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Harness Training

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I got my new kitten, Cole, a pretty blue harness and leash. I wan't to train him to go on walks and to take him places. So far he could care less about the harness and he LOVES to go out. I had to take him into petsmart to get some food and he was just laying in my arms.

I've seen it done before, so I know its not impossible. He is so calm that he seems like the perfect cat to do it with.

Does anyone do this with their cat?
post #2 of 15
I live in NYC and the other day I met this man and his cat Herman on a leash right on 3rd Ave. in the village! Herman was so sweet and obviously enjoyed taking his human for a walk! Maia is kinda trained but really doesn't enjoy going out on our back rooftop garden much less the busy sidewalk! Cheers to you for taking your kitten to different places with you, this is so essential for them as cats to adjust easier to traveling, vet visits, and/or if you have to move. As far as harness/leash training, it really depends on the cat, if they enjoy being outdoors, but one thing for sure is they do the leading! You can't walk a cat, they walk you!
post #3 of 15
That is fantastic! Zoey would be trained to a harness and leash if we lived in town... But I would diiiiiiie if I lived within 5 miles of civilization! (Yeah... I'm a country gal ) Have fun walking Cole!
post #4 of 15
I think it might depend on the cat. I tried it with both mine and I think they laughed at me. The cats would just lay down and refuse to move.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Cole definetly likes his harness. He doesn't just sit there, he will wander and what not. He also enjoys going out and getting attention, from what I can tell. He isn't to thrilled about the car rides though.
post #6 of 15
You and Cole sound like you've got the cat harness thing sorted!

I am getting our kittens used to the harness at the moment. Bruce is doing well - not bothered by it at all, but Sheila just wants to lie down when wearing it.

I wait until they're in 'play' mode, put the harness on and get them chasing a shoelace or something to encourage them to move around. Sheila occasionally darts after the shoelace, then remembers she's wearing the harness and flops down!

It's taking longer than I expected - they must each have worn it about 20 times, starting with for 5 mins and progressing to 15-20 mins each, over the last six weeks.

It'd be good to hear the experiences of others on harness training.
post #7 of 15
Ahh very interesting topic. I have not personally had experience with harness or walking my cats..but I am going too ! I lost my Special one a while ago, and I refuse too let the same fate take my others. I live on a busy road , my 2 older males are very street smart, they are mostly outdoor cats and they have earnt it, after 7 years for 1 and 10 years for the other and no accidents, and as much as I would love to keep them inside, My C'For already clawed some wallpaper off tryin too get out they both have been out too long and I respect that, although onna cold winter day or night , they LOVE bein on my bed hehe and I take full advantage of this as you can understand . However my other 4 are indoors, including My Special one's brother hence...harness training shall commence shortly..so yes I would also love any advice or experiences on this topic
post #8 of 15
I take Nikita regularely out on a harness. I didn't really have to do any harness training with her. I just put it on and she let me and then I played with her inside while she still had it on and she didn't mind.

I actually took her outside the same day I'd put the harness on because she was so being so good with it. She freaked out outside but I took her out in her cat carrier so she just stuck her nose out and then stayed in her safe place (i.e the cat carrier) before hesitantly venturing out. Darting back into the carrier when anything spooked her.

She was just a kitten then though. Now she's used to the outside and very happy to go exploring in the garden. Although she feels vulnerable if I take her outside her "territory" so we just stay in the garden.
post #9 of 15
Hi i am new here do not checked out all posts so aplogise if i am repeating a question already asked. I picked up my new 6 week old kitty last night and i want to harness and leash train him he seems pretty laid back although very vocal up most of the night. hi is quite small smaller than his brother so i was wondering when i should start him with the harness and where can i find one small enough. I would like one that gives more support the ones you see in the shops are flimsy and not strong looking. So any advice on harnesses and when i should start greatly appreciated.
post #10 of 15
I have two bengals Jake and Sassy.
I started leash training at 3 months.
We are 2 months into travel and leash traing.
Some days are good other days are not.

You need lots of patience.
I followed the recomendations I got off the web.
Basically letting them wear the harness for a while before bringing them outside.
The female took to the leash (outside) in about 30 minutes.
The male took about a month and only learned cause he was pissed she was getting all the attention.

