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Many cats, having learned the charms of walks, can bring a leash and harness in their mouths to let their handler know that they want to go for a walk. Today, a cat on a leash is a completely normal sight. All you need to do is teach your cat to walk in a harness, and then choose a quiet area where the walk will provide your cat with a pleasant experience, not stress.
Cat harness and leash – how to choose them?
Even if you do not intend to go for walks with your pet, remember that harnesses may be necessary during trips or even a short transport of your cat to the clinic. Many cat carriers, especially those in the form of shoulder bags, have a carabiner inside for attaching a harness. For this reason, a harness and a leash for a cat should be owned by every owner of a purr.
Stopping during a longer trip should be used to stretch the cat’s paws. Then just attach a cat leash to the harness. With such protection, the purr will be safe even on foreign terrain. In addition, special car harness with a safety belt are also available in pet stores. They clip into the latch on the rear seat just like standard seat belts.
Cat on a walk – harness or collar?
Remember not to attach the leash to the collar. Harness is safer and gives you more control over your pet when it gets scared and wants to run away. The cat’s neck is too delicate to be able to walk comfortably with the leash attached to the collar. A jerk can even result in damage to the cervical spine. In the harness, the part where the cat leash can be attached is on the top strap. It is a safer and more convenient solution.
Cat harness and leash – model selection
When choosing a harness, pay attention to the size of the cat. For kittens, there are special, smaller models with a small chest circumference – usually from 19 to 33 cm. In turn, harness for adult cats should be adjustable. The standard ones are designed for animals with a chest circumference between 42-46 cm. There are also XXL models for large cats with a chest circumference of up to 57 cm.
The most common harness models are in the form of two strips about 1 cm wide and connected by a stripe on the back perpendicular to them. There is a circle on it to which you can attach a leash for a cat. However, there are also other versions to choose from, the so-called full harness, looking a bit like clothes, perfectly matching the cat’s body. They are safer than standard harnesses – getting out of them is not easy, and besides, the harness does not move during a walk.
Regardless of whether you choose a full or standard harness, pay attention to the material from which they are made. They must allow the skin to breathe, not press on it. For example, the velor harness is very gentle on the cat. However, the nylon models are very durable.
Cat leash – what to remember?
The cat leash that comes with the harness is usually 120 cm long. However, if you plan to walk with your cat together, consider buying an automatic leash, which is 3 to 5 m long. This will give your cat more freedom to explore its surroundings and allow you to be in control with a locking button. When walking, never let your cat loose! Yes, he can be exemplarily taught to come on command and walk near you, but if something scares or upsets him, he will not control the urge to run away.
Cat on a walk – step by step
It is easiest to teach kittens to walk on a leash, but even in the case of an adult cat, it does not usually generate problems.
Cat leash – home training
First, get your pet used to the harness. Put them at home in a place that he likes to visit. Let him smell them, mark them with his pheromones, and get used to seeing them. The second step is to put on the harness. Gently put them on your cat, preferably when she is active or close to feeding time. After wearing the harness, give your cat a treat. Take off the braces. You can wear them for a little longer next time.
When your pet is used to the harness, attach the cat’s leash – first the short one. Make a round of the apartment with your pet. At the same time, teach the cat to respond to a name or other calling command. Remember that a cat is driven differently from a dog. A cat will not walk on a walk by its leg, but on a loose leash. When the animal stops to smell something, wait for it. Also train recall commands.
Cat on a walk for the first time
The first walk outside the home should be in a quiet place away from traffic. It should not be a place where a lot of people walk, much less people with dogs. The walk shouldn’t be long. Finally, give your cat a treat. In time, if your cat enjoys such excursions, you can walk longer.
Cat on a leash – joint activity
A walk together is an excellent form of spending free time with your cat. But remember – when a cat likes these escapades, it will demand them! Even when you don’t want to leave. A cat leash can become a frequently used accessory, especially for cats that used to live outside the home.