How To Walk Your Indoor Cat On A Leash?
Should you take your indoor cat to go for a walk? The short answer is: it depends on your cat. You'll want to pay attention to your cat's reactions as you begin this experience. The key is to let your indoor cat explore outdoors safely. Take your cat out for a walk only if you have a harness that fits them properly and a cat carrier that will help keep them safe in case of any dangers that could potentially harm them. Before you even attempt to take your kitty out on a stroll, though, make sure that they're in good health and have all their shots.
5 Tips For Taking Your Indoor Cat Out For A Walk
So, how exactly do you go about taking your indoor cat outdoors? Well, we’re here to give you some tips to make the walk with your kitty as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
If you plan to take your cat outside, start the introduction process well before that time comes. Let your kitty get used to the idea of being in their carrier and wearing a harness. With so many carrier options out there, it may be a bit tricky to pick the right one for your kitty - this complete guide to choosing the right cat carrier is here to help. If you have a cat backpack but struggle to get your kitty into it, you may want to try these practical tips. After investing in a secure and comfy harness, you can try letting your cat wear it around the house first, or even outside on a leash, so they get used to wearing it without restraint. Make sure they don't get stuck or feel trapped, so they're comfortable with it if and when you take them outside.
Slowly introduce your cat to outdoor places
If you want to take your cat on walks, slowly introduce them to local parks or other places that will eventually become familiar stomping grounds for your kitty. Start indoors in a place that's new but not overwhelming for your cat, then work your way out slowly until they're familiar with the outdoors environment.
Cats have an internal clock that helps them know what time of day it is. Because of this, it's better not to take them outside during their peak activity times (dinnertime or early in the morning). If you do take your kitty out at these times, they'll be too excited to pay attention to what's going on around them. Instead, pick quieter times when you have more control over the situation. Find out what works best for your cat, then set a schedule for taking your kitty outside. Choose a set time for each day of the week, and stick with it. A routine lets your cat know what to expect, which makes them feel safe.
Save the first few walks short
The best way to acclimate your indoor cat to the great outdoors is through gradual exposure. This means taking them on walks for increasingly long periods of time over days or weeks. Start by letting them out in small increments, like 10 or 15 minutes at a time. You don't want to tire your cat out too much or overstimulate them on the first day. Just let them get used to you handling them and the new sights, sounds, and smells outside.
Observe and take notes
Observe how your cat reacts to being outdoors, how they approach different smells and sounds, and what kinds of things they find interesting or scary. These are all things you can use to make future trips more enjoyable for them. Make sure you take notes on what works best for them and what doesn't, so you can make future trips better for both of you!
Treat walking like any other new experience you want to introduce your cat to and do it in incremental steps at their pace. Apart from the above 5 tips, you may also want to avoid making these 10 mistakes when walking your cat on a leash for the first time.
What Should I Do When We Get Home?
The first thing you should do is to give your cat some food and a good drink. After that, take a good look at their paws. Then, gently feel the paws and the pads with your fingers, trying to find out if there are any cuts or injuries that you could notice. If you notice anything unusual, go ahead and clean it with a wet cotton ball or tissue. In case of severe injury, go to your vet straight away!
Next, if your cat seems fine, give them a treat and then brush or comb the fur on their underside to get rid of any loose hair. This is especially important if your cat has been rolling around in something like grass or dead leaves because it could bring fleas into your home.
And finally, spend some quality time with your kitty and make sure they're calm. You can do this by gently petting your fur baby with a towel or scratching them under their chin. This will calm down your cat, and they will be able to relax. If you want to bond with your kitty after the walk, you can snuggle with them and even spoon together!
Spending time outside has its benefits, particularly for indoor cats that crave the more stimulating environment of the outside world. However, you’ll want to be mindful of the weather outside before allowing your feline friend free reign outdoors. Since it’s impossible to predict all the hidden dangers, it’s best to let your indoor cat venture outdoors as they please under certain circumstances — but never when you can’t watch them. Happy exploring!