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Taking Cats out in Public

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Wasn't sure what to call this thread but I've read several posts that mention taking their cats to, say, PetSmart, etc. I've never taken any of my prior cats out into "the public" - just transported them in their carriers to the vet, boarding, etc.

My new cat, Kali, is very docile. I've been thinking how nice it would be if she could go places with me now and then.

So, those of you who go "out" with your cats, do you have them on harness/leash and carry them, or take them in carriers, etc.?

Also, is there any harm in taking an indoor cat with me to like a park or someplace outside.

Thanks for any suggestions on this!!

Czari
post #2 of 27
I'd love to be able to take my baby girls with me the same way I do with Ruby! I have a harness for Sashka and the first (and only) time I tried it she ripped me to shreds...lol

However, I think if you have a docile cat then a bit of outdoor activity on a lead is a great idea!
post #3 of 27
A carrier is essential in the car for safety's sake, but if you cat is agreeable then a harness and leash is fine once you are at your destination.

It is easiest to make cats into good travelers if you start when they are very young. If your cat is an adult, you might want to start with short trips to non-stressful places, such as a friend's home. PETsMART will be overwhelming for a cat who has never really been anywhere except his house and the vet, but you can work up to outings like that.
post #4 of 27
Petco used to be fine with pets off-leash or not in carriers until recently, so i used to just walk in with pouncer on my shoulder and made sure she didn't jump off somewhere. now they've implemented the "on-leash or in carrier at all times" rule, so i'm getting her used to a leash and harness. like most cats, she's not really fond of it. she's actually lay down and refused to move before, but she's getting better at it now :P
post #5 of 27
Just remember that it's pretty easy for a cat to get away from you if it really wants to. So if you go into a store holding your cat, you take a risk of your cat getting loose. Either inside the store, or worse, outside. And the strange surroundings can cause even a laid-back cat to freak out.
post #6 of 27
I`m afraid i`d be a bit scared to take my cats someplace like a pet store.....afraid that someone else might have had an unhealthy pet there that would "give" my cats something. (Heck I`m even parinoid about taking them to the vets where other sick animals have been!) But then i`m probably just overly protective.
Linda
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
That's kind of how I feel, Stampid...was just kind of "wondering out loud" about maybe a nice day in the park or something along those lines.

As an aside, a friend of mine took her puppy Chihuahua to either PetSmart or PetCo before it was old enough to get all his shots. Ended up picking up parvo (I think...or something similar) - and she ended up losing the lil fellow.

Czari & Kali
post #8 of 27
Bijou and Mika have gone most places with us since they were babies. My husband takes Bijou with him to the library, grocery store, hardware store, Canadian Tire, etc. A couple weeks ago we went to our local hardware store and while my husband was doing his business with the sales person, Bijou checked out the store by walking up and down the various aisles and sniffing things out.

They aren't usually allowed in grocery stores, but we have a carrier that we strap on (much like a baby carrier) and it has a clip inside to fasten the leash to. If we take them in the carrier, we don't get a hassle.

Our daughter has been taking Mika out with her since she was a baby as well and she is fine with being out. We spent over 1 1/2 hours at a home decor store one day and I walked around with Mika in my arms for that whole time and not once did she try to get down or away. Naturally everyone had to stop and say hello to her which she also didn't mind.

Both Bijou and Mika wear a harness and we have a leash attached just for extra safety.

On warm summer evenings we put on their harness and leash and take them for a walk around the block. Most of our neighbours probably think we are the crazy cat people as most of our neighbours have dogs.

I believe the trick is to start getting them used to the car and being out and around people when they are very young which is what we did with ours (and that was because we hated for them to be home alone so just brought them with us).
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
Bijou and Mika have gone most places with us since they were babies. My husband takes Bijou with him to the library, grocery store, hardware store, Canadian Tire, etc. A couple weeks ago we went to our local hardware store and while my husband was doing his business with the sales person, Bijou checked out the store by walking up and down the various aisles and sniffing things out.

