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Walking the cat - is this a good idea??

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have recently been thinking about buying the cat a harness and leash to take him out for walks - does anyone else do this? Or am I mad?
post #2 of 23
You're not mad, but I really don't like the idea of starting to get a cat used to being outside. What's to prevent your kitty from bolting out the door without a harness/leash if allowed to go out in the first place.

Charlie's smart enough for a harness/leash but NO way is he gonna be taken outside in the yard. When we enclose our patio to a porch - that will be the extend of Charlie and Ling's access to "outside" - but they won't be walking around on grass

Of course you ARE from Scotland and it seems that England/Scotland and that area has no problems with outside cats (same for Australia). But in the USA, we don't advocate letting cats out for the most part.
post #3 of 23
2 of mine go out on leash, but only in the front/back yards.
Oddly enough they don't try and get out at any time and will run away from an open door unless they are harnessed.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Quote:
You're not mad, but I really don't like the idea of starting to get a cat used to being outside.
What's to prevent your kitty from bolting out the door without a harness/leash if allowed to go out in the first place.

Charlie's smart enough for a harness/leash but NO way is he gonna be taken outside in the yard. When we enclose our patio to a porch - that will be the extend of Charlie and Ling's access to "outside" - but they won't be walking around on grass

Of course you ARE from Scotland and it seems that England/Scotland and that area has no problems with outside cats (same for Australia). But in the USA, we don't advocate letting cats out for the most part.
I had big dreams of turning heads walking Persi through the park but then I decided I was never going to ever allow him outside no matter what, for the same reasons as GoldenKitty states.
post #5 of 23
I only had one cat that was that well trained (on his own) not to bolt out the door - he always asked permission to go out.
post #6 of 23
Leash training is a great thing to do ... I have trained all my cats cept for Zoey ( she is collar trained long story) to a leash and harness ... it can be great thing if you have an emergency and no carrier avail to:_)
post #7 of 23
Both our babies are leash and harness trained. We often take them with us shopping so want them to have a harness on for fast attachment to a leash when we are stopped and the car doors are opened. On nice summer evenings we take them for a walk around our neighbourhood. Just realize that they are curious and want to go sniff everything in every yard so you must be a patient person. If you're looking for a "quick" walk, you will be disappointed. If you want a very leisurely stroll, go for it. We got one of those dog leashes that are retractable. Works great for us.
post #8 of 23
I am harness and leash training my little ones. For many reasons too. One reason is that if they want to go outside on the balcony with me during the warm weather, they can safely, as I live on the ground floor, and live by a busy road, it is for their protection. Another is tog ive them a bit of excercise every now and then as a reward for being good. Another is to take them to work for a bit of pet therapy for the residents. Right now, sugar is doing better than spice is, but I am hopeful once she gets going. They already have no issues with a harness on, just need to work on the leash.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I stay in a flat, one floor up - so no chance to kitty getting to 'bolt' out the door! I think I will get him a harness and leash, as the weather is starting to pick up here and I'm sure he will enjoy the walks and getting to sit in the garden with me in the summer.
post #10 of 23
Jamie is leash and harness-trained. I usually take him for walks in our backyard, and our and our neighbors' front yards. He enjoys sniffing everything, marking his territory (like a little dog!), watching the birds, and just getting some fresh air and sunshine.
If he ever gets out on his own (he has on rare occasions), there's less of a chance of his going into a panic and hiding. A harness-trained cat is much easier to handle, and safer, during vet visits and travel.
There are several threads about harness and leashing training, if you do a forum search.
post #11 of 23
All my boys go outside - but I love the idea of getting Ben harness trained to actually persuade him to get some exercise - his idea of going out is a stroll to the end of the garden, five minutes taunting next doors' dog, and then back in for some serious snoozing!!!! I am always tempted to chase him about to make him run off the calories!!!!!
post #12 of 23
My cat is harness trained. He loves it, too! Going outside in the Summer-he does sometimes try to get outside, but he has always done that. It just takes patience. You should try putting the cat in the harness and then giving him time to play in it, and that will get him used to being in it-Sherbert doesn't actually "walk" like a dog would-he just explores, or I'll carry him around, and then put him down once we get to a certain spot. I have a picture that I'll put up, and a lot of my friends thought that I had photoshopped it!
post #13 of 23
I tried to put my cat Sean in a kitty harness once. I had these visions of taking him to the park, going on cat walks, it'll be fun I thought. I got it on him and tightened it to the point that I was a bit worried it was too snug. Apparently it wasnt, because once outside it took him about two seconds flat to get out of it. He sorta flopped in the air and when he came back down the harness was off and he was running. Turns out that he and I are both much happier without going on walks.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Oh no! That would be my worst nightmare!

