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Leash Cats: Doable?
05-08-2015, 08:04 PM,
#1
Bloomsie Offline
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Leash Cats: Doable?
One thing that I've regretted not teaching my cat when he was younger was how to go on quick walks outside on a leash. I remember seeing a community neighbor go on walks with her two dogs and three cats daily and thought that it was the most adorable family gathering I have seen yet. The cats were aware of cars that come by and would have fun within the plants, but still keep up with their owner.

One thing I have noticed is that cats are easier to train to walk with a leash when you have dogs. It's almost like cats look up to the dogs and want to be just like them or even better. So if you happen to have a dog and adopt a cat, then you can definitely have an easier time training!

Has anyone taught their cats to walk on a leash? How long did it take you? Did you also have a dog at the time?
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06-09-2015, 09:51 AM,
#2
Shihtzufan Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
Our cat is 3 years old right now, and our dog is just a bit over a year old. We thought that when we got our puppy, that it would be nice to be able to go on walks all together as a family, so as well as getting a leash and harness for our dog, we got one for our cat too.

Unfortunately though, it didn't go as well as I would have hoped! They play together really well indoors and do follow each other around, but as soon as we put the harness and leash on our cat, he just plopped down on the ground - completely disinterested and didn't want to go anywhere!

I'm curious though as to whether you'd really have to start leash training them when they were kittens. At the point in time when we got our puppy our cat was already 2 years old, and I think perhaps a little set in his ways already. Also, maybe if the cat was younger than the dog, so that the cat did look up to the dog more, perhaps? Since our dog is the younger one, it's almost like he looks up to our cat, rather than the other way around!
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06-12-2015, 01:07 AM,
#3
Jelly Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
Yes I have tried with that and yes I did had a dog that time but sad to say it really didn't work with my katty that time..
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06-18-2015, 12:06 PM,
#4
Happyflowerlady Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
This can actually be done, and how well the cat responds probably depends a lot on the nature of your cat.
If you have a cat that just loves attention, and follows you around already, then they will probably be fairly easy to train. However, if you have one of those more stand-offish kinds of cats that only like attention when HE wants attention, then he would be more likely to resent having a harness and leash put on him.
When I was a young girl, I had a favorite cat, and she was one of the kind that you can dress in doll clothes, or do just about anything with, and she enjoyed it.

First, I put the harness on her and let her get used to wearing that. Then I would call her to follow me along; so she got used to wearing the harness and following me.
When I first put the leash on the harness, she didn't know what was going on; but I called her and she just followed me, like always.
After walking around the yard with her for several days, she got the idea that she should follow me around with the leash, and she was fine with having the harness on.
I could then take her outside of the yard, and she would come along on the leash just like a dog would do.
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06-23-2015, 03:25 AM,
#5
SarahWorksAtHome Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
I had one cat that used to travel with my ex and I when he would work out of town. Because of that, we would use a leash on her.
We trained her well in only a few weeks using a harness. She did very well on it.
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07-05-2015, 01:05 AM,
#6
DancingLady Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
My grandma had a cat who was leashed when he was outdoors. She did not take him for walks though. I really wish she had because he could use the exercise, but they didn't really think about that I guess. They had a dog as well and so they would put both of them on leashes which were clipped to a long taught line that went across the entire back yard so they could run around in the yard but were unable to get out of it. They did this because they were concerned that the cat, who was 3/4 Siamese, would be stolen if he was allowed to roam outdoors.

