View Full Version : Walking your cat on a leash - who does it?
July 10th, 2004, 10:03 AM
I was just reading in gMichelle's post about her Bengal cat that she puts it on a leash. That reminds me of a lady in our apartment complex. She walks her big ol' orange and white cat on this HUGE leash, but with his regular (but slightly tigher collar - only when outside) collar.
Actually, HE takes HER for a walk! LOL She lets him go where he wants and sits with him while he wants to lounge in a certain area. HE gets to decide how long a walk is. She takes her lounge chair and a book with her so he can do his thing as long as he wants to! LOL
Anyway, she told me she taught him how to walk on a leash. Her biggest suggestion was to (intially) not let the cat feel the pull of the leash. In other words, hold the leash up above the cat and don't ever let it drag. Eventually it will get use to the leash.
She also didn't teach her cat to walk on a leash until he was at least 4 years old, so it CAN be done with older cats. Not just kittens.
When it comes to collars I think you have different options. You *could* use a regular collar like this lady does, but *I* would be concerned that the cat would pull out of it and/or choke (though maybe not to death - since you are right there with it).
There are 2 different harness collars that I know of. One is a "figure 8" collar. I tried it on a cat several years ago and the thing freaked me out. One loop can become really large while the other gets really tiny. I know that is the purpose, but it looked like it was strangling the cat. That harness got thrown away immediately.
Lately, I've purchased a harness that has 2 "collars" - one for the neck, one for behind the front legs. Those two collars are attached by a 3rd piece of collar material. The two loops work independently. I feel MUCH better about it than I do the figure8 collar.
Anyway, I haven't tried the collar yet, but plan to with my little girl kitty (8 years old). It should be interesting. I would like for her to learn to walk on a leash.
Anyway, I was curious as to who had a cat that they walked on a leash, and how you got your cat use to it, AND what type of collar/harness and leash do you use? I guess I am also curious as to how long your walks are, and where you walk?
July 10th, 2004, 10:34 AM
We don't do this with ours, but I think it's a great idea. I've seen several people around here walk their cats on leashes. I think you would probably have to start them as a kitten to get used to it, though. We tried putting a leash on ours in the house, and they just sank to the floor and became heavy blobs. :lol:
July 10th, 2004, 11:34 AM
I do it! Sorta.
I have an Abyssinian indoor cat whom I take outdoors occasionally on a leash. I've never actually taken a long walk with her, but she does walk beside me around the yard.
The harness I use is a single strap that crosses between her front legs and over her shoulderblades and buckles at the neck. It feeds through a loop at the shoulderblades and the leash attaches to that. I would not walk her with a collar only - I'd be afraid of her suddenly dashing off and injuring her neck, or slipping out of the thing completely.
She doesn't much like the outdoors. She's easily overwhelmed and tends to climb into my lap or cry until I pick her up after fifteen minutes. Else if I decide to sit down, she'll park herself by my feet and watch the world.
I started her on the leash and harness bit when she was about six months old (when I got her). I used no special techniques to get her used to it; simply put it on her in the house and had her wear it for a little while each day until she stopped playing dead and thumping her tail at the injustice.
July 18th, 2004, 05:03 AM
My beloved Sam has been going outside in his harness for the last 3 years (since he was 2 years old) and he loves it. He lives indoors because with the people and traffic around here, I couldn't bear anything happening to him. We have a good sized garden, and he's quite happy just sitting or wandering around out there while I sit and read my book, or whatever.
I have one of the figure of eight style harnesses, which seems to suit him best. He doesn't pull much, unless something frightens him and he wants to run in, and he doesn't try to get out of it, so I don't have any problems with it tightening. The first time I put it on him, he just sat there and looked at me, so I picked him up and took him outside and he was quite happy. Only went a few feet from the door that day, though. I bought one of those extendable leads that people use for dogs, and took it apart so I just had a long piece of thin nylon rope to use as a lead, so I get to sit while he wanders, and we're both quite happy.
July 18th, 2004, 05:13 AM
I've got something like the two collar harness. Works fine. I tried to get Molly used to walking on a leash, but it never really worked. I'm glad to read that it can be done with older cats and I'll certainly take the advice! Thanks TBear!
