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Training cat on leash

kittiesgirl
August 11th, 2009, 05:17 AM
I have a cat around a year old. I want to train it on a leash so i can take it for walks. But when i put the leash on he rolls and jumps, etc crazyly. Will he stop doing this and eventually settle with it, or is it a lost cause since he isnt a kitten ? :shrug:
Thanks. :)

14+kitties
August 11th, 2009, 06:04 AM
Is it when you put the leash on or when you put the collar on? If he is not used to having the collar on it is perfectly natural. Personally, I find harnesses to be a better idea than just a collar. Collars are too easy to slip out of when a cat is panicked.
Try starting in short intervals. Put the harness on him and let him spaz. He will settle eventually. Leave it on for another five minutes till he gets used to the feel. The next day do the same. The next day add the leash but don't do anything with it. Let him walk around with it. The day after you can hold the leash but don't try leading him. Let him do the walking around. This is all done inside your house, not outside. When he is comfortable with walking around with the leash and harness indoors then try taking him out. Again, not for a long time. Just short periods to start with. It may take quite some time to convince him he does want to go for walks but eventually he may get it.

Love4himies
August 11th, 2009, 06:53 AM
Nothing to add to 14+'s suggestions. A harness is much better than a collar to walk a cat.

kittiesgirl
August 11th, 2009, 08:21 AM
He is used to the collar, it dont bother him at all, it is a regular non braking collar. I figured there was no way to train him on a break away. I have trained very young cats on leashes before, but never one this old, wasnt sure if it could be done. :)
I figured i could use a breakaway in the house, and the non breakaway on walks.

Love4himies
August 11th, 2009, 08:25 AM
I still think a harness will be better for your kitty, not a collar. Cats don't respond well to "control" like dogs do :laughing: and being an older kitty he may not like the pressure around his neck.

14+kitties
August 11th, 2009, 08:39 AM
He is used to the collar, it dont bother him at all, it is a regular non braking collar. I figured there was no way to train him on a break away. I have trained very young cats on leashes before, but never one this old, wasnt sure if it could be done. :)
I figured i could use a breakaway in the house, and the non breakaway on walks.

You know the spazzing he does inside the house? Imagine that outside. If he is freaking outdoors because he has been spooked imagine if he manages to slip the collar. Please do not use a breakaway when you are with him on walks. That would be disastrous! That is why it would be much safer for him with a harness. He does not just have the piece around his neck. He also has the part around his body he has to shake off. This will give you time to scoop him up and get him to safety.

pattymac
August 11th, 2009, 09:20 AM
Definately go with a harness, there are different types and for the most part, cats don't walk the same way a dog does. When I used to take my boys out, we pretty much went where they wanted to go. If I tried going where I wanted to go then my one cat would lay down and refuse to move, I could drag him if I really wanted to. If I picked him up, then he'd get all snarly with me. As long as we did what he wanted to do, everything was great. And two cats together..forget about it!! They totally want to go in opposite directions!!

The best harness I've seen that's pretty new is by Premier, I think it's called the Come With Me Kitty harness, comes with a bungee leash which is very cool. I have to get bigger ones for my boys. Also make sure it's snug enough around their tummies. It's amazing how quickly they can get their elbow under the strap and then you've got a cat half out of their harness!! Not fun!! This one is not meant to be used for a tie out harness, not that I'd ever do that. Tried it a few times and cats are better than dogs at getting hopelessly tangled up and then you have a po'd tangled up cat that you have to un-tangle!! I tied my first Manx out one time and thought I had him far enough from the fence, well the little bugger tried jumping the fence!! Like ok, that's it no more of that for you!! He had a harness on Thank Goodness!! It was like ok the backyard's just not big enough for you!!!

catlover2
August 11th, 2009, 09:53 AM
I used to walk my stud boys, one at a time, on a harness around the perimeter of our half acre property. But it was mostly like pattymac said....I followed where they wanted to go, altho a gentle tug and encouraging words to go in another direction would get them to follow eventually.

The problem with walking cats on a leash is that most of them have a quick "startle response" --- can quickly spaz out at a bicycle, motorbike, truck, or kids running near you or just someone walking on the street. Cat may be perfectly calm & cuddly inside the house, but outside it's a different thing on a leash, and if there are dogs (stray or otherwise) they may regard you as a tree to get away from them. Think sharp claws running up you and grabbing your head! Cats can become afraid, hyper and sometimes nasty outside and if they in that state can bite & scratch you, so have some catnip and a treat in your pocket to divert this kind of behaviour. If you have an enclosed back yard where "surprises" won't be there to spook him, that's a different thing, but walking on the sidewalk, I'd forget about that altogether.

pattymac
August 11th, 2009, 10:54 AM
Also once you start taking them out, then they decide that they want to be outside all the time!!! Then you really have to start watching your doors!! Cause before you know it, your previously calm, don't care about outside kitty is thinking the great outdoors is an awesome place and who needs Mom!!

I'm lucky with my current boys, they go out on the back deck and that's it, they can lay in the sun, watch the birds in the trees and have the breezes ruffle their fur. Bobee doesn't like the feel of grass on his feet. He managed to get down the back stairs on my Mom one day, hit the grass and froze!! Mom swooped him up and put him back on the porch!! Coco managed to get out an open window that didn't have a screen, it was open wide enough for him to get his head out, so of course the rest of him followed. Fortunately Bobee saw him on the walk and then Bayley saw him outside and freaked out at the window, she was like MOM!! QUICK!!! So funny her reaction! I swear it was OMG, He's not supposed to be out there!! Hurry!! I went and looked and there's this big orange familiar looking cat on the sidewalk. I was really worried he'd panic and bolt, but I grabbed the treat bag and opened the door, shook the bag and called him. Phew he came in!!

So sometimes it's not really worth it, to get them going outside but if you're diligent about your doors then they can enjoy supervised trips out in the backyard.