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An idiot move.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
You're going to think I'm really stupid.

I took my cat Spotty out for a walk on a leash and harness outide my condominium for the first time. Oh I know that's a smart move. It's good to give indoor cats some supervised freedom. Well, that's not the idiot move I made.

At first he was adjusting to the leash and harness just laying down on the cement, getting himself dirty but not venturing out. This is on the second floor. But then he got the urge to explore and Spotty and I were having a ball. I got some attention from the neighbors and the Pizza guy, people who have never seen a cat being walked on a leash before. We walked around the corner, the floors of my complex are designed like a huge squares of walkways on each floor. After walking across one walkway of the square, Spotty wanted to walk the next walkway and I knew along that walkway there lives a lady with a pomeranian, actually her daughter was there with her and had her dog there too, 2 dogs. At first I picked up Spotty and brought him back the other direction but he really wanted to explore that direction so I let him. Spotty and I walked past their door and the daughter looked out and saw me and Spotty and she was very intrigued because she never saw a cat being walked on a leash before. Well we had a nice conversation and at first it all seemed ok, Spotty saw the dogs but he just sat there unafraid. But soon the pomeranian came to the door and barked loud and Spotty quickly got scared and dashed off and the leash slipped out of my hand. He ran to the end of the walkway on that side. I managed to catch up with him, scoop him up in my arms and bring him back home. He sure was glad to be home after that adventure.

Now I feel stupid. And my boyfriend scolded me and told me never to trust dogs and how I'm supposed to protect Spotty. I should never have allowed Spotty to explore that area. Don't know if Spotty will want to go for another walk again but I really have to watch it now and become aware of where all the dogs are. There are several people who own dogs on the second floor and on the first floor. The third floor seems to be the place where most of the cats are. If we ever get up there the upstairs lady who owns 4 cats and another neighbor who owns 2 will be very surprised to see Spotty come up for a visit. Cats may not like it but it won't be as terrifying as barking dogs.
post #2 of 8
I don't think you're stupid. We take my friend's Siamese cats out on leashes all the time (they actually walk like dogs!), and we don't really worry about dogs (unless they seem too excited to see the cats, or act like they want to catch/eat the cats). They aren't really bothered by them.

My kitten, however, is terrified of dogs, which seems so silly, because a Min Pin once tried to take over as his mother when I first took him in. =3 But I still bring him near dogs, so I can try to get him adjusted to them, since I know that one day, I'll have him, my other cats, and maybe a bigger dog.

I guess it -was- a little reckless that you didn't have a good enough hold on the leash as he bolted, but who hasn't ever made that mistake with an animal? I know I have, several times. =P Thankfully, all my instances turned out like yours did, though. =)
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
The thing is I had to let the leash go. When a cat is in fright and wants to run away the worse thing I could have done was pull the leash or pick him up.

Now I learned my lesson, not to walk in certain areas. I have to remember which neighbors have dogs and If I see someone walking their dog I have to pick Spotty up and go in a different direction. Friendly dog and cat interactions are a nice dream but many will boast their scary barking at my cat. I should have realized the personality of her pomeranian princess, as soon as I heard she barks at everybody that was my cue but it happened 2 seconds after she said that.
post #4 of 8
Please don't be upset at yourself - we have no way of predicting what will happen when we try something new. But the important thing is Spotty is okay, and you are okay. It will take time but you both will be enjoying walks out!
post #5 of 8
Don't beat yourself up about it...your baby is safe!
post #6 of 8
Things happen like that. Now you know. I wouldn't give up on your walks though. I think keeping tabs where dogs are living is a good thing though.
post #7 of 8
Glad your cat is safe, but that's one of the reasons why I would never train my cats to walk on a harness - you never know what might happen. I'll stick to Keno (lab) walking. A little more safer since she's easy to control.
post #8 of 8
It's great that you take your kitty for a walk on the leash. We used to take Bijou and Mika for a walk in the evenings around the neighbourhood and got some of those funny looks too.

As long as you stay close so you can quickly grab the kitty if it gets frightened, I don't see a problem with walking them at all.
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