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Dec. 21, 2021

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Can all cats be trained to walk on a leash?

Well, most cats can, though some kitties are more accepting to new experiences than others. If your indoor cat gets skittish at every strange sound they hear, they will probably never enjoy being taken outside for a walk.

Before you get started

The most important thing you need to know is that you should never ever attach a leash to a regular cat collar. Always use a special cat harness, which you can find in any pet store. Also, ask yourself whether your cat would benefit from going for a walk on a leash. If the answer is yes, you can now get started!

Before you get started

Getting your cat used to the harness

  1. Take your cat indoors and gently put a harness on them, without attaching a leash. Some cats won’t mind this at all, while others will play dead.
  2. Reward your cat with a few treats, regardless of their response, and slowly remove the harness.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until your cat is comfortable wearing the harness.

Adding the leash

  1. Now, attach a leash to the harness and follow your cat around the house without putting any tension on the leash.
  2. Now, lay the leash down on the floor and let your cat drag the leash behind them as they move freely around the house. This will get them used to a small amount of tension. Always supervise this step as the leash could get caught on pretty much any object.
  3. Pick up the leash and follow your cat around like you did in step 4. This time, carefully try to steer your cat in a certain direction by gently pulling on the leash. 
Adding the leash

Taking your cat outside

  1. Once your cat is comfortable walking on a leash indoors, lure your cat outside with a treat and try to walk them around, preferably in a secure area like your garden.
  2. If your cat is comfortable being on a leash in a secure area, you can try to take them with you on the street. Try to avoid busy roads though.

Don’t force your cat

Note that many cats get spooked by loud noises such as passing traffic or barking dogs. If your cat freaks out, don’t force them to stay outside with you. Instead, take them back to the safety of your home and try again later.