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Kismet harness training!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I don't know if this is just an antecdote or if anyone will have any advice. For the past year I've been walking my siamese on a harness and leash. He loves it and goes everywhere. I tried Kismet a couple times but she was not very good, however recenently anytime I take him out she comes out on the balcony (has lattice so she can't fall off but she can look through) and she watches us and meows and meows like she wants to be out there. Then when she sees us come back in the building she waits at the door and tries to run out. Recently I've been trying to harness train her but it's not going very well, it's comical, but not good.......

So I put the harness on her (tried loose and tight) and everytime I get the same reaction. She sprawls out on the floor like she can't move, I give her treats and try to entice her, but when she goes to walk she looks drunk, takes about two steps and then topples over. I really should videotape it for Utube. She then lays about, I only leave it on her for 15 min - 30 min. I'm considering leaving it longer but I don't want to scare her.

Any tips for harness training? I feel like this might be a very long process since next I have to teach her that the leash is OK..........oh brother.

As I typed this kismet decided that the harness also is impeding her ability to jump as well as walk. So she tried to climb onto the couch, however the cusions aren't very stable and as she went to pull herself up the cushion came off the couch sending her sailing down onto the floor. Dear lord if I had a videocamera on that I'd be 100 000$ richer for sure. IT was the funniest thing I have ever seen. She isn't always the most graceful girl. Now she is sprawled out on the floor tail flailing back and forth in complete displeasure. *sigh* I think I'm going to stop the torture session and take the harness off her.
post #2 of 4
Leave it on her until she quits acting like that (so long as you're around to supervise it). It's not going to hurt her, and if she's willing to walk in it even like she's drunk, then eventually she'll be fine. Probably an hour tops, an hour and a half the first day. Zissou will tolerate a harness MUCH longer than that, if she's out and about. If Kismet seems to be getting a little more comfortable, leave it on unless she starts to seem distressed. From what you describe, she's doing exactly what every cat does unless you start with them as tiny tiny babies.

The only cats you really can't harness train are the ones that just won't stop gnawing and thrashing around with the harness on, because they're unlikely to ever enjoy it, and hey, that's the point, right?

Maybe you need two harnesses, one for Cello to keep on and one for Kismet, so they can wear them together and Cello can show Kismet how it's done.

Another thing a lot of people say (and IMO it doesn't really matter but it's probably worth a try anyway) is to make sure they associate the harness with going outside. Maybe the best thing for you would be to put Kismet's harness on outside on the balcony, and not let her on the balcony unless she's wearing it.
post #3 of 4
Of course you do know the harness needs to be just loose enough to slide one finger underneath? Looser is scary because it can flap around against them, plus be dangerous if it catches on anything.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Larke - yes I know I walk cello on the harness all the time. I do have two different harnesses because the one size would never fit them. I like the idea of only letting her out with it on. Cello was a dream to train so I didn't know this behaviour was normal. Ill keep on trying because I know how much she'll love to be outside not just on the balcony!
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