Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Do you take your indoor cats out for walks?

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
I''m looking at our cats right now and they''re enjoying the slight breeze in the air (our slider is open). If they could get out, they would in a second. We live in a condo, and if they ever got out of our front door, it''s okay because they''d just be in our hallway. We''d love it if we could take them outside, maybe on a walk (on a leash or harness). Is this a strange idea? Our cats (both are semi-feral) stay inside all the time, as recommended by the animal rescue league. We don''t want to go against their advice but we figured it would probably be safe if we kept them harnessed. What do you think?
 

laine

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
696
I grew up out in the country with outdoor cats, and when I got a cat last year, I knew I was too close to the road to let him go out alone, but I didn''t want him cooped up inside. I got a harness and leash and take him outside pretty often when the weather is nice. He cries to go out when the sliding door is open, and sits down to have his harness put on. He loves being outside! He climbs trees (but I don''t let him go high), chases birds, and actually managed to catch a mouse (though it escaped into its hole). I definitely get some funny looks, but I like taking him out.
 

lumpkin

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
2,491
I''ve been wondering about this, too. We have leash laws that include cats. We also read a book, "Spy Cat", and the family had a leash for the cat.

I''m going to get one when the weather gets nice. I''ll also have to get his shots, though. We''ve sort of neglected that since he''s been an indoor cat only, but I think we should go ahead and do it.
 

LaurenThePartier

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
10,100
I''ve been curious about this, as I recently bought a harness and leash for my cat, who was an outdoor cat until he showed up hurt on my doorstep when he was about 7 months old.

We put the harness on him, and he just freezes. He won''t move, and if he does, he walks very low, almost as if he had a strip of tape down his back. It''s hilarious, but I feel like I''m punishing him.

How did those of you who walk your cats train them to not fear the harness?
 

widget

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
Messages
4,255
I''m following this thread with interest.

My son has indoor cats, and they''ve never been outside. Taking them out sounds like a great idea, but maybe ''ignorance is bliss''? At least now they don''t really know what they''re missing...


widget
 

laine

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
696
We''ve put our cat in the harness since he was little, so he''s used to it by now, but he did the low walking thing at first too. Maybe try putting it on him and then distract him, like feed him or pet him or something, so that way he can get adjust to it. Once he''s comfortable, then add the leash and take him outside.

I know what you mean about not knowing what they''re missing; now that my cat does knows whats out there, he tries to sneak out anytime the door opens and will cry for hours to go out when he knows it nice out.

I would have to say about the whole thing that "walking the cat" is a definite misnomer for what we do. Its more of "follow the cat as he checks out bushes, trees, etc and try to keep up when he chases birds" He definitely goes where he wants and we follow.
 

Catmom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
10,174
Out of our 6 cats, only 1 really enjoys going out on a leash and harness, the rest do not want to go out at all. But my poor Zoe used to love going out and she would wait by the door until you got the leash and harness on and then away she would go. She is way to sick now to do this so she enjoys just sitting by the door. It''s not a strange idea at all. Not all cats take to it though.
 

Rachie

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
367
A friend of mine takes her cat out for walks on a harness all the time. It took some getting used to for him but now he loves it! She said that at first she pretty much had to drag him down the street!
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,867
Bill was an outdoor cat when he found us. He lived in a storm drain, so while he does enjoy being inside, he likes going outside too. We have a fenced patio, so I''ve been letting him out there occasionally, but I worry that he''ll scurry under the fence or jump over it, so I just bought him a leash and harness. I didn''t measure right so the harness didn''t fit, so I tried using the leash with his collar. It''s working ok just to keep track of him, but if I want to really be safe, I need to get him a good harness that fits. He does cry when I bring him back in though.

I doubt we''ll ever get to the point of "walking the cat". It''s much more "keep the cat from getting away from me" than anything else.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,038
I tried to do this with our oldest when she was a kitten and she HATED it. She wouldn''t walk!
 

risingsun

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Messages
5,549
Date: 4/14/2007 7:41:28 PM
Author: widget
I'm following this thread with interest.

My son has indoor cats, and they've never been outside. Taking them out sounds like a great idea, but maybe 'ignorance is bliss'? At least now they don't really know what they're missing...


widget
I am using this approach with my two cats. I don't want them to know that there is an outside
Besides, I can't see my little dears taking to such a canine thing as a leash and harness. They laugh at our dog when he is "dressed up" for his walk!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
My parents keep siamese and have quite a large garden so they are in and out all day. They also take them on holiday and we take them to the beach and out for walks there.

