Teaching a cat how to walk on a leash is not as difficult as it may seem. If you have the time and patience, this will be an enjoyable experience for both of you! Some people like to use what they call “clicker training,” but there are other methods that work just as well. With any method, it’s important to set your expectations realistically in advance.
How to teach my cat to walk on a leash?
The goal is not necessarily for the cat to become 100% obedient; rather, we want them to enjoy walking with us without pulling too hard or scratching our hands when we try and hold onto their collar.
How to teach my cat to walk on a leash?
1. Gather all the necessary supplies
When teaching a cat how to walk on a leash, it’s important to have all the necessary supplies ready. This includes a leash, a harness, and treats.
I recommend the best type of leash to get is a cat harness, which features velcro straps that go around your pet’s neck and waist. This will help prevent choking should an accident happen during walking outside. The next important thing you want is treats! Make sure they are soft so they can be easily given when training how to walk on a leash. Using treats will help your cat associate walking on the harness with good things.
2. Start by getting your cat used to being around the leash and wearing it
Before knowing “how to teach my cat to walk on a leash,” it’s important for the furball to get used to a leash. Simply just… get them used to be around the leash (yes, that simple!) Place the leash near your cat and let them explore it at their own pace. Don’t force them to interact with it if they’re not comfortable.
Once your cat is familiar with the leash, you can start trying to put it on them. Again, don’t force them if they’re not comfortable. Start by just having the leash around their neck without attaching it to anything. Reward your cat for tolerating the leash and slowly increase the amount of time they’re wearing it.
3. Put on the harness and let them walk around with it for a little while
One way to get your cat used to the harness is by putting it on and letting them walk around in it for a little while. This will help them become comfortable with the sensation of having the harness on. When they are used to the harness, you can then start to attach the leash and eventually lead them outside.
You can try to gently pull on the leash to encourage your cat to walk with you, but if they resist or get scared, don’t force them. Instead, try walking in different directions and see how they react to each one. Forcing a cat onto a leash can be very stressful for both of you so it’s important to take things slowly when training them how to walk with it.
4. Increase time spent walking every day until they’re comfortable enough to go outside
When it comes to getting our cats to walk on a leash, there are a few things we can do to make the process easier. One of the best ways to start is by gradually increasing the amount of time we spend walking them each day. This will help them get used to spending time on the leash and will make it less stressful for both you and your cat.
It’s important to make sure our cats don’t feel like they’re being punished for their behavior or that you’re upset in any way, as this can lead to aggression. While training, it’s important for us to reward positive behavior instead of punishing negative behaviors.
5. Practice indoors first before going outside so that they don’t get scared or run away
At first, we may only want to walk them around the house. This will give us a chance to get used to how they respond and how it feels on both ends of the leash. Then once our cats are comfortable with being inside while wearing their harnesses, we can begin training them outside in short spurts. We want to start with very short walks and gradually increase how long we spend outside.
Cats are more likely to be comfortable on their leashes in an area they feel safe in. If necessary, make sure your cat has a place where she can hide away when outside if she feels overwhelmed by the new environment.
6. Add in treats along the way to keep them interested in walking more often
Several companies sell how-to guidebooks for how to teach your cat to walk on a leash. One method they suggest is to place a treat at the end of the leash and allow them to go toward it. When the cat gets there, simply tugs on the leash so that your pet can see how you want them to follow along. You might want to try both methods to see which one works best for you and your feline friend.
With patience and a good sense of humor, teaching your cat to walk on a leash can be an enjoyable experience for both parties. What method have you used with success? Let us know in the comments below!