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​How do I teach my cat to walk on a leash?

Walking your cat on a leash

Many cats like going outside and one way to keep them safe is to teach them to walk on a leash. Before you take them outside, get them used to wearing a harness. Most cats have never had something wrapped around their body like a dog has. Don’t force them to wear the harness, teach them to want to wear it by learning the best way to put a harness on a cat.

Once your cat likes the harness, then start taking them outside for short visits to quiet places. If your cat has never been outside before, this could be scary for them. Always take a pet carrier with you so your cat can jump in and hide if they’re scared.

Don’t forget to make sure your cat has ID before taking them outside! We recommend that all cats have a microchip, plus a visible form of ID such as an ear tattoo or a breakaway collar with an ID tag.

Signs your cat is ok on harness and leash

  • Relaxed body
  • Exploring and interested in area
  • Showing friendly behaviour
  • Walks a little bit and then lays down or explores

Signs your cat may be scared

  • Body pulled tight like they’re trying to make themselves smaller
  • Trying to hide
  • Refusing to walk, laying down trying to make themselves smaller
  • Ears back, hissing, vocalizing
  • Jumping or shaking because of sounds or people

Never force your cat

  • To walk by dragging them on a leash
  • To stay outside if they’re scared all the time

Cat outdoors wearing id and walking on a leash