A harness is a firm but elastic material woven together, usually wrapped around the body of animals, including cats. Cats are fond of falling over when you put a harness on them. Ever wondered why?
Most felines freeze or fall over when they feel a harness because it activates the survival instinct they would usually exercise if grappled by a predator.
Motivating your cat with effective and appealing methods will help it grow out of this instinctual behavior. In this article, I’ll share with you most of the reasons cats behave this way. I’ll also explain how much time cats need to adapt to a harness and if using one is a smart or cruel idea.
How Long Does It Take for a Cat to Get Used to a Harness?
Most cats take several days and even weeks to get relaxed in the harness. However, once they get used to wearing it and moving about comfortably, you can then attach the leash to it. You should know that it isn’t abnormal if your cat seems unable to adapt to the harness; that’s okay.
Unlike other pets like dogs, getting your felines used to walking conveniently with a cat harness could take a short while and additional effort. You’ll need to employ some steps to get them comfortable with it, rather than hurrying them into the process unwillingly.
Why Do Cats Fall Over When You Put a Harness on Them?
Felines flop over as a sign of disagreement with wearing a harness for two main reasons: The first is that it makes them feel as though they are trapped by a predator. The other reason is that they might not want to be moved around on a leash.
The most effective way to teach your cats to wear a harness is to be patient with them. Allow them to wear it as often as possible, so they get acquainted with having it on. Afterward, you can try attaching the leash and letting it just tag after them as they wander around the house.
Ensure there’s nothing around the house that’ll get them trapped so they don’t freak out. It will also help if you show confidence in them and commend them as you wrap them in the harness. If the process appeals to them, they may be comfortable enough to venture for a walk, or not, because cats can be stubborn.
Animals in general protest in different ways when their human owners fasten some kind of foreign accessory onto their bodies. Cats, for example, will stage a fit for a while but eventually come around and accept the harness idea. You have to give your feline more time, as it will, in most cases, get up and move around, provided you don’t nag or upset it.
Because learning to wear a harness is part of their initial step in the training plan, cats can trick you into not wrapping a harness on them. They can achieve this by doing a side flop and mimicking a person who just experienced a stroke. Funny enough, this trick works on cat owners, as they get scared that something terrible will happen to their cats and remove the harness.
Bear in mind that a tight strap around your cat’s hind legs can affect the nerves connected to them, making it impracticable for the cat to move. Allow a gap the size of two fingers together between the cat and the harness to enable it to breathe with ease and not feel choked.
Is It Cruel to Harness a Cat?
There’s nothing cruel about using a harness on your cat. It is, in fact, the safest, considering your cat won’t be able to slip out of the harness, and so you can keep your eyes on it. Here are some ideas on making your cat comfy in his/her harness.
Allow Your Cat to Feel and Play With the Harness: At the onset, you can place the harness close to their resting areas so they can play with it, feeling it in the process. Give them space, as this will provide them with ample time to get familiar with seeing and having the harness on. Also, you mustn’t force the harness on your cat so it doesn’t become uncomfortable and agitated.
Numerous Treats: Treats and commendations should be paired with this training from the onset to get them acquainted with the harness faster. From the moment they begin to toy around with it, up until you are successful in placing it on them. Be sure that you reward your cats for every few minutes that they keep the harness on without wiggling.
Let Your Cat Lead: Be patient and allow your cat to take the lead when walking with the harness and a leash attached before picking it up to guide it. The closest you can do is the trail after it while it wanders around the house, at least until it is accustomed to the harness. Aggressive pulling on the harness can infuriate your cat and make it hate the sight of it even more.
Set to Explore Outdoors: Your first outdoor exploration with your cat is crucial because if anything goes wrong, that cat might never want to go out again. Do a thorough check of your environment and the place(s) you wish to take your cat. For the first time, your cat will prefer an environment with less activities and noise.
Too much noise, traffic, horn blast, and the sight of dogs can scare your cat. You have to observe with care, so you don’t push it beyond its limits. Permit the cat to do what makes it feel comfortable, even if it wants to roam around just the front yard.
In conclusion, a well-fitted harness is needed to keep your feline comfortable and secured to a leash when partake in outdoor recreational activities. Harness is specifically needed because attaching a leash directly to your cat’s collar is unsafe. Compared to animals like dogs, cats have tender throats and can suffocate if walked this way.