Cats are free spirited creatures. They barely stay put in one place for long. They enjoy running around the place and jumping about you as you do your business. At times, even if you take them out for a walk, they would be quite ahead of you before you know it. All this makes it quite difficult to leash train a cat. Use the following 4 steps to get your cat adjusted to a leash.
1. Choose a Proper Harness
Find a harness that you can adjust to fit your cat or have one made in the measurements of your cat. The main reason to pick a harness with proper fitting is that your cat needs to feel comfortable in it. Use a harness of nylon which is very soft. Only use the harness when you have to take the cat out for a walk. Don’t use it in car rides. It does nothing for protecting your cat while it is in the car. Besides, it may make your cat feel uneasy to be on a leash while it is simply in the car.
2. Get Your Cat Accustomed to its Harness
Make sure the harness is not an alien thing for your cat.
When you bring it, place it in front of your cat like a gift. Let it sniff it and determine for itself that the harness is nothing to be afraid of. Then put the harness on in a gentle manner. Afterwards if it gets stiff or starts walking awkwardly or tries to shake the harness off, don’t panic.
Your cat will still be safe inside it. Put the harness on your cat many times during a day before you start taking it outside with it. While at home give the cat some treats when it keeps the harness on for longer periods of time. This will definitely help the cat see the harness in a more positive light!
In time, the harness will not irritate it and in fact, it may also enjoy the strapped safety of the harness.
3. Put on the Leash
Here comes the hard part but it will not be so difficult after your cat has become comfortable with its harness.
Put the leash on the harness and hold the leash in your hand. Your cat might end up chasing its own leash in circles if you leave it trailing behind it. You also need to hold it because you need to get into the practice of guiding your cat with the leash on.
4. Take it Outside
Keep all the outside factors in your mind before you take your cat out for a walk across the block. Some things may spook your cat, for instance, rushing cars, dogs, coyotes and kids playing on the streets. Take it on a relatively empty sidewalk, at such a time of the day when you feel there won’t be a lot of traffic.
In the beginning if your cat will be in a calmer environment, it will feel easier in following your instructions with the leash. Cats love going outside the house to explore. Don’t confine them. Leash train your cat so it can enjoy its outside errands in the safety of your control.