It is possible for house cats to enjoy the outside world safely.
For cat pet parents, walking your cat in a park, the city or an unknown place is completely possible. Leashes aren't just for dogs.
It is preferable to get your cat used to walking on a leash as soon as possible so that they have less trouble adapting later. It is advised to use a leash to walk cats who are receptive - if your cat displays strongly negative reactions, you shouldn't force the issue.
Choose a harness for your cat
In order to walk your cat outside safely, you will need a harness. This should be chosen according to their size and body shape. It is important for the harness to fit your cat perfectly so that they can feel at ease wearing it. You can verify the size of the harness by passing a finger between the skin and the straps. It is advised to take the measurements at the shop in order to be best advised.
Choose a leash for your cat
There is a large variety of leashes for cats, but it is important to choose the right one for your cat, who will have different needs to a dog. Firstly, your cat is lighter. A big leash could make them lose their balance during walks. It is therefore preferable to opt for a light and elastic leash, which will be easier to control and will not hurt your cat.
Get your cat used to the harness
Before going on walks, it is strongly advised to get your cat used to the harness so that they can adjust. A harness is not a habitual accessory for a cat so they need time to adapt. You can start off by letting your cat wear the harness in the house in order to observe their reaction and behaviour. Begin with a few minutes per day, and then slowly increase the time. This step is important - you will be able to tell if your cat is getting used to the harness as well as their ability to move about in it.
Once you think that your cat has gotten used to the harness, add the leash. Get your cat used to walking in your presence before taking them out. You can recompense them with treats, and thus they will understand that they are behaving well and this new method of exercise will become a habit.
Walking with your cat
If your cat has never been in contact with the outside, they may show strong reluctance to go out. This new and noisy world is not familiar to them, so don't force your cat out of their comfort zone as they may become scared and refuse to retry the experience.
With treats, you can congratulate the cat for their efforts. Prioritise short walks in the beginning and then lengthen them once your cat is used to the outside world.
Do you walk your cat? Share your experiences below!