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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone here use or has tried to use a harness on their cat or kitten? What were your experiences with it?

We bought one for Zero, but he doesn't seem to like it too much. When I put it on, he doesn't want to play or anything, he just calms right down... it's almost sad. He always wants to go outside, rushing out when he gets a chance (he's not allowed to) but even when I offer him to go outside with it on, he doesn't really want to.

Now we just use it on him when he's going toooooo crazy or being loud or scratching on stuff... almost like a strait-jacket.

Here's a couple of pics of him with it on, doesn't he look cute? His nails will be blue, once we cycle on the new set of soft paws, and match the harness.



 

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When Kali was about four months old I used to take her out on a little harness a few times a day, everyday. At first she struggled with me to get it on, but after a while she put up with it knowing that was was going to get to play outside if she wore it. She seemed to be happier being able to have that 'outside freedom' just without so much of the freedon. :wink: It works really well for hyper active animals that would like the extra room to play and get out their extra energy. Attempting to form some sort of routine like taking him out for example, after dinner every night, he would be likely to eventually adjust in just a short time. I bet you'll see a difference real soon, he'll probably even start to look forward to it after he experiences it. Good luck and I hope it helps you two to have an extra loving, happy and healthy relationship. By the way, Zero is a great looking cat! He's been treated well, keep up the good work. :wink:

- Randy
 

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My cats never go outside without a harness. As soon as a cat moves in here I start to use a harness on them. In the start I just let them have the harness on (for short periods of time) indoors soo they'll get used to it. Eventually they get used to it and I take them outside uring the harness.
 

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hmm, maybe i will try using a harness. my cat freaks to get outside. it will be winter soon, though. can cats go outside in the cold or do their little paws not like it? (i live in minnesota)
 

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Gibsons a pretty independent kitty. He wants to go outside all the time. When he was about 5 mons. we got him a harness, it was hard keeping him still when we first tried to put it on. And once we did he wouldnt really walk, he would just fall down. But now he is a year and a half and when he sees his harness he just sits there until we get it on. He has even learned to walk very well with it on.
 

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I have never used an actual cat harness, but when Jet and Scratchy were kittens, for their first ventures into the outdoors I made leashes from string, attatched to their collars with dog clips, as I didn't want them to take fright and just bolt off. Jet hated it and kept trying to bite his leash, but Scratchy actually seemed to enjoy being taken for walks around the garden. So I suppose whether or not Zero will take to the harness depends on his personality.
 

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Some cats take longer to adjust, when I first put a harness on Gizmo, he thought his back legs wouldnt work anymore, and would just flop onto his side, stiff as a board, quite hilarious actually. But just proving to him that yes his legs did still work, and taking him outside right after hitching him up, and he ignored it quickly enough.

Now he is so well trained that if I ask him if he wants outside he sits patiently in front of the door waiting for me to buckle the harness on :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Very good information everyone!

Then the only other thing is that I don't want him to get fleas... he had a few when we got him and he ate one and got worms (easily fixed though).

Anything I can do to avoid stuff like that? I got some flea/ant/tick controller stuff for my yard and i have a spreader, but i'm wondering how effective it will really be?

There's also advantage but that's pretty expensive, isn't it?

We know he's not going to want to go outside and not play in the grass!
 

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The bug spray for the yard works well, but the kitty will still probably get fleas. When we first got Gibson he never went out but he was still getting fleas and we couldnt figure out why. It turned out the the family dog would come in a night and they would transfer to Gibson. We struggled for monthes with different ideas on how to get rid of the flea, bombs, sprays, plenty of baths. When we took him to the vet it was so embrassing cause they said that he was infested, it made us feel like we were bad parents. The vet gave us this new flea control medicine that takes care of worms as well, Revoultion. It worked extremely well. However, when we use it on emma our dog, it doesnt work as well as any other prescription medicine. But just thought I would give you another option. I hope that is ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How much does that stuff cost you? He doesn't hardly ever go outside anyhow, so it probably wouldn't be worthwhile for me unless it was very cheap.
 

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Because gibson is a medium size cat, it cost about $13 a month. We usually only use it during the summer monthes then switch to regular worm medicine during the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What kind of harness is that that you used? And I don't know how a cat couldn't know outside exists :). Zero's always looking out the window and seeing mow the lawn or whatever I'm doing, and he always sees me leave too!
 

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Some cats like other types of harness's better then others. I have the figure 8 type, but a lot of people like the H type harness.

Sometimes I will take my cats outside on their harness and let them walk around and check things out. I used to tie them up to the fence in my yard at my old place, which allowed them to just chill out in the grass while I sat outside with them doing whatever I needed to get done.

I don't have the time to do it much anymore however.

Here are some suggestions (I have not read all the replies to see if this has been said before or not.)

1.) Put the harness on the cat, and leave it on while the cat is indoors and supervized for long interverals.
Once he gets used to the harness you can move to the next stage.
2.) Attach the leash, and let him drag it around the house, get used to the feeling of it being there, and watch him closely of course to make sure he doens't get caught up on anything.
3.) Open your front door, with harness and leash on cat, attached to your hand, and just wait for your cat to make the next move.
Some will immediatly run outside to investigate, others will slowly move out the door taking about 10 minutes. lol.
You have to let the cat go at his/her own pace for quiet a while, and go where he would like (for the most part) after he gets used to this routine, then you can start taking him for actual "walks".

Make sure you are carefull, there are some cats whom can get out of these harness's when they are scared, make sure you par up on your skills to know when your cat will get upset, or what thing will scare them, so you can avoid such incidents while outside.
And if your cat tries to back out of the harness and run, move with them, do not pull them back with the leash as it will just help give them more force to slip the harness.

Good luck!
 
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