Some cats love going out for a walk and they really don't mind wearing a collar and harness, but not all of our feline friends would feel too happy to have anything on their bodies or taken outside of what they perceive to be their “safe” environment. It would be a serious mistake to try because it would completely stress your cat out. If you share your home with one of the breeds that really enjoys being out and about on a lead, there's nothing quite as enjoyable as strolling along with your feline companion leading the way!
With more people keeping cats as indoor pets and not allowing them to roam around on their own in the great outdoors, together with the fact that more exotic breeds have appeared on the scene that boast dog-like characteristics, it's not that unusual to see cats being walked on leads. It's also quite common to see our feline friends taking part in agility classes and competitions these days which is something owners in America have been doing with their pets for some time.
It goes without saying that seeing a cat out for a walk on a lead with an owner tends to attract a lot of attention especially if they are one of the more exotic looking breeds like the Savannah, a cat that's a real attention grabbing pussy cat at the best of times. But other breeds, as previously mentioned don't mind wearing a harness and being taken for a walk on a lead which includes the following:
It's important for cats to wear well fitting harnesses when they are put on a lead, collars should never be used on cats because they could end up hurting their larynx, strangling themselves or even getting away and being injured as they run to safety. Just like dogs, our feline friends like to investigate all the new smells and scents they encounter when out on a walk. It stimulates all their senses making it a really enjoyable experience that they look forward to whenever their lead gets taken out of a drawer or cupboard.
However, to really get all the benefits and fun of taking a cat out for a walk, they need to be trained to wear a harness and walked on a lead from a very young age. But this should only be done with cats that boast dog-like personalities which many of them don't. Some people invest in specially designed snugly fitting jackets their pets wear to go out for a walk on a lead and these are ideal because all pressure is evenly distributed over a cat's body. The lead attachment is strategically placed on the back of the jacket, much in the same way as it is on a harness making it a lot safer to use when walking a cat.
Some cats enjoy going out for a walk so much they become very demanding and want to be taken out all of the time. They become what could be called “howlers” and they quickly learn that when anyone is near a door it's going to be opened. This can result in your pet darting for the door in the hope they can go out. Some pussy cats will sit crying at the window, hoping to be let out and become a lot more demanding than before. However, even when out on a walk, there are certain things and situations which are best avoided and this includes meeting someone who is walking their dog because they may just decide to chase your pussy cat. Cats can get very scared at anything that rushes up to greet them and this includes people and young children let alone a canine cousin.
When frightened by anything, cats can react in different ways. Some will just freeze up whereas others might stand their ground to fights and others will attempt to run away. Other things a cat might find scary include the smell and odour of other cats and being territorial by nature, dealing with “markers” left behind by can be a problem for them making them more unsettled.
Not all cats like to be taken out for a walk on a lead, but a few of the more exotic breeds do and they really enjoy the experience. However, they still need to be trained to wear a harness and to walk on a lead which is best done when they are very young. Luckily, cats with dog-like personalities are pretty clever characters and quickly learn new things making them highly trainable. Staying safe when out for a walk with a feline companion means making sure you take them somewhere that's safe and it's best to practice a walk around a garden before attempting a stroll anywhere more adventurous.