Even if you never plan on taking your cat on a walk outdoors there’s a good reason to leash train her. It can help with a new cat introduction, aggressive issues between companion cats or even when introducing a dog to your cat. If you’re dealing with a cat who displays offensive aggression toward companion pets in the home you can leash train her to help her stay “checked in” with you and at a safe distance from the target of her aggression. The fact that she can’t actively go after the target of her aggression can also help the other cat relax. This leads to an all-over relaxation in body language communication between the cats.
Start Slow When Training Your Cat to a Leash
You can’t just slap a harness and leash on a cat and expect her to be comfortable and know what to do. The training process involves gradual desensitization. Start by getting a harness made for a cat and a lightweight leash. Initially, just leave the harness and leash on the floor for your cat to sniff and investigate. When she’s comfortable with that you can put the harness on loosely while kitty eats dinner or gets a super yummy treat. Gradually increase the time she wears it. Work up to being able to adjust the harness so that it fits appropriately. Next, attach the leash and hold it loosely while she walks around.
Make Leash Training Fun
Training sessions should be short, positive and fun. And just because you are able to train a cat to a leash doesn’t mean you don’t have to do the behavior modification necessary to help cats in a multicat environment develop a good relationship. You have to do the behavior work needed to give them a reason to like each other.
Note: information in this blog is meant for general information purposes only. If your cat is displaying a behavior problem contact your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical problem
Due to Pam’s scheduling demands, we’re sorry but she is unable to respond to questions or remarks posted in the comment section. If you have a question about cat behavior, you can find many answers in the articles Pam writes for the website as well as in her best-selling books.