5 Steps to Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash
We’ve all seen them, videos online of cats wearing harnesses and being dragged along the ground.
It is obvious, that this is not how you walk a cat.
Training your cat to walk on a leash may seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be!
Here are 5 steps to follow.
1. Purchase the Right Harness
The type of harness you pick really depends on you and your cat.
You would probably prefer a different pair of jeans from your neighbour as we are all different. Cats are the same, they all prefer different harnesses based on their comfort levels and activities.
For a guide on which harness to use, see here.
2. Harness = Rewards
Cats are relatively easy to train using rewards that they enjoy.
Find what kind of rewards your cat enjoys. This could include treats, playtime, pats and even praise.
Knowing this will be a huge benefit in your cat training tool kit.
3. Be Prepared to be Patient
Patience and consistency are the 2 most important aspects of training your cat.
We often speak about training our cats, but we also learn to become more patient.
Prior to training your cat, be prepared to be patient. Some days you will feel like you have made 2 steps forward and one step back.
But focus on the resulting step forward. That is what makes this so fun for all of us.
4. Introduce Your Cat to Their Harness
Introduce your cat to their harness at home.
Do this before they start wearing their harness. Every time they get interact with their harness, give them a reward.
Once they are comfortable with the harness, put it on them and reward them.
Many cats do the typical flop on the ground. If your cat does this, pick up their favourite toy and start playing with them. This will help your cat realise that they can actually move with their harness on.
5. Explore the Outside World
Once your cat is comfortable with their harness inside the house, it is time to start taking them to new places.
Start small in a place that you are comfortable in and is quiet. This might be your balcony, or courtyard, or backyard or even your apartment corridor.
As you and your cat becomes more comfortable, start expanding the boundaries and taking them to places with a few new sounds and sights.
Over time, expand these boundaries within your cat’s comfort zones.
If you and your cat are comfortable with it, before you know it, you will be exploring through your local park and taking your cat to brunch with you.