Should I Walk My Cat?

You have probably noticed it: the surreal sight of someone taking a cat for a walk on a harness. No, it’s not necessarily some weirdo feline that thinks it’s part dog; cat walking is definitely a thing. Now, not every cat will be into this, but it can’t hurt to try because walks provide an excellent source of exercise as well as a wonderful chance to bond with your pet.

Here are some steps to follow if you wish to give this a shot:

Start Indoors

After purchasing the appropriate cat harness, try walking her indoors. You should be able to get a pretty good idea within a few days whether your cat is interested in being walked. Reward her with treats to help with the process.

Start Slowly Outdoors

When you think she is ready to try going outside, do it tentatively. Try an enclosed area where there are not a lot of distractions. Let her sniff around and find her bearings. Chances are she will be a bit overwhelmed at first, particularly if she is rarely outside, so be patient and give her time.

Go for Walks

Do this a few times. If you think your cat is ready for a walk, try a short one to start. Monitor how she reacts, particularly when encountering other people, animals, and distractions such as vehicles.

If you encounter problems, try changing the route or location of the walk. You can also return to using quieter areas with less stimuli and working your back to a point of comfort for the cat.

Not all cats will adapt to walking. Some are just homebodies and cannot be trained. The best plan is to introduce your cat to walking as early as possible. Older cats are pretty set in their ways and far less enthused about learning new things.