Just a few years earlier, it was strange to see someone walking a cat on a leash. Today, it is a new trend, and you will come across such a scene more and more often.
Some kitties will enjoy participating in family outdoor activities but be prepared that it is not always the case.
If you are a lucky one, your cat will agree to be a part of a new fashion and decide that it is a fun and enjoyable experience. There are 5 tips to choose the right harness and leash for your cat in such a case. Let’s go!
Walking a kitty on a leash is a safe way for it to get enough exercise outdoors. Kittens, especially those under four months of age, are curious and accept leash training quicker and more enthusiastic than older ones.
Once your new buddy is two months old, it is the moment to start teaching it to walk with the leash. Basically, you can start earlier, but avoid taking the kitten out of the house while still small.
Otherwise, it may become too scared of loud sounds and unfamiliar space and refuse to leave the house later.
You can also try to convince your middle-aged or senior cat that walking outside is interesting, but don’t be surprised if it refuses to cooperate. You will probably need to take your time to reach the goal.
The Right Leash
- Material – Leash durability depends on the material used and the attachment clip quality. Avoid metal models since they are too heavy for the cat. If your budget is not limited, your first choice should be a leather leash. Even though nylon is slippery, it is the most common choice for most cat owners. It is durable, easy-to-clean, and hard to break. With added reflective threads, it will be visible in the dark, which is a bonus.
- Length – Most cat leashes come in size ranging from 3 to 6 feet (0.9 – 1.8 m). You should pick out an adequately long leash with a soft, rubber covered handle. That will make walking convenient for your kitty without getting stuck the leash in its paws.
- Attachment – Since you will use the leash with a harness, it is crucial to choose a high-quality clasp. It is necessary to get the one that is compatible with the harness, so you can effortlessly attach it to a D-ring.
- Standard – These leashes come in a few widths and lengths and are the model that cat parents often purchase. It features a strap folded on one end to form the handle and a clasp attached on the other end.
- Retractable – The leash with a variable rope length is convenient for dogs, but it can be a bit scary for your kitty. Plus, it poses a risk in some cases. If you accidentally drop the unlocked leash, it will retract towards the kitty, scare it, and probably chase it away.
- Adjustable – Thanks to the folding strap and attached rings, this model allows the length adjusting without bothering and scaring the cat.
The Right Harness
It is vital to choose a cat harness of adequate size to keep your cat secure. It needs to be tightly bound with a maximum of two fingers of free space between the cat’s body and the harness surface.
It is always necessary to measure your kitty around the chest before determining the correct size. If it has any problem with walking, you need to loosen the cat harness a bit.
|Body part||Small (for kittens)||Medium (for average-sized cats)||Large (for large cats)|
|Front||10 to 12.5 inches (25 – 32 cm)||11.5 to 15 inches (29 – 38 cm)||14.5 to 18 inches (37 – 46 cm)|
|Back||11 to 14 inches (28 – 36 cm)||13 to 16 inches (33 – 41 cm)||16 to 20 inches (41 – 50 cm)|
A high-quality model should be well-made, durable, and comfortable. The best option is to find a harness made of leather or cotton, but you can buy a nylon webbing model, as well.
Since the cat’s throat is soft, you should use a harness instead of a collar when deciding to go with it for a walk.
- Vest-style harness (walking jackets) – This well-fitting harness reminding a piece of clothing will allow your kitty to walk around safely and comfortably. Its maximized surface makes this model comfortable and highly secure. However, its weight and bulkiness are downsides you should consider before purchasing. Plus, it is not a suitable product for long-haired kitties since hairs may tangle in hooks and loops.
- H-style harness – I bought this model for my Clementine, but it was too energetic for these insecure strips. However, it is an excellent option for Sophio and fits his calm nature. If you have such a cat, this is a perfect and affordable piece.
- Step-in harness – It is an ideal choice for a kitty that requires maximum mobility. This design features two arm holes that will be highly practical if your furry friend can’t stand wearing anything over its head.
- Figure 8 harness – This model will slightly tighten when your kitty suddenly goes forward and represents an ideal model for walking along a low-risk area. Avoid it if you have a sensitive cat since squeezing the narrow straps can be pretty irritating.
Walking with the cat wearing a harness is not weird but fun and joyful for both you and your furry friend. The essential thing is to choose a convenient and comfy model and reliable leash to provide relaxed and secure walking.
That way, you can go outside and enjoy as soon as you finish recommended leash training.