Can You Walk Your Cat?

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As you know, we got a new kitten – Juniper – at the start of summer vacation.

cat

Her health, safety, and happiness have always been important to me – and I have discussed bonding with her at length with friends, with the rescue adoption counselors, and with our vet. I have never had a young kitten before and especially with this much intention to have her for keeps. We want her to be an indoor cat, and to have a long, safe, healthy life. Her satisfaction and happiness are important for me, especially since I work from home and I’m nearly the sole caregiver for both pets.

Purina Beyond

Juniper is five-months-old and it’s been great. She watches the outside world with fascination, but since we live in the woods, there are too many predators in our woods and even in our yard for us to let her out. I had been wondering lately if there was an easier way to take her in public, rather than stuffing her in a crate and hoping for the best. I don’t want her to associate the outside world with just fear (and the vet) but I also hadn’t known how to open her world without putting her in danger. I talked to our vet about ten things to consider before walking a cat on a harness (no collar) and got great tips.

Know your cat! Most kittens can be trained on a harness or leash. Most will appreciate it too, but if you suspect your cat has a history of trouble with the outdoors or leashes, or anything at all that might spook her, that should give you pause first.

Buy your cat a harness, but not a collar. Cats can climb in ways that dogs cat, and a standard collar could hurt your cat, while a breakaway collar could detach. Cats can find their way out of leashes in ways most dog can’t!

Start slow! Baby steps. Dogs are easier in this respect, I think, but the first time we took Juniper out on a harness and leash, she had NO idea what was happening. Her heart was pounding! We just went around the yard, and she calmed.

Expect setbacks. As a cat owner, you probably already know this!

Use treats! Kittens generally do respond to food treats, verbal praise, and affection praise. Do your harness/leash training sessions when your cat is hungry – or if your cat is like mine – that could be all day. Break treats into small pieces.

Get used to putting your harness and leash on your cat INSIDE, and make sure it’s snug and not tight. Once you put the harness on, instantly praise your cat and give him or her a treat. Continue the treats with every new step in the harness.

Once your cat seems comfortable and is walking around in the harness, THEN, step outside the door. Stay close to the front door at first, and then stay close to quieter areas. Outside noises can be so jarring at first. This takes baby steps.

Make sure your cat doesn’t pick up anything in his or her mouth. It can be dangerous.

Coax your kitty farther on each outing, continue the verbal praise and treats, and keep exploring. If it doesn’t work after some time, you can explore other alternatives like cat strollers, or outdoor, enclosed spaces for cats.

Never leave your cat unattended outside.

Juniper was found by our local animal shelter, and she was malnourished, dehydrated, and only one pound when found. They nursed her back to health, and we were lucky to adopt her. One thing I love about her is that people know we have a cat. She doesn’t run away or hide. She explores people, so it’s only natural that I felt she could safely explore the outdoors. When we first got her, I got so much advice about the proper food to feed her. I took it seriously, because her health is a priority. Since I love Stop & Shop so much as is for my family, I was so happy to find a wide range of natural and healthy pet products.

We use Purina Beyond dry and wet foods, for BOTH pets!

I love Stop & Shop for all things for us, so it makes sense to get boy dry and wet food, as well as pet toys and care items.

On Sunday, October 16th, there will be money-saving coupons on Purina Beyond products in your local Sunday newspaper. Here are a few: 1. You can get $2 off any size Beyond Dry cat food. 2. $1 off the Variety Pack of wet cat food – Buy 3, Get 1 Free. 3. You can find $2 off Any Size Beyond Dry cat food. 4. Lastly for Wet Dog Food: Buy 5, Get 1 on any Beyond Ground or In Gravy Canned Products, Buy 1, Get 1 on any Beyond Purees, $1 off Beyond Ground Entrees Variety Pack.

We use Purina Cat Chow Naturals, Beyond Natural Wet Cat Food, Beyond Purees or Beyond Natural Purees, & Purina DentaLife. We use them as *health and wellness aids, and to continue enjoying the benefits of these products.

I try to make smart decisions with Juniper because she means a lot to me. The importance of her happiness through walking outside was key for me to continue that journey. The importance of her *health and wellness maintenance is what makes me purchase selections from Purina, such as Beyond cat and dog food, and DentaLife products as well.

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Try the new Purina DentaLife with a $2 coupon available HERE!

Now, would you walk your cat outdoors? What do you do to bond with your pet?

*Not to be taken as professional veterinary advice. Please consult your veterinarian for recommendations and practices appropriate for your pet.


Comments

Can You Walk Your Cat? — 32 Comments

  1. My biggest regret with my cat is I can’t do more with her. I wish I could take her with me out and about, but she just likes to be in the yard. Really, no one can even pick her up but me, and that is time limited. From my point of view, I’m amazed she tolerates me at all, lol For the most part, I let her make all the decisions. It’s my cat version of “Happy wife – Happy life” HaHa!

    • It sounds like you two are so bonded, though. It sounds like she more than tolerates you. It’s special. I wish ours could be in the yard, but we have fisher cats and they are out for blood!
      Your cat version of “happy wife – happy life” makes me smile.

  2. Awwww, she is such a beautiful kitty, Tamara 🙂 Love that you are doing this slowly and introducing her to the outside world at a young age, so she can get acclimated. My brother and his gf take their cats for walks. Not far, but she seems to really adore it, which I think is just adorable.

    XOXO

    • Ah, that’s the cutest story ever! There’s a woman in town who walks a cat on a leash and sometimes even on her shoulder like a parrot. You just can’t make this stuff up.

  3. Aw! Love your kitty! And yes, my cat Ruby LOVES to be outside and would LOVE to be walked. We keep meaning to buy her a harness. Right now we just pick her up and carry her around out back. She loves it.

  4. My daughter has a new tabby kitty that we’re watching named Stripes and I wonder if I can put her on a leash. I somehow doubt it just like I doubt my own cat would like it. They love being independent. We have tried that Purina Beyond for Kitty before and she liked it but wasn’t totally in love, but she’s rather picky anyway. I wonder if Stripes would love it.

  5. We have too many dogs in our neighborhood to walk our cat, but I’ve always wanted to have a catio- when we get our first house, I’m sure we will! #client

    • Ah, a catio! I really want one. We live in the woods and it’s too dangerous to have an outdoors cat, but they do tend to want to go outside. This harness has really helped my kitten quench her curiosity.

    • Yes, thank you! They can be a little unsettling when I wake up to her on my chest looking at me like that! Or when I shower and she sits on the toilet and watches me!

  6. Juniper is the cutest. When I went to pick up the boys from the bus yesterday I had a stray follow me around and it freaked me all the way out haha

  7. She’s just beautiful! We got our puppy from the shelter and he’s five months old now too – it’s like having a baby in the house again! Easier to walk on a leash, though :)!

  8. Our cat, Leo, loves people also! (Well, adult humans.) He’s not one to hide when people come over (unless they’re child-sized), and I think in another life he would have enjoyed exploring the outdoors. Sometimes I feel bad he’s relegated to our 1200 square-foot condo, but now he has access to our basement as well, which he didn’t have at our last two places.

  9. Our cat goes out on a harness and leash. He doesn’t have his shots, plus technically cats are not supposed to roam free in our town. You can get a hefty fine. The boy tried to walk him once…. all I can say is I wish I had that video. Herding a cat is like frustration level MEGA.

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