July 18th, 2004, 10:23 AM
Have you ever seen the Garfield comics? You know the part when Garfield is being walked on the leash? That's about my cat Ash except he doesn't just dig his feet into the ground. He also goes into wild gyrations (ie flipping and twisting around in the air). After he throws his hissy fit he then collapses on the ground and just lays there hissing and growling.
Ash doesn't like anything touching his stomach...I think that's why. Hell, he doesn't really like much of anything.
Si, he could care less what I do to him as long as I'm petting him and loving on him. Of course I've ended up just carrying him around with me. Why should he walk around when he can perch on my shoulder and get a better vantage point?
Eva is so traumatized I don't want to do anything to harm her fragile mind anymore. She was abused before I got her and very skittish. She has absolutely no desire to go outside...she is totally content under the bed or in her kitty hide away.
July 18th, 2004, 10:50 AM
I would love to do this, but I think I would wait until I live somewhere not NYC -- too much traffic, big dogs, nasty children, tough alley-cats etc etc that God forbid they got loose, I would most likely never see them again...OR if they decided to sniff around the wrong area with all the stray cats around, I worry about them contracting feline AIDS or something...
But I am glad to know older cats can learn to do it, so someday I'll have to try it...
July 18th, 2004, 10:56 AM
I did have a cat that walked on a leash and he did go with me until he tired then would just flop over and I have to pick him up and bring him back in. I had a harness for him
July 18th, 2004, 11:37 AM
I had a cat that would walk on a leash. He also liked to swim in the bath tub.
July 18th, 2004, 11:50 AM
My big male tabby kitty, King (:inlove: I have others in the house, but he is special:inlove:), goes to the door and whines and tries to get the dog's chain on himself. I put the dog's collar around his neck (we have a toy dog), attach the chain and let him out just like the dog. Each time the dog goes out, there is King by the door wanting his turn too. He keeps trying to figure out how to turn the doorknobs...I told you, he is special. :wink:
July 18th, 2004, 06:24 PM
I like to take both of my kitties for walks on a leash, but only one of them enjoys it. The other is scared of everything, so going outside only frightens her badly. The kitty that likes going outside also likes to howl when it's a nice day because she thinks she should always be walked when it's sunny out. :rolleyes: I've created a monster.
July 31st, 2004, 10:28 PM
I found the most awesome, completely safe, escape-proof leash, but alas, my cat has a tendency to freak out when anything is "caught" on her. Here it is http://www.hdw-inc.com/walkingjackets.htm
I'm sure it would be wonderful for anyone else, but Cecilia just doesn't stand for being put on a leash. With the way she freaks out I'm afraid she might break her own neck trying to get it off. So, no go.
August 1st, 2004, 06:59 AM
Cool link, Cinnamon! I read the entire article on how to leash train. They had some good ideas!
I still haven't tried the harness on the cat I plan to leash-train. I'll either laugh my head off or want to cry because I KNOW how she is going to react! Poor little thing! ;) LOL
August 10th, 2004, 05:07 AM
I'm catching up on some off-topic threads here, and this one interests me.
I have a, um, chubby cat who needs a lot more exercise and my sweetie and I have talked about trying to walk him. But, aside from the fact that I'm not sure he will react well to it, I have to concerns.
I am afraid that he will get fleas or some other unwanted outdoor affliction.
I am afraid that if he likes it, it will be difficult to keep him inside when we are coming and going.
Any thoughts from successful cat walkers on this?
August 10th, 2004, 06:05 AM
We've taken both cats outside "experimentally" with -- believe it or not -- a surf leash attached around their necks. Which is basically a long plastic cord with a velcro band (meant to go around your ankle while surfing). We're not too freaked out if the velcro comes undone and the cat runs, we have a big yard. But neither cat likes it very much. Rousseau is the big wimp and he's content to hang out inside, but Tue really loves the outdoors and he does barge the door, getting out about once a week. This has increased since we've gotten our dog, Tiki, who ca go out whenever she wants and Tue is really more jealous.
I think if you carry the cat outdoors and then walk it, then you might have less trouble with it bum-rushing the door, because it won't be a practiced behavior.