cat on a leash

How to train your cat to walk on a leash ?

By Ursula Uranie

December 6, 2023

It’s no secret that cats are ‘independent”. They often like to do things their way and don’t respond well to being told what to do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t train your cat to walk on a leash. You can get your cat to become a leash-walking pro with patience and persistence. In this article, we’ll outline the steps you need to take to train your cat and what worked for us.

  • Start with basic obedience training to make your cat walk on a leash.

Just like dogs, cats can receive training. While it may seem daunting, with a bit of patience and consistency, you can have your cat strolling beside you in no time. The key to success is starting with basic obedience training and gradually working to longer walks. Like dogs, cat leash training should start in a quiet room without distractions. Begin by simply putting the leash on your cat and letting them get used to its feel. Once your cat is comfortable wearing the leash, you can pick up the end and gently guide them around the room. Remember to take things slowly at first and praise your cat when they do something right. With a bit of time and effort, you’ll be able to enjoy walks with your feline friend.

  • Get a specific harness and leash designed for cats to walk on a leash.

A cat harness and leash can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your feline friend. But choosing the right type of harness and leash for your cat is essential. There are several things to consider when selecting a cat harness and leash.

How to choose a cat leash and a cat harness ?

First, think about your cat’s size and weight. You’ll want to choose a harness and leash that are comfortable for your cat to wear and that won’t restrict its movement.
Second, consider the materials. You’ll want to choose a harness and leash with durable materials that won’t cause irritation or discomfort for your cat. Choose a harness and leash that will allow your cat to explore the great outdoors at their own pace safely.

Avoid collars and ensure you have a harness, which will be more comfortable and safer for your cat if he escapes. In that case, breakaway collars can be an option.

You’ll also find LED cat collars to ensure your furry friend is close to you if you choose to walk at night.

We suggest getting a retractable leash as you’ll have more control over the distance, and your cat can enjoy some free space while being safe!
We bought ours at Centrakor in Guadeloupe, but you can definitely find a good one in almost every pet store.

Finally, think about your cat’s personality. Some cats enjoy being on a leash, while others may prefer to stay indoors, and it’s totally ok. Listen to him and do not force him, you can enjoy great time indoors together!

  • Introduce your cat to the harness and leash gradually.

If you’re like most cat owners, the thought of putting your cat on a harness and leash may seem downright absurd. After all, cats are notoriously ‘independent’, and many seem to prefer the comforts of home to the great outdoors. However, many cats are true adventurers and love discovering the outside world. The key is introducing the harness and leash gradually and giving your cat plenty of time to get used to the new gear. Start by letting your cat sniff and explore the harness and leash while both are lying on the ground. Once your cat seems comfortable, try putting the harness on for short periods while inside the house.

Gradually increase the amount of time your cat wears the harness until it is comfortable wearing it for extended periods. Only then should you attempt taking your cat for a walk. When first starting, keep walks short and sweet, and bring along plenty of treats to reward your cat for its good behavior.

  • Take your cat on short walks outdoors.

Slowly introduce your cat to the outdoors, letting them get used to the sights and sounds of the world around them. Once your cat is comfortable, you can start taking him on short walks around the block. Just be sure to keep the walks short at first, as cats can quickly become overexposed to their surroundings. You can start with walks of 5 minutes and add 5 minutes more every day. Remember to go at your cat’s pace and take plenty of breaks.

  • Reward your cat with treats and positive reinforcement when they walk calmly on the leash.

When you take your cat out on the leash, reward him with treats and praise him when he walks calmly. It will help him to associate good behavior with positive reinforcement and will encourage him to continue walking calmly.

  • Be patient – it may take time for your cat to get used to walking on a leash.

Training your cat to walk on a leash can be challenging, but it’s important to be patient and remember that it may take some time for your cat to get used to the process. With a bit of patience and training, it can be a fun and rewarding experience for you and your feline friend; you’ll both get exercise, some fresh air and reinforce the bond between each other!
One of our cat did not like the leash at all at the beginning, and after a few months, she started to be comfortable with it by applying the previous steps. And if she does not want to put the leash sometimes, we do not force her and let her inside doing what she enjoys to do!

If we can do it, so can you!

Remember, although it may seem absurd to some cat owners, training a cat to walk on a leash can be a fun and rewarding experience for you and your furry friend. Be sure to reward them with treats and praise when they display good behavior! It’s essential to be patient and keep in mind that it may take some time for your cat to get used to the process, but with a bit of patience and persistence, your cat will be walking by your side in no time.

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