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by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Give your cat a new leash on life!

Have you ever taken your cat for a walk?  Does your cat know about leashes?  Are you afraid that putting your cat on leash would result in a tug-of-war match or worse?  If so, read on, and let the adventures begin!
 
Why leash train a cat?

If your cat is an indoor cat, you may want to try outdoor adventures for the two of you. 
 
What to do
 
Keep a breakaway collar with an ID tag on cats at all times to help prevent a lost cat. It only takes once for a cat to slip out and wander too far.
 
Introduce the harness by putting it on your cat during feeding. After your cat can wear a harness during feeding without concern, add the leash and hold the leash for a few minutes as you follow your cat. Distract your cat and offer praise and treats for ignoring the leash. Use treats to call your cat to you.

Remember to use treats!

If your cat needs encouragement to follow you try using a toy to lure your cat to follow you. Basically, do anything positive to get your cat's attention and trigger the chase instinct.
 
After your cat can wear a collar during feeding without concern, add the leash and follow your cat around the house praising every time your cat looks at you and for walking nicely at the end of the leash.

When can I take your cat outside on a leash?

When your cat is comfortable at the end of the leash and comes to you for a treat, then you are ready to try a few minutes in an outdoor protected area like your back yard.

Once you have mastered leash walking indoors, it is time to explore the great outdoors!  Keep the first few trips outside short and positive.  Make sure your cat is hungry.  Don't expect too much.  
 
Take your cat outside at about the same time every day. This routine helps prevent your cat from learning to beg for kitty adventures throughout the day or night.


Learn more...Leash Walking &
Walking on a Leash
 

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