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Lead training

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Loren95, Aug 11, 2019.


  1. Loren95

    Loren95 PetForums Junior

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    I recently bought walking jackets for my two kittens. They will turn one soon and have always been house cats. I left the jackets out for a week so that the cats could sniff them etc. I put the jackets on them yesterday for a while while they were in a relaxed mood, just in the house to get them used to the jackets. As expected they both hated the jackets and tried their best to get free. My question is how many times should I do this and how long for before I put the lead on and attempt to train them. Does anyone have any tips on how to train them to walk with me. I don’t want to rush into taking them into the garden while they are still freaked out by the jackets. I hope it is something they will get used to! Here are some pictures of my cats in their jackets feeling very sorry for themselves
     

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  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Loren95 -

    I have trained a few cats over the years to accept a harness and lead, but have chosen not to persevere if the cat hated the harness/jacket from the start. IME there needs to be at least some acceptance of the restraint of the harness for there to be progress made towards acceptance.

    As I expect you may know that even when cats accept the harness most of them do not walk along with their human like a dog does. A cat will go where it likes and you just follow behind. You are just there as a backstop to prevent them suddenly dashing over the fence and escaping.

    It is not the best fun for the cat to be on a leash anyway. Have you considered cat proofing the garden, or building the cats an outdoor enclosure they can access from the house in the daytime?

    They are beautiful cats ! :)
     
    Cleo38, Ottery and Loren95 like this.
  3. Loren95

    Loren95 PetForums Junior

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    @chillminx i would love to have a cat run for them in the garden but sadly i rent. When i do eventually buy it is something i will definitely do, but that wont be anytime soon.

    To be honest, the cats reacted better than i thought they would. They didnt spend the entire time trying to break free, and lay down for a while looking rather defeated, acceptance though im not sure.

    Thank you, they had just been brushed before that picture so their fur is looking its best!
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Ottery likes this.
  5. BarneyBobCat

    BarneyBobCat Slave to an AcroCat

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    When I first put a harness on Barney he didn't like it and kept trying to take it off. I didn't wait to take him out - I just opened the back door and let him wander out in his own time. He was quite anxious at first but quickly adjusted and absolutely loves it now. He doesn't mind the harness at all now
     
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  6. Ottery

    Ottery Cat Lady

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    I briefly tried a harness with one of my young cats. It didn't work at all well. As @chillminx said, cats do not walk on a lead like dogs do, they want to do their own thing. Even a small freestanding run would be more enjoyable for them, they can choose what they do and when.

    My cat wanted to go under hedges, and climb things, he wound the lead around the shrubbery, and then saw a bird and shot off with me pursuing him. The sound of my feet right behind him scared him and he ran faster. Really was not a lot of fun for either of us and I decided it wasn't worthwhile.
     
  7. spotty cats

    spotty cats PetForums VIP

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    Most of ours go out on a harness, we’ve always just put it on and take them out then they’re too busy exploring to notice they’re wearing anything.
    A flexi lead means they can run and explore easily, they can also be trained to walk with you and follow beside where you go.
     
  8. lea247

    lea247 PetForums VIP

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    @Loren95 - I have been in a similar situation to you, living in rented property with a cat. I have successfully harness trained Arthur so he can go out. I don't take him for walks though, too many dogs around and Arthur would sniff and absolutely everything!!

    When I started training Arthur I just put the harness on him quite loose and got a wand toy out to play with him. I did this for about 5 minutes before it was taken off. I gradually built the time up (and started to put the harness on properly) so he could walk properly and was eating and playing independently with his harness on before I clipped the Flexi lead to it and let him out.

    Hope that helps!
     
    Loren95 likes this.
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