Walking a Cat on a Harness and Leash

6 Aug

Shira is an active cat. When she gets going she can circumvent my livingroom without ever touching the ground! I wanted her to be able to get out and explore without the dangers of just letting her out the door. So Shira has been learning to use a harness and leash.

First of all, Shira is great about being handled. She does not mind being picked up. So introducing the harness was pretty easy. I just held out the harness and clicked and treated her for touching it. Then as she became more curious I would hold up the harness and hold out a treat and as she put her head through the loop I would then click and treat. For this part I would just make a tongue click as I ran out of hands. Then I began playing with the strap continuing to click and treat. I did that until I could put her harness on. During this time Dr. Sophia Yin DVM posted a blog on training a kitten to wear a harness. It was very helpful.

In my house, being in a harness and on a leash was not a big deal. Outside was a different story. When we got outside she froze. Too upset for food and I felt horrible. It had not been my intention to flood her. Luckily, I brought her favorite wand toy with us as well and decided I would at least try to salvage our time and get her back inside.

As soon as she saw her toy she became animated. She seemed to completely forget her discomfort so I just went with it. I used the toy to motivate her to move around the yard and she had a lot of fun!

Now she looks forward to her forays outside and enjoys exploring.

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6 Responses to “Walking a Cat on a Harness and Leash”

  1. Mia's Musings August 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    She is really pretty! What do you use for the food for the c/t? That’s got to be hard, coordinating the click and food for a cat…..

    • lchaimcanine August 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

      Thanks, Mia! I started by using her breakfast canned food on a spoon. When I click I then offer her the spoon. I also started feeding her on a schedule too. That also helps.

  2. Dianda September 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    I love to see it when cats are able to walk outside on a harness. 🙂

    • lchaimcanine October 3, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      Thanks! I hope as more people learn that it can be done that we will see more cats able to explore the world safely on a harness and leash.

    • Mia's Musings October 4, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      What kind of harness do you use again???? Envy would like that outside thing!!!

      • lchaimcanine October 4, 2012 at 11:04 am #

        The one I am currently using and the one in the video is a Premier Come With Me Kitty Harness with Bungee leash. I have a couple available if you want one. Just let me know.

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