Cats love to be outdoors and they can get rather depressed if they stay indoors for long. So, it’s always better to take them for a walk. However, if you are a first-time cat owner, you might think that you can walk cats just the way you walk dogs. But, it’s a lot difficult to keep your cat motivated for a walk and if you don’t walk your cat properly, you’ll have it resisting you and just lazing around instead of walking. So, here are some tips you should be considering before taking cat for a walk.
Buy a Harness
Collars might work for dogs, but for cats, collars are ineffective. Cats can easily escape a collar when they don’t want to walk anymore or want to squirm out when they get frightened by something. Therefore, investing in a harness if you own a cat is necessary to keep your cat with you during walks. Make sure that the harness is neither too loose nor too tight. To check that, make sure that you can fit two fingers between the cat and the strap. A harness will make your cat feel safe and comfortable. Although many cat owners prefer to walk cats on a leash, it’s not safe to attach a leash directly to your cat’s collar as this can potentially choke them. Cats have soft throats, which is why you should stick to using a harness for your cat.
Carry Treats, A Lot Of Treats!
Cats love to be rewarded frequently while doing any physical activity involving you. This keeps them motivated, which is why whenever you take your cat out for a walk, bring a lot of treats with you. To accustom your cats with the harness quickly and keep them motivated, keep praising it and reward it by offering treats frequently. Even when you harness your cat for the walk, treat it, and keep rewarding your cat with a treat for every little achievement. This will improve the bonding between you and your cat. Also, your cat will stay motivated and will behave properly.
Let Your Cat Take The Lead
Do cats like walks? Yes, but they want to walk freely without anyone forcing them. While your cat is new to the harness, you should allow it to lead you so that it gets used to the harness and doesn’t try to escape it. Cats like to be free, like every other animal. Therefore, to make it use the harness and not try to get rid of it, you need to help your cat become accustomed to the harness. If you aggressively pull your cat, this might hurt your cat. Your cat will hate you instead and will act repulsive and aggressive. Therefore, you should allow your cat to walk you home instead before picking it up. When you own a cat, the cat is the owner, not you.
Give Your Cat Freedom To Explore And Interact
Animals like to be free and they want to interact with whoever they want. So, as owners, it’s important to give your cat the freedom to explore and interact. The reason why your cat always pushes you to go out is that it likes exploring and interacting with other animals. Therefore, while walking your cat to a park, let your pet take you where it wants to go. Don’t pull your cat towards your direction or where you want to go, as your cat will start acting repulsive and might even try to get out of its harness or leash.
Considering how much your cat likes exploring and interacting, you have to choose the day when you take your cat out wisely. You don’t want to take your cat out on a walk in a park when there are a lot of people and dogs. You also don’t want to walk your cat on a busy day when there is a lot of traffic noise, as cats don’t like a noisy environment. Go to the park on a day when there are fewer people and there, let your cat decide its activity and gradually, you can lead it into an activity that you have planned for it. Also, don’t forget to reward your cat while it’s playing in the form of a treat to keep it motivated and entertained.
Carry Pet ID
Pets often manage to escape their leash, collar or harness and get lost. This is a very traumatizing experience for owners. If you want to keep your cat safe and want to protect it from getting lost, then carry a valid pet ID with you. Other than that, make sure you are walking your pet in the park after you have got your cat microchipped so that if it gets lost, you can track it. Cats should get microchipped once they are 12 weeks or older. If your cat is microchipped make sure that you are carrying the correct microchip information, as it will help you find your cat if it gets lost.
Clean Your Cat When You Come Home
When you and your furry friend are back from the back after a fun day of walking and playing, it’s bathing time. To keep your cat healthy, it’s important to bathe it whenever it comes from outside. It is important to protect your cat from dirt, tapeworms, heartworms, lungworms and external parasites like fleas and ear mites. These impurities can be removed through a bath. After bathing, you should dry your cat properly and comb it properly.
Cat’s personality is very different compared to that of dogs, which is why when you plan to take your cat for a walk, you need to be prepared and should know what your cat likes and doesn’t like.