Happiness is in the Field
At Oven-Baked Tradition, we know that you really enjoy your cat’s company and that you are inseparable from each other. Maybe you’d even like your cat to accompany you on a hike, but you’re afraid he’s going to wander off on his own? Stop worrying because now’s the time to put on your walking boots! Yup, today’s the day where we’ll show you how to turn your best friend into a catventurer!
But before you take the open road, you must first determine if your cat is cut out for a life filled with adventures. For example, if your kitten becomes anxious at the slightest stimulus, is a pantyhose or is not very sociable, it is possible that he prefers to contemplate the outside world from your windowsill… which is also perfectly fine!
Now, whatever you do, be sure to do it with love and respect for your cat’s wishes.
Step 1: Choosing the right harness!
There are an incredible number of cat harnesses and safety jackets on the market. Some models have conventional fasteners, others have Velcro, while some jackets feature zippers. Be aware though, as no available products will miraculously suit all cats.
TIP: Start by using a simple harness, which is usually inexpensive. You can get one for less than $20 at most pet stores.
Step 2: Your cat should be able to associate the harness with a good feeling.
(And yes, by ”good feeling”, we mean food!)
Feeding time is a good time to introduce the harness to your cat.
Place it next to his plate so that he can feel it at will. It is important to give your pet time to discover his new harness. When you feel it’s done, you can then feed him.
TIP: While your cat is eating his meal, open the harness straps or tuck in the Velcro on the harness so your cat can get used to hearing that new sound.
Step 3: Fitting time!
After a few delicious practice sessions, your cat is finally ready to put on his new harness. To begin, simply insert the straps around your companion’s body without tying them.
This is where the treats come in.
If your cat reacts well, leave the harness in place for a few minutes and reward him generously for his efforts. Keep in mind that your cat loves the right words, but those treats makes the longest lasting impressions!
Repeat the process at the next feeding time.
If your cat reacts badly, remove the headgear immediately. Just don’t forget to reward your cat anyway. Wait until the next day before repeating the experience.
After a few days, if your cat tolerates the harness well, you will be able to attach it without having to adjust it. This step will come later.
Needless to say, continue to reward your companion’s efforts with plenty of treats.
TIP: Let your pet wander around the house as much as he likes. If he walks a bit oddly, that’s normal… and you don’t need to worry about it! However, if your cat chews on the harness or struggles with it, remove it immediately.
Last step before the first outing: adjust the harness and attach the leash!
Before going outside, your cat must be able to walk around the house with the harness and leash securely fastened. The harness must fit snugly. If in doubt, refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
WARNING! Your cat’s neck is very sensitive, so you shouldn’t attach the leash to your cat’s necklace!
TIP: Let your cat lead the way and give the leash some play. For now, he is the one in charge. Once he gets used to it, you can gently guide him a little more.
A few last tips to conclude:
- For your first trip outside, choose a quiet place. Avoid busy streets and noisy places.
- Be very careful about your companion’s behavior during your first outings. He is experiencing new sensations and may well have unexpected reactions.
- Avoid taking your cat out when he asks you to do so. Otherwise, you may have to do so at any time of the day or night…
- Your cat should always be in your arms and on a leash when he walks through your door.
- When dogs are not allowed on a hiking trail, so is your cat! If you don’t respect this rule, you may have to pay a fine.
Our team looks forward to hearing from you, so please feel free to share your stories with us! Talk to you soon!