Got the cat by the … leash? Is getting a cat harness and a leash a worthy investment?
When my roommate introduced us to her new kitten, Mitzy, we all thought she was adorable. Mitzy’s hot pink leash and harness, however, drew some criticism. Since it has been two long months of a friendly battle between my roommate and me, for I was not overly familiar with cats on leashes, I have decided to end the battle by doing a little research. Do cats really need leashes and harnesses?
It is a common fact that cats are not as domesticated as dogs are, especially in the areas of training and learning new tricks. However, more cat owners are beginning to purchase cat leashes and train their cats. On the show “My Cat From Hell,” cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy actually recommends that owners walk their cats on leashes as a way to release extra feline energy.
Cats do require a lot of human attention, and most are not as solitary as their reputation makes them out to be. So Galaxy and other animal behaviorists are now theorizing that training and walking cats is very healthy for the pets.
If you want to get in on the latest cat trend, your first step is to pick up a leash and harness for your cat at a local pet store or online. There are leashes and harnesses available specifically for cats, but a leash/harness made for a small dog will work as well. Talk to a vet or store owner to find the best fit for your kitty. When it comes to training your pet, bear in mind that cats do not respond to discipline. Therefore, positive encouragement is recommended for training. This means rewarding your cat whenever he/she does the correct thing.
Experts advise never leaving a cat alone on a leash. Inside, they could get strangled. Outside, they would be almost defenseless against dogs or other animals.
From my personal experience, Mitzy was not a fan of the leash at first. However, now she loves it. It keeps her safe but allows her some time outdoors that she might not otherwise get.
Do you believe in cat leashes? Share your opinion in the comment section below!