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However, sometimes when they are a part of our lives, we should contain their mischievous behaviour whenever we walk them outside. This way we can protect them in uncharted territories.
So, here’s everything you should know about putting a harness or leash training your little fluffy cloud.
Choosing a harness
Keep in mind that you’re choosing a harness for a cat, not for a dog. Therefore, you should take some special steps into account when choosing the perfect escape-proof harness.
Mainly, there are 3 types of harnesses that you can choose from.
Although there is no one size fits all harness for every cat out there, one of these harnesses can provide the necessary security and comfort to most of them.
However, you need to look for an adjustable harness for your cat’s build.
Likewise, if your cat gets wet oftentimes, then an H-harness would be perfect as it has less coverage and dries quickly.
When in cold weather, your cat might prefer a Jacket Harness. Likewise, think if your cat has illnesses such as asthma. If this is the case a clasp around its neck might trigger an attack.
Remember that, using only a leash and a collar might be dangerous for your cat’s neck and windpipe. Although for some cats, this is the best option.
Moreover, if your cat has long fur it might be uncomfortable in a vest harness.
So, think about your cat’s significant needs before opting for a cat harness and jumping into leash training in a harness that might cause discomfort to your cat.
Measuring your cat for a Harness
Say you have got your eyes on the perfect cat harness. But it won’t fit your cat unless you know how to measure it for a harness. Follow the below-mentioned steps to choose the correct harness for your little companion.
Leash training your cat
After finding the perfect harness for your cat, you finally have to break your cat into it. Slowly but surely it will ease into the harness if you follow the correct steps.
Step - 1 - Breaking the harness in
Before leash training your cat, you need to place the harness on it without the leash. When the harness is on, make sure to give your cat a couple of treats. When the harness is off, avoid offering treats. When you keep up with this process, your cat will be comfortable around the harness while staying indoors. Keep increasing the amount of time your cat stays with the harness. For example, say you keep the cat in the harness for 10 minutes a couple of days, gradually increase the time in the next few days.
Step - 2 - Attaching the leash
By now your cat is somewhat comfortable wearing the harness at home. Now it’s your cue to attach the leash to the harness. Start by attaching the leash to the harness and keeping it loose. You can follow your cat around without stressing it. Hold the leash with the minimum tension. Remove the harness and the leash after a while. Keep at it a couple of days until you feel that your cat is no longer intimidated by the leash and starts walking freely.
Step - 3 - Letting the cat drag the leash
When you start to notice that your cat is comfortable, let it drag the leash behind it while wandering around the house. However, letting your cat walk around with the leash unsupervised is highly ill-advised. So, always keep an eye out for your little companion.
Step - 4 - Walking your cat around your house
Now it’s time to walk your cat around the house. Put the harness and the leash on your cat and slowly follow it. Then start to lead the cat in a different direction you prefer. Remember, easy does it! This is your time to use treats to lure your cat into your direction. You can lay them on the floor or hold them in your fingers. When the cat moves, reward it with treats.
Step - 5 - Taking your cat outside
Choose a dry day and a semi-private area for the first walk. This will prevent the cat from being frightened by dogs, too much crowd, or the traffic.
Gently let him out of your home encouraging him to witness the outside world. If your cat is a bit hesitant to come outside, use a treat, but never force them. Always have treats on you so you can lure the cat wherever you want. Let them walk, sniff, climb freely, or do any other activity that they might enjoy.
Take a towel with you because in case the outing goes south, you can hold the cat and take it back home.
Walking your cat should be a fun activity for both of you. So, slowly introduce the harness to your cat. Remember to properly measure the cat to make sure the harness is escape-proof.
If you’re concerned about your cat making a run for it, you can opt for a GPS collar as well. This way you can easily find your feline friend when it’s outside.
Your cat might not even like the first couple of walks. Have patience and ease the cat into it.
Even if the first walk has consisted of 5 minutes, it’s more than perfect. Because it’s not about the amount of time you spend outside with your cat. It’s about the quality.
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