Do you even know me?!
Firstly, make sure that you know your cat’s personality. As previously suggested, some of our feline friends would rather stay home and sleep. However, if you know your cat is an adventure seeker or would enjoy some quality time on a walk with you, give a harness a try.
Now that you are serious about walking with your cat, finding a harness that fits your cat comfortably is important. Generally, there are two size choices for cats: small and large. Measure your cat around their neck and chest to find the right fit.
The days of boring, plain harnesses are over, and we are so glad. When purchasing a harness for your cat, consider buying one that matches their personality and style so they can walk confidently, knowing that they look their best.
Stick to the stuff you know
To get your feline friend adjusted to wearing a harness, start by introducing them to it for varying periods of time in your home. This way they can continue with their regular routines and understand that the harness is nothing to fear. They can sniff, play and check themselves out in their newest wardrobe addition!
What’s in it for me?
Initially, your cat may not understand the purpose of the harness and try to remove it. Be sure to reward good behaviour during this process regularly. Take care to notice when they are comfortable and remove the harness if they seem to be getting upset.
You want me to what??
After introducing them to a harness:
- Try attaching a lead and loosely holding it behind them.
- Repeat this process for a few minutes daily until your cat is used to it and walks freely.
- Once they are comfortable, begin to lead them in a direction gently. This will get them used to tension on the lead and walking beside you.
- Reward your feline friend when they respond.
Adventure is out there!
Now that your pet is used to wearing their harness, take them outside. Start by attaching your lead, opening the door, and encouraging them to go outside. If they seem hesitant, leave a treat a few steps outside the house. If they are still unsure, do not force them and instead let them get to know the new area around them. Gradually get them used to the idea of moving outside until they willingly follow you out the door. Start with small walks and gradually increase based on how your cat responds.
If your furry friend has still not responded well to their harness, do not push them. Instead, consider spending some quality time watching your favourite show and snuggling.
But why do it?
There are many positive benefits to harness training your cat. Often, while we are at work or school or dealing with our daily commitments, our cats are left indoors on their own for long periods. This can cause some felines to lash out in boredom. By training your cat to walk outdoors, you will be able to provide them with the stimulation, excitement, and exercise that they crave. It is a safe way for your cat to experience life to the fullest. Another added benefit is the quality time you spend with your pet, letting them know that you love them.