How do you teach your cat to walk on a lead?

You have heard cats can be taught to walk on their lead, but is it true?

It's true, cats can be taught to walk on a lead or harness. Although like most things it's much easier to teach a kitten. Before you head outside, make sure your kitten's vaccinations are up to date and your veterinarian has given the ok for him/her to go outdoors.

In saying that, it's best to start the training process indoors so you can expose your kitten to one new experience at a time. Firstly attach the lead and/or harness and let him/her drag it around the house. This will give your kitten an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the sensation of having a strange object attached. It's really important at this stage not to be tempted to drag your kitten by the lead. Doing so may frighten him/her or create a negative experience and association with the lead.

Once your kitten is at ease you can gradually encourage him/her to walk with you. Start this process by playing games, such as encouraging your kitten to follow a favourite toy or treat and by providing praise along the way. Once your kitten is comfortable and willing, you can attempt your first walk outdoors. Start by using your own backyard or verandah, and build up to a walk further afar.

The key to success is keeping training sessions short and fun and in no time you will be enjoying the outdoors together.