Categories: Cat Products

Cat on a Leash


Bushwah an F1 male Chausie on a leash. Photograph ©copyright Helmi Flick

Is a cat on a leash realistic? Yes, only don’t expect to go walkies in the way you would with a dog. Dogs are pack animals (and so are male humans) and they will follow etc. Dogs are of course more trainable than cats. But with patience and praise and some best quality food your cat might be trained to wear a leash.

It goes without saying that you won’t be needing a conventional collar. They don’t work for cats and are dangerous anyway. The kind of harness that you see in the picture above is as good as it gets. These harnesses are designed for cats. They are lightweight figure of 8 style halters. Don’t fit it too tightly nor too loosely otherwise your cat might have it off.


The purpose of using a leash on a cat is not primarily to go for a walk and get some exercise (although your cat will get some exercise), it is for your cat’s safety and to stop him or her running off.

You cat will, as usual, do pretty much as it pleases unless you have invested a lot of time in training. Or you start at an early age. If a cat  becomes accustomed to wearing a leash as a kitten I would foresee little problem when he or she becomes adult. The best examples are with expensive and large wild cat hybrids as in the video above. This is an F1 Savannah cat bred by Martin and Kathrin Stucki.

Talking about training, how do you train a cat to accept a leash? You’d be lucky of you could just put it on and wait for him or her to trot out with you. More likely your cat will try and get it off, initially.

Once you have put it on; wait a while, (s)he’ll probably roll over and try and get it off based personal experience. Now’s the time for patience and to tease her into accepting the harness by offering her favorite tasty food (best quality chicken or in my case lightly cooked prawns – instant distraction and reinforcement of good behavior).

Keep up the above over a three day period or so until (s)he accepts the harness.

Attach the lease and gently train her to walk by walking forward and gently tugging on the leash and show the prawns. She’ll follow and give her a reward. She’s starting to become a cat on a leash. There will be more times when she will be non-co-operative of course. Remain patient and reinforce with rewards.

Phase out the rewards gradually – time to go out…?

Needless to say start somewhere safe and quiet. He or she will go at her pace and she’s the boss. Beware of her eating grass if in a park (possible pesticides). The place you go should obviously be known to be safe for her. Cats are very sensitive to surroundings so she’ll be constantly distracted by investigating etc.

She Finn Frode and his cat on a leash as a very nice example of a cat on a leash: Walking an old cat on a leash.

See also cat clicker training.


In Moscow – photo:
gary oppenheim (Flickr)

Picture of black and white cat © jacob earl reproduced under creative commons.

From cat on a leash to cat facts

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Is it true that cats go away to die?

I have to say that the question is poorly formulated. There is an element of truth about it but it's…

23 mins ago

Are Israel’s stray cats a cause for concern?

Yes, Israel's stray cats are a cause for concern. I think this has to be an obvious conclusion because it…

4 hours ago

Cat hoarding: a spectrum of causes, reasons and personality types

Cat hoarding is a symptom of a mental illness, often a mild form. What kind of mental illness is it?…

5 hours ago

Disneyland employs feral cats to keep the rodent population down

It will please cat lovers to know that Disneyland Park in California "employs" feral cats to keep down the rodent…

19 hours ago

Has coronavirus slowed down the spaying and neutering of feral cats in America?

I guess were not going to know the true effect that the coronavirus pandemic has had on feral cat population…

1 day ago

Cat companions do not benefit gay and bisexual men with prostate cancer

This is a study which analyses whether cats and dogs as pets benefit or are detrimental to the mental and…

1 day ago