If you’re wondering, can I walk my cat on a leash? You should know that going out on the street is a therapeutic practice for some cats. In general, however, walks are not an inherent necessity of feline psychology. They have their place of elimination in the sandbox and prefer to relate to those who belong to their community.
Therefore, your first choice should always be to enrich your habitat so that you get enough stimuli in it to help you stay stimulated physically and cognitively. In the following lines, we will determine which Gatunos profiles are indicated to benefit from the exits abroad and what aspects you should consider making them a success.
Should I take my cat for a walk?
Felines, like territorial animals they are, feel safe in the places marked by them. When you go outside the lack of those reassuring smelly footprints will cause restlessness, which will become stress if the experience endures over time. Exposure to new stimuli can become excessive if you don’t choose the place well.
Walking a mini-child involves an adaptation and learning process that you should address if:
- Your pet is obese and needs to lose weight. This new way of exercising and more fun than practising physical activity at home is beneficial for getting rid of overweight quickly.
- You notice that he takes advantage of any excuse to sneak on the balcony or prowl the terrace. Your cat is interested in exploring the boundaries that cross your home, so booking a couple of days a week to stroll abroad could make you very happy and benefit your health.
- Your mini hasn’t spent much time abroad in the past and is restless and nervous at home. If your veterinarian has ruled out a disorder or illness, you should consider taking him for a walk with some regularity.
- You live with a shy cat, who has difficulties for social interaction or who shows a tendency to escape. In all these cases, the specialists recommend the rides, provided that the appropriate measures are taken and that they are exposed to this experience in a gradual and controlled way. We’ll delve into this later.
What should I do to enjoy the ride?
As we have already announced, cats value the safety of their home very much. Everything they run into is familiar with and has them identified, so their integrity is not at risk. However, if you’ve decided to start taking it out on the outside because you think it’s going to do you good to understand that:
- It would help if you acted calmly and patiently. Don’t force him to explore if he doesn’t feel ready or doesn’t feel like it. Don’t be angry or rebuke him if he sits in a corner on the first walk. You’ll have to do the same, accompanying him and talking to him fondly.
- You should be prepared to intervene if another cat or dog approaches. Take your mini-baby in your arms and distract or put it in your cat backpack so that you can pass the drink as long as possible and without damage.
Necklace versus harness
Acquiring a cat-specific harness and strap is the first step in the preparation that precedes the exit. You’ll need to measure the contour of your pet’s neck and chest to select the right range for it. The strap should not be retractable, but elastic and not more than 1 meter in length.
The necklaces are completely discouraged because pulling could hurt your traffic and cause you further difficulties swallowing. The harness manages to evenly spread the force over the animal’s shoulders, chest and abdomen. That way, he won’t be hunched over or able to get out. You’ll prevent him from being run over or lost.
If you are foresighted, and although it is unlikely to be lost, it is advisable to place a plaque with your name and address to facilitate its identification in case of loss. Microchips and GPS locators are other resources you have.
Before you have any contact with insects, bacteria and viruses from the outside, you’ll need to make sure your mini is appropriately dewormed and vaccinated. Also, don’t let him eat anything from the ground or eat plants or flowers. Many of them can be toxic to felines.
Positive training and reinforcement
You’ll have to inhabit your pet in the harness. To do this, leave it among your toys so that on your initiative, you can sniff and mark it. Every time I do, reward him for associating him with something positive. After several days you should wear them for a few minutes.
Repeat this routine several consecutive days, with their corresponding rewards at the end, and gradually increase the time you are wearing the harness. After this phase, you must start with the strap by walking it inside the house. Let him go wherever he wants, go with him.
After several days, you notice that you already tolerate it will be the time to do the same but outside. Early outputs must take place in a controlled environment. For example, a private garden or a park in times of low crowds. It is not recommended that you take it out in a city, as the noise will overwhelm you.
Tips for successful cat outings
Finally, we want to provide you with some simple tips that will help your mining build positive memories around their walks outside:
- It is always preferable to start with the puppy. Adult cats will need more time to experience the goodness of these outings, and even some will not approve of them under any circumstances.
- The first walks should be short, no more than 5 minutes. You will already expand its duration as you feel more relaxed in that new environment. Ethologists advise holding him in his arms at the first exit and leaving him on the ground upon arrival. That way, you’ll feel less violent.
- Choose dry days, no rain. Your cat will orient himself better and enjoy more and better the stimuli that nature gives him.
- Abort any climbing attempt, as the strap could roll up, and your cat will hurt or scare you away.
- Never pull the leash or yell at him if things aren’t as smooth as you’d like. He respects his choices.
Strengthen your bond with this new routine
In short, we can conclude that taking a cat for a walk can be very rewarding and healthy, but not all specimens like it. With foresight, patience, affection and these guidelines you will get that if your mini is not interested in this experience, everything goes great and soon asks you to repeat.