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Taking the kitties out for a walk

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking about buying a harness for my crew and taking them outside. All of them except Mitzi have never been outside(Xavier was an outside kitten when a lady found him in her garden at 2 months but he hasn't been out since) and I'm worried if I take them out and they like it they'll try to sneak out.

Anyone who has an inside only kitty who takes them out, your input will be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 15
I take my cat for rides in the truck and in a comfy bed basket for bike rides along the beach, but I don't let her walk on grassy/dirty ground for fear she might get fleas or contract something from another animal's urine/feces.

Indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats, simply because they're not subjected to as many hazards.

I had to put down my 23-year-old this Christmas, because his kidney's started giving out on him a year ago, and he lost a lot of weight in Oct/Nov, so it was time to do the humane thing, rather than let him potentially start suffering. He was solely an indoor cat, who had plenty of simulation from the wildlife outside the many windows, plus the love he got from everyone in the house.

BTW, if you do let them walk outside, be sure to use a harness, and NOT a collar. I lost (and two weeks later thankfully found) my cat two years ago when she got spooked and slipped her collar and dashed out of the garage.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
LOL if I were to take them out for a ride in the car I'd have another forum topic on my hands. The one yearly trip to the vet is enough traveling they care to do.

I know about the risks about letting cats outside that's why they're inside dewellers and that's why they wouldn't be going outside with out me standing one foot away.

And I would never put a collar on them to take them outside. Besides the risk of them slipping out it puts too much pressure on their necks(Not the collar itself but the pulling).

I was kind of hoping some of the members here take their cats out on a leash and what their experience was with the cats then trying to get out on their own.
post #4 of 15
We only have one kitty who will even accept the harness and leash. The others were older when we decided to give it a try. When we take him out, we never let him walk out the door. He is always carried into the yard. This way he doesn't think it's appropriate to go by himslef. So far, it has worked really well. He likes to get out and play, and I havn't had him dart for the door.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sandie, that's a great idea. I guess the only thing left to do is buy a harness and see if they like it.
post #6 of 15

hi. what did you do to keep a cat alive that long? what did you feed him stuff like that? i'm curious. i'm sure everyone would want to know how. what a pleasure to spend 23 years with a cat! wow!
i'd be willing to be poor the rest of my life to spend 23 years with my cat!

post #7 of 15
Bella has been walking on a leash now for a little over a year. She is an indoor cat and I figured that walks would be a good way for her to get some exercise and let out some energy. Our walks last anywhere from 30min to 2 hrs depending on how good she is that day.
I would start out training him/her some simple commands that will be helpful when you come across a sticky situation while walking. Some good ones are "no", "sit", "stop" and my favorite "this way" (it can get pretty boring walking in a circle around a tree).
I started training Bella with an all in one leash and harness. It was about $5 at PetCo and I liked the fact that the leash was on the short side. This gave me more control and kept me close to her to give her more confidence. Now we have progressed to a "Figure 8 style" harness and retractable leash. She can roam a lot farther ahead and I don't have to run up and down hills at kitty speed.
Definately carry them out when you are ready to walk so kitty doesn't get the idea it is O.K. to walk alone, and start off in a place with no people, dogs or loud noises. This gives them time to adjust especially if they have never been out before.
Bella has darted out once-but I yelled "Bella Stop" and I walked quickly(not run) after her and she stopped and let me pick her up.
One of my rules with Bella is she is not allowed to run. When she gets scared she has a tendancy to dart off and I don't want her to get use to doing that while outside. I fear if she got out alone she might run into the street. So when she gets startled I let her walk quickly away or she crouches down. This seems to have worked out really good and we haven't had a problem.
Have fun on your walks together...
post #8 of 15
I just started walking Fitz on a harness and leash and he loves it! I got him in December and was waiting for the weather to get warmer. I started with rides in the truck (he loves rides) on his harness and we would go a lot just to get him used to it. Then I took him out at night so things wouldn't be so scary and distracting, no birds jumping or dogs barking. At first he sat on my lap and wouldn't get down but eventually he wandered a few feet and then even led me in a direction. Last week we went for our first daytime walk and he walked pretty much like a dog does. He has started to be a little more interested in going outside but he's not a runner.
post #9 of 15
I take my cats outside to my yard in harnesses and leashes, and that works pretty well. It's a fenced, very small yard, so no scary things around, and they still get to be outdoors, watch the birds etc. This is the only place that works for my older cat, since she startles easily and the first and only time I took her for an actual walk in her harness (lived in my previous apartment, no yard then) was a disaster. She was slowly walking and all was well, until the leash went around a tree, and I wasn't quick enough in getting it untangled. When she couldn't move freely, she freaked. I've never seen a cat fly in the air with all four feet spread out, and frankly, don't want to again! It was very difficult to get her to calm down. This was also when she somehow managed to get out of her harness, luckily she was already in my arms, but it beats me how she got out of it, it's a good and tight fit, and a proper cat harness.

