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Harness and a walk in city streets

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have been thinking about harness training my kitty. One setback which i could think of is city traffic. I live in a busy city street and the nearest park in quite far away. People do walk their dogs and that also poses another problem. My kitty has had a very bad experience with dogs and I don't think she will react positively towards them.

I would very much want to let her out and walk with me but with all the ongoing traffic and dogs, I am not sure if it's a good idea anymore. Any ideas or suggestions?
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tutti_bella View Post
I have been thinking about harness training my kitty. One setback which i could think of is city traffic. I live in a busy city street and the nearest park in quite far away. People do walk their dogs and that also poses another problem. My kitty has had a very bad experience with dogs and I don't think she will react positively towards them.

I would very much want to let her out and walk with me but with all the ongoing traffic and dogs, I am not sure if it's a good idea anymore. Any ideas or suggestions?
What breed of cat do you have? I have read that Siamese cats are the easiest to harness train. I wanted to harness train Persi but I guess I just didn't have the patience. That would be so cool to walk your cat through the park and have all the dog walkers stopping and staring at you and pointing at you in amazement!
post #3 of 16
I would NEVER try to walk a cat around on a city street with lots of traffic or dogs. You already know your cat had a bad experience with dogs. The minute she sees one, you will have a panicked cat and a hurt or lost one, cause you will scare her more by trying to keep her on leash/harness while she's fighting to flee.

Only alternative is to teach her to ride in one of the closed in strollers (like a baby carriage). But leash/harness.........you are asking for trouble!
post #4 of 16
I would have to agree this is a bad idea. I harness trained my siamese and he is great, but i keep him on the property of my building, there is some grass and a treed area and he likes walking around the parking lot and stuff btu I would never take him on/near the street or dogs. When he gets scared or stubborn I have yet to find a harness he can't yank himself out of.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the reply. She's a DSH btw and I reckon it would be much safer to keep her indoor at all times. She just loves walking and I allowed her to roam the hallway of my apartment building under my supervision. Maybe when I move to the suburbs, I can realize this dream. ")
post #6 of 16
When I was a child we put a harness on my cat, in our kitchen, she went mental! It was like having a firework on a lead...

I think its too dangerous to take your cat out in the city, she'll likely be very frightened and as a lot of people walk without their dogs on a lead, she could easily be attacked. A lot of dogs see cats as nothing more than rabbity things to be chased. It might be different if you lived in a quiet village or something and she was an incredibly relaxed cat, but personally, I wouldn't consider taking her out in a city.
post #7 of 16
no problem! Can't hurt to get your kitty used to the harness in the apartment though!! it's a good thing to have her used to. Is there not even a little bit of grassy area near your parking lot etc. Cello loves going out for walks in the hallway as well, and he is the kitty that I walk outside on the harness
post #8 of 16
I can point you to a youtube video of what a frightened, tethered cat can do to you and himself if you have any doubt about what someone said about the wisdom of NOT taking a cat out on a leash in the city. One dog bark, one car honk, and you have an angry, out-of-control chain saw by the tail.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your concern. I have decided against the idea but I will harness train her so she could walk around the lobby area but not outside. She loves walking on the hallway and her tail is hold up high every time.
post #10 of 16
Being accustomed to the harness would be a very good thing, in a lot of circumstances. It gives you one more option in handling the cat.
post #11 of 16
I suspect the "walking" part is less realistic than the "city" part. There are cats and situations, I think, that being where car horns honk (everywhere) and dogs bark (also everywhere) would work with a cat on a harness. But a cat on a harness walking with you, instead of meandering around, rolling on the ground, and sniffing things? Probably not realistic.

