September 2009 Issue

Take Your Cat for a Walk!

Training your cat to accept a harness and leash can provide extra stimulation for the indoor pet.

Lucky, a striking gray tabby with bright green eyes, touches blades of grass, rolls around on the sunny deck and strolls over to sniff blackberry branches. Itís all part of his regular walk around the fenced backyard with his human companion, who supervises his short outings. Since he is not particularly agile, his owner doesnít worry about quick escapes or even a leash. Buckyís feline buddy, however, is a different matter. Jade, an agile black cat, loves the great outdoors as much as Bucky, but her athletic prowess easily has her up, up and away in a matter of seconds. Walking Jade outside requires an appropriate harness and leash. Whether you live with a Jade or a Bucky type, walking your cat will bear little resemblance to a conventional walk with the dog. Your cat probably will not like striding along at a brisk pace on a concrete sidewalk. That doesnít mean, however, that taking a walk with your cat isnít a great idea.

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