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Cat happy on leash but scared to leave apartment

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Portoman, Sep 17, 2019.


  1. Portoman

    Portoman PetForums Newbie

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    Hello. I live in a small apartment and so am training my cat on the leash so that she can enjoy the outside world. I have found it quite easy to get her comfortable with the harness and leash but she is very cautious once the front door opens. She is an outgoing type of cat, so I have been a bit surprised by this caution, particularly as she used to try and run out the door of my old flat - which was a motivation to get her trained on the leash. Any suggestions on what to do, or do I just have to be patient and keep trying? She is still young, by the way, about two years old.
     
  2. MilleD

    MilleD PetForums VIP

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    Unfortunately, I think the only thing to use is patience.

    She will realise once you take her outdoors that she isn't free to flee from any trouble that may be forthcoming and that will make her very careful.

    Even when she is used to be outside on the lead, you may never get to the point where she will walk normally. Cats aren't dogs, one of my lot goes mad trying to wriggle out of the harness when she was taken out in one.

    Another of my lot (again a very confident and outgoing cat) just lies down as soon as you take him outside and refuses to move.

    Dave, my old girl who passed recently was probably the best on a lead, but even she would stop to sniff every. single. little. thing.

    It was excruciatingly slow.

    I ended up cat proofing the garden (I realise you probably don't have that option) as they all drove me mad :)

    Perhaps she is just happy being an indoor cat?
     
    moomoowawa, chillminx and lorilu like this.
  3. moomoowawa

    moomoowawa PetForums Member

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    Hi @Portoman from your cat's perspective, I guess it makes sense to freak out over the harness: she probably realises that were there to be any danger, she would be unable to flee. What's the environment like right outside your front door? Maybe another option could be taking her to a very quiet park in a carrier with her harness on, and seeing how she gets on with having a first experience somewhere like that?
     
  4. MilleD

    MilleD PetForums VIP

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    I really wouldn't advise this. If she escapes from the harness she'll never been seen again.
     
    ebonycat and chillminx like this.
  5. BarneyBobCat

    BarneyBobCat Slave to an AcroCat

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    Have you tried carrying her and taking her outside? Barney was initially nervous so I held him and walked round the garden, this helped him greatly I think - he got to sense the environment and after that he was keen to wander so I put his lead on
     
  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Portoman - when I lived in a 4th floor city apartment many years ago I used to take my cats in their carriers by car once a week to a friend's garden. She lived in a quiet part of the city, and had a large walled garden, which was safe for the cats. I started off with them on the leash, but as time went on I took off their leashes and let them wander around for a couple of hours while I kept an eye on them. They loved it, and never made any attempt to escape from the garden.

    I think this kind of arrangement is much safer than walking a cat in a public area where you never know what challenges you may meet. If I had no other option but to walk my cat in a public area I would always take a cat carrier with me in case of emergencies. Trying to carry a spooked cat home in your arms could be a painful and nasty experience.

    I hope your cat is microchipped just in case she were to escape from the harness.
     
    TriTri likes this.
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