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What do you think of leashing a cat?

mysti1958
September 4th, 2010, 10:30 AM
A year and a half ago my sister came to me and said I needed a cat for company. I love animals and have, most of my life, had a dog or cat but when I began to drive a big truck for a living I just couldn't devote the time a pet deserves. So it had been years since I had a pet. She talked me into going to see a kitten and I fell in love with the little fuzz ball at once.
So after I got him home, and used to me and his new surroundings I decided to attempt to leash train him as I didn't like the idea of him only having the roam of the house. He took to it right away, though at times he does manage to get off the leash and take me for a merry chase lol.
I wanted to know if anyone else here has a cat that goes outside on a leash ( I am always out there with him)? Or opinions of the practice of leashing a cat?
Thank you
Mysti

14+kitties
September 4th, 2010, 11:14 AM
Do you use a normal collar or do you use a harness? A collar is pretty easy to slip out of. A harness is easy too but the cat has to be moving backward to escape from it.
Most of us are not against taking your cat outside on a leash/harness as long as they are closely supervised. IE: someone is with them constantly. What I personally get a little irate about is when people put the cat outdoors and expect it to fend for itself without a thought to the dangers out there. They wouldn't do it to a dog. Why do they do it to a cat? :wall:

cell
September 4th, 2010, 11:23 AM
I don't have a cat but in Montreal I have seen people walking cats down the street just like a dog trotting down the sidewalk happily. I have also seen some cats out in the backyard (fenced) with a harness on to keep them from exploring outside the yard. So it has been done.

ownedbycats
September 4th, 2010, 12:25 PM
Our Dr. Seuss is a leash cat. He spends a lot of his time out there, unless it's windy. He even likes it in the winter, although for much shorter periods.

catlover2
September 4th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Leashing a cat outside, so it won't wander off is NOT a good idea! Wandering dogs/cats/raccons/coyotes can attack it. A good friend of mine put her cat out on leash on her porch and came home to find had strangled itself to death. She was absolutely devasted. I wouldn't do it.

Training to walk on a leash with a harness is fine, but some cats can wriggle out quickly. Some cats have a "quick startle response", and can be freaked out by something easily and get away before you know. It depends on the cat, the type of harness, and how tight you have it on. Just be very aware of the cat while it's on the leash. If cat starts to freak, it can turn into a biting and scratching fury and can hurt you. It's better to walk the cat in an enclosed/fenced back yard, than on the street. Too many unknowns. e.g. Loud noises, like a motorcycle passing by or a police car/ambulance with siren going may freak out a cat.

Love4himies
September 4th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Harnessed is much better than a collar, but as 14+ stated, if the move backwards and the leash is taunt, the cat can wriggle out of it. Starting to train your cat as early as possible is always best so they get used to outside noises, strangers and dogs, because as catlover stated, a startled kitty can become very vicious. If you stay alert to what is around you and be prepared to scoop up your kitty should something that could startle your kitty come close. And of course, away from busy, noisy areas.

I had a cat who was harnessed trained as a kitten and until he died I could walk him pretty much anywhere. All my cats are harnessed trained (except Rose but only because I can't even pick her up yet). I personally believe cats benefit from safe, supervised outside time if the owner lives in an area that this is possible.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

chico2
September 4th, 2010, 05:27 PM
Mysti,I too like L4H trained my cats(3) on a harness at first,I don't know if you have a fenced in secure backyard or not,but after some time on a harness I felt comfortable letting them be off leash,but always with either hubby or I watching them.
I have a feeling,you were not planning on walking your kitty like a dog,my cats would be in absolute panic-mode were I to try that,but they are perfectly happy just sniffing around in my backyard and when we go inside so do they.

Etown_Chick
September 4th, 2010, 08:53 PM
I used to put a harness/leash on my cat, when I had one. She loved it! I was always with her. I didnt hang onto the leash, I'd just grab it if she tried to leave the yard. She learned quickly, and amazingly, never got hit by a car. (that's a hint to my neighbors whose cats are always loose)

JennieV
September 4th, 2010, 11:25 PM
Leashing a cat outside, so it won't wander off is NOT a good idea! Wandering dogs/cats/raccons/coyotes can attack it. A good friend of mine put her cat out on leash on her porch and came home to find had strangled itself to death. She was absolutely devasted. I wouldn't do it.

Training to walk on a leash with a harness is fine, but some cats can wriggle out quickly. Some cats have a "quick startle response", and can be freaked out by something easily and get away before you know. It depends on the cat, the type of harness, and how tight you have it on. Just be very aware of the cat while it's on the leash. If cat starts to freak, it can turn into a biting and scratching fury and can hurt you. It's better to walk the cat in an enclosed/fenced back yard, than on the street. Too many unknowns. e.g. Loud noises, like a motorcycle passing by or a police car/ambulance with siren going may freak out a cat.

