Effective strategies for cat leash training
Whether your cat likes to spend its times indoors or outdoors, there might come a time when you need to take your cat outdoors and this is where you need to train your cat to walk on a leash. You might have seen dogs taken out on a leash, you even might have seen ponies on leash, but have you ever seen a cat on a leash? Probably not, but that doesn't mean it's not possible. Here are some practical tips for leash training your cat.
The main purpose of a leash is to control the erratic behavior of your pet while outdoors. Cats are taken on leashes so that they don't run away from you and cause public nuisance. Once a cat escapes it's very difficult to catch him, because they are very agile and able to get through small spaces easily, not to mention their jumping abilities. In some areas, it's illegal for a cat to run free. It's also potentially dangerous, despite your cat's fine instincts. There are cars, large dogs and rabid squirrels to contend with that your cat might not be able to escape.
Just as with any type of training, cat leash training will take a considerable amount of time. Do you remember the first time you tried to put a collar on your cat? The cat might have resisted putting it on and after you managed to put it on somehow, the cat would have been busy for hours trying to remove it. You will have a similar experience with the leash, but if your cat is already accustomed to a collar, half of the battle for leash training is won.
The first step is to acquaint your cat with the leash that you will be using. The best way to do so is to place the leash at a place where a cat spends most of its time. The bed or feeding bowl is a good place. Put on the leash or harness just before the cat is ready to take its meal. Make sure that the leash or harness leaves a space of two fingers when placed and does not make the cat uncomfortable. If the cat is comfortable with the leash consider yourself lucky as cats generally do not like foreign objects placed on them.
If the cat shows a little bit of uneasiness, distract him by offering his favorite toy or food. Repeat this for several days till the cat gets accustomed to the leash. Once it is comfortable, just keep the leash on for few minutes everyday.
The next step is to walk your cat with the leash on within the house. Praise him if he takes it easily and give him some motivation by offering food or a toy. If the cat is not responding favorably, repeat the above mentioned steps till he gets completely comfortable with the idea of a leash.
Cats are very independent animals and like to stay that way. It is often said that humans do not make cats their pets; it is the other way round. Cats use humans so that they can get food and shelter. For this they have adapted themselves in such a way that we feel affectionate towards them and take them as pets. You need to use these attributes in order to coax your cat to walk on a leash.