Did you know that it’s possible to walk with your cat outside like a dog? Although it takes more time to get your cat adjusted to this new adventure life, you can significantly increase the quality of your life and bond more with your feline friend.

However, throwing a harness on your cat and dragging them outside will always end in failure. If you’re determined to go on adventures with your cat, you need to start slow and steady while keeping your end goal in mind.

Keep reading to learn how to leash train your cat today!

Purchase a Comfortable Cat Harness

Purchasing a cat harness instead of attaching a leash to your cat’s collar is imperative. This is because cats can easily break free of breakaway collars if they get spooked or scared. Harnesses are also more comfortable for cats because there’s no risk of choking themselves.

Take time to find a harness that’s the right size for your cat. The easiest way is to find a harness brand you like and make sure that they offer a sizing chart. Then, take time to measure your cat around the chest so that the measuring tape feels snug and fitted but not tight enough that they have difficulty moving or breathing.

By comparing the number you get to the sizing chart, you should find a harness perfect for your cat!

Start Slow and Steady

Once you receive your cat harness, patience and consistency are the names of the game. Start by getting your cat familiar with the harness and unafraid of it by letting them sniff it and setting it by them while they eat.

Next, put the harness on top of them without buckling it and allow them to wear it if it can stay on. Make sure to give your cat a little treat each time the harness comes out so that they can form positive associations with it!

When you feel that they’re familiar with the harness, start buckling them into it and make sure only to give them a treat once the harness is on. Keep the harness on them for five minutes and steadily increase how long it’s on as the days and weeks progress.

Attach the Leash

After you feel that your cat is comfortable having the harness on, you’ll next want to attach the leash. Allow them to get used to walking around with the leash on without any tension–walk behind them quietly and allow them to lead.

When your cat is used to you following behind them with the leash, you can start by making gentle corrections by tightening the leash. If your cat doesn’t move in the direction you’d like, place a treat in the direction you’d like them to go. Over time, they’ll understand that your pulling on the leash is a good thing!

Step Outside

You’ll know that it’s time to take your cat outside if they seem comfortable with the harness and walk normally around the house with you. They also respond to most of your corrections.

Open the door and step outside before your cat while holding the leash on a dry and sunny day. Try to coax them so they come out on their own with treats, but if they seem hesitant and afraid, close the door and try again the next day.

Let your cat control how long you stay outside and keep your outings short, fun, and full of treats! Over time, you’ll find that you’ll be walking around the neighborhood and on the trail with your furry friend.

Leash Training Your Cat: Be Patient

Through each of these steps, give your cat enough time to adjust to each of the steps. To make it fun for your cat, you don’t want to stress them out or make them feel fearful.

Before taking your cat outside, you’ll also want them to be up to date on all their flea treatments and vaccinations.

If you want to make sure your cat is healthy enough for outdoor outings, you’ll also want to schedule a yearly wellness check with your vet. Contact us today to make an appointment!

Appointment request
Need an appointment with a vet in Holmdel? Requesting an appointment is now easier than ever. Fill out the form below and we'll contact you to find a time that fits your schedule.
Client Name*
Phone Number*
Email Address
Are you a current client?
Best time(s) to call?
Preferred Appt Date
Preferred Appt Time
Pet Type