How to Leash Train Your Cat

Little girl walking a cat on leash.
Proof that people have been leash walking cats for a long time.
The article on training your cat to walk on a leash is finally here!  I didn't mean to be 20 days in between articles, but I was busy with a move and couldn't find time to sit down and write.  Now that I'm a little settled in, it's time to get back to you.

Leash walking cats is wonderful for people who don't want their cat to be exposed to the many dangers of the outdoors, but would still like their cat to get some fresh air.  Cat walking is not a new thing, though it has become more popular in recent years.  

The equipment is quite affordable.  A lot of patience will probably be the biggest investment that you'll be making when leash walking your cat.  Harnesses usually cost in the $15-$40 range, and a leash will only cost you about $3 depending on what you get.

Cats are notorious for escaping tight situations, which is good when they are in danger, but not so good when you're trying to take them on a walk.  That is why most people choose harnesses over collars when walking their cats.  Cat heads are shaped so that they cat easily slip out of a collar, while harnesses make it a bit more difficult.  If you truly want a safe and secure harness, I'd recommend a vest type harness.  

Find my harnesses at .

Once you have purchased a harness and leash, it is time to start your training routine.  Leave the harness near your cat's food dish, and after a few days, start putting it on the cat while he is eating.  Don't not leave your cat in the harness unsupervised.  You wouldn't want him to get tangled up on something.  

Follow the same steps with the leash.  Let your cat drag it around the house a little while before you hold the leash.  Don't pull on the leash, but give gentle tugs once in a while to let your cat know that you are on the other side of the leash.

You want your cat to associate the leash and harness with good things, so make sure that your cat is always doing something he enjoys when he is in it.  After the cat is used to the harness and leash, take him outside, increasing the time you are out each day.   Feed your cat his favorite treats when he does what you want.

Don't try to pull your cat to you if you are trying to go somewhere.  Instead, call your cat to you, and hopefully he'll follow.  Train your cat to come when called before taking him out.

You can expand your walks over time.  Try to keep to a certain walking route, as cats usually don't like change.  

Hope this helped!  

How Can I Safely Let My Cat Outside In An Urban Environment?

If you just adopted a cat (and you live in the city already), or recently made the move to an urban setting, you may be wondering how you can have peace of mind and still let your cat enjoy the outdoors.

You love your cat, and you know all too well how many dangers are out there in the city.  Cars, cruel people, diseased cats, dogs... etc.  You look sadly at your cat watching birds from the window, knowing that he'll never be able to feel the grass on his paws.

It's time to make a decision.  Will you put your cat out the door and wait for something terrible to happen, or keep your cat inside for his/her whole life?

This decision does not have to be difficult!  Your cat can have the best of both worlds, with only a little effort from you.

It's time to invest in a cat harness and leash.  Leash walking is a great idea if you live in an apartment or other place where you can't build an enclosure.  It's also the more affordable option!

If you thought leash walking was just for dogs, you're quite wrong.  With a little bit of training, not only will your cat be getting some fresh air, but you will be getting out too.  It won't be like walking a dog (cats are bit more stubborn!) but it will still be a great bonding experience and your cat will probably love it in no time!  I'll write an article in the future just on the topic of walking your cat.

(Considering a cat walking harness for your cat? Check out the selections at Petoodles!)

Kitten on Tire
Happy kitten on a leash at the playground

An outdoor enclosure is a fantastic option if you don't want your busy schedule interrupted by cat walking breaks.  Outdoor enclosures don't usually cost too much, and can be as simple or as fancy as you would like.  There are many ideas for cat runs, pens, and even cat proof fencing that you can buy if you want a little bit more ease.