Springtime is here, and if you haven’t already, you should make some time to venture outdoors. Whether you’re going on a hiking trip, or just taking a walk in the park, get out and enjoy what nature has to offer!
What makes the great outdoors even better is having a pet with you. If you have a dog, you’re set. Dogs love walking outdoors! But what if you just own a cat? Here are some leash walking tips for cats that will help you get outdoors with your furry friend.
As seen in the video, it’s possible to walk your cat outdoors like a dog. But what if your cat is an indoor dweller? How can you transition kitty from sleeping on the couch 24/7 to being your travel companion? Here are a few tips.
Get a Harness and a Leash!
There are leashes and harnesses designed for cats, and they can be found in any pet store or online. Purchase one, and you’re on your way. A harness is recommended because cats have been known to slip out of regular collars.
Once you have your leash and harness ready, don’t walk your cat outside just yet. Put it on your cat while she’s indoors, and allow her sometime to get used to the leash. This leads us to the next tip:
Don’t start of by taking your cat to the woods. Instead, have her explore the outside of your home. Take things slowly, letting her examine everything the outdoors have to offer – go with the cat’s pace. Bring them back inside if they become anxious.
Ten minutes a day works well, and you can keep upping the time, allowing the cat to explore more and more. If everything works well, you can move onto the next stage. Keep in mind that each cat is different and some need more time to adjust. Some just may be too nervous and scared. If your cat does not enjoy walking outside then it may be best to avoid taking him out.
Find a Place to Walk Your Cat!
The park, the woods, it doesn’t matter. Get a carrier, and put your cat inside, giving her food, water, and a litterbox. Drive to wherever you want to go, and explore with your cat. Let her claw the trees, drink from the watering hole, and greet other animals. Just make sure she doesn’t nip on any plant, as some can be toxic.
If your cat has been declawed (heaven forbid), you may not want to bring her outside. Should something happen, your cat cannot defend herself.
<Also Read – What You Need To Know Before Declawing Your Cat>
Reward Your Kitty
Every time your cat becomes more accustomed to the outdoors, make sure to give her some positive reinforcement. Give kitty a treat to enjoy, or play with her. She’ll associate going outside with being rewarded, and will want to do it more.
Don’t Force it
If your cat, no matter what you do, still doesn’t like the outdoors, you’ll have to respect her decision. Cats come in all sorts of personalities. Some like the outdoors, some indoors, and some both. While cats can learn to like different settings, some are set in their ideals, and trying to force change on the cat will just cause her some stress.
The solution? Get an additional pet who loves the outdoors. After all, there’s always room for more loving companions, isn’t there?
Now, get outside and enjoy the day!
Image: Courtesy of Juhan Sonin via Flickr (CC by 2.0)