They aren't usually allowed in grocery stores, but we have a carrier that we strap on (much like a baby carrier) and it has a clip inside to fasten the leash to. If we take them in the carrier, we don't get a hassle.

Our daughter has been taking Mika out with her since she was a baby as well and she is fine with being out. We spent over 1 1/2 hours at a home decor store one day and I walked around with Mika in my arms for that whole time and not once did she try to get down or away. Naturally everyone had to stop and say hello to her which she also didn't mind.

Both Bijou and Mika wear a harness and we have a leash attached just for extra safety.

On warm summer evenings we put on their harness and leash and take them for a walk around the block. Most of our neighbours probably think we are the crazy cat people as most of our neighbours have dogs.

I believe the trick is to start getting them used to the car and being out and around people when they are very young which is what we did with ours (and that was because we hated for them to be home alone so just brought them with us).
How wonderful that you are able to take them everywhere with you! I didn't know (or wasn't sure) that most stores allowed pets? I would love to take Harley into stores with me like that!

Whenever John & I go run quick errands (grocery store, getting gas) we take Harley along, and one of us stays in the car with him while the other one runs into the store. He loves riding in the car, he will sit in the backseat and look outside, I suppose he loves getting out of the apartment once in awhile!

We have a leash on our back porch that he hook him up to when we are out on the deck and he roams around in the grass playing with me, he loves it, I feel so bad that its been so chilly out that his outside trips have been cut short, but whenever I go out in the hall to get my mail, I take him with, just for a little adventure
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by babyharley
How wonderful that you are able to take them everywhere with you! I didn't know (or wasn't sure) that most stores allowed pets? I would love to take Harley into stores with me like that!

Whenever John & I go run quick errands (grocery store, getting gas) we take Harley along, and one of us stays in the car with him while the other one runs into the store. He loves riding in the car, he will sit in the backseat and look outside, I suppose he loves getting out of the apartment once in awhile!

We have a leash on our back porch that he hook him up to when we are out on the deck and he roams around in the grass playing with me, he loves it, I feel so bad that its been so chilly out that his outside trips have been cut short, but whenever I go out in the hall to get my mail, I take him with, just for a little adventure
Harley sounds like he has the perfect personality for taking out with you. We have had nobody stop us from bringing in our cats. Some of them may look at you as though you are an alien, but if you are holding your kitty when you go in and it is secured in a harness and leash, they probably won't bother you.

I don't see Paris Hilton leaving her little dog in the car - she takes the doggie in with her so why can I not take my cat!

Bijou and Mika have been wonderful spokescats for the Siamese breed in general. I cannot tell you how many people have confessed that they thought Siamese were nasty tempered cats and after meeting and petting our babies several of them have declared their next cat will be a Siamese. How good does that make a kitty meowmy and daddy feel?

I do however think that some kitties are just naturally shy and even if you were to try to get them used to the car and going out you may not be successful.

Harley seems like he would do wonderfully. Try taking him in with you next time and I'd be delighted to know how it turns out.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
Harley sounds like he has the perfect personality for taking out with you. We have had nobody stop us from bringing in our cats. Some of them may look at you as though you are an alien, but if you are holding your kitty when you go in and it is secured in a harness and leash, they probably won't bother you.

I don't see Paris Hilton leaving her little dog in the car - she takes the doggie in with her so why can I not take my cat!

Bijou and Mika have been wonderful spokescats for the Siamese breed in general. I cannot tell you how many people have confessed that they thought Siamese were nasty tempered cats and after meeting and petting our babies several of them have declared their next cat will be a Siamese. How good does that make a kitty meowmy and daddy feel?

I do however think that some kitties are just naturally shy and even if you were to try to get them used to the car and going out you may not be successful.

