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Discussion Starter #1
To my great surprise, Genie didn't object too much when I put a harness on her. She was more puzzled than angry, and crawled around on the floor more than usual, but it went pretty well. We went outside the apartment door and into the stairwell for a few minutes before she got scared of a noise. Thing is, my goal is down four floors, through the complex and across a quiet road to some wasteland with grass, bugs, etc. I just want her to have some fun exploring, not to walk her like a dog. Should I just try carrying her there or would that be too scary? Seems like summer could be over before we could make it that far on her steam...
:eek:rcat
 

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I would carry her outside to explore the complex first. You need to know how she will react to new places/things that frighten her before attempting to take her somewhere further away. My cats are personally very frightened of cars and dogs, so they will never go more than about 75 yards from home, and I would never dream of making them because they might run away/get loose if they were spooked enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks swimkris. She's quite easily spooked so carrying her out for a little preliminary exploration seems like a good plan.
 

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That was very similar to my cats' first experience with harness and walking! Since I live in a small apartment I feel they need more space for exploration, so even the ones who don't want to leave the building (yet) get a little walk up and down the stairs. Once they feel comfortable with the stairs and start wanting to expand their territory, they get to play in front of the building (the entrance is a little secluded so no cars there). We still haven't moved farther than that but that's OK, they set the pace, and I noticed that the older they are the braver they seem to be (or they just start feeling safe on their newly expanded territory and ready to explore more).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you def kitty. Our second walk went a little further - out onto a walkway between two blocks, and she was cautious but also quite curious, so hopefully we can build it up a bit gradually!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's going pretty well. We made it all the way down the stairs and through the complex courtyard this morning before she saw the caretaker and flipped:) Starting to realise it's not so much leash training as experimental exploration on her terms!
 

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I've taught my leash-trained kitty that the only way he gets outside is by getting in his carrier first. Then I close the door and carry it outside and let him out- sometimes just on the other side of the door. This means he doesn't dash for open doors, it means he lunges for his carrier every time he sees it.

It also gives him a safe zone to dart back to if he gets startled while we're chilling in the grass. Plus, if something really panics him, I don't get clawed up trying to get him back in the house.
 
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