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Hi all, im new here. I have the following question: I have a one and a half year old cat, and we live together in a flat. As she never goes outside, I was wondering if I could somehow take her out for walks. :shock: Is it possible to keep a cat on a leash? Unfortunately its impossible for her to go outside on her own, and when she looks out of the window i get the feeeling she really wants to be out there. :( Any ideas? Thanks!
 

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I used to want to walk my kitties too but now I decided not to. They are content with staying inside and I don't want them being all freaked out walking out in the real world. Also I'm really worried they may get out of their leash and run off too... you never know. I'd say if your cat is content with being inside you should keep her in b/c then she may want out all the time! :wink:
 

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I have trained several cats to walk on a lead, but let me say that it's not something everyone has to do.

Some things to consider before you begin...

1.) Does your cat seem like the type whom is very dependant on you under stressfull circumstances, or does it act more as an indipendant and hide away from everyone and everything including you?

2.) Is your neighborhood safe? Is there a lot of other cats, dogs or children around? If so, how is it at night time, night time walks are a better option for most cats & their owners.

3.) Do you feel your ability to understand feline body language is strong enough to stop or prevent a dangerous situation from happening while outdoors?

4.) Are you prepaired to deal with your cat possibly wanting to go outside constantly after learning to walk on a lead, with the meowing and attempted escapes outdoors?


Hopefully some others can post on here and tell you of their experiences with their cats, each one is different. And can be helpful and informative.

To start leash training your cat.

1.) Do not ever use a leash and collar, cats necks are fragile and can snap if they get stressed or scared and try to run if their lead or collar gets caught on something. I see people bring their cats into the clinic this way alllll the time and I ask them if they would rather place their cat in a carrier until they are ready to be seen.

2.) Buy the approprate sized leash & harness. I do not recommend a leash any longer then 6 feet, a good nylon or thin leather one, for your comfort, and so there is not a large amount of weight on the cat.

3.) Fit the harness on your cat, the H or figure 8 harness are good ones to use. Make sure it is snug, so that you can only fit two fingers underneith (works well if you have small fingers) If it is too loose then tighten it.
Allow the cat to walk around your home with the harness on, it might take him a while to want to get up and walk, or do much of anything. Do this for about a week, while he is wearing the harness you must be watching him/her. So that they do not get caught on anything.

4.) After they get used to the harness, attach the leash, and just let them drag it around the home. Do this for about a week as well, of course while you are watching them.

5.) Put on harness/leash hold onto the leash, and open your front door. Allow you cat to go out when/if it wants to (Sometimes this can take a long time, other cats will egarly run outside!)

6.) Let your cat get used to the outdoor surroundings, follow him a little while he smells everything, and keep your eyes on him. Do this for a few visits outdoors until you can tell he is comfortable outside.

7.) This is when you try to get him to walk with you. Walk where you want to go, if he does not follow, get to the end of the lead and then wait. The cat will feel the slight pressure on his harness and realize the only place he has to go is towards you. Call his name and encourage him to follow you, he will in time learn where to go. It's best to follow one simple route to begin with so the cat feels more at ease, and understands where you will be going.

8.) If at any point your cat starts to look stressed or out of control, pick him up if you can, secure him and bring him back indoors, and try later. Obviously if any dangers come around also pick him up and go indoors.
If your cat starts to struggle in his harness, they will often try to back out of it, and at times can break free. When this happens, walk towards the cat, walk in the direction that he is pulling so he is unable to slip the harness, try to calm him down, or pick him up and bring him inside as soon as you are able to do so.

9.) Keep your hand on that leash tightly! Even cats whom expereince the outdoors for the first time. If they see a leaf blowing in the wind along the ground, can take off ripping the leash right out of your hand!

Good luck!
 

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I sometimes take Dusky out on a leash...to him that's the best thing he could ever ask for. You CAN walk cats on leashes, and you can purchase a cat leash in almost any pet store! Have a good time walking kitty! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the useful info...AngelZoo are you a vet??
Do you think that it can be stressful for a cat to live in a small flat with no other cats?? I do play with her a lot, but do you think if i walked my cat for 5-10 minutes a day it would make a difference?

I didnt realize walking cats was common. I do live in a quiet neighborhood, and i believe that the small field next to my house will be useful.

I might even try to buy the leash today...I hope i can find one because here in Cyprus, where i live, it is hard to find good pet shops.

Thanks again :)
 

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psipsina: No I am not a vet (least not yet), but I do work at one.

I think an indoor cat whom is not adiquitly cared for, including offered a stimulating enviroment is not good for a cat. Not only for their mental state, but physical as well. Cats are suppose to be active creatures, even for as much as they sometimes sleep. They need to have toys/furniture which encourage them to be active.
I think most cats whom are willing to enjoy the outdoors, will benifit from it. BUT you will also have some cases where the cat becomes extremely stressed while indoors cause he/she is constantly wanted to go out for a walk.

I can tell you, that if you start taking your cat for walks, and you feel it's not working out (in other words she becomes one of those horror cats always dashing outside or freaking out while indoors) after a time they will forget. They will get over it. Even to the point where a year later, you'll try to take them outside, and find you have to start alllll over with teaching them how to walk. My Asim and Isha are perfect examples of that!
 
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