WALK YOUR CAT, YES, I MEAN OUTSIDE, ON A LEASH
Your poor cat stays inside ALL DAY while your non-cat (a.k.a dog) goes on walks, like, ALL the time. Excuse me, what about your CAT? Learn how to take your feline for a walk and you will find that she might actually, finally, show you love/affection.
If you have a cat, you know that THE DREAM is taking your little kitty out for pleasant daily walks. This is a fun activity that non-cat-owners get to do all the time and cat-owners are jealous. We want to have this bonding time with our animals too. PLUS taking your cat for a walk alleviates the CONSTANT GUILT you feel leaving them behind in the apartment when you go out. Because cats LOVE being outside! They love exploring, chasing lizards, batting at bees and butterflies, etc. TAKE THEM OUT. Here are some tips on getting your cat used to going on walks:
1. Choose a leash/harness – this is an important first step, and there are many types of leads to choose from, so check out different ones here!
2. I suggest bringing your cat over to the computer and showing her each one to see which one she gets excited about. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to tell.
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3. The most important thing about this choice is to get a harness and NOT a collar – cats are flexible, clever and most of them are also magicians. Don’t give them the opportunity to escape or become inadvertently strangled by their choice of leash. So go with a body harness with the leash centered at the back. This is the safest option for your little one.
4. Take the walk one step at a time…literally – go slow with your kitty, this is a huge new thing you are introducing!
5. Try the harness on at home – your cat needs to be comfortable and happy wearing her harness indoors BEFORE you take her on a walk outdoors
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6. Reward your kitty! Give her treats whenever she does anything that even SEEMS like positive behavior towards the harness
7. Teach your cat that she ONLY goes outside when she is wearing the harness – some cats might try to escape outdoors now that they have seen what’s out there, so if she looks like she’s about to make a run for it, put that harness on and give her the option of going outside then.
8. Once she is comfortable outside, go on some actual nature walks! I mean, why not? Just no scurrying up trees. That can be dangerous.
9. ALSO: don’t tie your kitty’s leash to ANYTHING outside. She might get scared of something and try to run away and get hurt by her own leash.
10. Which leads to this point: DON’T EVER LEAVE KITTY ALONE OUTSIDE. YOU MUST ALWAYS BE WITH HER. SHE NEEDS YOU.
11. Last step: expect this process to take a long time. It will be slow, there will be setbacks and that is ok. It is normal to be scared of new things, so let your kitty take her sweet time. She deserves it.