I've seen a few people in my town walk their cat and dog together and they don't seem to have any trouble with it. Initially it did look odd to me because cats are usually so free spirited that leashing one seems to be very contrary to their nature, but since none of the cats I have seen walking on a leash seemed unhappy, I think it is fine to do it you don't want to let your cat outside to roam.
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05-27-2016, 01:43 PM,
#7
CatCuddler57 Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
I've never had luck with any of my cats with a lease attached to a collar. They will wiggle out of it and run off or up a tree. I had to get a small dog vest to put my cats in to walk them. Once I got a vest, my cats were easier to keep on a leash. They never would walk constantly like a dog. They tend to find a place and then just lay down for a couple minutes and then walk in any direction. When walking a cat, they lead and not the other way around, it is an act of adventure to figure out the space not a walk from point A to point B. If you are that type of walker, you will be nothing but frustrated with walking a cat. I also know, that some cats, don't realized they are smaller than most dogs. One of my cats, was walking in the park when a dog made the mistake of stiffing and growling at my cat. Despite the leash, he took out the dog that had at least a hundred pounds on him. So don't think that just because your cat is small that they won't be the aggressors in the park, so try to be aware of how close the other animals are to you cat when walking.
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06-01-2016, 07:27 AM,
#8
Novelangel Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
I had a cat once who nearly turned himself inside-out trying to get out of a harness when we put it on him for the first time. He was absolutely determined to get out of that thing and finally he did, and we never tried to put it on him again. When my current kitty was little, we had big plans for taking her on walks with us and bought her a little harness. I started her out by putting a teensy collar around her neck but she kept trying to get out of it. She seemed so frustrated with the thing that I finally gave up and took it off of her. I never tried to get her to wear one again, so our plans to harness our cat for outdoor walks was and probably never will be realized. She's three years old now and pretty much set in her ways, so it's unlikely that we will get back into that groove again. Still, it would have been nice, had we been more determined than that tiny kitten. I've heard that if you start the cat on a harness when he's very young, it will work better. However, most cat-sized harnesses are designed for adult cats, so even the tiniest one we could find pretty much swam on her and we knew that wouldn't work... hence, the collar, which was actually just a wrist-band for a watch. It fit her neck perfectly but she didn't like it, and I didn't push it. You have to be more determined than the cat and try not to watch as the cat shows his or her misery. I failed at that last point, unfortunately.
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06-22-2016, 01:19 PM,
#9
Butterbelly's Buddy Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
In a word : YES --- It can be done.  My cat, Hank was leash trained when he was about 3 months old.  I got him a special cat harness to go with his leash, that part seems to be pretty important.  I don't think it would have worked if I'd just clipped a leash to a collar.  The harness fit him around the neck and the chest, going under his arms and so any tugging on the leash would be felt under his arms more than his neck.  Also, the harness can be worn by the cat (kitten) in the house before the leash is introduced.  Hank used to love his halter and leash but mostly his halter.  He used to walk around the apartment with an important strut when he had it on, like he was "Safety Cat" or something,  He didn't even want it off after we would come back inside.

I think that he got used to the whole idea of a leash so quickly because it was associated with something that he anticipated with great excitement and enjoyment.  From the moment he figured out that clipping on that leash meant he was going to get to go outside, When we were outside I didn't walk him around like you would a dog, but I would stand and just let him explore the length of his leash and then lead me where he was interested in going.  To  an extent we led each other.  Sometimes I would direct where we were going with a tug while maintaining a short leash, or other times he just wandered and I followed while I let the leash out long'  If I ever lost hold of the leash, Hank was so attached to me and the safety of being with me at the time, that he would stop and wait for me to retrieve the leash before going forward again.  As he got more used to the outside I would let him off the leash for short periods of time but always in seeing distance.  

Since then we moved to a home with our own yard and Hank goes outside now without a leash.  Sometimes I regret not keeping him up with being on a leash as now he's not as keen to use one, though I have on a couple of occasions, but only because of perceived danger.  So, yes, you can train a cat to use a leash.  Hank used one until he was two years old and it was great.  The best was when people would see me standing with the leash and not see Hank.  Then they'd suddenly spot him but they'd be expecting a dog, not a little orange cat, the look of surprise never failed to crack me up.
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06-26-2016, 08:56 AM,
#10
CatCuddler57 Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
Don't try just a collar and a leash because your cat will decide they want to check something out or something scares them.  I would start with a small vest, usually in the dog section, that will fit your cat.  That will give you more control over your cat without the risk of escape.  Once they've gotten used to the new sounds and sites of being outside you can switch to a harness. After a while, when you know your cat knows not to walk in the street and what is acceptable behavior on a leash, you can switch to a collar.  But don't start with a collar. 