They have harnesses and leads, but they don''t like them hugely and they all do the low walking thing at first. We tend to take them off the leads when we are in safe areas, fields etc and they all trot along in a little line behind us. Siamese are very people orientated though, I don''t know if other breeds would be more likely to run off.

To be honest the leads are there to keep hold of them near traffic or if they get scared. They are happier the younger you start them in the harness.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Okay, so now I''m getting more used to the idea of taking our cats outside. Since they don''t ever go outside, I''m still afraid of them loving it so much that they''ll try to run away. I guess that''s what the harness is for though, huh? Have you ever found that once they see what the great outdoors is all about, your cats try to escape?
 

Cailet

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
419
Date: 4/14/2007 7:33:23 PM
Author: LaurenThePartier
I''ve been curious about this, as I recently bought a harness and leash for my cat, who was an outdoor cat until he showed up hurt on my doorstep when he was about 7 months old.

We put the harness on him, and he just freezes. He won''t move, and if he does, he walks very low, almost as if he had a strip of tape down his back. It''s hilarious, but I feel like I''m punishing him.

How did those of you who walk your cats train them to not fear the harness?
My cat does the same thing! She totally tries to walk along the ground as if she is trying to get under something. I tried a bigger harness, but she just managed to wriggle out of that one...
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
The harness is key - they can get out of a collar (happened to my parents'' cat) and then it''s stressful for you AND the cat.

Mine loves to look outside through windows but is somewhat apprehensive of the screen door. Don''t ever plan on taking her outside.
 

JCJD

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 8, 2004
Messages
1,977
Sammy loves her harness and leash. We don't let her out any other way, and I still keep her close to me when she is out. She starts purring immediately once I start putting the harness on her! She's only allowed out on the porch though.

The keys are to:
1. Get a very well fitting sturdy harness and leash. Just like a collar, you should be able to fit 2 fingers comfortably but snugly underneath the fabric/leather of the harness (especially around the neck and chest), no less, and not much more.
2. Make sure your cat has their tags and/or is microchipped, just in case.
3. Make sure your cat will tolerate the harness and leash. Many will act as if you've just attached a 16 ton weight to them and they won't enjoy being outside with it (the low-walkers).
4. Make sure your cat will not slip out of the harness at all (follow-up to step 1). They're slippery little creatures.
5. Supervise supervise supervise. If you don't want your cat to run away, chase the squirrels, get chased by the neighborhood dog, or get hit by a car, you have to be out with them at all times.

Also remember, sometimes the grass just looks greener. Some cats just enjoy seeing the great outdoors but not being in it. Plus, keeping cats indoors keeps them safe from injuries and illness. Who knows what pathogens are lurking in that pile of leaves Fluffy keeps sniffing.

If you're really set on walking your cat and they are a low-walker, try leaving just the harness (not attached to a leash) on the cat for an hour or so around the house. Give him/her treats right after putting it on and right after taking it off. See if things get better after 10 days of this; if not, Kitty's probably not going to enjoy walks.
 

Madam Bijoux

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Messages
5,110
My indoor cats never went out except for trips to the vet. There is always a risk of them getting attacked by a dog when they''re on a leash. I prefer to err on the side of caution.
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
Date: 4/16/2007 2:56:35 PM
Author: Madam Bijoux
My indoor cats never went out except for trips to the vet. There is always a risk of them getting attacked by a dog when they''re on a leash. I prefer to err on the side of caution.
This is my fear too. I know that many people take their cats out without an issue. I fear a dog attack. But perhaps if you have your own backyard, that might be okay. I still don''t though.
 

Lynn B

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
5,609
Our kitty, Buster, is 11 months old now, and a TOTAL indoor cat. However, we do put a harness and leash on him whenever we take him outside (always WITH us, never out alone.) We''ve been doing that since he was a tiny baby, and he is very comfortable in it.

We keep the harness and leash by the back door and even if he''s just going to the VET (in his travel carrier) we put the harness on him. He has learned that unless he is wearing the harness he doesn''t go outside, which is nice because he isn''t always bolting out the door every time we open the door, bring in groceries, etc.!

We eat dinner outside on our deck a lot in the summer, and we just bring him out with us, putting his leash loop under one of our chairs. He loves being with us and being outside, but we know he is safe.
 

Miscka

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2007
Messages
1,938
Haha this ? cracks me up, only bc I had the same thought! I bought my cat a harness and leash and took her out. She wouldnt go anywhere....just kind of crouched and sat and she is normally a wild woman


So if you try it, I hope you have better luck than I did!!
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top