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How to get a cat used to the harness?

Cats

How to get a cat used to the harness?

To get their cats out safely, owners sometimes use a leash and harness. If kittens tolerate them more often, it is not always easy with adult cats. Gradual habituation to the leash and harness is then necessary.

Many cats are city dwellers and live in apartments. Even if it is possible to make them happy by enriching their environment (cat trees, scratching posts, observation posts, multiple games, etc.), cats always enjoy going out. The outside environment is much more stimulating for them.

Leash trips should only be considered if you have the possibility of taking your cat out of a quiet and secure place. If the place is too noisy, if there are a lot of cars, people, dogs, then it could be very stressful. We must not forget that cats are kind fearful, they are seen as prey for many dogs and exits can quickly become stressful for them. All the more if you take him out on a leash, because he will not be able to flee and go to hide freely.

Owners sometimes prefer to take their cats out on a leash even if they live in a house, if they live next to a busy road for example. It can also be useful to tie your cat up during transport by car, to allow him to get out of his transport cage safely during breaks.

It is important to choose a suitable harness: you must carefully measure your neck and chest circumference to choose the right size and prevent your cat from successfully removing the harness if he was panicking.

It is rare for cats to immediately accept the leash and harness. A accustomed to the leash and harness is generally necessary. This will be much easier in a kitten than in an adult cat.

First, get your cat used to the harness. You can do this for a few minutes a day. If it remains calm, we advise you to congratulate and reward him (toys, treats, caresses) so that he associates the harness with something positive. You can gradually increase the time during which you leave it.

You can then try to attach it: a few seconds at first then a few minutes, etc … Do not forget to congratulate him well and reward him if he stays calm.

You can then take your cat out in your garden or in a quiet and secure place. You will gradually increase the time spent on a walk.

Some cats will unfortunately never get used to the leash and harness and will be very stressed to be tied up and not to be free to move.

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