The first time I tried to walk my cat on a leash, I had just a collar on him.  Some little boy, about three, decided to chase after us because it's his first time seeing a cat.  His mom chased him down but by then, my cat had slipped his collar and was around the building and halfway up the tree.  Lucky for me I was able to grab him and calm him down before taking him home.  I felt really bad because the kid just wanted to cuddle him but my cat really likes his space.  The next time I got him a simple harness and he slipped out of it faster than the collar and we weren't even out of the house yet.  So take my experience, and just get you cat a light vest first until your cat is trained.
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06-26-2016, 11:27 PM,
#11
pwarbi Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
I have seen cats being taken for a walk on a leash before, but I'd imagine it would take quite a bit of training to get your cat used to it, and you'd also have to start the training from a very early age. A cats nature is to go and do whatever it wants, whenever it wants so for it to be lead along on a leash would be pretty unnatural for it I would imagine.

I know some cat owners that are maybe a little too overprotective of their pets and don't want their cats to go out on their own, but again I just think that's in a cats nature to go and explore the outside world and mark it's on territory. Only letting it out on a leash while might seem like you're keeping it out of harms way, may be doing the cat itself more harm mentally and it wont be able to do what comes naturally to it. Some cats of course prefer to stay indoors, but again I feel that's more to do with how they have been treated when they was kittens and I think training your cat to go outside should be one of the first things you teach it, if of course the mother doesn't or isn't able to do it for you.
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06-28-2016, 02:53 AM,
#12
Novelangel Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
Sadly, I was unable to bear the palpable misery my girl gave out whenever I tried to strap her into her harness. I started her as a young kitten, but she would scratch at the harness, and try so hard to get it off. If unsuccessful, she'd sit there and cry until I felt so sorry for her that I had to take it off again. Therefore, no harness, no leash, and I have to carry her around when we go walkies. I have a neighbor though, who takes his cat for walks by just letting him loose and calling his name every so often. The cat would get distracted by bushes and smells and the guy would call out, "come on, Buddy," and Buddy the cat would trot on over to his side. I always thought that was an ideal situation, as long as your cat is trained to come when called and is willing to do so. My kitty comes when I call her, more-or-less, but I've never had a cat who would come reliably without the sound of a can opener to help out.
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07-08-2016, 04:35 AM,
#13
GabrielHerb Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
Our cat is just under a year now. We lived in a condo building on the 29th floor, so Jynx was barely ever outside. As she got older, she started getting a little more adventurous by laying on the balcony. We have recently moved to a house with a backyard and try to let her outside a little more often. It's only been a week since we moved and she is still very apprehensive  about the outdoors, but I hope to get her comfortable enough that we can take her on walks to the park nearby! Clap
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07-09-2016, 09:18 AM,
#14
Steph4real Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
I started getting my little kitty Weeny used to leashes and a harness when he was a baby. It does depend a lot on the cat's personality as well. He can ride in the car and doesn't require a carrier! I sit him on the seat and attach his leash to the seatbelt so I know he is secure! Smile
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08-24-2016, 06:04 AM,
#15
rz3300 Offline
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RE: Leash Cats: Doable?
Well I cannot say that I have ever used a leash with my cats, and I have to say I think that it would be a little bit strange. That said, though, I can definitely see this being something that varies a little bit with locations, much like the whole indoor cat outdoor cat discussing. It makes me wonder if a lot more people uses leashes in more crowded cities or more urban areas like New York City and places like that. Or maybe it is a cultural thing, where you might see Europeans doing it more or something. I am not sure, but it is interesting to think about regardless, so thank you for sharing.
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