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Cats love to slouch on the couch and spend time in long nap frenzies. But there is more from these lazy cuties when they spend time outside and bring home infectious prey or disease-infested dirt. You cannot allow your cat to go on daily house break endeavors and get ill.
The best approach for this behavior is to take them out for daily or regular walks. The walk will let them have a taste of adventure, and your furball will get mental stimulation to stay fit, active, and healthy. For daily walks, you need to start training a cat to walk on a leash and harness.
What do you need?
Training a cat to walk on a leash and harness doesn't require expensive goodies and products. All you need is a sturdy leash and a comfortable harness. The leash must be made of sturdy material to withstand cat bites. You must be aware that the harness shouldn't have seams on the inside to cause abrasions.
The harness should be loose enough for the cat to stay comfortable and fit enough to stay put on the neck. A bit loose harness will let your cat breathe and move most comfortably. For best material and cat-safe products, visit Zuzupetz. You will get comfy harnesses, sturdy leashes with soft handles to enjoy every single step outside.
Training your Cat to Walk on a Leash
You cannot put the harness and leash on your fur beauty and have the most wonderful day out the very first day. The process will take patience, consistency, and efforts to make the cat get the hang of this idea and accept the harness and leash. The whole process will start from buying the most suitable products and getting started with the following steps.
Make your cat accept the leash and harness by placing these products in their favorite places. Giving your cat some time to accept the leash and harness will make the process easy. It would help if you let your furball play with the leash for 5 to 7 days without starting wearing it.
When cats play with the leash and harness, they will leave their smell on these products. Next time you offer the products to them, there will be no running or anger management issues.
2. First Try
When there are no issues with the leash and harness now, it is time to start making your cat wear these products. The most important thing here is to look for the cues of your cat. If your feline companion freezes in a place, remove the harness right away to stop agitation and anxiety.
When the cat scratches and tries to remove the harness, do it yourself. Start making them wearing the harness for 5 to 10 minutes. Offering them a reward will help you make them understand that leash and harness is a good thing. Positive reinforcement and patience will make the cat comfortable with the idea. Now you are ready to go to the next level.
3. Mock Practice
Once the cat has understood the concept and accepted the harness and leash, it is time for mock practice. The exercise in the house will help you understand your cat and how your furball will behave outside. The main focus should be on understanding the cues of your cat.
When the cat behaves well, offer a treat and appreciate them well. It would be best if you always avoided punishment or a water sprayer for your cat to make them behave. Any punishment will make them fear you, and you will lose their confidence. The treats and love will help you make them walk with pride and grace on the harness.
The mock practices will guide you through the process of handling your cat inside the home when there are no stimuli around. When you have learned how to make your cat go in the direction you are going with the help of rewards, things will become easy outside.
4. Suit Up for Reality
Before going out, you must make your cat wear a harness and leash inside the house. If you take your cat outside in your lap and start the wearing process, any running object can get its focus, and you will see them slipping from your hands.
This is not the adventure that you have in mind; that's why you should avoid all the risks involved. Never take a chance with your cat when you are outside. Because, unlike dogs, cats won't come back running to you right away when you whistle or call their name.
5. Prohibit Door-dashing
When you open the door and your cat runs to the outside world, you can stop your cat with the help of a leash. But imagine that when you are not going for a walk and randomly open the door, your cat will stop at nothing in this world from making that dash even to defeat the bolt.
Always carry your cat in your arms to make the fur ball understand that there is no running outside. This act will let them understand that you are taking the cat out to have a healthy adventure. The cat will understand that running without the parent is not appreciated, and it will get them no good.
6. Start Exploring
Different behaviors will be according to their nature and disposition when you bring your cat out with the leash and harness. Some cats would love to explore everything around, while others will try to go inside. Try to limit the cat's behavior according to you by offering treats.
Patience and treats are the two important resources that will let you control the cat's behavior throughout the process. Use them wisely and let your cat enjoy the feast of the outside world with fun and joy.
Over to you
Always choose quality products with safe and comfortable material from trusted sources. The harness and leash should be of appropriate size according to the cat's body. The cat shall never be left alone, tied with the leash to a pole or something else. The cat tied with the leash might get strangled, or some wildlife could harm your feline companion. If training a cat to walk on a leash and harness takes longer than expected, don't worry at all. Use treats and patience and get maximum out of their adventure.