How To Train Your Cat To Walk On A Leash: 9 Helpful Tips
Have you ever considered taking your cat for a walk on a leash?
While dogs are often seen strolling the streets in cities across the world, the same can’t be said for our beloved felines.
Besides giving you some quality time with your pet, a walk will also expose your cat to people and other animals. It’s also great exercise for you and your cat to enjoy together!
Read on to learn 9 helpful tips about how to train your cat to walk on a leash!
1. Practice at Home
Domesticated cats, like most humans, often feel most comfortable at home.
Your home gives you and your cat a great place where you can train your cat on a leash. If they’ve lived there a while, your home should be a place they are familiar with.
Initially, you should try your training sessions when your home is empty and quiet. This will help your cat feel calm and less distracted than they would be if your family or other guests are present.
In short, you want to create the least threatening environment as possible for your cat!
2. Ensure Collar Fits Properly
You should be sure that your cat’s collar fits properly. If your cat is wearing a collar that doesn’t fit, they risk being injured or breaking free while on a walk outside.
A collar that doesn’t fit properly also makes it harder to control your cat on your walk.
If your cat’s collar is too tight, they may be uncomfortable. This will make the walk more stressful on your cat and distract them from following your instructions.
By checking on how your cat’s collar fits before you begin training it how to walk, you save you (and your cat) from the struggles that come with when their collar doesn’t fit.
3. Ease Into It at First
One way to help your cat feel more comfortable with learning how to walk on a leash is by easing into it.
Once you get some practice in at your quiet home, don’t take them right out into a crowded park or along the sidewalk on a busy street.
Take them out into public at quiet places where they can stay calm on the leash. They will also be able to be more focused on your training and commands.
If you take your cat to a place that is crowded with people and animals, you risk them reacting badly to it. Depending on the situation, it could be the sort of reaction that has a long-term impact on how to train your cat to walk on a leash in the future.
4. Bring Treats
Just like when you are training your cat to do new tricks or rewarding them for good behavior, you should do the same on walks.
By bringing a lot of treats with you, this can help you give positive reinforcement to commands they follow. When your cat receives positive reinforcement, this helps them to feel better supported.
Training your cat how to walk on a leash can be a challenge but being a reassuring owner and rewarding them with treats can go a long way.
5. Challenge Your Cat
As your cat becomes more comfortable with walking a leash, you should challenge them to walk a little further each time.
This helps your cat become accustomed to taking longer walks. It also helps condition them to stay calm throughout the course of a longer walk.
It’s important to be actively aware of how your cat is reacting over the course of your walk. You should pay attention to their body language and the signs they are giving you along the way.
If you know that they are losing interest in the walk and it’s becoming harder for you both, it may be time for you to complete your walk for that go around.
6. Setbacks Will Happen
It’s also important to remember that setbacks will occur along the way as you teach your cat to walk on a leash.
There will be great days, good days and not bad days. One thing to remember is that teaching your cat to walk on a leash has many different benefits that make it worth your time and effort.
Some walks will go smoothly because of their pace, a lack of interruptions from other people or animals and your pet’s mood. Other times, you or your cat may have a bit of an uphill battle because of one or more of those factors.
Setbacks will happen as you learn how to walk your cat on a leash. It’s how you react to and learn from them that matters.
7. When to Stop Your Walk
Part of understanding that setbacks will happen means knowing when to stop your walk.
If your cat becomes too scared during the walk, you need to recognize this and stop the walk right away. If you try to push your cat too much to continue, this can really set back any progress you have made in your training.
8. Walk Regularly
Another important part of this process is to walk your cat regularly. You want to avoid training your cat on a leash and then not taking it for walks for an extended period.
This can also negatively impact your progress, as it takes you and your cat out of the rhythm that you have built up over the course of other walks.
By taking your cat on regular walks, it helps them to be more comfortable with a routine.
9. Maintain Control
Remember that you are walking your cat, not the other way around.
It’s one of the most important lessons on how to train your cat to walk on a leash!
Be sure that you maintain control of the leash and give strong commands as you train your cat to walk on it. By staying stern but paying attention to their needs and behavior, your cat can make faster progress.
It’s a win-win for you and your beloved pet!
How to Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash
Training your cat to walk on a leash is a little bit of trial and error. You want to make sure you are being supportive of your cat while being attentive to what they need.
While the training process may take effort from you and your pet, the companionship and exercise you will enjoy together are more than worth it.
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