Take Your Cat for a Walk

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Shortcake is enjoying all the new sights and smells, not to mention the fresh air.

Yes, you can take your cat for a walk!

It’s not for everyone or for every cat, but it is definitely worth a try. It’s best to try this with your cat if you live in a quiet suburban or rural area. I don’t recommend trying to walk your cat in the middle of a busy city. If it’s too busy by your home, consider a short drive to a quieter part of town.

Reasons to Walk Your Cat:

  • It gives your indoor cat a safe way to enjoy the outdoors
  • It’s a great way to give your active cat exercise
  • It’s a great way to make your inactive and overweight cat more active
  • Simply being outside will stimulate your cat’s senses and brain and alleviate boredom
  • They’ll be able to enjoy the feeling of grass beneath their paws
  • You’ll have the chance to talk to your neighbors when they come up to comment on how they have never seen a cat on a leash before!

Things to keep in mind:

  • Time to Adjust – Your cat likely go limp the first time (or the third time) you put the harness on them. That’s okay. Be patient. Never reprimand them or drag them for not walking. Often the cat just needs time to adjust to the feeling of the harness. They’ll likely forget they’re even wearing it when a choice bird comes around.
  • Hold onto that Leash! – Some cats will be very excited to get out and explore that they’ll move very quickly. The types of leashes typically sold with cat harnesses are less than 5ft long which can be awkward for taller folks. You may want to get a longer leash in the dog section of the pet supplies store. Do NOT put your cat on a retractable leash. On a similar note, you also want to make sure the harness is well fitted and secure, not loose fitting on your cat.
  • Bring Your Cell Phone – If your cat is similar to my senior cat, Shortcake, she’ll be more interested in walking until she finds a perfect patch of sun. Then she may settle in for a cat nap. This might be a good time to check your email or social media. But on a more serious note, you never know if you need to call for help until you’re in that situation. Stay safe. ­­
  • Timing – Take it slow and be prepared to take it slow. Cats are notorious for doing what they want to do exactly when they want to do it. If it’s been about 20/30min and you cat hasn’t walked much but you have to get back home, it may be time to pick her up and carry her home. Shortcake typically protests with a low, unhappy meow because her outside time is just never long enough.

I recommend flea and tick prevention for all cats, even if they are “indoor only,” because it is much more difficult to get rid of fleas once they are in your home. Also, be sure your cat is up to date on all the recommended vaccinations. Speak with your veterinarian for more information.

Cat Behaviorist an host of My Cat From Hell, Jackson Galaxy sometimes recommends taking your cat for a walk to enrich their lives and make them happier. Plus sometimes, a studio apartment just feels too small for an active or curious cat.

For more information on Jackson Galaxy – go to his website.

Take care.

Carolina Rodriguez

River Walks Pet Care is a bonded and insured midday dog walking and pet sitting service, a member of Pet Sitters International (PSI), and Carolina Rodriguez, the dog walker, pet sitter, and owner, is working on becoming a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS).

This blog and this information is free to all pet lovers, not just River Walks Pet Care clients. If you like the content of this blog and would like to help support it and the one-woman-show that is River Walks Pet Care, please consider donating. Thank you!

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