Indoor cats need frequent exercise and relaxing activities to help them curb their weight, prevent boredom as well as the emergence of unpleasant behaviors. And one of the common questions is whether or not to take an indoor cat outside on a leash?
You can walk your cat outside on a leash, especially when they don’t have another means of experiencing the outdoors. Taking your cat outside on a leash, among other things, gives them the benefit of having direct contact with the environment.
There is wide variety of cat leashes and harnesses available to aid you and efficient guides on training your felines to be walked using them. In this piece, I’ll explain most of what you need to know about taking your indoor cat outside on a leash.
Should I Take My Indoor Cat on Walks?
Often, cats take walks without the supervision of their owners. This is needed to enable them to exercise and remain healthy, an experience indoor cats usually lack. This is why your indoor cat will benefit so much from frequent outdoor walks.
Walking your indoor cat outside allows them to stay functional in a controlled manner. Performing such activities has health and cognitive benefits, too, since it stimulates cats to use their brains in a variety of ways. However, taking your indoor cat out for walks makes them prone to diseases, fleas, and other pests in general.
Also, should your cat get loose from its leash, it stands the risk of getting stolen or run over by a vehicle. Training your cat to get used to taking walks on a leash isn’t difficult but will demand your time and patience. Most felines won’t enjoy the idea of being controlled at the beginning, but they will eventually come along with positive conditioning.
Can Indoor Cats Be Walked on a Leash?
Leashes and cat strollers are regular tools cat owners can use to keep their cats safe when taking them outdoors. Still, you need to know which one is more suitable for your cat. Your choice will depend on your cat’s peculiar need and reason for venturing outside.
Understanding the basics of using a cat leash is imperative for successful outdoor movements. Leashes are a common means to grant your cat outdoor time, although the experience is different for dog owners. This is because felines aren’t reactive to human owners’ commands like dogs are, so you need to be prepared.
When using a cat leash, it is safer to use a cat harness alongside the leash so your cats won’t slip out of their collar. A harness will help keep your cat secured while still allowing it to move within the confines of the leash. Ensure the harness fits your cat comfortably and isn’t tight.
Two of your fingers should fit beneath the harness without any difficulties, and the leash should be lightweight but strong, woven nylon preferably. With kittens, using a leash is achievable without much struggle. Adult cats, on the other hand, require a mixture of patience, leash training and lots of positive reinforcements.
Allow your cat to feel and explore the leash without putting them on. Your dog’s favorite treat should be available on hand so he or she can be rewarded for interacting or sniffing the leash. If you can, put the harness and leash on your cat and allow it to wander around the house with them on.
When you finally step outside for the first time, observe your cat with care and move slowly. One advantage of using leashes is that they help cats to explore their surroundings directly, unlike cat strollers. Also, leashes are less expensive than cat strollers.
How Do You Bring an Indoor Cat Outside?
Taking your indoor cat outside is safer if you attach the leash to a harness instead of a collar. Felines can slide out of collars with ease or may even choke if they break loose and get entangled in something. Also, ensure you use the right cat harness (not a dog harness) for optimum comfort and security.
The ideal stage to train cats on how to walk a leash is when they are still young kittens. The preferred method is to start indoors, using praises and treats to gently introduce the feeling of being constrained. From there, you can take your cat to explore the backyard.
Public spaces are not quite safe for cats on leashes. Before taking them outside, your cats must receive recent vaccinations against infectious diseases and parasites such as worms and fleas. It is also vital that your cat is identified with a microchip in case it escapes and gets missing.
Unlike more sociable pets like dogs, cats don’t possess similar desires to associate with others but do enjoy sniffing and exploring their environments. Also, cats don’t react the same as for dogs when strapped to a leash. Instead of responding to commands and cues, you will need to trail after your cat as they lead and wander around.
After your cat is microchipped, it is ideal for it to wear a quick relief safety collar with an ID tag, including your information. This will make it easy for you to be contacted in a situation your cat gets missing without a vet scanning it. So, remember to update your cat’s microchip details from time to time.
See to it that your outdoor space or environment is safe, secured, pet friendly, and desirable to your cat. Doing this will not only encourage your felines but will stall them from wandering too far. In readiness to introduce your cat outside, you can work on training them to respond and return to you when called, with the aid of treats.
Finally, when your cats appear relaxed and comfortable enough being outside, you can begin to allow them to take walks unaccompanied. An efficient way to grant your cat routine access to the outdoors when needed is to install a cat flap at the entrance.