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How to Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

January 11th, 2012 Pets

If you own an indoor cat, you may be wondering what you can do to help ensure he gets sufficient exercise. Although laser pointers and other toys are a great way to keep kitties entertained, more fickle felines will lose interest before they've had the chance to get their heart rate up very high. Patient pet owners have a unique (and adorable) way of getting their cats active - walks! That's right - leashes aren't just for dogs. If you're willing to put in a bit of time and dedication, you too can enjoy romps around the neighborhood with your kitty.

Of course, the first step is to pick up a leash and harness. Find one that's relatively lightweight with a secure clip - you want one that pulls from the cat's chest, not the throat, so avoid collars. Now it's time to begin introducing your kitty to his new leash - place it near an area he spends a lot of time and leave it there for several days. Give your cat the chance to get used to its presence and scent before putting it on.

When you first slip the harness around your cat, immediately feed him his favorite treats so he knows just how good having it on can be. Don't try walking him around just yet - instead, spend a few days putting on the harness and letting him get accustomed to the practice. Eventually he'll start walking around. Follow him, but don't pull on the leash just yet. After enough time, you can gently start directing him around, but if he starts resisting, relax and try again a little later.