Cats are curious animals who, by nature, enjoy exploring the outdoors. For many pet owners, it can be challenging to find a balance between allowing their feline to enjoy their freedom outside the home and keeping their beloved four-legged friend safe. There is no doubt that outdoor cats are at a much greater risk of injury or death. Other predators, toxins, motor vehicles and humans pose a great risk to tomcats.
Walking the family cat using a collar and leash is a great way for pet lovers to protect their beloved tabby while out of the home environment. With more pet parents choosing this as a safer alternative, the trend to walk kitties on a leash has been gaining in popularity over the last decade.
As unimaginable as this may be for some animal lovers, pussy cats can be trained to use a leash. It takes time, consistency, and ongoing effort by the trainer. For those considering this safer alternative, here are five effective tips for training a precious tabby to walk with a leash.
1. Begin Training Early
Begin the training early when they are still kittens. It’s easier to train kittens to walk with a collar and leash than an fully-grown tomcat.
2. Go Slow
Getting the animal used to a walking system takes time. Slow steady steps will give the pussy cat time to get used to the device at their own pace. First steps are to let the adult tabby walk around the house with the collar on. As they become more comfortable, gradually move outside to the yard and then down the street and so on.
3. Start with a Collar
Putting the collar on first can be a challenge because they often do not like the restrictive device. Once they are used to the collar, the leash can be added. Once the little one is used to both tools, the walking training can start.
4. Make it a Positive Experience
Kitties should never feel like they are being punished when using the leash. Praise and reward the pet frequently during training and walks. Bring treats to reward good behavior, and use a soft voice when giving instruction. Continuously reinforce the feline to help them get used to the device.
5. Accept Setbacks and Move On
Not everyday will go smoothly. Some days might be more difficult than others. If the kitty does not want to wear the collar, do not force, or berate the animal. This is supposed to be a positive experience, not a punishment. If the kitty cat resists the walking aides, place the collar in a comfortable place where the pussy feels safe. Let them move around, smell, and feel at ease with the contraption.
Felines have strong personalities, they might not want to do what we want them to do. If they don’t want to go for a walk, move on and try again another time. Consistency is as essential part of any training exercise.
Walking cats outside with a collar and leash is a safer alternative to letting cats out of the home. Training a kitty to use a leash takes time, commitment, and patience.
At Top Pet Gifts, we have a variety of toys and treats to help with tabby training.