Leash Train Your Cat - 7 Easy StepsLeash Train Your Cat - 7 Easy Steps

Most people think cats can't be trained to do tricks or walk on a leash, and that's simply not true. Look at any circus and you'll see the big cats literally jumping through hoops for their owners.

You'll want to start with the right equipment. It's best to use a harness rather than just a collar, for two reasons. First, a cat can quickly and easily wiggle out of a collar - their heads are not much bigger than their necks. Second, a harness will protect your cat from injury, since part of the harness goes around the cat's body, rather than just its neck. Choose a leash and harness made from lightweight nylon. Cats are easily weighed down even by the weight of the leash clip if it's too heavy.

Here are 7 easy steps to leash training your cat:

NOTE: To easily restrain your cat, position the cat so it's standing, facing away from you, then put your arm around the front of its shoulders below the neck. Hold it gently backed up against you. No need for a lot of force. The cat may wiggle, but it'll mostly be convinced it can't get away, so it won't try.

1)Introduce the harness

While your cat is relaxed, slip the first loop of the harness over the cat's head and around its neck. The cat will wiggle a lot!

2)Re-introduce the harness (I know!)

If the cat gets away from you, stay relaxed and it will quickly calm down. After a minute or so, go pick up the harness and start again. Be prepared to restrain your cat this time, so it doesn't create a habit of running away.

3)Fasten the harness

Act quickly here. Fasten the harness then immediately let the cat go! It will run, squirm, and wiggle for 2 or 3 minutes before it lies down and tries to lick the harness off.

4)Attach the leash

When your pet stops, walk over, stroke and talk to it, then click the leash onto the harness, letting the leash hang loosely over the cat's back.

5)Bring out a toy

The average cat will immediately lay flat on the floor on its stomach with all four legs sprawled out. Have a toy ready - choose something on a string the cat likes to chase.

6)Play with leash attached

Your cat will play, quickly forgetting the weight on its back. After 2-3 minutes, let the cat rest with the leash still attached.

7)Remove the harness

Your cat now understands it can move around even while wearing a harness and leash. Unhook the leash, and after about 15 minutes, remove the harness.

Next day, put the harness on, let the cat go about its business, and after 15-20 minutes, remove the harness.

Third day, attach the harness and leash and keep hold of it with no pressure on the cat. Let your cat lead you around while it gets used to the slight weight it's feeling, then exert pressure on the leash to let the cat know you're taking the lead. If the cat resists, don't drag it. Encourage it toward you with a treat or a toy.

Most adult cats are prepared to go outside by the fourth day, and I once had a ten week old kitten who was ready on the first day after only about 45 minutes!

That's really all there is to it! In a very short time you'll be able to walk through the park with your cat prancing proudly beside you. They love showing off their personal grandeur, and will quickly learn to walk with head and tail held high.
by Bonnie Dye
References and Bibliography
Bonnie Dye has raised, trained and cared for dogs and cats for over 30 years. She is the co-author of "What Your Pets Want You to Know". To get your free report, "Secrets to Happy and Obedient Pets" go to Free Pet Care Tips
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