Strange thing is, over the past few days, Gillan has been running out the door at any given opportunity! He is soooo nosey!

Can anyone recommend a harness which would be nice and snug and not too easy for him to wriggle out of???
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sazza View Post
Oh no! That would be my worst nightmare!

Strange thing is, over the past few days, Gillan has been running out the door at any given opportunity! He is soooo nosey!

Can anyone recommend a harness which would be nice and snug and not too easy for him to wriggle out of???
Take a look at the "jackets" suggested in this thread: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ght=cat+jacket
post #16 of 23
I use small dog harnesses, they sit in a V shape down the chest instead of around the neck like many cats ones I've seen. It also has an extra bar from chest to tummy.


With my cats, they wore the harnesses indoors for a week or so to get used to them.
post #17 of 23
Cleo is the only one of my three that is leash trained. I use a figure 8 harness on her. She loves to go out with me while I work in the garden, and likes to help me when I pick raspberries. She also loves to roll around on the sidewalk, for some reason!


Maggie and Lola have no desire to have a harness on them. Maggie goes absolutely berserk when I've tried to put the harness on her. Lola just flops down on her belly and acts like the harness weighs a ton.



Pookie & the girls
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Take a look at the "jackets" suggested in this thread: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ght=cat+jacket
Cool. I might get one of those, it seems like it would be hard for my cat to work his way out of. The only reason I gave up on walking the cat is for fear of him running away in some strange place.
post #19 of 23
I wanted to walk my last cat and now that i have another one, i have her wearing the harness everyday so she gets used to having it on when we go for walks and i walk her around my apartment on the leash. It's a great idea and tons of fun. She loves it. I'm sure your cat will too.
post #20 of 23
My parents cat, Cookie is harness "trained". I say trained, but we really didn't do anything other than put it on her to "train" her. She loves going outside and picked up on the leash cues very quickly. If she's ever in danger, llike from a neighbor's dog or a loud car, I can comfort her easily or reel her in and pick her up if she tries to bolt. Usually though, she just stays in the very large yard. Now that I've moved out, she doesn't get to go out as much. But when I care for her while my parents are gone, I try to take her out everyday.

A few years ago, she'd go camping with us and the leash came in handy so she didn't go stir crazy. She loved it! She doesn't go camping anymore because my parents got a different camper that's not as secure.

If your cat likes it, it's worth it!
post #21 of 23
You can do it, just dont expect much posstive feedbacks from neighbor's or family members. To most people outside of the forums walking a cat is strange. Its a little strange at first but you get used to it and unlike a dog a cat will never pull and pull to run away like a dog would. Cats also dont come everytime you call too. I've never owned a dog before but I seem to like walking cats better then dogs simply because its easier and you dont feel guilt if your cats breaks something as you would a dog though being the nice person I am I would offer to repay some of the total of the thing involved. Its a great thing to do to a cat if supervised and done well.
post #22 of 23
First get the idea of taking your cat for a walk out of your head!
You can harness and leash train them, but with cats it's more that they go where they please and drag you along behind.

I have never, in 30 years of leash trained cats, ever have one bolt for the doors.
Put a harness on one however, and they know it as a cue.

These days, my gang goes out onto the back patio with me, they do not view the front door as the door to outside as the back is all they know.

I can (and have) stand in the doorway chatting up my neighbors and the cats will all sit on the back of the couch and watch.
post #23 of 23
If you can get ahold of the January issue of Cat Fancy my article about this appears on page 34
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