Im having difficulty taking my cat for walks - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Im having difficulty taking my cat for walks

Hello everyone, this is my first time posting on the forums. I would just like to thank you for taking the time to read this. So my cat loves to go outside. I won't let him go outside by himself because I feel it is far too dangerous. I see too many dead cats on the side of the road and have heard too many stories of cats killed by neighbors dogs. So I have a harness and leash for him, but Its so hard getting it on. The second he sees that I have it he runs and hides under the bed or couch. Eventually I give up. Then he sits by the door and meows non stop wanting to go out. He even gets so mad I won't let him out that he attacks me! I don't know what to do with him! Sometimes I am able to get it on him but then I have a whole new problem which is I can't get him to come back in. We go out for a walk and then when its time to go back I have to pick him up and carry him. If I let him decide when to come back he never would! He struggles so much when I carry him I can barely make it home and not without a few scratches. I find it so difficult to deal with him that I never want to take him out. I really need some advice and encouragement right now.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 11:19 PM
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Your kitty sure does love his outside time.

You could try some things to give him some positive associations with putting the harness on, like treats. He can have a treat when you get the harness on.

Or, you could put the harness on him and let him wear it around the house for a bit (supervised, of course) and give him his favorite food (or play with his favorite toy) as another way for him to associate the harness with good things while he wears it.

When you come back from walks, maybe you could wear him down outside the door with his favorite toy for a bit so that he gets the extra energy burned off. Feeding him as soon as he gets back inside might also be another way to get him to look forward to coming back in after the stroll.

I had a cat that walked on a leash/harness too. We had a nice size fenced-in yard so when we got home I'd let her off the leash and she'd run around like crazy. She would wear herself down and then go lay in front of the door when she wanted in to nap.

I hope you find something to help kitty feel excited about coming home from walks too.

Good Luck!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 09:04 PM
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How long have you been taking him out on the harness? I also took one of my kitties out on a leash/harness (people driving by thought it was hilarious). She resisted a bit at first, though not much, and she very quickly learned that she was not going outside without it. You could leave the harness by the door (on the doorknob, maybe?), and when he meows to be let out, pick up the harness and open the door just a crack and try to put the harness on. If he resists, then close the door and walk away. If he starts meowing to go out again, do the same thing. I would actually just not take him out at all, and ignore the meowing, until he stops resisting and associates the harness with the door opening. This will likely take some time and require patience...But in the long run, I think it'll be worth it.

And I had the same problem with my cat: once she was outside, she never wanted to come back in, and sometimes I'd end up having to scoop her up and carry her back in. I learned it was far easier to get her back inside if I took her out only when she was hungry. I'm so mean. I also learned that if I tried to bring her inside when she was in mid-stalk (in her mind), I was going to get hissed at and/or scratched. So if I saw her focused intently on something, I just didn't bother trying to get her back in. I would wait until she was sitting somewhere like a happy little lump (oh, did I not mention that her idea of going for a walk was to sit under a bush and wait for something interesting to happen?). It was easier to get her inside that way, though she'd still hiss at me the whole way.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 12:50 PM
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Well this is often what happens.....you've heard of that old song...."How ya gonna keep'em down on the farm after they've seen "Par-eee". Some cats once let outside just wanna keep going out. Many cats can slip out of harness quicker and easier than you could think, so that is one of the negatives. Most really don't want to walk on a leash where you want to walk, it mostly just following them around, and yes some get aggressive when picked up to go back into the house when they don't want to. I used to walk my cats, but then I lived near a rural property. Now being in a busy town, I take mine out in a pet stroller. They enjoy having a change of scene and experience all the different sights and scents. Zuba even jumps in the stroller and starts meowing when he wants his "walkies". It satisfies their sense of wandering around a territory that they would do if they were outdoors on their own. They're safe in the stroller from dogs as they're completely zipped in. If you're going to be travelling over grass or uneven ground, strollers with the larger wheels go over them better.




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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catloverami View Post
Zuba even jumps in the stroller and starts meowing when he wants his "walkies". It satisfies their sense of wandering around a territory that they would do if they were outdoors on their own. They're safe in the stroller from dogs as they're completely zipped in. If you're going to be travelling over grass or uneven ground, strollers with the larger wheels go over them better.
This. I had to start storing the stroller in the car. Even if I collapsed it, MowMow paws at it until he can get inside the seat part and yells at me. I carry him down to the car in his harness then pop open the stroller nad put him in. I keep the leash of his harness outside the stroller tied to the handle so if he makes a great escape (has happened a time or two) then he can't get far, he's tethered to the stroller.

We *LOVE* it. We enjoy trips to Petco, I leave the top open and he gets to meet and greet all the people in the store. He loves when they coo over him and give him pets. I love taking him to the Saturday morning market. He really enjoys it and kids are always asking to pet him so I unzip his stroller a little so they can get their little hands in and he gives them licks after they pet him. He's a little social butterfly.

Here is MowMow chilling in his stroller at the market (It also makes a really good way to carry all the veggies I buy).
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 11:14 PM
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Walking a cat on a leash

I recently got a kitten named Jasper and successfully harness trained him. Now I'm walking him around outside my house, at a nearby pet store, and use it for going to the vet. He loves going outside, and it's a great way to tire him out.

Does anyone else walk their cat? Or have any stories about it?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 11:24 PM
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Yes! My Ellie loves walking on her harness when it's warm out. She gets pushed around in her stroller and looks out at everything, and then we also let her roam around in grassy areas near the apartment and explore. She's a little timid so if she hears noises or sees people/dogs she prefers being in her stroller, but she just loves being able to go out and explore! Now we have a second kitty and I can't wait for Spring to take them both out together. My only "story" is a huge, unleashed dog came barrelling straight for Ellie and gave us both a heart attack. Thank goodness we had her stroller so we quickly swooped her up into it and zipped it up. Of course the owner was the typical "oh, he's trained and friendly!" even though the dog was jumping all over us and trying to get to Ellie like crazy. Annoying!


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 11:30 PM
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Here is Ellie in her stroller and me pushing it during one of her many outings last summer... sorry, it was too late to edit my previous post!

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 11:43 PM
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Wow. That must have been really scary. There's a huge difference between a dog friendly towards humans, and a dog friendly towards cats. Luckly I live in a circle with small condos, so all the dogs around here are pretty small. Jasper is scared of people while out walking, but when he's in the pet store, he's fine with them. He's also fine with dogs when they're on the other side of the street, but in the pet store, his tail gets puffed up, he arches his back, and he hides on my shoulder.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 11:44 PM
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Here's a picture of Jasper at the pet store.
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