Reply to tutti_bella,

Yes, that absolutely makes sense. I simply noticed that none-one had mentioned what type of "walking" we were talking about.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Enuja,

I am not expecting my kitty to walk like a dog. I just would want her to be outside the confine of these four walls and have the option of going out into other areas of my building. I need to put her in a harness so she would not run away, get lost, get scared, etc. A harness is the safest way to bring my kitty out of my home, don't you think?
post #13 of 16
hehe yes, you don't walk a cat like a dog. When I take cello out, he walks I follow, until he lays down in a sunray, at which point I carry him inside

Being harness trained is not a bad thing! and maybe one day you'll find yourself in position with a yard, or small garden you can take kitty out in, on the harness!!! it's a terrific thing for them!
good luck!
post #14 of 16
I would suggest buying a pet stroller if you do want to take her out. I bought one mostly so I could more easily get the kittens (both of which will be large/heavy adults) to and from the vet and cat shows (I bought one that converts to a carrier and a car-cage) but I am also finding they love to go outside in it! Most cats will feel much safer inside a closed-in stroller than on a leash. I am also getting them used to going out in our front yard with a harness (we live on a very quiet street.) I took my kittens out for a walk the other day in the stroller when it was really nice out and they had a blast! I ended up keeping the stroller doors open most of the time (with them secured with a harness in the stroller) because they wanted to be able to see/smell better, and they did not become scared even when cars or people on bicycles would pass by...
I had my dog along also on the walk and on the way back one of my neighbors saw us and let her Labrador out to say hello to my dog (they know each other very well, I pesit for the Lab and he is very animal-friendly) before I could say anything. Surprisingly the kittens did not get upset even when the "strange" dog ran over and sniffed their heads where they had their heads sticking out of the stroller... They could easily have retreated into the stroller out of reach but they didn't retreat, hiss, or even flatten their ears. I was surprised because although they both are great with my dogs, mostly just ignore them, they have never been approached by a dog outside the family! The kittens have seen dogs before at the vet and a pet show they were entered in but never been approached by one. If they had hissed or anything I know the Lab would have been running the other way, he is rather a wimp when it comes to cats (or other dogs) who react to him.
post #15 of 16
It depends on where in a city you live of course. I lived in Toronto but on a quieter side street across from a small park/parkette. I often took my Siamese (Susie) out for a walk on a leash in the park. She was used to it and it was lovely to be able to take her out. She was a clingy cat so would follow closely beside me.

Bijou and Mika have both been trained to harness and leash and we have taken them for walks around our neighbourhood. We live in a small town and away from main, busy streets. Visiting friends have often commented on how quiet and peaceful our neighbourhood is so that's an asset when walking cats. For the most part the cats will follow us but every once in awhile they like to explore around bushes and such at some of the houses we pass. Most people in our area have dogs so it's a little strange to see us walking our cats.

I think it's a good idea to train any cat to a harness and leash. When we take our cats to the vet they wear a harness and are attached to a leash if they are out of the carrier. Since we also take them regularly on car trips, they need to be harness trained so that they can be leashed before any windows or doors are opened so they cannot get frightened and escape to heaven knows where.

When you first put a harness on, most cats will just drop and not move. It takes some conditioning. Bijou and Mika got so used to having the harness put on that they would wait at the door while we did up the harness before going out.
post #16 of 16
I've walked several cats before. They're all different. I used to have a cat named Jingles that would walk like a dog. He didn't even need a leash; he would just trot along next to you. If he saw a dog, he'd just move out of the way.

Our cat Puppy is quite different though. He's more of the stop and sniff every leaf type. I usually just put him on a very long leash, tie him to the bird feeder, and then read a book in the yard.

Bunny is somewhere in between, and has recently started following at my heels when I take her out. I suspect that I could eventually walk her down a street.

It does depend on location and the cat. Bunny recently had a run in with my neighbor's dog. We were walking down our driveway (the driveways are connected) and their dog was sitting without a leash on their front porch. The dog stood and barked, but didn't come over. Bunny didn't run though, which is (I think) why the dog stopped too. She also once tried to pounce a small dog that was on a walk with his owner. However, she's frightened of cars and usually tries to claw her way up my leg when one comes by.

The best way to start would be in some quiet grassy area if you have one, and always go to the same place. They like to know their territory.
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