Click here to learn more.
It doesn't make sense. Your cat loves to look out the window, but when you bring out the leash, she takes off and hides.
“It’s normal for a cat — especially more fearful or timid cats — to be frightened by a new experience that is introduced too quickly,” says board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Sueda, DVM, of the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital.
But if you're willing to put in the effort and patience involved to properly teach your kitty to walk on a leash, it can open doors for her — literally.
“The outdoors are a great opportunity for enrichment, particularly for
cats who used to spend time outside,” says Dr. Sueda.
A harnessed jaunt in the fresh air offers felines a safe way to experience new sights, smells and textures, like the feel of grass under foot. (Before heading outside, just be sure that your
cat has adequate
parasite protection, an ID tag on a separate collar and/or a
microchip, and up-to-date vaccinations.)
The leash life has health benefits too:
Overweight cats may be more motivated to move around in a stimulating outdoor environment.
Of course, not every kitty is cut out to learn to love the leash — older cats may take more time to adjust to training, and some personalities simply won’t take to the idea — but it’s still worth trying.
Still interested? Try these tips:
Invest in a good harness. Dr. Sueda recommends buying one that attaches to a leash at the back, not the neck. And look for stretchy leashes that won’t jerk.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Austin Flateau has been unable to attend
his school because it won't accommodate
his need for a service dog.
Do you know what a snood is or how fast
a wild turkey can fly? Check out our fun
facts to see the surprising answers.
We toured the animal-friendly residences
at a university in Colorado to find out what
students think of the new…
Like many veterinarians, Dr. Patty Khuly
is allergic to cats, but she doesn't let that
stop her from treating them.
You already know about the dangers of
chocolate, but how about unbaked bread
dough and toxic sugar substitutes?
We’re sharing our favorite budget-friendly
gifts, from a custom smartphone cover to
the perfect dog treats for…
The plus-size Maine Coon has an adorable chirping voice and gets along with everyone, even the family dog.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.