How to get your cat used to a harness? & How to walk a cat on a harness?
Cat harnesses are jackets that function to provide a cat a safe, secure and comfortable outdoor experience. Many cat owners find getting a harness the first step to walking their cat outdoors. However, cat owners usually don’t know how to train a cat to walk on a harness.
Getting your cat used to a harness and then training your cat to walk outdoors on a harness is a big feat in itself. It is a source of accomplishment for cat lovers to walk outdoors with their cute feline companions. But the steps to train a cat to walk on a harness are not so simple.
Finding The Perfect Fit
The first most essential step to harness training is to find a perfect harness fit for your cat. This involves a bit of trial and error but once your cat has a perfectly fitting harness, training can begin. Cat harnesses come in three different shapes depending on the contact zones where pressure is observed on a cat’s body.
- H-shaped cat harnesses
- Jacket-type cat harnesses
- Vest-type cat harnesses
Once you have found the perfect fit for your cat, you can begin training.
How to Train a Cat to Walk on a Harness?
Learning how to train a cat to walk on a harness is pretty simple but requires an ample supply of patience.
How to Get Your Cat Used to a Harness?
The first step is to get your cat used to the feeling of a harness. Many cats do not like external contact and a harness, is also a type of clothing that gives such a contact.
The trick to get your cat used to a harness is simple. Place the harness on your cat gently. Sudden moves or rushing the process will only make your cat get scared of the harness. A tip to avoid this is by giving your cat a treat right after you place the harness on them.
This avoids creating too much stimulus and distracts the cat. Repeat this step until your cat gets a feel for the harness.
Introducing the Leash
Once your cat has gotten used to a harness, you can move to the next step by introducing the leash. Again, this process should not be rushed. Cats are very reactive and abruptly rushing the process can traumatize their cognitive ability to interact or cooperate during harness training.
Treating your cat before putting the harness on and after is a sure way to calm them down. After the harness is on, another small treat can be offered so you can gently attach the leash to the harness.
Once the leash is attached, gently stand up and hold the end of the leash in your hand. This is step two accomplished.
How to Walk a Cat on a Harness?
After you have completed step two and repeated the process multiple times, you can then start walking with your cat indoors.
Start off by taking a few steps forward and walking into another room. Once your cat follows, treat them again. This builds up a relationship of companionship that the cat also likes.
Repeat these steps until you have achieved a solid bonding with the harness and leash on your cat.
The final step and the biggest achievement is to walk your cat outdoors. Learning how to train a cat to walk on a harness outdoors also involves a few more steps.
The starting point of outdoor adventures with your feline pet is your backyard. This is a good starting point because there are not a lot of elements in the surroundings to over-stimulate your cat’s reactions. You can begin by walking in circles and around your lawn also.
Once you repeat this entire process multiple times, your cat will have been trained to comfortably walk outdoors on a harness.
You can then take longer strolls with your cat using the harness.
Learning how to train a cat to walk on a harness is a simple process that requires patience. To sum up, begin by getting your cat used to the feel of a harness on their back. Once they are comfortable, introduce the leash. Then proceed to walk in smaller areas like your lawn or backyard.
Once your cat is confident in walking in smaller areas, you can then start to incrementally increase the area where you can take a stroll and enjoy outdoor adventures – after learning how to train a cat to walk on a harness.