Cat Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The winter is coming so my cats won't be able to go outside for at least 4 months, but I think its time to have them getting used to the harness. Today is our first "training session", which went on surprisingly well :thumb

A few questions I have:
1. How to make the cats walk after putting the harness on? Both of mine just sit/lay still. I tried to tug the leash lightly, but they won't move. I'm not sure if they don't like the feeling of harness or its just they feel lazy?

2. How long should I leave the harness on for each session, and how frequent should I do this training?

3. How tight should I buckle the harness? If I make it too tight I'm afraid they won't feel comfortable, but if too loose they may get it off?

Got a few pictures to share, aren't they look cute with the harness! :2kitties

The first one got buckeled is Meatball. I thought I gonna put up a fight because she is the one with big attitude. But it turns out she is quite ok with it :)


*Tug tug* Not moving. *Tug again* Not moving. Meatball is glued to the floor :-o


Now its Metoo's turn. Metoo is usually easy going so I thought it should be easy. But I was wrong again. At first, she thought the harness is a new string toy, and she kept clawing and biting the strap :neutral:


Then she kept rolling on the ground, making it almost impossbile to buckle the harness. Eventually its (awfully) done. It seems the strap is too long? :roll:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
I've never done indoor training, just put the harness on and took them outside. They are so interested in exploring outside they don't bother with the harness at all.

I have it tight enough to fit a couple of fingers in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
They are so cute! And the comments are hillarious!:lol:
I went directly outside with may cat when I wanted her to be on the leash. She was exploring the outside area, so she wasn´t really bothered with the leash. The only problem was when I wanted her to move the direction I wanted to go and she did not want to go....She did what your kitties do,,,,glued to the ground!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
Adorable pictures!

When I harnesstrained Apollo, we went at it for a few weeks before I ever thought about taking him outside. His first reaction? Attack the new toy! Once I got it on him, he just flopped over like he had no functional use of his back quarter. It takes awhile to get used to the feeling of having a harness on them.

Anyway, I kept him inside each "session," which lasted about 10 minutes each and he got lots of treats. Eventually, he started walking with it on. I never tugged on the leash or anything. I just let him get used to the feeling.

Once we moved outside, we pretty much started all over again. He flopped over on the ground and just tried to take everything in. Again, it took him awhile, buuuuttt ... after a few times outside he was ready to roll. Even now, after not having his harness on him for awhile, he has noproblem with me putting it on him.

Goodluck! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
I have no advice to give on the harness training. I imagine that if I tried to train Layla the leash would end up on me!

But I must say, I love your kitties! And as adorable as Metoo is, I am a huge Meatball fan. She is gorgeous! Love the personalities you create for them when you write!

Good luck and keep us updated with their progress!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
There's two ways you can get them to move.

The first way, and easiest unless it's freezing outside, is to put the harness on the go outside immediately. They'll usually get so distracted with being outside they'll forget about the harness.

The other way is to get them used to the harness first. This works better for very nervous cats, or older kitties. You just put the harness on, feed them treats, or make a trail, and after 20 minutes or so take the harness off. Do that about once a day until they've gotten used to the harness, then you take them outside with it on.

Don't tug or pull at them while they're wearing the harness, that's uncomfortable for them. You want the harness to mean good things, not being yanked about.

I always talk to my cats while we're doing anything. As a consequence when I get Muffin harness he sits down and puts his head through the harness, then lifts his front paws one at a time so I can put it on. I always say "Ok Muffin, sit for your harness! Put your head in. First paw, now the other one, ok. Buckled. Let's go!"
He loves his harness because it usually means he's going somewhere fun, like to the park or to visit some people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all very much for the suggestions! Since my cats don't seem to be disturbed by the harness, I possibly will just bring them outside. But that has to wait until winter leaves...

A follow up question:
As a first-time cat walker, should I bring one at a time, or two won't be too much work? Also if I see a dog coming with its owner, what should I do? Should I pick up my cat or should I try to move away (but my cats may not be cooperative when I want them to go another direction).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have no advice to give on the harness training. I imagine that if I tried to train Layla the leash would end up on me!

But I must say, I love your kitties! And as adorable as Metoo is, I am a huge Meatball fan. She is gorgeous! Love the personalities you create for them when you write!

Good luck and keep us updated with their progress!
Thank you so much for the compliments! I will make sure the message is delivered to Meatball :mrgreen:
You should try the harness thing. You never know what Layla may react. I thought that I will have a fight with Meatball to put this on her, because she doesn't like to be handled without her consent. But I was very surprised as how cooperative she was. So Layla may surprise you as well. Besides, kitties look so CUTE with harness! :devil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,194 Posts
Thank you all very much for the suggestions! Since my cats don't seem to be disturbed by the harness, I possibly will just bring them outside. But that has to wait until winter leaves...

A follow up question:
As a first-time cat walker, should I bring one at a time, or two won't be too much work? Also if I see a dog coming with its owner, what should I do? Should I pick up my cat or should I try to move away (but my cats may not be cooperative when I want them to go another direction).
I would only take one the first few times. Once they're more comfortable, or if you can find a helper, you can take both. I only take both boys to the park when my SO helps, otherwise the boys have to take turns.

As for the dog thing...I keep a very sharp eye out for dogs when I'm out with Muffin. If I see one I pick him up right away, and carry him in the other direction. i'm not above hiding behind a tree/vehicle either. Muffin is OK with some dogs, but not others and you never know how the dogs is going to react. The big thing is for you to stay calm and move away. If the dog's owner sees you just smile and tell them your kitty doesn't want to say hi, could they please keep their dog away.

I don't want to frighten you but meeting a dog is how I got badly bit by Muffin. Here's the thread I posted the day after. It gives you a good idea of what can go wrong.
Now I only take him to places where if there is going to be a dog they must be leashed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for the tip librarychick! I was planning to just take my cats outside and walk around our neighbourhood. But there are so many people walking their dogs. Leashed, but still would be painful because I can see I would be almost always carrying my cats. So I guess I will just bring them to a nearby park and have the carrier with me. This way I can always put my cats back into the carrier when they are scared :)
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top