How to take your cat out for a walk

Ginger cat with leash walk with owner

Do you want to go out for walk with your cat so that they could discover the great outdoors? While it sounds like a fun activity, it is important to keep in mind that cats are capricious creatures. Therefore, it can be quite difficult to go out for a peaceful walk. However, as long as you take into account a few safety measures before heading out, it is possible to do this! In this article, we will share a few tips to help you do so safely.

Choose the right accessories to take with you

To prevent your walk from becoming a game of hide-and-seek, it is important to have the right accessories. To begin with, it is important for your cat to have an ID tag. This makes it easier for people to identify them and contact you.

Another useful accessory to take with you is a harness. Harnesses are more comfortable than collars for walks because the strips are located around the shoulder blades instead of the neck. When choosing a harness, it is important to ensure that the model is suited to the size of your cat and that it is not too tight. To help them get used to this new accessory, you can let them practice wearing the harness at home.

A leash is another important accessory to have with you. When out for your first walks together, it is best to have a short leash. This will ensure that you cat stays close and that you have better control of where they are walking. Once your cat has gotten used to the short leash, you can opt for a longer leash.

You can also take treats, water, and a bowl with you. This is ideal because you will be able to reward them and give them water during your walk.

Backpacks with breathable nets or bubble windows are also great accessories to invest in because they allow you to carry your cat safely.

Black cat walk in the grass with owner
It is better for cats to wear harnesses when going out for a walk.

Should I take my cat out for a walk?

If you want to take your cat out for a walk, it is best to get them used to the accessories from a young age. You should also take into account your cat’s personality. If your cat is naturally wary, they might panic when they hear a sudden noise in the streets. If, instead, your cat is outgoing and curious, it will most likely be easier to go out for a walk with them. In this section, we will go over the benefits and disadvantages of walks with cats.

The benefits of taking your cat out for a walk

Going on a walk is beneficial for both you and your cat. For example, it gives your cat some freedom while still being protected from outside dangers. In addition, it also allows the both of you to get some exercise. It is also a great way to improve you and your pet’s health.

Cats are naturally very curious creatures. This experience can be very positive and enriching if they are watched over well. They can also discover new things that can stimulate them. It is best to avoid forcing your cat so that they do not get stressed.

Walks can also be useful for cats who try to run away. According to some experts, this behavior is linked to their need to discover and explore nature. Cats who are more inclined to this behavior will truly benefit from going out for a walk.

The disadvantages of taking your cat out for a walk

For certain territorial and solitary cats, walks can be challenging and a source of stress. If they are not prepared for this experience, they can consider the outside environment to be a real threat for them.

Meeting with other animals can also be stressful for them because they might see them as potential rivals. When taking your cat out for a walk, it is important to watch out for dogs. Cats can see this as a threat and react badly.

In addition, cats are not aware of dangers in the same way as humans are. For example, they do not know that they need to be more cautious around cars or objects that could potentially hurt them. For this reason, it is important to find a route that is the least dangerous for your cat. During your walks, you need to be attentive to keep them safe. For instance, prevent your cat from eating things that they find on the floor. In addition, give your cat flea and tick treatments and make sure that their vaccines are up-to-date.

How do I teach my cat to walk with a leash?

Even if it seems like your cat could enjoy going out for walks, it is important to teach them little by little. Ideally, go for a trial walk to see how they react. Make sure that your cat is already used to the leash and the harness before heading out. Once they are comfortable with these accessories, you can try to go for your first walk with your cat.

For your first walk, choose a place that does not have too many people and that is rather calm. If the area is far from your home, let your cat wear their harness and transport them in a cat carrier. Once you are there, put the leash on and take your cat in your arms to reassure them. Then, you can place your cat on the ground gently. You should give your cat some time to observe and sniff their new environment. If your pet refuses to move, sit down by their side and reassure them by petting them. You can also give them treats to encourage them. Your first walk should not last longer than 15 minutes.

For the next few walks, take your cat to the same place so that they get used to it little by little. As times goes on, they should feel better and they might want to adventure out a little further. If this is the case, you can go on slightly longer walks together. If, instead, your cat fidgets and panics, they might not be ready for adventures like this. To reassure your cat, you can pet them and stay by their side. You can try again another time.

A few precautionary measures to take

If you are anticipating going out for a walk with your cat, it is important to take a few precautionary measures to keep your cat safe and avoid problems. Here a few things helpful tips:

  • wait a few weeks before going out for your first walk if you just recently adopted your cat,
  • avoid forcing your cat to move and pulling on the leash,
  • opt for daytime walks for more safety,
  • avoid going out for walks in the spring.

If your cat does not show any progress after several tries, it probably means that this is not the ideal activity for them. It is best to look for calmer activities to do together. It could be a good idea, however, to let them stay in a cat backpack so that you could enjoy walks together without making them stressed.