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Walking Your Cat

September 15, 2023
The first week of October is Walk Your Dog Week! While usually this is of course aimed at taking Fido for walks, some of our feline pals also enjoy going for strolls. There are some things to consider before taking Fluffy out on a leash, though. Here, a Columbia, MD vet offers some advice on walking cats.

Determine If Walking Is Right For Fluffy

Walking isn’t necessarily the best option for all cats. If your furball is extremely shy, or has always been an indoor pet, it may be best to just leave things as is. If Fluffy is active, curious, and perhaps full of zoomies, she may really enjoy being taken out. Cats that formerly lived or were allowed out may also enjoy the exercise and stimulation.

Start Inside

You’ll need to get your furry friend used to being walked on a leash. Start by finding a good harness and letting your kitty get used to it indoors. Don’t leave Fluffy’s leash on when you aren’t there to supervise: you don’t want her getting caught on something. It may take a bit of time for your feline friend to get accustomed to the harness. Once she seems to have accepted it, you can start attaching a leash and letting her drag it around. This also requires close supervision: Fluffy will probably want to play with the leash, and could easily get tangled up in it.

Test Things Out

The next stage is to go for a trial walk. Don’t venture far that first time, and pay attention to how your kitty acts. If she seems scared, don’t force the issue. You may also want to avoid trees: cats often instinctively climb up them when they feel unsettled.

Use Precautions

If all goes well, you can start venturing further. Always put safety first. Avoid areas with heavy traffic, and keep an eye out for dogs. Also, make sure the harness is attached well, and that you have a good grip on the leash. You’ll also need to be careful not to let Fluffy eat plants or grass that could be unsafe, or walk through areas that may have been treated with chemicals.

Prepare For Demands

Our feline buddies are very, very good at ‘meowpulating’ their owners. If Fluffy enjoys going for walks, it won’t take long for her to expect—and then demand—them. Be prepared! Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Columbia, MD pet hospital, today!

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