Could you train your cat to walk on a leash?
Leash training, like any other training, a cat will require the proper tools, research, patience and good reinforcement. Cats are intelligent and sensitive which you will never want to use force or physical threats on a cat. Any of the force behaviors that you use on the cat will only result in a cat fearing you.
You will be the one that will have to change the behavior in positive reinforcement. Good words used, the cat’s name, and the behavior the cat is doing. Treats are another way of showing your cat a positive reinforcement for good behavior. Use small treats; you do not want them to have a full meal when training them. Later after the positive reinforcement is established, you will be able to phase the treats out.
Treats should be just that treats. Never use the cat’s dinner food for treats. Use good healthy treats in bit size portions. Do not give large amounts, as this is a treat and not the dinner.
Training your cat to be on a leash or wear a collar can take time. Two weeks should be set a side to do the training. Do not every start training a cat for a behavior and stop. If you ever want to start, again the cat can become confused and very stressful. If the cat gets sick or an illness, this it self will be stressful on a cat and you will have to stop the training. At this time, you will want to get the cat to the vet.
After the sickness or illness is taken care of you can continue the training, also during this time you will want to gently and carefully continue at the step of training your are at. This will reinforce the training that you have done and can continue.
Next, you will want to seek out good equipment for the leash training of the cat. Looking at the equipment, you will want to keep in mind that a cat’s neck is sensitive. Harness are great for walking cats, keeping your cat safe, trying to escape, and much more comfortable to the cat. A lightweight short leash would be perfect for walking. Do not get a long one, as you will want the cat close to you for easy pickup in case danger is near. In addition, you are walking the cat the cat is not walking you.
You will need to work with your cat once you get the harness, so that the cat will be comfortable with it on. Use steps in doing this like, let the cat look it over to get their scent on it, after that put the harness on carefully and remove it. Do this until the cat is comfortable with the harness on in the house. Do not take the cat outside to do this. Your cat will try to escape and with being outside you have no boundaries for the cat to stay in.
Once you have accomplished those steps, and the cat is comfortable with the harness then start with the leash. Walk the cat in side the house before trying outside. Once you see that cat is comfortable with this step, now is the final training.
Take the cat outside and do walking in the yard until you and the cat feel comfortable. Make sure the cat is walking with you and you are not pulling the cat with the leash. You cat at first will be distracted with many things that the outside world has to offer.
Then it is out to the sidewalk or path to take that first walk. Remember you will want the cat to walk with you. Your cat will be distracted with other animals, other cats’ scents, smells and other objects. Remind your cat that you are walking and tell him it is time to go and continue slowly walking until the cat is next to you.
Training your cat on a leash has advantages not only for walking but also for other trainings. Taking your cat to a vet, instead of the carrier, you might try the leash once the cat is comfortable with walking with the leash.
Reward your cat each step of the way, and happy trails to you and your cat.