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How to train your indoor cat to walk on a harness and leash

How to train your indoor cat to walk on a harness and leash
Photo Credit: Juhan Sonin via cc

Walking your indoor cat is now possible with a harness and leash and some simple training!

Walking the dog is common practice, but have you ever considered walking the cat? It may sound crazy, but you can actually walk your indoor cat on a leash outdoors. There are harnesses and leashes that you can buy which are designed for walking your cat. Seeing someone walking the cat is not an everyday occurrence, but more and more cats are now becoming indoor pets and it’s a good way to get them outdoors on a regular basis.

So why walk your indoor cat?

Walking your indoor cat outdoors on a harness and leash is good for them. Not only is it safe, but it also gives them good regular exercise which is essential for any indoor cat. The cat will also benefit from the fresh air and contact with other humans (and friendly cats) too! It can also help keep an indoor cat mentally stimulated as they get to enjoy a regular walk outdoors. They now have a chance to do a few things that outdoor cats do on a daily basis like exploring bushes, sniffing and feeling the grass beneath their paws!

Where are the best places to walk an indoor cat on a leash?

any park or grassy area is a great place to walk your indoor cat on a leash and harness
Many indoor cats are kept inside the home either due to health issues, age or simply because the outdoor environment is not suitable for them to explore alone. Many cities and suburbs have very heavy traffic flow which is not a great place for a cat to wander about in.
Cats love grass and a park is a perfect place to walk a cat on a leash and harness. Even if the park is too far, any green patch of grass is a welcome site for an indoor cat. So choose an area where there are plenty of bushes and grassy surfaces. Even walking them on the pavement is safe as the harness and leash will prevent them from walking into the road.
If you live too far from a park then you could always use a cat stroller which would transport your cat safely to the recreational area. When you arrive, you can then simply attach the leash to the harness and walk them about. Then they can pop back into the stroller for the comfy journey back home.
Photo Credit: LW Yang via cc

So how do you train an indoor cat to walk on a leash and harness?

most cats can be trained to walk in a harness and leash, but the younger the better
Unlike dogs (who only require a small amount of leash training) a cat isn’t going to immediately walk easily on a leash and harness. Training a cat to walk on a harness and leash will take some patience and training. And not all cats are up for being walked in a harness, but take the chance and see if your cat is up for it. Usually the younger the cat, the easier it is for them to be trained.
The training itself is easy to follow but it will have to be done in short and simple steps until the cat is happy to walk with the harness and leash. Some indoor cats take to a leash and harness quite quickly, but these tend to be the younger cats.
Photo Credit: LW Yang via cc
Below are the steps to take which will hopefully help you to train your cat to walk on a harness and lead. Good luck!
Related articles on harness and leash training for cats
  • Here are our top tips on how to achieve the best results when training your indoor cat to walk in a harness and leash. Most cats are up for being trained with a little time, patience and the odd treat as a bribe. Getting your indoor cat walking on a harness outdoors will ensure that they get good regular exercise plus they benefit from the fresh air too!
  • Training your indoor cat to walk on a harness can be a long process, but with time, patience and lots of praise it can be done. But when you and your cat are eventually hitting the pavements, there are some things to consider and situations to avoid when you are both out and about.