Did you know that January is Walk Your Pet Month? While many people associate walking pets with dogs, some of our feline friends also enjoy going for the occasional stroll. In fact, walking can be a great way to let your cat enjoy a change of scenery. This is also a good way to let Fluffy get some exercise and mental stimulation. However, this isn’t going to be the best option for every cat. Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet discusses taking your kitty for a walk.
To Walk, or Not To Walk?
Some cats enjoy the outdoors, while others become frightened and uneasy. If your pet used to have the freedom to go outside, or was once a stray, she may enjoy going outdoors. Super-active and playful cats may also benefit from being walked. However, if your kitty is nervous, or has never been outside, then she’s probably better off just staying indoors.
Before you take Fluffy out for a jaunt, you’ll have to work with her to get her used to her leash and harness. Start by just putting the harness on your pet while she is indoors. Offer her attention, praise, toys, and treats, so she forms a good association with it. Leave the harness on for a while, but don’t leave your cat unattended while she’s wearing it. You don’t want to risk your furball getting caught on something! The next step is to attach the leash. Just let your kitty drag it around behind her. For safety reasons, you’ll need to supervise your feline pal closely during this stage. Once your kitty has gotten used to the leash, try ‘walking’ her around your home.
Once your kitty seems comfortable with both her leash and her harness, you can try taking her outside. Don’t go too far at first: just let your pet start by sniffing some grass. Stay away from trees, as you definitely don’t want Fluffy climbing a tree with her leash on! Pay attention to how your kitty behaves. If your feline pal doesn’t seem comfortable, take her back inside. Never force your cat to go outdoors, and never leave her outside alone. Ask your vet for more information.
Please reach out to us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care. We’re here to help!