Walking a cat on a leash is unfortunately attached to so many misconceptions. And as proud members of the adventure cat movement, we thought it was time to unpack them together!
1# “Walking a cat on a leash is cruel & they don’t need it.”
Firstly, like walking a dog on a leash, there is an appropriate way to do so that gives pleasure to the kitty without causing harm (from heat, dehydration, stress, fatigue, and so). Please never anchor your leash to your cat’s collar, as this could have serious consequences. So before walking a cat on a leash do your homework & invest in a safe cat harness !
Secondly, walking a cat on a leash is far from cruel if the cat enjoys it ! And guess what, many do otherwise there wouldn’t be an adventure cat movement !
Plus, the reality is that our house kitties are bored!
Cats, like any animal, need physical activity & mental stimulation, which they might not be receiving enough of inside & letting your cat roam freely outdoors is … well, problematic. Especially if you haven’t neutered, vaccinated, or microchipped your kitty and so on.
Since we are post-2020, most of us have experienced some kind of life in lockdown. So, we should understand the need for any animal to feel the fresh air on their checks & stretch their leg in the grass & as pet owners, we should be able to provide them with a safe way to do so & walking a cat on a leash does just that.
- Please remeber a few things: never anchor the leash to a collar and use a cat harness instead, never drag your kitty, do not significantly pushed your kitty outside its comfort zone, do not walk your cat on a leash in highly stressful situations.
2# « Cats don’t like harnesses »
I can see why some people would think that cats don’t like harnesses, as most cats flop the first time they wear a cat harness. But it’s simply because they don’t understand they can still move with the harness on. They never had anything of the sort on their fur, and they just need to get used to it. So first, make sure you select the right cat harness for your cat’s body type & personality, then undertake a “harness training” & build your cat’s confidence while wearing the harness (check out free cat guides).
3#« Walking a cat on a leash will make him/she behave doglike.»
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Cats like to stop and sniff every piece of grass and flowers. So arm yourself with patience, go at your cat’s rhyme. Know that you might even have to carry your kitty from time to time, if needed. Please remember never to let your kitty be dragged !
4# « Things like people, dogs, noise, movement & so on scares cats easily »
Some cats might react to their environment more strongly than others, but it doesn’t mean you can’t build your cat’s confidence about the outdoors.
Nala used to be a skittish kitty, but with appropriate confidence building, patience & love, she has learned to be comfortable outside over time. Once she was confident outside, she immediately to loved exploring & now not a day passes that she doesn’t request to go for her walk!
5# « You can’t train an older kitty to walk on a leash.»
Again, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Our Nala was about 7 YO when we started building up her confidence & she has just bloomed into a true adventure cat over the years. Nala is not the exception, many of our friends are “older” adventure cats as well!
⭐️ « Poo bags are for dog only.»
No one likes walking into poo, no matter where it came from.
It’s a matter of respect for others, so pick it up.
Plus, it can transmit diseases to other animals, so again, just pick it up.