Harley seems like he would do wonderfully. Try taking him in with you next time and I'd be delighted to know how it turns out.
Awww, I can only imagine that you are all so proud of your babies-they are truly so beautiful!

Harley is such a people person, he loves everyone (as long as they pet him and love him! ) We have only gone as far as going on car rides, but I think I'm going to try to take him in some stores with me, I would just love to take him everywhere with me!!

You're right about Paris Hilton too! Why not be able to bring our babies out too!!
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
...we have a carrier that we strap on (much like a baby carrier) and it has a clip inside to fasten the leash to. If we take them in the carrier, we don't get a hassle.
Ok, I'm getting "inspired" now!

Yosemite, where did tyou get the carrier that you use? Is it one like those used for small dogs? Any particular brand? I need to get a harness/leash as well.

I've owned cats for 18 years, but they were strictly inside cats and the possibility of taking Kali with me on errands sounds wonderful!

Thanks so much again!

Czari & Kali
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czari
Ok, I'm getting "inspired" now!

Yosemite, where did tyou get the carrier that you use? Is it one like those used for small dogs? Any particular brand? I need to get a harness/leash as well.

I've owned cats for 18 years, but they were strictly inside cats and the possibility of taking Kali with me on errands sounds wonderful!

Thanks so much again!

Czari & Kali
Our daughter got it at PetValu here in Canada (Ontario to be specific). And yes, it is a small dog carrier. Not sure of the brand without hunting it up to look but she says she still sees them there. Yes get a harness and leash. We have the H type harness as we couldn't seem to get anything else to fit our 16 lb. Bijou. We got a small dog leash (the kind that retracts) for Mika and a regular leash for Bijou. Bijou and Mika are indoor cats with supervised outdoor visits in their harness and tethered. One of us is with them pretty much all the time with the exception of coming inside for a coffee or such and if we can't be out with them, they are brought inside.

Good luck and have fun.
post #14 of 27
I wouldn't have even thought about taking my cats out to the store with me, but then I tried it with my really easy going cat Pwne. She was great, I put her cat bed into the child seat part of the cart and she hissed a few times at the first person she saw walking out the door as we were going in but then she was soooo good. She sat in her bed the whole time and was awesome.

I then took her to my graphic design class with me. I put her cat bed on my desk in front of me and she laid there almost the whole time. Once or twice she did a lap around the room on top of all the desks to say hi to every person in the room and then went right back to her bed.

I always wondered if there is such thing as therapy cats like they do with dogs. I think she would be great for that.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
That's really awesome to hear, Jen! Thank you for posting that!

Question: Did you have a harness or collar/leash on your cat in the pet store when she was in her bed or is she mellow enough not to jump out? I really want to take Kali II out with me sometimes, but terrified without making
SURE she couldn't get away from me. I'm still looking at halters and such.

Czari - Owned by Kali II
post #16 of 27
I've never taken my cats out on a harness. The only time my cats go out in public is in a carry cage either going to a vet or a cat show.
post #17 of 27
My Seamus is such an intrepid traveler. He's got his harness and leash and knows what's up. When I grab his harness and tell him I want to put it on him, he comes running and sits patiently on my lap as he gets 'dressed'. We go to PetSmart every now and then. He'll spend all kinds of time looking at the birds. I've taken him to lunch with me too. Only in his carrier and at restaurants that have outdoor seating though. If we leave the windows to the car open in the garage, he'll try and sneak out there and hop in the car.

My little boy, Gator hates going places. He'll whine the entire way to the vet, but then is quiet for the ride home.
post #18 of 27
I saw an interesting pet carrier at a store. It was sort of like a baby sling. It went diagonally across your body and the pet would be in the snuggly-hammock-like part on your side. And it had a clip for a leash or harness. I wanted to get one for Seamus, but my husband protested and said he'd feel silly.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
Our daughter has been taking Mika out with her since she was a baby as well and she is fine with being out. We spent over 1 1/2 hours at a home decor store one day and I walked around with Mika in my arms for that whole time and not once did she try to get down or away. Naturally everyone had to stop and say hello to her which she also didn't mind.
:
Might be a weird question, but I would worry about the kits having to go to the bathroom if I had them out for hours!
post #20 of 27
Jen, Leo is a therapy cat and Lola will start her training when she's a year old.

