Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
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.
FDNY firefighters used oxygen masks to
revive a cat and a rescue dog after a fire
spread to their Brooklyn home.
If you struggle to just get your cat to the
vet clinic, you’ll be amazed by the big
adventures Lily and Bug have…
Five interior designers share innovative
ways to create a dog-friendly home
without sacrificing style or function.
Whether it’s deep and dry or high and
phlegmy, your pup's cough could be a
sign of a serious health problem.
We combed our database of nearly a million puppies born this year to declare the hottest male and female monikers.
The energetic and extroverted Munchkin might be short on height, but you better believe that he’s long on fun.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.