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Walking the Cat?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if anyone here walks their cat or has at least tried to?

We have two indoor cats that are a little over a year old. We live in a very secluded, quite and safe neighborhood. There aren't little kids running around, no traffic and hardly any dogs. We thought it would be wonderful to put our cats on leashes and take them for walks but we are afraid of the unknown...

I am not sure what to expect, I would assume they will need flea and tick meds and of course harnesses. I am also assuming that after we start walking them they will want to be outside all the time which could be a problem if they try and sneak out the door without a leash.

They also don't have shots...since they are indoor cats. I don't know if it would be necessary to get all of that since they would only be out for about 2 hrs a week at the most and they would be with us and on their leashes the entire time.

I am hoping someone out there can give me some advice about this.

Thanks!
Amy
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerAmy
I was wondering if anyone here walks their cat or has at least tried to?

We have two indoor cats that are a little over a year old. We live in a very secluded, quite and safe neighborhood. There aren't little kids running around, no traffic and hardly any dogs. We thought it would be wonderful to put our cats on leashes and take them for walks but we are afraid of the unknown...

I am not sure what to expect, I would assume they will need flea and tick meds and of course harnesses. I am also assuming that after we start walking them they will want to be outside all the time which could be a problem if they try and sneak out the door without a leash.

They also don't have shots...since they are indoor cats. I don't know if it would be necessary to get all of that since they would only be out for about 2 hrs a week at the most and they would be with us and on their leashes the entire time.

I am hoping someone out there can give me some advice about this.

Thanks!
Amy

Yes shots would be nessassary airborn issues..
I have trained two cats to walk on a leash( my snowshoe was the easiest , working on harness training with my 14 month old..
post #3 of 25
My cat hates being walked on a leash. We've put the kitten in a harness and leash and walked her around the apartment to see how she handles it- next step she's going outside. The older cat hates being outside, so I think it would just depend on your cats. Just make sure your cats have rabies shots and are on flea medicine- Revolution might be a good bet since your cats may be exposed to mosquitoes and thus heartworm.
post #4 of 25
I had a girlfriend who used to walk her cat on a leash. I think the most important factor is the cat's temperment.

If I lived in a less urban area, I'd build a "run" for Nano where she could be on the ground enclosed by fencing. I've done this before with other pets. Put them in this "run" while I'm outside so they are loosely supervised. Might want to consider that alternative?

Someone on this site had a picture of a cat stroller. That might be an interesting option as well.

For Nano, I load her in the carrier and then take her to a place where we can sit outside. She gets some fresh air (and a miniature adventure) while I read a book or have a picnic with girlfriend. She is caged the whole time, though. Nano is anxious for a few minutes once we get settled, but then she calms down and either naps or chatters at birds or does her inquisitive mewing. Clearly enjoying herself.

But yes, any time spent outside means they need shots and some preventative flea treatment.
post #5 of 25
My Hubby walks are big male Mickey everyday twice, he loves to go out and he knows the only way he's going out is on a leash
We also had a cat a few years ago when we lived in San Diego and he used to walk all the way around the block, and all over the condo complex, he Loved it also
post #6 of 25
Just today I saw some interesting "outdoor" items for indoor kitties -- things that let you bring them outside safely... they were in my Drs Foster & Smith catalog...

you can look here... they have some of them online...
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...?N=2002+113262
post #7 of 25
Both my two walk on harnesses and leashes. It takes time to get them used to the harness first, as they tend to get floppy legs (Tibby did, anyway!) So you'll need to do this first, by letting them wear the harness (under your supervision) for increasing times. (comfort them and pet them, too, so that they realise that it's not bad)

Once used to the harness, attach the lead and let the cat walk you around indoors. This will get them used to having someone follow them closely and being attached to a lead. (again, do this in increasing times)

When it comes to going outdoors, choose one door that you will always when taking kitty out. Put the harness and lead on and lift the cat over the threshold. (this way, they begin to learn that they only go out through the one door and when they are taken)

A handy hint is that you don't walk the cat, the cat walks you! You just follow and direct when necessary!!

When it's time to come in, let the cat walk in themselves. This way, they know that if they get into trouble or feel scared then they can get in. When they come in, give them a treat to show that they were good for coming inside. (this worked well for me, as Molly's lead slipped from my hand once and she ran straight back to the safety door!)