I bought various harnesses but the one I like so far was the cheapest.
It some straps that fit around the neck, legs and front body.
Problem is they can get out of it, if they want.
The jacket was expensive and really doesn't fit them yet.

The "just sitting" was the male's reaction when I tried to walk with him.
post #11 of 15
Jamie has been going outside for walks every day for nearly eight years. I trained him to a harness when he was about 12 weeks old, in the house, and as soon as he'd had all his kitten shots took him outside. He wears an "H" harness for small/medium dogs, and has a 9 ' retractable lead. Walks are confined to our backyard and our block out front. I always take along reading material.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliefarley View Post
Hi i am new here do not checked out all posts so aplogise if i am repeating a question already asked. I picked up my new 6 week old kitty last night and i want to harness and leash train him he seems pretty laid back although very vocal up most of the night. hi is quite small smaller than his brother so i was wondering when i should start him with the harness and where can i find one small enough. I would like one that gives more support the ones you see in the shops are flimsy and not strong looking. So any advice on harnesses and when i should start greatly appreciated.
If he's small, you might want to look at ferret/rabbit harnesses to start with. You won't want to take him outside until he's had his full series of kitten shots, so it would probably suffice if you waited until 2 or 3 weeks before he's finished with them to start training him. Don't push him too much - 5 or 10 minutes a day in the harness, with toys to distract him, is about what you can expect the first few days. Gradually up the time spent wearing the harness, and then add the leash a few days before you first take him out. The first time out, sit on the grass with him in your lap, and let him decide when to explore.
post #12 of 15
I'm currently trying to harness train my 2 1/2 year old new kitty, Aspen. I just put the harness on her for the first time today and she pretty much let me put it on, but then she walked around in a crouch and occasionally would stop with her butt kinda up in the air and a couple of times started to back up like she was trying to get it off. I gave her some food while she was wearing it to have her associate it with something positive. I took it off after about 3 minutes so that she wouldn't get to freaked out and have bad associations. I like the idea of playing with her while she's wearing it so that it will make her move and realize that she's not going to die while in it.

She's kinda old to start this process, but I just got her a month ago, so I had no choice. Did any of you have your cat start out this way (crouching) and eventually get used to it and walk normally on the leash?
post #13 of 15
Today I put the harness on Aspen for the first time and she did great! I played with her with a toy which made her forget she had it on and move regularly. Then I added the lead and we went outside. She was a little hesitant, but she did good. Then we went for a ride to the vet so they could see (they are the ones who gave her to me) and then we came back home. She was probably a little stressed with the car ride, but overall, I think she did fine and she seemed to barely notice the harness by the end of the excursion. Yeeeeaaaahhhh!
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethiope View Post

She's kinda old to start this process, but I just got her a month ago, so I had no choice. Did any of you have your cat start out this way (crouching) and eventually get used to it and walk normally on the leash?
Luna, who's 4 1/2 does this. I started using it while she was about 2 because she did like to go outside, but i didn't want her running or hiding where i couldn't get her. Usually, I put it on and let her out on a retractable leash. Forget walking her, she will *not* stoop that low but she does like to explore and roll around in the grass and eat grass. However, once she figures out that she's at "the end of her rope" she tries to get out of it by pulling the leash tight and getting her legs out (it's an H harness w/ no cloth between the straps). She probably could do it, so that's about the time i take her inside. She's starting to realize that she can't go outside w/o it and is fighting less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliefarley View Post
Hi i am new here do not checked out all posts so aplogise if i am repeating a question already asked. I picked up my new 6 week old kitty last night and i want to harness and leash train him he seems pretty laid back although very vocal up most of the night. hi is quite small smaller than his brother so i was wondering when i should start him with the harness and where can i find one small enough. I would like one that gives more support the ones you see in the shops are flimsy and not strong looking. So any advice on harnesses and when i should start greatly appreciated.
I want to train my new kitten to do this too. I was told that i could try a rabbit or ferret harness b/c they have the cloth between the straps and are less easy to get out of. Rabbits get to a pretty decent size so it may be possible. And yes, get him all his shots first!
post #15 of 15
The one I have has cloth between the straps, but she didn't try to get out of it, so I don't know what would happen if she tried.
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