I felt sorry for my cat every time I watched her staring out the window and meowing in front of the door, longing to be outside. I put some thought into it and decided to research the benefits of the great outdoors for cats with the use of a leash.
My cat has too much energy and not enough space, so perhaps I should consider taking my cat for a leash walk.
Taking a cat for a walk has a lot of benefits; here is a list:
- walking is good exercise
- supports a healthy weight level
- prevents them from getting bored
- the instincts of your cat can be compromised
- reconnects your cat with nature’s sounds and scents
- helps combat stress
- your kitty will simply be happier
- you get to exercise as well!
- if you are the nature lover, it’s another win-win situation!
- people will admire you
Let’s talk some more about each of these benefits, and I’ll show you just how worth it this technique of using a leash for outside walks is.
- Benefits for Walking Cat on a Leash
- It’s a Great Exercise
- Maintain Healthy Weight Level
- Helps Prevent The Boredness
- Helps Satiate Your Cat’s Instincts
- Reconnects Your Cat With Nature’s Sounds and Smells
- Helps Combat Stress
- Your Kitty Will Become Happier
- You Get to Exercise as Well!
- If You Love Outdoors, It’s Another Win-Win Situation!
- Other Cat Owners Will Admire You
- Is It Leash Walking Easy To Start?
- How To Walk a Kitten?
- Should I Use a Harness Or a Collar?
- Related Questions
Benefits for Walking Cat on a Leash
It’s a Great Exercise
Using the leash walking method to get your kitty to exercise burns unwanted energy and keeps it healthy. In many cases, aggressiveness in cats simply proves that your feline friend lacks exercise. Your cat will also be able to jump, climb on the closest tree (as much as the length of the leash let them).
Maintain Healthy Weight Level
Having too much food and treats available around your house or apartment, as well as lack of activity, can lead to your cat’s unhealthy weight and even to obesity. Fortunately, walking your cat could burn those extra calories and release excess energy.
Helps Prevent The Boredness
Walking is a unique way to introduce fascinating natural toys to your cat and let it be a cat again. Cats are curious creatures, and it will, for sure satisfied their curiosity. There’s a lot to explore outside the house. This way, your kitty won’t be bored and will have fun on its outdoor playing adventure.
Some owners forget that cats are playful creatures even though they spend most of the day sleeping or being lazy. It doesn’t mean they are not bored; it means they don’t have better things to do since their owners are not spending time playing or bonding with them.
Helps Satiate Your Cat’s Instincts
As we all know by now, cats have instincts like hunting. They are often watching the birds and other creatures outside, wanting to release those instincts and catch prey. This behavior is in their DNA, and you can help them satisfy it by walking them and letting them get closer. They will be happy to simply chase a butterfly or some other bug.
Reconnects Your Cat With Nature’s Sounds and Smells
I remember when one of my adopted cats escaped outside for the first time. She was patiently going from plant to plant, smelling everything and listening to all the sounds surrounding her, from wind to birds to insect buzzing; she was admiring everything happening in the front yard. Observing her behavior made me realize how important it is for a cat to be outside and feel free.
Most cats enjoy being outdoors if you give them a chance. Even cats with a low activity level may benefit from leash walking. The walk doesn’t have to be long or super active. Spend some time around the front or back yard, or walk a few houses up or down the street. Let your feline friend enjoy surrounding noises.
Helps Combat Stress
Stress in indoor cats is a reasonable condition. Some cat breeds show more than others a need to be active. The space you provide is not always enough. Keeping them inside all of the time might increase their stress levels. Cats enjoy being outdoors; it’s in their nature, and their stress levels will decrease with the time after they get used to being outside.
Your Kitty Will Become Happier
Owners are not always aware of the signs when the cat is showing unhappiness. Once my cat started spending time outside, she was calmer inside and wanted to play more with our dogs. She also started sleeping more calmly on the couch or her carpet, not worrying about what was happening around her.
Don’t take your cat for granted. Take your cat outside and find a new, hidden personality you didn’t know your cat has.
You Get to Exercise as Well!
Walking your cat is an excellent way to make yourself walk. Some cats have a wide range of walking distance and can walk a few blocks at a time. It’s an excellent mutual activity.
If You Love Outdoors, It’s Another Win-Win Situation!
If you enjoy spending time outdoors, being around trees and beautiful colorful flowers, both you and your kitty will feel good. You will learn new things about your cat and how much it appreciates your efforts.
Other Cat Owners Will Admire You
Even though the latest trend is leash walking, how often do you see someone actually walking a cat on the leash in the park or on the street? You might motivate others to follow your path and start walking their cat.
Is It Leash Walking Easy To Start?
If you are not used to seeing cats on a leash, then you may be thinking it’s a strange sight. I’ve talked to many indoor cat owners, asking them to picture themselves taking their cats outdoors for a leash walk. All of them answered they would be happy to do it if they knew how.
The truth is it’s not easy to start, and it may be challenging at first. It becomes more comfortable with practice. Your cat will start seeing the benefits of walking and associate it with positive activity.
How To Walk a Kitten?
It’s easier to teach a kitten than an adult cat to walk on a leash. The teaching method is the same, but your kitten will see it more as a play than something serious.
Start by introducing a harness and a leash to your kitten, and let it play with it and be around it for a few days. Use treats to associate it with something positive.
When your kitten seems comfortable being around it, put a harness on it and let it get comfortable wearing it. After that, slowly start taking it outside. Spend some time around the house until your kitten overcome the fear of the noises. Repeat it as much as necessary and make it every day playing session. Use toys on the go to distract your kitten from noises that might scare them.
Should I Use a Harness Or a Collar?
One should always use a proper size harness for a leash walk. Harnesses are much safer than collars.
Make sure your cat’s harness is tight enough but not too tight. The harness should be comfortable enough for a cat to move and jump but not to be able to crawl out of it. Please choose the one that is easy to put on and to take it off. The owner should always do a test indoors to make sure your cat won’t be able to escape while on the walk.
Measure your cat’s chest before buying a harness. Measurement will help you to buy the proper size of the harness that your cat will need. Your cat won’t like the harness for the first time you put it on. You could use clicker training to help your cat get used to wearing it.
Be patient with your cat when on a walk. Your cat will walk sideways and explore the things around. It will take some time for your cat to stop chasing a bug. Let your cat catch a fly or some small bug. This action will satisfy the cat’s hunting instinct and bring out confidence in your cat.
Enrich your feline’s life and make it feel happier by exploring outdoors and by getting the experience it’s not possible to gain inside the house.
Which breeds are most active and will benefit the most from being outdoors? These breeds seem to have a high activity level in particular order: Bengal, Abyssinian, Siamese, Oriental, Cornish Rex, Domestic Short Hair, Tonkinese, and Maine Coon.
Which objects in nature can a cat use as a toy? They will gladly play with everything that moves, such as leaves, soft, thin branches leaning down the tree, pine cones, and similar. The tree itself is a fun climbing and scratching object. Let your cat find its own favorite outdoor toy.