My two now run as soon as they hear their harnesses and patiently wait to have them put on to go outside!

I hope this helps a bit and good luck with it! It does take a lot of time and patience! (if you'd like some more help, send me a PM!)
post #8 of 25
I walk my Raggie kitten on a leash he loves it! And I would say yes to Vaccinations, you never know what they might pick up.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar
Both my two walk on harnesses and leashes. It takes time to get them used to the harness first, as they tend to get floppy legs (Tibby did, anyway!) So you'll need to do this first, by letting them wear the harness (under your supervision) for increasing times. (comfort them and pet them, too, so that they realise that it's not bad)

Once used to the harness, attach the lead and let the cat walk you around indoors. This will get them used to having someone follow them closely and being attached to a lead. (again, do this in increasing times)

When it comes to going outdoors, choose one door that you will always when taking kitty out. Put the harness and lead on and lift the cat over the threshold. (this way, they begin to learn that they only go out through the one door and when they are taken)

A handy hint is that you don't walk the cat, the cat walks you! You just follow and direct when necessary!!

When it's time to come in, let the cat walk in themselves. This way, they know that if they get into trouble or feel scared then they can get in. When they come in, give them a treat to show that they were good for coming inside. (this worked well for me, as Molly's lead slipped from my hand once and she ran straight back to the safety door!)

My two now run as soon as they hear their harnesses and patiently wait to have them put on to go outside!

I hope this helps a bit and good luck with it! It does take a lot of time and patience! (if you'd like some more help, send me a PM!)
Thank you everyone for your responses. They are most helpful!

I think it is an especially good idea to always use the same door to walk out of, this way I can use our back door (which we never use) and maybe they won't try to get out the front door.

I am not sure if I am going to end up going through with this, there are several other things to consider. Such as;

1. Which shots do they need exactly? Just the rabies?
2. What do you do in the winter? I am not sure how I feel about taking them for a walk in the winter because we get a lot of snow where I am from.

Thanks,
Amy
post #10 of 25
Distemper - Rhinotracheitis - Calici and CHlamydia, Rabies This is what I gave Hershey, The breeder didn't think I should give the FeLV ( Feline Leukemia) Or the FIP ( Feline Aids) You can talk to your Vet about those shots.. As for walking in the winter.. I don't talk my cat out in the Winter..
post #11 of 25
Yes, those are good...I think if there may be other cats that they might come in contact with outside, you'd want the FeLV. I've heard that the FIP just isn't effective. Definately the rabies.

My cats also become "luggage" when my husband walks them. One will only walk with me, the other will go on a leash but wants to go back inside and hide and the third needs more practice. I love taking the really good leash kitty out to petsmart. He gets admired a lot for walking so well.

Just go slow...as for making sure that they don't dart, thinking it's time to go out...mine only leave the house in my arms (if they're on harness) or in a crate. They know they can't just walk out that way--because they've never walked out of the house on their own.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by keltednora
Yes, those are good...I think if there may be other cats that they might come in contact with outside, you'd want the FeLV.
.
Why mine didn't get the FeLV is that Ragdoll Cats don't do well with that shot. Been many that died from it. Some breeders wont guarantee the kitten if you get that shot.
I don't know how other breeds do with this shot..
post #13 of 25
I really love the idea of carrying them out of the house. chester has walked out with his leash on, and for a couple of days after he always darts for the door. I figured he'd learn that he can't go out without it on, but the carrying thing just reinforces it! Now if only I could get him to stop trying to climb trees regardless of this big hairless ape attached to him.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys! This is all so very helpful.

I will keep you posted on how well they do.

Thanks,
Amy
post #15 of 25
Hi! I walk my Persians outside on a leash. They do very well. Shots are a must because of all the bacteria and viruses from being outdoors....plus I have 2 dogs that are indoor/outdoor and they can bring them in. My kitties always have their shots up to date.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerAmy
1. Which shots do they need exactly? Just the rabies?
2. What do you do in the winter? I am not sure how I feel about taking them for a walk in the winter because we get a lot of snow where I am from.
I don't know about the shots, as they are different here in the UK.