I think the whole idea is to leash the cat AND supervise it, not leave it tied for god knows what to happen...:shrug:

I think its a good idea, it gives you some control, as long as you don't leave the cat unattended.

diandpat
September 5th, 2010, 08:33 AM
I think the whole idea is to leash the cat AND supervise it, not leave it tied for god knows what to happen...:shrug:

I think its a good idea, it gives you some control, as long as you don't leave the cat unattended.

100% correct Jennie V...if you are harnessing/leashing the cat outside YOU SHOULD BE OUTSIDE TOO!!!!

Ziggy is harnessed outside. He is a former outside cat and was very "vocal" about his desire to be outside :laughing: We started in April and the first few times he did try to slip his harness and was definitely scared frozen with some of the noises on the other side of the fence mostly garbage trucks and lawn mowers. The first while I always sat right near him so I could settle him when he got spooked. Now he is quite content to lie under a bush in the garden.

This being said, he did sneak out this week and was gone for several hours before I found him on the neighbor's entrance path :evil:

There is no doubt in my mind he would make a break for it again but he definitely enjoys his time outside on the leash...while we are out there with him.

mysti1958
September 5th, 2010, 11:12 AM
I use a harness for Teddy when I take him out on a leash. And yes he does back out of it, rather easily and quickly. Only once has he managed to get into a neighbors overgrown flower and bush garden but I had help in locating him and getting him back home again. He thought that was a great adventure.
Sometimes I feel guilty when he sits so quietly just watching the birds and squirrels and such as if he would like to go give free chase. But I know that being leashed is in his best interest. That is why I take him outside with me as much as possible and he even likes to go for walks around the block, that takes sometimes up to 45 minutes to do because he has to investigate so much. But he is worth the time taken.
Mysti

mysti1958
September 5th, 2010, 11:20 AM
I have a big back yard but it isn't fenced as yet. But.. Teddy thinks he is part coon or squirrel or something because he climbed everything, even a chain link fence. My Moms house is made of textured brick and he even has tried to climb one of the outside walls after a dragonfly. So I am better leaving him on a leach and watching him carefully.
Mysti

14+kitties
September 5th, 2010, 12:07 PM
What's the chances of maybe trying two harnesses? One worn a little tighter than the other? Of course you would need two leashes as well. It worked with one of mine when I took him out. Also, as L4H mentioned, try to leave some slack in the leash as that is how the cat manages to escape while moving backwards.
My house cats are for the most part very content to stay indoors and watch the action from the windows. One of them does occasionally want to sniff the outside so I do pick him up and take him to the deck for a few minutes. He's content with that. :thumbs up
Maybe what your boy would love is another kitty to keep him company. I happen to know where there are a few kittens up for adoption. :D

Love4himies
September 5th, 2010, 12:26 PM
Maybe what your boy would love is another kitty to keep him company. I happen to know where there are a few kittens up for adoption. :D

What a great idea :lightbulb: :thumbs up

mysti1958
September 9th, 2010, 08:08 PM
[QUOTE=
Maybe what your boy would love is another kitty to keep him company. I happen to know where there are a few kittens up for adoption. :D[/QUOTE]

Now you sound just like my sister and some friends. For Teddys first birthday I got him a birdfeeder and he sits in the window and watches for hours or so it seems. Though he has lunged at the window screen and torn it a bit lol. For Christmas I want to buy him a "covered" aquarium so the fish can amuse him too. Covered cause I know he would take a dip or go fishing or something lol. So , because he is spoiled (can you tell) I might get him his own kitten for his next birthday. hmmmm
Mysti

Love4himies
September 10th, 2010, 08:02 AM
Now you sound just like my sister and some friends. For Teddys first birthday I got him a birdfeeder and he sits in the window and watches for hours or so it seems. Though he has lunged at the window screen and torn it a bit lol. For Christmas I want to buy him a "covered" aquarium so the fish can amuse him too. Covered cause I know he would take a dip or go fishing or something lol. So , because he is spoiled (can you tell) I might get him his own kitten for his next birthday. hmmmm
Mysti

I wouldn't wait too long to get another kitten, the older they get the more they get set in their ways and not necessarily accept another kitten.

How long is the leash you are using? I actually use about a 20 foot rope so I can leave some slack and have time to react before the leash gets taunt.

mysti1958
September 10th, 2010, 12:12 PM
The leash I use is supposed to be 16 foot but it has a lot of knots (cause he likes to play with it) so I am going to have to get him a new one soon.
Mysti

ownedbycats
September 12th, 2010, 03:29 PM
We replaced Seuss's cloth leash (it tore in half) with a plastic-coated wire one used to stake out small dogs, and attach it to a bolt in the house wall. It's fairly light and doesn't seem to knot as mcuh. Again, supervision is a must, but he has a giant half circle he can explore