Taking your cat out on a walk

Nowadays, most cats are indoor cats. This is often a decision that owners have to take for their cat security, and it is often the best one, since city life is very dangerous for our four-legged companions. Cats usually have no problem living an indoor life; they get used to the comfort, and they can get a lot of stimulations indoor with their owner’s help. These cats would however be welcoming any opportunities to go explore the world they watch daily behind a window. Taking your cat out on a walk can be a great way for your cat to have a little adventure in his life, without risking his life.

The first step before being able to walk your cat outside is to get your cat used to wearing a harness. This harness needs to be well-adjusted so that it is comfortable for your cat, as well as tight enough to prevent your cat from escaping

First, get your cat used to the harness inside the house to avoid overwhelming him with too many new things at the same time. Just let your cat walk around with the harness so that he gets used to having something around his body and having a leash drag behind him. Always supervise your cat when he is wearing his harness so that it does not get caught in something. Associate the action of wearing the harness with things that your cat loves, such as chin rubs or tasty treats. Your cat will begin to look forward to those moments where he gets to wear his harness!

Once your cat seems comfortable with the equipment, you can try walking him by taking the leash and encouraging your cat to follow you, using his favourite things to lure him.

The next step is to go outside. Start small by just going in your yard or on your balcony. The world can be overwhelming to an indoor cat. Your cat will at first just want to get used to all the noises, the smells and the general action of the outside world. Always supervise him when he is outside on a leash; without the option to escape, your cat is very vulnerable to predators or bossy cats. After a couple of days, your cat will gain some confidence and will be tempted to explore the surroundings. Let him! You can also encourage him to follow you using his favourite treats.

Once your cat feels comfortable in a calm area, you can move to a location with more stimuli such as a public park or a forest. Always encourage your cat to go explore or to follow you!

While any cats can get used to being walked, a younger and more active cat will probably enjoy it quicker. It is possible also that you cat prefers sun bathing in the grass to taking a walk. That is fine: He is still being stimulated, and he is enjoying himself in your presence. If you were looking for a jogging partner, then perhaps you were aiming a little bit high ?.