As for winter, Tibby and Molly still have the opportunity to go outside! They have been out in heavy rain and snow before now! I put their leads and harnesses on, go to the door and go outside. It is up to them from there whether they wish to walk or not. If they want to, I deal with it and if not, then we go back inside! Seriously your kitties will tell you what they decide!
(I do put their jumpers on when it is very cold though!
post #17 of 25
I just tried taking Ebony out for the first time yesterday. When we got her outside she wasn't much interested in walking around. She pretty much just meowed and cried by the front door until we let her in. Hopefully if we keep taking her out in longer and longer increments she'll get adjusted. I think walking her and being able to take her places would be so much fun!!
post #18 of 25
I must be one lazy person, but with 6 indoor kitties leash training was very difficult. I bought a pet stroller. It's fantastic. The kitties are completely enclosed, inaccessible by other animals and it's great for vet trips. I just remove the carrier, stap it in the seat belt and fold the base. It sure beats lugging two kennels plus my purse and papers. There are three types of strollers available now and two offer double strollers for those of us with more than one cat.Check out the sites if you are interested.
http://www.kittywalksystems.com/kitt...-products.html
http://www.pet-n-go.com/
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...2&N=2002+62745
post #19 of 25
Sylorna, Molly is a fiend for climbing trees! I have managed to calme her from doing it by removing her from the tree/fence post/trellis... and redirecting her attention elsewhere. Even if you distract kitty to somewhere else - away from climbing - and offer them a treat! I also have climbing things in my home, so she doesn't feel the need to climb outside!

Beryl, I bet Ebony will get used to it soon! Maybe you could place a couple of pots of cat grass outside for her to go and investigate! Do you have any nooks and crannys in your garden? Maybe you could introduce her to those?!
It is so much fun being able to take them out!

mskitty666, they sound quite handy! I think trips to the vets with two would be a lot easier! I'll take a look at the site!
post #20 of 25
I've been taking Jamie outside on a leash every day for over 5 1/2 years (he'll be six at the end of the month). I also only use one door, and Jamie is vaccinated against everything except FIV, as I've found that he's had a lot of contact with the neighborhood cats, whom he attacks. I don't use flea or tick products, because we've never had a problem with fleas (touch wood!), and combing him with a flea comb after every outing has taken care of any ticks. I also take him outside in winter, but I've found that he's ready to go back inside after 5 or 10 minutes when it's bitter cold. You have to be careful that the harness can't be easily slipped off, and I always recommend taking along something to read, as you might be standing in one spot for 10 or 15 minutes while your cats lurks behind a bush in the hopes of catching a bird or mouse.
post #21 of 25
I live in wisconsin and we get alot of snow, I take my cats outside at least once a week in the winter when its not so cold out and its sunnier for them to get some exercise. My 9 month old loves to play in the snow and my 3 yeard old loves to poo in it. Its ok to take them outsidein the winter as long as they arent outside for too long and its a nice day outside. I made them a makeshift sled so I could pull them around so they didnt have to get their feet wet :P its kinda cute to see them hopping through the snow or up to their shoulders in the fluffy white stuff. If you do take them out in the winter make sure you check their paws for ice/snow in them when they come in the house.


I let my kitten climb tree's because she's really agile and has sharp claws, I dont let her climb the big ones though, usually just to the first seperation in the trunk, which isnt over my head. She never is allowed to get too high either. Sometimes I tie her leash to this smaller tree in the backyard which is about 10 feet tall and has a nice little crook she can lay in. I think tree climbing is ok as long as the cat is monitored, and it depends on the cat too, my cat is pretty mellow.
post #22 of 25
OMG!!! I want one of the KittyWalks and/or the strollers!!! My husband is going to commit me...
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3CatHouse
OMG!!! I want one of the KittyWalks and/or the strollers!!! My husband is going to commit me...
There goes the refund $$.. I was going to use a baby stroller... since I have Zoey and Gigi... Gigi is a yorkie and uses a snuggly for walks with mom about...lmao.. my kida arent spoiled..I was wondering what to do with Zoey
post #24 of 25
Shadow and Finnegan both walk on leashes now.. Fin wasnt too sure of it at first but now they loooove going out walking around and exploring!
post #25 of 25
My 7mos old cat loves going outside. If we don't go out she sits by the door next to her harness and cries and cries. Of course one paw in the snow and she runs back inside...but if it's nice outside she'll happily chase flies for hours, while getting her leash hopeless tangled in my chair and almost pulling it over. I'm just starting to get the kitten used to the harness now.

(some of my neighbours think i'm nuts! )
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