It;s funny since he is really only affectionate with me when he's off the leash at home...but as soon as we get into the room with the patients, he's such a lover! It's like he knows exactly what he is there for and knows that he is doing a good thing.

Both of my cats are leash trained...well, we're getting there with Lola. Both like to go outside with me on the porch, and both have been to Petsmart, but nothing more than that.
post #21 of 27
I used to do this a lot until my kitten decided she really didn't like it anymore (more the car than anything). She can be a little unpredictable and a yowling cat in a store is a little embarassing. But if someone came up to her she would be all loving and wanting to be pet. But then there was the child factor... Children would see her and run up and pet her without asking. I'd oftentimes find myself with a crowd of children wanting to hold her. Human children are just as unpredictable and she could sense it adn it would scare her (she dosen't get child exposure anywhere else). So I've had to stop taking her out. It was kind of to bad because she was awesome on a leash. She'd walk right along with me. Now I just take her out in the evenings around the house.

One funny thing that happened was a child demanding that I let her take my cat home. She was very adamant.
post #22 of 27
I'm motivated now to leash train my babies, although Rowan makes a much better candidate for going out in public. I actually carried him over to the neighbor's house last night, because he's gotten so big since the neighbor caught him in the yard, and I thought we should visit. He was great about it, never tried to get away, wasn't worried about the traffic or the loud music. He even snuggled with Justin for a while. And I'm sure that they'd just love to watch the fishies at the store.
post #23 of 27
I don't think Sylvester would care to go out in public. He cries in the carrier and at his age I don't think he would tolerate a harness. He prefers to be at home with familier surroundings.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy
Might be a weird question, but I would worry about the kits having to go to the bathroom if I had them out for hours!
If we are going out for several hours, we put a temporary litter pan on the floor in the back seat and put out food and water for them. Mika has used the litter a couple times, but Bijou waits until we are home.
post #25 of 27
Aw, that's cool. I was going to train my kitty, but he's gone. I can't see taking the cats into stores. I wonder if it's different here in the US?
post #26 of 27
When I had Kahli, we had a halter and lead rope for her and I to walk around the neighborhood, run up and down the mailboxes and purr for everyone who stopped by to see her. Then I decided to take her to PetsMart. I put the halter on her so she knew we were going out, and then put her in a carrier for the car ride to the store. I took her out of the carrier and put her in the kids seat in shopping cart and walked up to the door. The sliding door scared her, but she trusted me enought to know that it was ok. It took her about 23 seconds to realize she had gone to heaven and the first place we stopped at was of course, the birds.

I let her run around on the floor around the cat food and kittly litter aisles, and had to stop her from jumping into the koi pool, but we had blast.
post #27 of 27
Re the Therapy cat question asked by Jen:

My YY - pictured below - is a therapy cat and she works with many of my patients (most of whom have cancer or hematological illnesses) and she has recently started doing some work with children with neurological problems or those in hospital for extended periods of time unless of course they are immunocompromised. Not all cats can be therapy cats and she was a sweetheart from the time she was a kitten- she seems to be a genuinely considerate kitty. She even seems to sense children who are extra vulnerable or lonely and begs them to pick her up. Of course they do and she has made another friend!! She had to become certified of course!!

I have taken YY to many places with me - not so much shopping though but she has flown to Florida with me and sometimes does rounds with me. She loves to walk on her leash (she likes to be independent even more mind you but tha is not safe of course). Some of my friends - at the hospital joke and suggest that one of these days there will be a Code YY and I am going to be in trouble, lol (meaning she will have escaped to somewhere she should not be like surgery!!)
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