Do Cats Like to be Walked?

The question of whether cats like to be walked is a contentious topic. There are those who will staunchly fight against any suggestion that a cat should be placed in a harness attached to a leash as they believe it is cruel. Others, who have trained their cats to walk in a cat harness will argue their point, having the knowledge and experience to back up their claims. The good folk at Voyager Harness say that a growing number of people are choosing to walk their cats nowadays.

The reality is that some cats might enjoy a walk outside on a leash while others will become distressed because they feel trapped and have no control over where they can go.

Why Do People Walk their Cats?

Cat walking is not common, but it is growing in popularity as more people post their adventures with their cats on social media. While dog walking has been a thing for centuries, cat walking is relatively new. But as with every new trend, the more people who see others walking their pets on leashes, the more will be willing to give it a go.

Indoor cats are common in urban areas. These cats rarely go outside and have litter trays that are cleaned up by their humans. They tend to watch the world go by through a window. Indoor cats are usually kept inside because they live very close to busy roads or because they have health problems that would make going outside on their own unsafe.

Individuals worried about allowing their cat outside on their own may like the idea of being able to take their pet out on a leash. This will allow the cat to get some fresh air but will ensure its safety.

What to Consider When Walking a Cat

If you are thinking of taking your cat out for a walk on a leash, remember that you should never attach a leash to a cat collar. A cat’s throat is softer than a dog’s so attaching a leash to a collar would likely cause damage if the cat were to run or otherwise strain at the leash. A cat harness will fit over the cat’s head and the leash can be clipped to the back of it. This will ensure there is no pressure on your pet’s neck or throat.

It can be difficult to get a harness over a cat’s head because they are likely to be frightened of this at first. Use plenty of treats while fitting the harness so that your cat associates it with being rewarded. Continue giving treats while the cat is walking around getting a feel for the harness.

Never force a harness onto the cat. If your cat is distressed by the harness, take it off and try it again another time. Think about leaving the harness near your pet’s bed for a few days before trying to fit it again. This way your cat will be used to the smell and feel of it and will be less likely to get stressed out.

Walk your cat on the leash inside before heading outdoors. This will help it to get used to the feel of the harness and leash. Once you go outside, be aware that the cat could easily become spooked by loud noises or dogs. Be prepared to pick your cat up if this happens and make sure you have plenty of treats to hand to use along the walk. A short five-minute walk is a good starting point. As your cat gets used to walking on the leash, you can increase the times.

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