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Can Cats Be Trained To Do Tricks And Walk On A Leash?

Cat

 

Indoor cats are fascinated by the great outdoors.  Most love to sit in the window and look outside.  Wouldn’t it be great if kitty could go out and discover nature?  But that’s too dangerous.  He doesn’t know about cars and dogs and all the other noisy, scary, and dangerous things out in the world.

  What’s a pet parent to do?

We know that indoor cats live much longer than outside cats. But being outdoors and walking can help prevent obesity and the stimulate dispels boredom.

Walking your cat with a cat leash is a good fit all around.  Kitty gets to explore and check out the great outdoors and you know he’s safe from harm.  Can it be done?  Yes, it can!

Leash Training for Cats

I know you are thinking, no way will my cat walk on a leash, but he can be taught, with a little (or a lot of) patience and repetition.

The first step is the right gear.  Purchase a harness made for cats.  A regular collar is not safe for walking.  If your cat gets frightened and bolts up a tree, the collar can hurt him.  The harness should have a ring for attaching the leash that is at the back of the harness, not on the neck.

Keep in mind that cats learn by positive reinforcement – lots of praise and keep the kitty treats coming.  Although some cats may be truly standoffish, many others desire your attention and affection, just like a dog does.  If your cat likes lots of petting and cuddling, you have a good candidate for leash training.  Even cats that aren’t the snuggly type still warm up pretty well to those yummy treats.

The training relies heavily on consistency and a hungry cat.  The motivation for your cat is to get treats.  Start with a hungry cat.  Put the harness on; give a treat and praise.  Move away a little.  Get the cat to come; give a treat.  Repeat the steps as necessary until the cat decides the exercise is over.  When kitty lies down, he is done.  Remove the harness right away and praise him.

The idea is to progress a little further each day, from more steps in the house, then out the door, and eventually down the street.  If kitty is freaked out by the city, take him to a park or another wooded area and try again.  If you are consistent, you will eventually be rewarded with a cat that will love leash walking.

What about other Tricks?

Cats can be taught tricks just like dogs can.  It is best to start with a kitten, but even adult cats can be trained.  Many of the tricks dogs do, cats will do as well – sit, come, shake, lay down, and roll over.  Use the same treat method as with the leash training.  With a lot of patience, you’ll have kitty eating out of your hand.  Literally!

 

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