early in your catexploring journey, as it gives them the opportunity to get used to it. We go into more detail here.
Your Cat's Health:
Always ensure that your cat's vaccinations are up to date. Speak to your vet for details on vaccinations as this may vary based on region and country. Mention to your vet that you plan to take your cat, as your cat may need extra vaccinations.
Flea, Heartworm and other Self Applied Medications
By taking your cat outside, you are exposing them to other possible parasites, like Fleas and Heartworm. Make sure that their medication for this is applied as recommended. Speak to your vet for further information.
Did you know that research has found that desexed animals live longer? In addition, to this there are several other reasons why you should desex your cat (catexplorer in training or not). A desexed catexplorer is less likely to roam, meaning that you would be less likely to be separated from your cat while you are exploring. Furthermore, desexed cats mean less surprise litters and kittens who need to be rehomed.
Now that you are ready to start training, it's time to test if your cat would enjoy going outside.