Mind of Your Cat

April 2008 Issue

Safely Leash Train Your Cat

It requires some patience, but the outdoor enjoyment is worth it.

Our lives with cats are usually quite personal and private. While many people adopt a dog to have a walking or hiking companion, cats are more often left at home to greet us after our day is done. In fact, some people feel that it would be degrading to ask a cat to wear a leash and harness. True, a catís elegance and grace might be hampered with a restraint device of any type. Yet there are many reasons to consider teaching your cat to tolerate a leash. For example, a leash is very often included as part of a behavior modification tool box. It can be used to facilitate the introduction of new pets as well as new people. Certain desensitization protocols rely on a leash for smooth and safe implementation. Another great benefit is that a leash-trained cat makes a wonderful sunbathing companion. Although I would not recommend falling asleep with a cat attached to your side, the leash will certainly allow the two of you to relax in the safety on your patio.

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