So, you want your cat to become an Adventure cat?! Are you wondering how the heck to get your cat to walk with a harness & leash? Here are 10 tips to help you on your cat harness & leash journey and to help you and your cat become better adventure buddies.
1. Train them Young
As with any other kind of pet training, the younger you can start, the better! Firstly, getting a small kitten into a harness is much easier than wrangling your 12 pound adult cat into one for the first time. A kitten is learning new things about the world every day and trying to figure out what’s normal. They have less of an established norm, so they can be more receptive to new things…like harnesses and leashes!
2. Go Slow
Some cats may initially be fearful of a harness and leash. Don’t rush to put the harness on the cat. Let them sniff it and see that it’s not going to hurt them. If your cat tends to be fearful or anxious, let that be enough for the first training session.
Once your cat seems comfortable around the harness, bring it out again and give them a treat. Slip the harness on, but don’t clip it just yet. Give them a treat and let them walk around for a moment. Keep taking the next step with treats between until the leash is on and you’re walking around in the living room. Do this until you feel the cat is comfortable.
3. Location, Location, Location
Starting with your yard can be great, but if/when you want to venture out beyond that, scout out the location ahead of time. Many dogs can be aggressive towards cats, or just want to chase them. Be understanding of this and try to go places you won’t see a lot of dogs.
Go out and have fun! For a more exhaustive how-to, check out this article from Adventure Cats or this one from The Spruce Pets.