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Car harness

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Chinquary, Apr 12, 2011.


  1. Chinquary

    Chinquary PetForums Senior

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    Hey all.

    We've had Timber about 7 months now, and he is a year old. Once a month or so we visit my parents who live on a farm. It's about an hour and 20 minute car journey and Timber generally is happy with the journey in his cat box on the back seats. He does occasionally meow at us for attention though.

    We were wondering if its possible to train a cat to either just sit on the back seats or to just wear a harness in the car. He loves visiting the farm and my parents cats, it's much better than putting him in a cattery or getting a friend to fee him while we are away!

    Any advice or suggestions would be most welcome. =]
     
  2. codyann

    codyann PetForums Senior

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    i have never heard of anyone putting a cat in the car with out a cat box but if he is really good and you want to try the harness then i would suggest buying one and keeping it on him in the house for him to get used to it before you put him in the car with it, if he could get used to the harness then i would suggest you also buy a seatbelt for the harness so he cant run around the car, but i wouldnt just put him in the car just incase he hates it and really freaks out, good luck with it :D
     
  3. dougal22

    dougal22 Banned

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    I wouldn't recommend it from a safety point of view. I can't see a cat sitting in the back seat, sitting still, with a seat belt on.

    A pet carrier is the safest method, on the back seat, with the seat belt across the carrier :D
     
  4. Abster21

    Abster21 PetForums Junior

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    I might be wrong, but I THINK dogs legally have to be secured in the car when travelling, so I would imagine the same would apply for a cat. I think I've seen harnesses for cars available though.

    I would just worry what would happen if you were to crash - we've all seen the very graphic adverts of a child not wearing a seatbelt...
     
  5. daniellecool2003

    daniellecool2003 PetForums Junior

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    me and my husband have taken our cat in the car. however not using a seatbelt buckle on them. I myself have sat in the back with the cat holding the cat while on the harness and lead. I let him move somewhat but not enough that he desrupts my husbands driving. The only time we put the cat in his box is when its vet time. He tends to be nervous then so its more secure that way as hes a strong cat.
     
  6. missye87

    missye87 PetForums VIP

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    Whenever we do take him in the car we put a blanket down by my feet and he settles down there. However we do only drive for 3 mins to the vets :)
     
  7. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    I dont know what the legal requirement is but common sense tells me it would not be wise to have a cat loose in a car,whether on a harness or not.Cats are more prone to unpredictable behaviour,than a dog is,and I would hate to be the driver of a car that had a "freaked out" cat scrabbling around the car.If you feel your cat would be better with space why not invest in a crate specifically for the car where your cat has both space and open views.
     
  8. TatiLie

    TatiLie PetForums VIP

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  9. missye87

    missye87 PetForums VIP

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    We have found that it has been the best method for us. Sooty gets way too distressed in his box, we have tried training for years, using every method in the book to get him to feel more safe and relaxed in his box, but he is a stubborn cat!

    As it is literally about 150 yards with a speed limit of 20, and he settles down by my feet immediately, we have found it to be the best for him. He is old and doesn't need the stress of being stuck in a box which he obviously hates, his heart rate goes up and his breathing becomes laboured. It is so much more kinder to him to sleep by my feet for thos efew yards.

    And before you ask, he weighs in at about 9 pounds so is way too heavy for me to carry down the road!
     
  10. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Not quite the situation I was referring to.It was "traveling "with a loose cat in a car,which I would not consider to be a safe thing to do.
     
  11. missye87

    missye87 PetForums VIP

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    Ah ok :)
    If we have to go further we would use the carrier. When we get kitten we are going to do lots of training from an early age with the carrier, even put a blankie in it so he can sleep in there if he wishes!
     
  12. clarebearf8

    clarebearf8 PetForums Newbie

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    I am about to attempt training with a seat belt car harness for our 2 kittens as we are moving in 4 months and it's an 8 hour drive and they yowl when they go 10 mins in the cat carrier to the cattery. Wish me luck. Would be interested to hear how anyone else has been getting on. ???
     
  13. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I really would discourage anyone from trying this, as it is potentially unsafe unless you are literally going a few yards slowly down the road from A to B. It certainly would not be a sensible practice for a long journey.

    As catlovers know, cats can easily become spooked if something frightens them, and their behaviour at such times is unpredictable. Their main instinct when spooked is to flee the scene. If they were harnessed to a car seat belt they might not actually be able to wriggle free, but in terror, trying to escape, they could injure themselves, possibly severely. I am thinking of situations (which of course we hope will never occur) if one is in a minor accident, hit by another car. Something like that would certainly spook most cats.

    If a cat yowls in a car whilst in a carrier the chances are he will yowl if he is harnessed to a seat belt. Basically he hates being in the car and wants to get away. If you have a cat like that, it really is best not to plan long car journeys with him, unless as a one-off when moving house of course.

    Cats who are more tolerant of car journeys will travel best on long journeys (anything over 1 hr) in a crate which is larger than a carrier, and has room enough for bedding, a small litter tray and a water bowl. If you have a hatchback car, remove the security/parcel shelf and secure the carrier firmly in the boot, so the cat has some daylight but can't actually see out to the traffic. Years ago I travelled by car from London to Cornwall with 4 cats -- 2 in each crate. 3 of them were fine, one was unhappy, and for that reason I never took them with me again on that journey.

    Folding crates can be bought quite cheaply these days (around £20) from amazon or ebay, are very sturdy and can be stored flat when not in use.
    If you are putting a crate on a back seat ensure it is secured safely, perhaps by using the seat belts.
     
  14. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    I personally would not be happy to drive a car with loose cats in it,whether harnessed or not.There is far too much risk of them being spooked by something and becoming a danger to both themselves and anyone in the car.Much better as chillminx says to invest in a crate or two and have them and everyone else travel in safety .
     
  15. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
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    I really don't like the idea of travelling with a cat that is not safely contained in a carrier or crate. If your cat is nervous of travelling long distances you could try spraying the carrier with Feliway first or use zylkene tablets to calm her.
    Cats can escape from harnesses if stressed and in the event of an accident they would be far safer in a carrier anyway.
     
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