Should Cats Be Walked?



Pet parents are probably used to seeing pictures of cute dogs accompanying their owners on outdoor adventures. However, a new trend is becoming popular on Instagram. Rather than featuring dogs, photos are now including something more unexpected: cats. Around 293,150 Instagram posts have #adventurecat and feature felines enjoying nature with their owners.


With new products like cat leashes and harnesses, as well as cat backpacks with see-through bubble windows, it’s easier than ever for pet parents to have their feline friends join in their adventures. However, with the reputation cats have for independence, many pet parents may wonder if it’s in a feline’s best interest to be leash-trained. Do cats even enjoy this activity?


The answer depends on the cat. Some cats are easier to leash-train than others, especially if they are young and well-socialized. However, it’s impossible to even get the harness on some felines (pet parents should always use a harness when putting a leash on a cat as one that’s clipped to a collar can strain the cat’s neck). 


If a pet parent is interested in leash-training a cat, they should start with trying to get the harness on the feline and letting it wear the harness indoors so it can get familiar with the feeling. The cat should be walked indoors on the leash at first, so it can become comfortable wearing the harness in the home environment.


Most importantly, though, pet parents should know how to recognize signs of stress in their feline. Even if a cat is able to wear the harness, that doesn’t mean it’s enjoying the experience. Cats can display stress in different ways. Some may become quiet and lie down on the ground, refusing to move. Others may engage in hyperactivity. While some cats can overcome this stress and eventually enjoy being walked, others never reach this milestone. Pet parents should be patient and understand their pets’ limitations.


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