How to teach your cat to walk on a leash

Educating a cat to stroll on a leash is completely different than strolling a canine. Generally you’ll be able to cue them to observe you, whereas different occasions it’s possible you’ll be following them. However you CAN prepare them to do it! Here’s a brief information to coaching your cat to stroll on a leash. 

Earlier than we get began, it’s vital to notice that out of doors exercise along with your cats ought to at all times be supervised. Cats left exterior to roam freely usually have a decrease common life expectancy attributable to risks equivalent to visitors, predators and the weather.  

Get began with harness coaching 

The cat ought to be accustomed to carrying a harness (see our weblog, “The way to educate a cat to put on a harness”) and ought to be snug carrying a harness for five+ minutes earlier than beginning leash coaching. Not all cats will need to stroll on a leash and there ought to be very shut monitoring of worry, nervousness and stress. At all times connect the light-weight leash to the harness and by no means to the cat’s collar. 

Right here’s what you’ll want for leash coaching: 
  • Quiet safe space 
  •  Appropriately fitted harness – see our weblog on harness coaching 
  • 6 – 8’ mild leash (longer leash permits extra selection for the cat’s actions) 
  • Excessive worth treats 
  • Feather wand or cat’s favorite toy 
  •  Clicker (not vital however can be utilized) 
Getting the cat acclimatized to the leash 
  • Beginning in a protected, quiet place the place the cat feels snug, connect a light-weight leash to the cat’s harness.
  • Toss treats and/or toys and permit the cat to maneuver across the room.
  • Because the cat is strolling round and there’s no stress on the leash, mark (click on or say “sure”) and reward. 
  • Because the cat strikes across the room, be certain that to observe them to forestall any stress on the leash. 

Observe: when the cat initially feels mild stress on the leash they could attempt to pull or again up, at all times watch leash positioning and ensure harness is appropriately fitted. 

Strolling on the leash 
  • Utilizing a goal equivalent to a feather wand, encourage the cat observe it.
  • Mark (click on or say “sure”) and reward when the cat follows the goal for one or two steps.
  • Progressively improve the variety of steps the cat should take to get the reward.
  • As soon as the cat is following the goal for 10 or extra steps, add the cue “Let’s go,” then mark (click on or say “sure”) and reward.

Going for a stroll 

  • Select a quiet time and place to stroll the cat. Select an space indoors the place they’re snug.
  • Guarantee they’ve entry to a protected house the place they will retreat in the event that they really feel anxious, fearful or careworn. 
  • Utilizing your goal, for instance feather wand toy, say “Let’s go” to encourage the cat to stroll on the leash. 
  • Enable the cat to discover on the leash whereas watching their physique language, mark (click on or Say “sure”) and reward whereas the cat is calm. 
Purr-severance pays off 

Maintain walks very brief 3 -5 min to begin and at all times monitor your cat’s worry, nervousness and stress ranges. Remember that there are lots of components that may frighten the cat equivalent to loud noises, wind, open house, and many others.  

Endurance and purr-severance pays off, with many cats studying to get pleasure from strolling on a leash. Joyful tails to you and your feline good friend!  

Try extra articles on cat care and coaching tips about our weblog.  

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