Positive Pet Parenting
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by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Getting Started - Collars, Leashes, & Harness Training

You want your kitten to think that wearing a collar or harness is simply a part of life.  A kitten that is comfortable on the end of a leash can go more places safely outside of the home.

Put the collar or harness on for the first time when the kitten is already relaxed and hungry.  Give praise, treats, and loving for the minute this new apparel is on. Then, remove it and walk away.  You want kitten to remember that good stuff happens when the collar is on.

The next step is getting kitten comfortable wearing the collar or harness during meals.

In one to two weeks, the next step is attaching and holding a leash as you follow your kitten around the house. If you let the leash drag, the kitten may attack it in play.

Proper identification

Don't risk your kitten getting out of the house and wandering away without proper identification.  Keep a break-away collar and ID tag on your kitten from day one. 

Place a bell on the collar to help scare birds away to prevent your kitten from becoming a bird stalker.

Late Socialization: 9 to 16 weeks old

  • Continues to learn social skills.

  • Social play peaks.

  • Social conflict over status may emerge.

[1] AAFP. (2004). Feline Behavior Guidelines.

Unwanted pet behavior is a leading cause of pet neglect, abuse, abandonment to back yard jails, surrender to shelters, and euthanasia 

For your education

Library Topics

Walking On A Leash

Pet Behavior Mod.- Q&A

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