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Harness question

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I got a harness yesterday for our 9 month old kitty which she's fairly comfortable with wearing.

I just took her for her first outing - she sat on our doorstep, and we explored the little garden 1 metre away from our doorstep

The harness kept slipping around to the side - will harnesses always do this or is it just too loose?

I'm also trying to decide whether going outside will be good for her. She's an inside cat, and while she never really tries to get outside when the door's open, she loves watching outside. We live in a townhouse complex, which has lots of little garden areas, and my plan was to let her have harnessed explorations of the gardens on a fairly regular basis.

The only thing is that she's scared of cars. She was in a car accident 6 weeks ago, and when she's inside and sees a car go by, her eyes go wide and she watches it intently (can't blame the poor little thing). A car came by while we were outside (on the little roads in the complex, not an actual street), and she freaked out a bit, and I brought her inside straight away. She immediately rolled over and started purring, so I don't think she was too traumatised by it (I think I was more traumatised than her...). Should I just stick to the doorstep for a while to let her get used to cars coming by, should I carry her to an area where there's no cars, or would it be better for her to just not go outside?
post #2 of 7
I don't know exactly what to tell you about the harness, whether or not its too loose. I would say try to tighten it slightly, but where you can still fit a finger or two between the harness and her skin.

As for her being scared of cars, it may just be because she it not used to them. Marlee has a harness and leash, but I do not get to take her out often. Its just been somewhat recently that I got her used to the harness, and was only able to take her out a few times before it started getting too hot. She is also very skittish, she gets nervous when we're outside. I would just try to take your baby out when there will be as little car traffic as possible. And its also possible that she will get used to the noises. But ultimately its up to you. You know Stumpy better than us, and you know what you think is too much for her. She's gorgeous by the way!
post #3 of 7
In regards to the harness slipping to the side, my three spend their outdoor time with it to the side. So long as you can get two fingers in - as suggested - it should be fine!

I would work slowly with Genevieve and let her guide you as to how far she wants to adventure. Always make sure that your door is open to reassure her that she can get back in if she feels scared. With time and patience, I think she will learn to tolerate the sounds of outdoors and will want to adventure further!

Good luck and let us know how things go!
post #4 of 7
my cat's harness slips to the side. I only use it to let her be outside with me while i read on the deck to prevent her from jumping into a tree after a bird. I dont think she NEEDS to be outside to be happy and if it was grass she was stepping on she wouldn't even want go outside. I also don't think you need to risk making her a nervous wreck by being near cars. With the proper stimulation, toys and things to do an indoor cat can feel delightfully safe and happy.
post #5 of 7
Zissou is scared of cars and strangers when outside on her harness, especially if the person is carrying something. If I see a person or a car coming I pick her up, if I don't she hides behind my legs like a little kid anyway. I think a fear of giant fast-moving hunks of metal is pretty healthy for a cat to have, and she'll start to get used to them more and more as you bring her outside. Remember though, taking a cat out on a harness is playing a game of follow-the-cat. Just put her down outside your door and do what she does, unless she's going into somewhere unsafe.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yay, we just had our first REAL outing! In our complex, we're in a row on townhouses, and behind ours, there's a garden, a strip of grass a few metres wide, then another row of townhouses. So when you walk down the grassy bit, there's the little gardens and then the backs of townhouses on either side.

From there you really can't even hear cars, and is nice and sunny, with trees for shade.

So I took her to a side garden where she just rolled around happily in the sun, purring away. She got to watch a hummingbird who hovered about a metre above her head, explore the gardens and plants and enjoy the sunshine.

Then I carried her to the back of the townhouses to the grassy bit, and she slowly walked up and down the grass sniffing everything, exploring everything. She wasn't as all scared! When she tried to go through a gap that goes to people's little patios I pulled her back, when she tried to climb trees, I just picked her up and put her back on the grass. Whenever I picked her up she was purring

After 20 minutes I decided to bring her back in, and carried her inside and she was great! She doesn't normally like being held, but sat happily in my arms, and trotted off inside when we got to our door!

A very succesful outing!
post #7 of 7
Skittles' old harness did that as well and it made me really uncomfortable since he figured out that it gave him an easy way to escape from it. lol

I bought him a nice H-harness from walmart for small dogs and he does so much better with it. I love that it stays away from the front of his neck as well.

The one he has now is pretty similar to this one and I believe it was about the same price:
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