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To the Rescue: Kitty's Outdoor Catwalk

To the Rescue: Kitty's Outdoor Catwalk

Okay, so maybe the stroller didn't go over that well with most of you, but what about a more traditional walk? I've already scoped out some harnesses for uncommonly leashed pets (i.e., not dogs). But what happens when you do buy one of these – how do you get kitty to walk? My friend took a little outdoor adventure with her adorable cat on a sunny weekend and snapped some fun pictures – and shared some advice to make things go smoothly. Find out her advice (and mine) when you


  • Be patient and start young. Ever heard that saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks?" Well, seems like you can't really teach an old kitty new tricks, and walking on a leash is one trick that your pet may not be in for. It can take even more patience to get an unwilling, older cat to venture out on a leash and, sadly, some of them just never see the appeal.
  • Begin indoors. Attach the harness and leash to your kitty and let him get comfy with it – Flexi leashes work well because they give your feline more wiggle room. Once he's moving around, shorten the leash and convince kitty to come towards you as you walk around indoors. This helps pets learn not to pull and lets them calm down – once he's mastered this on several occasions, move it outside.
  • Lure kitty with a smelly treat to keep him by your side and coax him outside with "happy kitty voice." If you live in an apartment building, it may help to carry your pet (all harnessed up) to the door waiting 'til you are outside to put him down.
  • Make those first outdoor treks in the early morning or late evening when street traffic is slow. If possible, try a quiet, protected area like a courtyard. This lets kitty sniff and feel the grass at his own pace, and limits the number of disturbances by outsiders.

All set! You're ready for the catwalk!

Join The Conversation
ladyr ladyr 9 years
Speaking of walking pets that aren't dogs, I used to have a little Dutch Dwarf bunny who I would walk with a harness. One day I walked him down to the creek by my house. To my surprise, the first thing he did when he saw it was jump right in! After that, I would take him there specifically to go swimming. He loved it!
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 9 years
See I'm just worried that people will laugh at me! I have never in my life (I live in Ireland) seen someone walking a cat! We have a canal near us that i like walking along, it's really peaceful and there's swans and ducks and stuff, and last weekend i was thinking how much I'd love to take Milo. But yeah, my other concern is what if met a dog, especially one that wasn't on a leash. Also Milo is quite a nervous cat, so I'm not even sure he'd enjoy it, but I do think he could do with the exercise.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I am so lucky to have an big atrium for the cats to play on. I wanted to walk them, but I honestly don't want them getting used to going outside at this age. When I first brought them home my biggest fear was that they'd dart out the door. They finally quit bothering going to the door at all! If they were kittens I might try it. I used to know someone that took her cats for walks and he loved it!
liciababe liciababe 9 years
we live out in the middle out nowhere and our cats are barn cats actually they were wild kitten i caught and tamed but anyways when my mom takes our dog for a walk the cats like follow and it's hilarous to look out the window and see mom with the dog and these two fluffy cats following her she says when cars do go by they give her strange look and then laugh. the cats also follow us to the barn when we go to feed
ranksubjugation ranksubjugation 9 years
So tempted to try this, because both my cats are very high-energy. But what happens when you cross paths with dog walkers? And what do you do about cleaning their paws afterward?
Beauty Beauty 9 years
Great tips, Pet! You're so right about starting young. I had a young kitten who grew up taking walkies, and he loved it. But Minou, who didn't start until we'd been together for a few months, won't take walks. I adopted him in December, so it was months before we could go outside together (with the harness). He gave a big "paws down" to that plan!
Angelica Angelica 9 years
I must admit, I giggle whenever I see people out on the streets with their cats, whether they are walking them or just holding them. I'd probably try it if I had a kitty though.
amybdk amybdk 9 years
Awesome! I recently purchased a gentle leader for my new cat (he's 2 1/2 years old). He actually took to it! We have a big open field behind our place and he loves to go exploring. I have met SO many neighbors since we've been going on walks together. We're always stopped by curious people wanting to know how long it took to train the Flash to use the leash (not long at all). I have found that treats do not interest him at all when we're outside. He's more interested in nibbling on the grass and rolling around in the dirt. SO CUTE!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
My kitty is too scared to even step one foot onto the patio haha. And that's the way I like it!
ALSW ALSW 9 years
We definitely need to try this soon. Must remember to get harnesses!
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
yeah we tried starting too late, Colby freezes when you put the harness on him.
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