To me, cats are pretty awesome creatures.
I love their sense of independence and autonomy.
I love that they can fend for themselves and go off on their own.
I love the cuddles that come with being the owner of such adorable creatures.
Wow! I’m just gushing over cats as an owner.
I can’t help it.
I love them that much.
But as an owner of 3 cats who live in perfect harmony with each other, being an owner doesn’t come without challenges.
The reality is it’s a lot easier to train a dog to do certain things than a cat…
One big example is how to train your cat to walk on a leash.
I remember the first time I held out a leash in front of my first cat, she all looked at it as if it were a torture device and ran away from it.
This went on for a few months.
I had to get he used to just seeing the leash just so she could get used to the idea that it was there to stay.
Notice how I didn’t say anything about her wearing a leash.
You know you have your work cut out for you when your cats won’t go anywhere near you anytime you have a leash in your hand or something that is entirely unfamiliar to them.
And that’s what I want to talk about today.
So without further ado, let’s get into how to train your cat to walk on a leash.
What You Need to Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash
First, let’s cover the actual tools you’ll need to leash train your cat.
First, you’ll need a harness to put your cat into. The most appropriate type of harness for a cat is an H-Type harness.
The Kitty Holster Cat Harness is a great choice. If you have a larger cat you may want to consider the Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness (though marketed for dogs, this is also appropriate for large cats).
The next thing you’ll need is a leash. A leash is a pretty straight forward item, the key thing you want is to make sure you go with an adjustable leash.
You can’t go wrong with this retractable leash by Peteast, which is a best seller on Amazon.
As with anything, such as teaching your cat to sit, using treats can go a long way. Enough said.
As you’ll see below, teaching your cat to walk on a leash isn’t going to happen overnight. It will require a lot of time and patience, but the end result will be well worth it.
With that said let’s go into the actual steps.
10 Simple Steps to Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash
1. Use a small H-type harness. This is the appropriate harness for cats, recommendations above.
2. Get your cat used to the harness by putting it on without buckling it. Your cat will be unfamiliar with the harness. This will help get them used to it.
3. Reward your cat with treats and affection. Cats love treats and affection. When you reward them with treats and affection after putting the harness on them, they will associate positive feelings with the harness, which will make things easier for you.
4. Continue putting the harness on your cat each day until the cat ignores it. When it comes to putting your cat on a leash, ignorance is bliss. You want it to be blissfully unaware that the harness is there.
5. Build up to buckling the harness one loop at a time. Take it slow. You don’t want to spook your cat by buckling all the buckles at once.
6. Add the leash when your cat is comfortable with the harness. Just like with buckling the harness, you want to make sure your cat is comfortable with every step that precedes it. Remember, take it slow.
7. Go for practice walks around the house. Practice makes perfect and what better way than to use your house to get your cat to walk on a leash. Use your house first before venturing out into the world.
8. Go for a walk when your cat is used to you holding a leash. Don’t rush into walking right away. Just like with everything else, take it one step at a time.
9. Tug the leash to lead the cat on subsequent walks. You’re the owner so therefore you’re the leader. Your cat needs you to direct you to where you want it to go.
10. Be patient. Everything is a process.
Video: How to Teach a Cat to Walk on a Leash
If you’re still not sure how to train your cat to walk on a leash or if you’re not sure if you’re doing it properly, don’t worry! I have you covered. Just check out the video link below and you should be good to go!
Key Things To Remember
It is a process so you will need to practice patience.
Your cat needs treats and affection. Don’t be afraid to give both.
The more you practice walking your cat on a leash, the easier it will be.
You can do it!
Final Thoughts on Leash Training Your Cat
I will not say that walking your cat on a leash is a smooth and painless process, but I will say that it’s worth it.
Don’t think of it as a chore. Think of it as an opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your cat.
You will be spending a lot of time with your cat by teaching them this so why not enjoy it? Enjoy the process.
You and your cat will grow to have love and appreciation for each other like never before. I did with mine and I have no doubt that you can do the same too.