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!  


  1. Wow, I can't believe that there are cat leashes. My daughter really wants to be able to walk her cat, just like how her older brother walks our dog. I told her that I would look and see if there was a leash for cats and I am really surprised that they exist. Our cat has a lot of behavior problems and I think it might be hard to get the harness on. Do the harness help with behavior problems.

    1. Hi Rose! Yes, there are cat leashes. It seems that the activity of walking your cat is growing in popularity right now. The harness in itself may not directly help with behavior problems, but the benefits your cat will receive by going for walks should. Cats who are walked regularly release more energy, which helps them to become relaxed and less stressed out at home. If your cat is stubborn about the harness, just take the training process a little bit more slowly than you would with another cat. However, I doubt you will have any problem. Happy adventuring!