How to lead train your Cat

16 April 2017

When we first decided that we were going to get a kitten we knew we wanted to train them on a lead - living in a first floor flat means that we don't have outdoor access and me being a clingy mess of a woman means that I'm never comfortable wit cats going out on their own but taking them for walks means that they get to explore the world superglued to my metaphorical apron strings. I ordered these teeny tiny harnesses from Amazon a few weeks ago, they only just fit safely and the boys are ten weeks old - this means that I'm more confident with trying to get them to actually walk on their walks rather than be stuffed down my coat. 

Lead training cats takes a lot of time and effort, I try and take the boys out a few times a week just around the grassy area on our road and Luke and I take them out out once a week - they're both so chilled when it comes to being carried, Cecil has been through town and both of them have been for a stroll in the county park and sat in their harnesses in the waiting room of the vet's but never let your kitty lull you into a sense of security - the world is full of things that startle cats and make them jump and when cats get gets spooked, they bolt, if you're thinking about lead training your cat start off in a quiet area, preferably close to home and use the same space to gradually build their (and your) confidence. 

Albert and Cecil are reasonably confident with having a little potter around the paved area outside the main door of our building and will skip from thelanding to our front door but there's something about grass that absolutely repulses them. So much so that Cecil refuses to put his front paws on the ground and resembles a chubby meerkat and Albie clings on to me as if I'm asking him to walk on water. It's amazing that these two little boys who show no fear at home when trying to walk into the hot oven or climb to the top of the curtain are reduced to such scaredy cats but I do kind of like it when they want to snuggle in to me. 

It looks like it's going to be a little while before we get over this grass issue and often our 'walks' consist of 10 minutes of looking at the disgusting grass, to me and back again but it is so important to never force your cat to walk - Cat's are fickle, stubborn and hold grudges. If you make one wrong move and turn lead walking into a bad experience you can be sure that kitty will remember and more importantly never forgive. Be patient, if standing shaking next to a drain pipe is all you're going to get for one day then accept it, your cat needs to build the confidence to take steps and needs to be able to trust you to do that. 

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