Teach your cat to walk on a leash in 10 easy steps

Many cats can be taught to walk on a leash in the park. It might take time and loads of patience, but if you are determined and your cat is game, you might be the talk of the park soon.

Step 1 Get a comfortably fitting harness and a leash with a secure clip. Allow your cat to get used to the way these look and smell by leaving it in her sleeping area for a few days.

Step 2 Once she is used to the harness and leash, put the harness on her just before you feed her. Take it slowly and don’t force her.

Step 3 Immediately feed your cat her favourite meal or treat and praise her, so that she will associate the harness with something positive. At first, keep it on for very short periods.

Step 4 When she starts to accept the harness, you can leave it on for a while. She might not like the idea of the harness and, if it bothers her, try to distract her by playing with a favourite toy or giving her some treats until she starts to forget about the harness.

Step 5 When she is comfortable with the harness, you can take it off again. Repeat steps 2 to 5 for about a week, leaving the harness on longer each time.

Step 6 Attach the leash to the harness and let your cat walk around the house, dragging the leash behind her. Watch her carefully so that she doesn’t get tangled up in anything.

Step 7 Give her lots of love and praise her for being so good. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for a few days, until she seems to accept the harness and leash.

Step 8 Let your cat walk around with the harness with the leash attached, then pick up the other end of the leash and follow her. Keep the tension slack, so as not to restrict her movement and frighten her. Practise step 8 for a few days.

Step 9 Teach your cat to follow you by calling her to you and talking to her in a soothing manner. Lure her with a treat while gently pulling on the lead. Treat her when she follows you. Don’t fight her. If she tugs at the leash, simply stop until she relaxes, then try again.

Step 10 Once both you and your cat have mastered all these steps, you can move outdoors. Keep to small, quiet areas at first, only moving to bigger, noisier places when your cat is thoroughly conditioned.

Would you like to read more articles like these? Get the latest copy of Animaltalk magazine at www.coolmags.co.za for informative articles written by our experts.

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