Harness/leash recommendations - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Harness/leash recommendations

We are going to try and leash train Lola. She will still be an indoor cat, however for the trips to vet, petstore, groomer, a harness and leash would be so much easier. she is a big girl ( at least to me ) and I have a very hard time getting her in her carrier alone, not to mention she is heavy to me ( she is over my lifting restrictions ). So I have searched the boards looking at this topic so I have an idea, but wanted a single place for me to keep track...

Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 11:26 AM
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Take it slow - I just started Tuffy on a harness - he was terrified of it at first. I left it out for a few days so he could play with it at times and get used to the look of it. When I first tried putting it on - he freaked so I stopped and tried again the next day. I just kept trying for short periods of time around the house and he eventually got used to it.

If she's been an indoor cat only being out on a harness might be scary for her. Tuffy still scares very easily outdoors. Too many new things - we've never made it off the patio yet - and it''s been months that I've been trying it!

I will suggest one thing - which will be hard for you I suppose if lifting her is a problem. When you take her outdoors - IF you can - lift her to carry her through the door. I say this because when I first started, I would put on the harness and allow Tuffy to walk through the door - BIG MISTAKE. He started being a 'door dasher' - everytime the door opened he thought it was time to go outdoors. I did NOT like that one bit - not safe. SO I stopped taking him out altogether for about a month. When I started taking him out again (after the dashing at the door stopped) I always carry him through the door so he no longer does the door dash.

Also - I try to take Tuffy out at different times each time - he also started being a door whiner - LoL. I would take him out every day after I got home from work - and if I didn't for whatever reason he put up such a ruckus it was horrible. So we started going out sometimes before work - sometimes after. Just so he doesnt' expect it at certain times. I even skip days because I don't want him to do that whining anymore. It was horrible - LoL. Even if it was cute at first.

Anywho - I'm done rambling - lol. Good luck and just remember to take it slow.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 11:58 AM
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I agree with Jan Rebecca...slooooooooowww. I have 3 cats and have only taken out 2. One cat is very nervous and she HATES going outdoors so I have pretty much given up with her. I don't want to stress her out about it. I want to train them to go out for walks and for them to be able to enjoy the outdoors close and personal.

My other cat, she is very outgoing, and she is hesitant at first. She still does not like wearing the harness, but once she realizes she's going outside, she forgets about it, and begins exploring, mostly around the perimeter of the house, but she spends a good hour or so walking me around in circles and up and down the steps.

I haven't tried it with the third cat, but I feel she may be more receptive once she sees the other more outgoing cat outside and enjoying herself, particuarly since they are best friends...we'll see.

Now, having said that, walking a cat is not like walking a dog. It's more like the cat walking you. They lead the way and decide when to stop and when to walk. They do not respond well to tugging and their physical structure is such that you can really hurt them by pulling on the leash a bit too eagerly. If you plan on driving to the vet and just using the harness to get her into the car and such, it should be fine, but if the vet is walking distance away, that may not work so well; they scare easily sometimes, and may attempt to hide or scurry under something, etc., and if you cannot lift her, that may not end up so well.

Anyways...good luck!

Last edited by dweamgoil; 05-24-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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thank you both for the information. yes we will take it SLLLLOOOWWWLLLYYY. I know cats walk their owners unlike dogs who are the ones being walked. lol

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 12:39 PM
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I'm thinking of taking the boys out too, can anyone recommend a harness or maybe a walking coat that would be really secure? Timmy especially is a little Houdini, he'll get out of anything.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 02:11 PM
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I use the smallest dog harness for Leelu, it seems more secure for me.
I put on the harness and let her wear it for a good hour (or until she stopped jumping and trying to run out of it) then I took her out. The first time we just sat around and she looked slinked a few paces and was happy just to hang.
After that she got more and more bold and will walk around and even semi follow me!
I didn't really take it slow but she's so easy going that I guess I kinda knew she'd adjust ok KWIM?
Good luck! and again I would go with a dog harness...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 02:13 PM
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I've had a lot of success with Coastal Pet's Lead & Harness Combo.
You just slip it on over the head and behind the legs, so you don't have to struggle with buckles or anything. I think I might write a review on it later. (P.s. I think it has a new packaging now)

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 02:20 PM
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I also use a small dog harness similar to this one:

PETCO Comfort Control Purple Dog Harness at PETCO

I just make sure it is a good fit for them and that the head fits snuggly enough so it doesn't choke them or fit too loosely, either.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 02:20 PM
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I use a figure 8 harness, but personally I think a walking jacket will be best for the kitty. It's a lot more comfortable for them and on the looks of it, it's not "itchy". I think the best way to teach them is to start out young. Here are some links I found. I'm planning to order one of these for Misa instead.

Cat Walking Jackets; Leashes and Harnesses for Cats: Cat Supplies, Accessories, Feeders, Furniture, Beds, Toys and MORE, from HDW Enterprises and Foothill Felines.
cat harness FAQs

I'm having trouble too~! Misa is still freak out of outdoors. I try to take her out everyday when it's nice, but it's not working out! She's okay inside though.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 10:24 AM
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We have used a harness with Jake for over a year now. It definitely took lots of time and patience. The first harness we bought was a Come with me Kitty harness.

It was hard to get on and if I didn't make sure it was tight in all of the right places, he could escape.

This past March, I bought a new one called a Comfort Soft Harness. They are often found in the dog section, but they make them really small and are perfect for cats. Comfort Soft Harness | Collars, Leads & Harnesses | PetSolutions

It is so easy to get on and it stays on securely. Jake was at first bothered by the collar around his lower neck, but has since gotten used to it. He knows when I bring it out, he gets to go outside.
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