Cat Care

Cat Walking on a Lead

Cat Care > Cat Training > Cat Walking on a Lead

Cat Walking on a Lead

A cat can learn to walk on a lead if training is started while it is still a kitten. Some breeds are particularly successful to train in this respect, notably Siamese cats. It is safer to use a harness and lead rather than a collar, and a suitable one can be purchased from a pet shop along with a cat lead. At first the kitten should be allowed to get used to the feeling of wearing the harness (which must have adjustable straps to allow for growth) in the house. The lead may then be clipped on and the kitten allowed to pull it around and play with it while being closely supervised.

The next stage is for a person to pick up the end of the lead but follow the kitten wherever it wants to go rather than attempt to direct movement. Once the kitten has got used to this, an attempt can be made to persuade it to walk with the person holding the lead. It should be coaxed to walk by the person's side-never dragged or pulled along but praised and regarded with a titbit when it gets things right. The kitten can be taught not to run ahead by giving a sharp tug on the lead, accompanied by a firm 'No'; it should eventually learn to remain beside the person.

Once these skills have been mastered inside the house, they can be put into practice in the garden. Initially the kitten may need plenty of reassurance once in the garden. It should be picked up and carried if it appears frightened and only put down for a moment or two at first. Walks can become more ambitious as the kitten matures and gains confidence. If a cat can be taught to walk on a lead it can be exercised outside, even if normally kept indoors because of the dangers presented by road traffic.