What I couldn't understand was that I had slowly built up to that moment, first getting her used to the harness, then the leash dragging behind her, then me holding the leash and directing her, then holding her in my lap outside etc and she still freaked. Oh well, the yard thing works great for us. I always carry the cats out the door, too, but still my younger cat has started to try and sneak out the back door when I go through it, or actually when I open it to come back in. So far I've managed to catch her in time, once she got out the door but only a few feet, and I've been trying to teach her that this is not a good thing. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't go far, and the yard's well fenced so it would take some work to get out, but I really don't want to find out for sure.
post #10 of 15
My Orion takes a harness and a leash. He was born outside, and spent a good 8 weeks growing up in a nice summer last year, so he's got that outside in him. No matter what we do, he's a door darter. SO a while back, we figured we'd try the leash.

The first couple times, he was freaked, and wouldn't go to far. Now, when he sees that harness coming for him, he lays down and starts purring so we can get it on. He's pretty good with being outside, only we have a large stray population, so most of the time is spent marking everything.

He also always tries to run under the hedges, so we have to hold him back. Most of the time he's good, but we jus let him wander bout with us following.

Problem is, once he decides or we do, that outside time is over, he is unconsolable for days. He sits at the door and cries, or bats his harness, and looks pitifully at you. In Wisconsin, it is not always practical to go out every day, and I also don't want him thinking he'll get his way when he cries (even tho it breaks my heart).

Other than that, he thinks it's tons of fun, and we're gonna try staking out a longer lead when we're outside so he's got free frun of a radius, and we don't have to walk 4 feet behind. |we'll see if he doesnt tangle himself up.
post #11 of 15
I know what you mean about the cryingonce you bring them in. The minute Bella is in the house and the harness is off-she sits by the sliding door(the one we always leave through)and cries and paces back and forth until she realizes she in for the night. I usually feed her when we finish our walks so this helps a little in distracting her.

The retractable leash has been greatThe hook that connects to the harness has a swivel so it untangles itself-plus she can roam up ahead without me on her tail.

Does anyone elses cat eat the plants and flowers??? Bella really enjoys sniffing the flowers in the area-and one weed in particular. I don't let her eat them but I know she really wants to. It kind of looks like the Kitty Grass I grow her but more plant like.
Is there a list of plants animals/cats cannot eat?with pictures?

Eeva- Bellas harness came off once during a walk too-I noticed it dragging about 10 minutes into it, I just stopped her and rebuckled it trying not to let on that anything was wrong. I must have not had the buckle prong going through the hole all the way (who knows???).
post #12 of 15
my neighbours think we're mad!
My first cat , Jasmine has always been out on a lead, and finds it no problem, although she doesnt really go for a walk as such....because she is an indoor cat, loud noises scare her and she runs back in!

Jasper, the cat that turned up on the door when we moved in, was obviously a stray, and loved being out. We decided to keep him in after my boyfriend saw him nearly get hit by cars twice!! He took to the lead fine, but once he's out, he remebers his old ways, and really has a paddy when it's time to come in....growling, hissing and biting!!! but id rather he did that tan get knocked down!!
post #13 of 15
We just bought our Kitties a Harness too. We haven't tried it our yet though!
post #14 of 15
I tried harnesses with Fred and Leo and they both acted like we were killing them. It was a spur of the moment thing when we were moving cross country, probably not the best time to introduce them to something new. I thought I could walk them at rest areas. It sounds like a lot of you are having success with them, so I might try them again. Should I just put them on and let them wear them a few minutes at a time? Inside, of course. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I wish I had started this years ago.
post #15 of 15
mlopez, I havn't found a list with pictures attached. I have only found very extensive lists with the names. I would imagine it would be quite a long process, but you could get a book and look them all up.
KrazyKat2, you have the right idea. If they really don't like the harness and leash you start by just putting the harness on for a little while and you can give them treats when they are wearing it. It may take a few weeks, then once they seem used to wearing it, you can attach the leash and let them walk around the house with it. Just make sure you are there so they don't get tangled in anything.
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