This article is about the potential benefit of getting your cat to accept a harness and lead. Cat owners are never going to walk around the neighbourhood with their domestic cat on a lead as if they were dogs. If you have taken your cat out on a lead and harness you’ll understand why; cats just don’t get it. You walk five paces and then they roll over. Generally you’ll end up going almost nowhere. Yes, there are some wonderful exceptions such as cats mountaineering and the like but these really are rare exceptions. These cats end up being internet celebrities.
However, just because cats won’t go walkies with their owner in the park does not mean that a leash and harness is of no use for a cat and their owner.
A important point to make, incidentally, is that you have to buy a good harness to which you attach the lead. A panicked cat may escape a poorly constructed harness and it is certainly possible to encounter a situation outside which may cause your cat to panic.
Secondly, you can take your time in getting your cat used to wearing a harness by putting it on your cat inside the home and letting her wear it for several hours. It’ll take time to get used to it. However, if your cat is an indoor cat, once he has got over the initial trepidation, I will almost guarantee that once you have done what I describe below several times your cat will look up at you with the harness and lead in your hand and say, “put it on!”.
If you are one of the millions in the US who keep their cat inside full-time, taking your cat outside into the backyard or front garden or whatever will be a wonderful moment of enrichment for your cat. You don’t have to go further than the front or backyard to bring to your cat a whole lot of fun.
It won’t apply to all situations and locations because of various reasons such as dogs in the area. But take for instance a person living in a condominium (block of flats in the UK). The cat is full-time indoors. A relatively sterile life. There are always communal grounds of some sort in blocks of flats.
If your cat is trained to accept a harness and lead, you can sit in the communal garden, provided the moment is appropriate, with your cat on an extended lead and read the newspaper for 30 minutes. Your cat can roll around on the grass (make sure there are no lawn chemicals in it!) and smell and experience nature. That should brighten up his day.
Even something less exciting than this; taking him out on the balcony, if you have one, on a lead and harness while you sit and read is a neat and safe way of letting him ‘take the air’. It is a way of ensuring cat safety outdoors. There will also be a bit of bonding going on which is always useful.
If you do site outside the front of your property, if it’s possible you can leave the front door open so if things go wrong your cat can run back in with you following.
Or if you live in a leafy suburb you might be able to get your cat to walk 100 yards down the road and back again. That’ll be an achievement and you might even meet some nice neighbours! Make sure they are nice. But even people who hate cats will appreciate you walking your cat on a lead. They advocate it.
The point that I am making is that a good harness and lead can allow a domestic cat to explore the immediate area outside the home in safety. It’s a compromise and the only way to guarantee safety with a chance to sense nature other than through a large garden enclosure. That’s has to be something worth considering.
P.S. If you have an F1 Savannah cat you have to leash train them! Martin and Kathrin Stucki did it with the tallest domestic cat in the world Magic (see photo above). The reason why leashes are essential for this cat is because they are so valuable. There is another article in the making on that topic.
[weaver_breadcrumbs class=’alt-class’ style=’inline-style’]
[weaver_show_posts cats=”” tags=”cat-harness” author=”” author_id=”” single_post=”” post_type=” orderby=”date” sort=”ASC” number=”1″ show=”full” hide_title=”” hide_top_info=”” hide_bottom_info=”” show_featured_image=”” hide_featured_image=”” show_avatar=”” show_bio=”” excerpt_length=”” style=”” class=”” header=”” header_style=”” header_class=”” more_msg=”” left=0 right=0 clear=0]