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*sighs* harness training

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
How does one get a 9 year old now indoor kitty to like a harness? Tristan has let me borrow his, it's rather old and chunky, leather with lots of buckles (has been used on both Cleo and Timmy, but he didn't seem to mind the smell). I want to get a nice thin fabric one that will feel more comfortable. Last night we put it on Chuckie, and he walked backwards, and lay flat on the ground, he hated it. I put it on him for about 20 mins this morning. He just sat on his belly on my bed, and barely moved.

I want to try and get him used to a harness, as the enclosure is further away from the house. I can't imagine getting him out of the house and up steep steps without him escaping from my arms.

Of course i COULD just stick him in the carrier each time i want to take him out..spending a few days putting it on him for a few minutes, till hopefully on friday we can try and attach the lead, and take him outside and see what he thinks.

I've read it takes an extreme amount of time and patience. Does anyone have any tips, or positive experiences?
post #2 of 7
I hate to say it but it just takes....patience and time When Ares first got in his harness he was unsure, with a bit of backward walking. I connected the leash, and just sat with him on the porch. After being in my lap, he started to slowly explore, and I just followed him. (And tried treally hard to keep the leash slack. Once he associated the harness with the fascinating outdoors, he didn't mind having it put on.
post #3 of 7
Better off to try him for 5 minutes 5 x a day, then 20 mins. once a day (cat's attention spans are short!). If you're sure the harness is on properly, why not clip on the leash, pick up the 'stiff' (cat) and lay him on the grass outside the door... see how long he stays stiff once confronted with neat bugs, fresh air and birds chirping.
post #4 of 7
One more thing - Once the tummy 'collar' has been done up and adjusted well, you never have to undo it again. Just slip it off from behind (he'll get it quickly) once the neck's undone, and the neck's the only part you'll need to do up in future (slip the tummy part on over his head each time and he'll very quickly learn to step into it).
post #5 of 7
I’d do as suggested, carry him outside and see if he forgets about harness when you put him on the ground to walk to the enclosure. If he is still grumpy, I’d take his favourite toy (hopefully something like a string or Da Bird), and drag it in front of him. Pick an easy route for the first steps (no stairs or slopes) so there is nothing extra scary - two of mine got awfully dizzy at first when it came to anything like that, steps still make one woozy if leash gets pulled
post #6 of 7
I don't really have any suggestions. I put a harness on Chloe once and took her outside and while the harness didn't seem to bother her, she had no desire to stay outside. I didn't expect to take her for a walk, but I was kind of hoping she would chase things or smell things or just wander around.

You could be like my crazy insufferable aunt who has a stroller for her cats and pushes them around in it. (I'm not really knocking anyone here that does that, I just really dislike my aunt for so many reasons).
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by piikki View Post
I’d do as suggested, carry him outside and see if he forgets about harness when you put him on the ground to walk to the enclosure.
I agree. The oldest cat I've trained was 6 and once outside he forgot about the harness and just had fun
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