Have You Ever Thought About Walking Your Cat On a Leash?
It might sound crazy to see a cat walking on a leash, but it's actually a beneficial activity for a frisky feline. There may be a million things you can do inside to enrich your cat's life, yet some benefit even more from taking a good stroll on a leash or harness outside. This is a fun, exciting way to keep their mental and physical health in tip-top shape!
Wondering about the benefits of taking your cat for a walk or questioning how is it even possible? Here are the essential details you need to know.
The Benefits Of Walking Your Cat On A Leash
1. Overall Boost in Health
A healthy cat is a happy cat. 60% of cats in America are actually overweight. Their sedentary lifestyle inside your cozy house sometimes causes them to pack on the pounds. A cat's healthy weight can happen when they move a little more. When they get outside walking and enjoying the outdoors, they're able to burn extra calories. Cat exercise is crucial to a cat's overall health.
Cats often lead pretty chill lives as they stare out windows and play with the occasional toy. Getting them outside gives them visual and mental stimulation. Walking outside on a leash gives them relief from a boring everyday life. Their minds stay active as they explore all the world around them has to offer. The exercise also helps relieve their stress.
3. Boost In Energy And Sleep
Young kitties love to bounce off the walls with all of their energy. Get them outside to burn off some of that energy. As a bonus, they will get in some great sleep. You probably already know that cats love to sleep. Taking them on a walk gives them some extra deep sleep and gets rid of that pent-up energy.
4. The Wild Side
Think of your cat as a mini lion. Bet you’ve seen them roar a couple of times! They love to explore their wild side. They get to enjoy all of the outside experiences without the fear of danger. Feral cats and outdoor cats get the fun of taking a walk on the wild side. Your cat may love stepping into this world for a little bit.
5. Ease Cat Arthritis
Over 30% of cats over the age of either suffer from arthritis. Getting their joints and muscles moving on a regular basis can help ease the pain of cat arthritis. They don't need to take long walks if they have arthritis, but it will help to get them moving by doing a little exercise.
6. New Experiences Together
Getting your cat out in the world is an experience for both of you. You may have some strange stares at times. This is great socialization for you and the kitty. Your cat is getting to experience many things for the first time. They're smelling the flowers and thinking about the tall grass. They're in another world when walking on a leash outside. It's fun to experience this together.
7. Gain Confidence
Some cats are scared of everything. They run from new guests and hide in your house. Getting them outside on a leash helps them gain confidence. Once they get harness trained, they're able to know they can push the limits without getting hurt. Then they become more comfortable inside your house, too.
Sold on taking them for a walk? Still, proceed with care!
Some Cats Aren't Cut Out For Leash Training
Some cats aren't going to budge from their happy little comfy spots. If your cat is stubborn and won't go for a walk, don't push them. Not every cat is cut out for walking on a leash. They can all be given the opportunity, but not all will be cool with it.
You know your cat's personality better than anyone. Don't push them if they don't want to engage in it. Some cats love it, and some hate it. You can try fun alternatives if they refuse to walk.
Cat Walking Isn't Like Dog Walking
Walking your dog usually means you get in some nice exercise and have an endpoint. Walking the cat is a little different. You aren't going to get to that certain destination when walking your cat.
Your cat will want to wander around. They don't care about walking in a straight line. They want to smell everything and explore. Remember, they are curious creatures.
In reality, your cat really walks you.
It's important that as your snuggle buddy learns how to maneuver on its leash that you stay patient. Sometimes they will sit in one place for an hour. Sometimes they will refuse to go another step. It takes a lot of patience to deal with your cat as they figure out this new thing.
Cat exercise isn't in a lot of cat's vocabularies, so don’t sweat it until they figure it out.
If your kitty hates the leash and harness experience, explore other alternatives. You can create a special place in your home where your cat can explore. Set them up a little box house or put out a few different toys.
There are even cat bags and cat strollers for you to take your pet on a walk outside to still get the outdoor experience. It's okay if your cat isn't into the leash life.
5 Tips To Get Your Feline Started on a Leash
1. Train Indoors First
It's best to start your cat training on a leash inside before you explore the great outdoors. You can buy a harness and let the cat play with it inside, so they aren't scared of it. When they're ready, strap them into it.
Give them the opportunity to feel comfortable in the harness. Let them wear it roaming around your house.
Next step, you let them play with the leash and get comfortable with it.
2. Go Outside In A Smaller Area
Walking a cat with a harness isn't difficult, but you do need to help your cat figure it out once they are outside. Get them outdoors in a smaller area at first.
Make sure there is not too much around to distract your cat, or you may totally lose their focus. Let them lead the way sniffing and walking in different directions. Lightly guide them, but don't push the limits at first.
3. Set The Ground Rules
Your cat may think if they've been outside once, they can dart outside at any point when the door opens. Set the ground rules that they can only go outside if they are wearing their harness.
It's important that the harness fits correctly so they cannot get out of it. They may want to wiggle and escape. However, set the rules that they need to stay in the harness. Don't let it be loose enough that they can slip out.
4. Let Them Lead The Way
Your cat will enjoy leading the way in its harness. Let them show you where they want to go. They probably won't want to walk in a straight line on a trail. This might mean a nice little walk in random areas. They may even want to just sit down and enjoy the sunshine.
Their confidence will get boosted as they lead you along their walk. This is a time you get to enjoy and watch them with a smile.
5. Use Rewards
Training an animal is always done a lot better by using rewards and positive reinforcements. Give them treats as they learn to gain confidence on their leash.
Make sure they always get extra cuddles and kisses when they are doing well with their harness. Don't push them too hard, but offer treats when they are showing improvement.
Your happy cat will thank you with a purr and a head nudge after you've given them the experience of walking on a leash. When you're trying to learn how to walk a cat, you're learning a new experience along with your cat. You've unlocked another world for them. They get to explore the outdoors in a safe way and you get to smile knowing you're helping their health and well-being.