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 Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
Service dogs and other pets traveling through Detroit Metro Airport can now do their business at its pup-friendly…
Bella saved her 2-week-old foal's life when she stood over her baby to shield her from the flames in their barn.
We polled Vetstreet readers and veterinary professionals to see if they drift off to sleep with their cat or dog…
Want to make some enemies in your vet’s waiting room? This funny new video from Dr. Andy Roark shows you how.
From vacuums and blenders to ceiling fans and aluminum foil, here are common and bizarre things that scare animals.
The silky-coated Burmese is a compact but heavy feline who loves to show off his impressive athletic skills.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.